Monday, October 22, 2012

Slow Cooker Red Beans And Rice

I'm sure it's no surprise that I'm a Food Network and Cooking Channel junkie.  One of my favorite shows is "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives."  It doesn't matter how many times I have seen an episode, I'll almost always watch it again.  Some of my favorite dishes to see are Louisiana style dishes...Cajun, gumbo...all that stuff.  My husband had asked a couple of times for rice and beans.  He meant Spanish style but I wanted to try a Louisiana style so I set out searching for a recipe, preferably one for the Crockpot and I was thrilled to find on that wasn't too complicated.  I, of course, tweaked it a bit but it was a hit with the family and since it's budget friendly too, it is definitely going into the meal rotation.

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

1 lb. package red kidney beans
6 cups water
2 links smoked sausage, sliced and cut in half (I used turkey)
1 cup, each, chopped onion and red bell pepper
2 stalks celery, sliced thin
2 tsp.  minced garlic
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tbs. or more Cajun seasoning (I used a bit more)
Salt to taste
2 bay leaves
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce

Hot sauce (how much is up to you!)
1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
3 cups hot cooked rice

The first thing you have to do is prep the beans.  Kidney beans contain a toxin that boiling will kill but slow cooking will not.  So, before you start, boil your beans for 10 minutes in enough water to cover them by an inch or 2.  Then drain them and they're ready to use.  No need to soak them.

Combine the first 12 ingredients in electric slow cooker. Cook for 5 hours on high (this is what I did) or for 8 hours on low. Discard bay leaves and mash some of the beans.  Add the green onions and hot sauce, and cook for 15 more minutes. Add a little water, if necessary. Serve over the hot cooked rice.  I made some French bread to serve along with it.  The meat can totally be left out if you would prefer to keep it vegetarian.

Serves 6. 

Adapted from Cajun Delights

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