Thursday, February 28, 2019

Slow Cooker Red Beans & Rice

I am so excited to share a new recipe with you today! So a few weeks ago I was thumbing through the latest edition of Food Network magazine and came across this feature about New Orleans and red beans and rice. Yes please. My awesome Mother in Law made it for us when they were visiting and it was so yummy. I made a few tweaks, added some things, subtracted others, and the best part....I made it a slow cooker recipe. This one pot wonder was so delicious. Enjoy this traditional 'Nawlins dish!

Cast of Characters:

-1 smoked ham hock (I legit had no idea what this was, basically you add it in for flavor but don't actually eat a giant meaty version of a bay leaf. My MIL cut one in half and froze it so I had it on hand for this slow cooker version. I know if might seem tempting to leave it out, but don't. The flavor sends this dish over the top).
-1/2 lb. Smoked Sausage
-1 lb. dried red beans
-3 tbs. olive oil
-1 onion chopped
-4 stalks of celery chopped
-1 can low sodium chicken broth
-1 green pepper chopped 
-3 bay leaves
-1/2 tbs. minced garlic
-a few splashes of hot sauce
-1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
-1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
-1/2 tsp. sage
-1/2 tsp. thyme
-1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 
-dash of salt and pepper
-6 cups water 
-rice for serving 

1. You will need to soak your beans overnight in water. I put mine in 7 cups of water, in a covered bowl, in the fridge. I was thinking of skipping this step and buying canned kidney beans but the "red beans" are actually a bit different and work well for this recipe. It's not intimidating to soak beans (maybe I'm the only one that needed that pep talk). 

2. In the morning, dump everything but the rice in the slow cooker and put on low all day. When you're ready to serve, remove the ham hock and bay leaves. 
I chopped the veggies the night before because the last thing I want to do at 6 am is cut an onion 

3. That's it. I served this with microwave rice (easy peasy) and dinner (and lunches the next day) was done! 

Now if only I can make some King cake, we can feast traditional Mardi Gras style. And here's a picture of Hank chowing not on red beans and rice but his newest fave, cinnamon raisin toast. I just love that cute lil man. 

Savor Your Sparkle,

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