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New Orleans-Style Anasazi Beans and Rice

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Serves 8

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 115

In New Orleans, red beans and rice, affectionately called “red and white,” is traditionally served on a Monday as a way to use up Sunday dinner’s ham bone. Here, smoked sausage lends its spicy flavor to the rice and meaty Anasazi beans. For this recipe, it’s not essential to keep the beans’ shape intact—you want them to be very soft.

  • 1 lb. (2-1/2 cups) dried Anasazi beans
  • 1 Tbs. pure olive oil
  • 6 oz. fully cooked andouille or other spicy smoked sausage, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 3 medium celery stalks with leaves, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 medium scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium green or yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • Hot pepper sauce, for serving
  • Jarred pickled jalapeños, for serving

Spread the beans out and pick through them, discarding any rocks, bits of debris, and shriveled beans. Rinse the beans under cold water to remove any dust or dirt. Put the beans in a large metal bowl with enough cool water to cover by about 3 inches. Soak at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours, adding more water if the level gets low. To see if the beans have soaked long enough, cut one in half. It should be the same color at its center as it is at the edge. Drain and rinse.

 

Tip:
A long soak is the best way to ensure even cooking of the beans, but if you're short on time, you can do a quick soak in lieu of the step above: Put the beans in a large pot with enough cool water to cover by about 3 inches. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for 1 to 2 hours. Drain and rinse.

Put the beans in a 6-quart Dutch oven. Add 2 quarts cool water, or enough to cover the beans by about 3/4 inch. Bring just to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally and adding hot water if necessary to keep the beans submerged, until they begin to soften, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring often, until browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in the celery, scallions, bell pepper, onion, 1/2 cup of the parsley, the bay leaf, thyme, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the sausage mixture to the beans and return to a simmer. Continue to simmer, stirring often, until the beans are very tender and the liquid is very thick, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring 4 cups water to a boil in a heavy-duty 3-quart saucepan over high heat. Add the rice and 1-1/2 tsp. salt, stir once, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes

Discard the bay leaf from the beans, stir in the remaining 1/2 cup parsley, and season to taste with salt and hot pepper sauce. Serve the beans over the rice, with the hot pepper sauce and pickled jalapeños with their liquid on the side.

Make Ahead Tips

The beans can be cooked up to 2 days ahead. Tightly cover and refrigerate. Gently reheat while cooking the rice, and then finish with the parsley and hot sauce.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 450; Fat (g): fat g 6; Fat Calories (kcal): 50; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 1.5; Protein (g): protein g 21; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 79; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 520; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 15; Fiber (g): fiber g 13;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This recipe was relatively laborious, in that it required a lot of back and forth from the kitchen. The prep work was not difficult. Taste-wise, as long as you get a bite of sausage, it is a fabulous dish - but as the sausage rounds are pretty big (and thus relatively sparse, even if doubled), this recipe lacks salt in a big way. As I served, I added a huge splash of juice from a jar of pickled peppers, and that helped immensely. With that addition, I really liked it, but without it I only give it 3 stars.

This was delicious. I admit I did double the sausage. :)

I made this recipe last night. I am looking for the 'perfect' rice and beans recipe - one that is easy to make and has lots of flavor. This recipe fell short. First, I thought the recipe was a little difficult to follow. At what point do you add the sauteed veggie mixture to the beans? At the expiration of the 30 minutes or when the veggies are soft? The mixture of beans and veggies never really thickened like I pictured. I would have liked a more flavorful 'sauce'. This dish didn't taste bad, it just wasn't great...kind of bland.

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