Living in Texas, I have visisted many parts of Louisiana throughout the years and I love the friendly people and their food. Over the last few years, I’ve been cooking a Cajun dinner on Mardi Gras. In the past, I’ve made gumbo, jambalaya, and king’s cake, of course! This year, I decided to invite my parents over and the four of us enjoyed red beans ‘n’ rice, cornbread and a French custard pie.
Louisiana Entertains is the official cookbook of the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition. It was copyrighted in 1978 and 1983 by the Rapides Symphony Guild of Alexandria, Louisiana. This cookbook is unusual because instead of the cookbook being divided into categories such as appetizers, side dishes, main dishes, etc., it is divided into menus. These menus come from a series of parties that were hosted by Central Louisianans to support the Rapides Symphony Orchestra, over a three-year period. I chose a recipe from a “New Orleans Fare” menu. The menu included Red Beans ‘n’ Rice, Green Salad, French Bread, Praline Sundaes and Coffee, and the wine suggested was either a Zinfandel or Chianti. The red beans ‘n’ rice turned out delicious and my family really enjoyed the meal. I added Tabasco to mine just to give it an extra kick. Below is the recipe for Red Beans ‘n’ Rice and as usual the recipe refects the changed that I made. I’m sorry, but I didn’t snap a picture of this dish.
Red Beans ‘n’ Rice
1 pound red beans, rinsed and drained
1 smoked ham hock
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound smoked sausage
The night before cooking, soak beans in water. Soak at least 8 hours before cooking. Drain and rinse beans. In a large stockpot, add beans, ham hock, onions, celery, pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper. Add enough water to cover beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 4 to 5 hours. Add sliced smoked sausage and cook additional 30 minutes. Serve over hot rice and with Tabasco, if desired.