Sunday, June 27, 2010

Red Beans and Rice

A coworker of mine, Ted, gave me this recipe. I love red beans and rice, and I really love slow cooker meals while I'm working. This is really easy, and it makes for good leftovers.

Red Beans and Rice
Serves 10-12

1 lb dry red kidney beans
3 cups water
1 large onion, chopped
1 can petite diced tomatoes (I use Rotel)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 lb sausage, cut into 1/2" cubes (we like fully cooked jalopeno sausage, i.e.: Kountry boys or Slovacek's)
2 tsp kosher salt (reduce if salt sensitive)
cornstarch, if needed

Put beans into a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover the beans by about 1”. Cover and leave to soak overnight. The next morning, drain and rinse the beans, pull out any bean skins that came off, and put the beans into the crock pot. Add all the other ingredients into the crock pot and cook all day on LOW or about 4-5 hours on HIGH. (If you happen to be home while you are cooking this, I'd wait to put the sausage in until the last couple hours or so if cooking on LOW. The sausage is still good if cooked all day, but it is better if you can put it in later on in the cooking process.)

After done cooking, if you think that it is not thick enough, add 1 Tbsp of cornstarch (flour would work also, if you don’t have cornstarch) about 30 minutes before I want to serve it. You have to ladle some of the liquid into a cup and let it cool down then add the cornstarch to the cooled liquid and stir until the cornstarch is mixed in. Finally, pour the cornstarch mixture into the crock pot while stirring it into the beans. Turn the crock pot to HIGH after you add the cornstarch in. (By the time I get home, I want to eat... so if I do add cornstarch, I mix it in 1/2 cup cold water and add it to the crock pot. It takes a while for the liquid to cool down.)

Serve over cooked rice.

**Note: If you like spicy food, I wouldn't recommend adding any more chili powder or red crushed pepper than stated above until it is done. When cooked all day long, it gets pretty spicy. I was really surprised at how hot it gets.

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