2/19/13

Red Beans and Rice

Has there ever been something that you really really really wanted to get good at but you were too scared to try?

Maybe you've always wanted to go sky diving or learn to salsa dance or grow prize winning tomatoes.  
Or maybe, just maybe, all you wanted to do was get really really good at making red beans and rice. 
Maybe you never tried because maybe you were scared of ham hocks.  Maybe you didn't understand why they abbreviate pieces as "PCS." on the package.  Or maybe you didn't feel like calculating those points because, really, that could get complicated.   
But maybe one day, a combination of a burst of confidence and an intense craving led you to call an expert, consult a few recipes, buy a package of country ham pcs. and do the damn thing. 
Maybe the end result was a pot full of spicy, warm goodness on a Sunday night that had you fist pumping on the flavor train and actually looking forward to left overs. 

Maybe, all of this happened.  

Maybe you should cook a dish this week that you've always wanted to try....and maybe, you should tell me about it! 
Red Beans and Rice

1 lb of Camellia brand kidney beans
12 oz of country ham pieces OR 2 ham hocks (I just used what I could find)
4 tbl butter
1 lb Andouille sausage
2 onions, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
3 ribs of celery, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tbl dried thyme
1 tbl dried oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp all spice
8 bay leaves
2 tsp white pepper
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbl granulated garlic
1 tbl onion powder
1 tbl paprika

Soak your beans over night in enough water to cover them + an inch. 

Take your ham pcs. / hocks and cover them in however much water you covered the beans with + 2 inches.  Boil the water until the ham shreds easily.  Set aside; you can do this the day before if you fancy.  

In a large pot melt the butter over medium high heat.  Add the sausage, cook off until its dark and starting to stick to the bottom.  Set the sausage aside.  Add the onion, bell pepper and celery aka the trinity and cook until soft and starting to stick to the bottom.  Deglaze the bottom of the pan with 1/4 of the ham hock / ham pcs liquid that you made and cook it down.  Repeat this 3 more times making sure to not burn your veggies.  

Drain your red beans and add them to the vegetables.  Add in the garlic, sausage and spices.  At this point, I added a little bit more water...enough to cover ever thing up.  Bring it all to a simmer and cook on medium low for about an hour and a half or until its all creamy.  

Serve with white rice.  

Now, I didn't calculate the points for this one because I figured that would just be real annoying.  When I track this I just guess that it's 15 pp for 1 cup of red beans and rice and 1/2 a cup of white rice.  Why 15?  I have no idea...completely pulled that number out of the air.     

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