Anyways Sunday was a wonderful celebration at Church followed by some Cleaning at home!
now to the task at hand,
So I've been living a lie! Over the past 4 years , I have gotten the finest cookware (well not really, but I do have an awesome collection of Williams Sonoma Stainless Steel measuring cups) and have been collecting cookbooks and recipes from near and far. But I have not really done anything with them. Let's be honest. I do not cook. I maily reheat things and make sandwiches very well. But alas that is changing my friends. I am as of today devoting one day a week to test out my cooking books, recipes and especially those measuring cups! I give you Menu Mondays. It is my way to organize my week of dinners and to highlight the "meal of the week". This week let's see whats on deck:
Red Beans and Rice - A New Orleans stable (home of my ancestors...and my dad and me)
Erin Chicken Pockets O' Love - I'd give you the recipe, but then I'd have to kill you. No really, I'm just too lazy to divulge that original recipe now.
Turkey Meatballs with Whole Wheat Pasta and Paul Neman's Sockarooni Sauce.
Yea!!! Sundown in the City in Knox. Meaning we're off to downtown to see Cowboy Mouth and some other bands play at 6. So looks like we'll be dining at a downtown establishment.
Grilled Bar-b-Q Chicken with grilled Corn on the Cob and Baked Potato
Going out with B's parents who are in town for the weekend.
Turkey Burgers and Baked French Fries.
Ok so here's the recipe for the week, it pretty much takes a half of a day to make, but you can usually save the rest for the next 4 Mondays!:
Classic Nawlins style Red Beans and Rice by Diane Trest (aka my mom)
My mom tells me the story that Red Beans and Rice were cooked on all day on Mondays while the laundry was drying on the line or something like that, back in the day in New Orleans. So its tradition to eat Red Beans on Mondays.
2 lbs. kidney beans (Mom swears by Camellia, but sometimes they are hard to find)
1 ham bone (We get ours at Honey Baked Ham for like $7)
1 medium onion (chopped)
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped red pepper (or 1 teaspoon-ish of dried)
2 bay leaves
2 Tablespoons of Tony's Chachere's Creole Seasoning (you can find this in the spice aisle. I pretty much add this to everything I have ever cooked)
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 teaspoon of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of thyme
2 Tablespoons of Parsley
1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 turns of the knob of McCormick Garlic Pepper Seasoning
dash of Tabasco
1 lb. of smoked sausage (I've been using Turkey Kelbasa)
Day 1 -The night before take the beans and soak overnight in cold water. Make sure the bowl is a lot larger so the beans can expand during the night. When I was little I thought (and might have been told) that this was to "get the farts out."
Day 2 - Drain the soaked beans in a colander. Take a handful at a time and pick out the gravel and dirt particles. Rinse the beans and put them along with ALL (except the sausage) other ingredients into a heavy 8-10 quart pot. Add enough water to cover the beans and spices. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then lower and let simmer on low heat for 2.5-3.5 hours (or until the beans are tender and a thick natural gravy has formed). During cooking, stir frequently (3-4 times each hour) and scape the sides and across the bottom of the pot to prevent scorching.
As the beans soften, mash some against the side of the pot or between two spoons. The result will be a thick creamy sauce. If the mixture appears to dry or be too thick, add 1 cup of water.
*Approximately 2 hours into cooking time remove the ham bone. If you leave it too long it will break apart and ham bits will be floating in your red beans. Its mainly there just to add flavor.
* About half an hour before the beans are finished add the sliced sausage (we usually cut our into little half moons to get more sausage) and reseason with 1 Tablespoon of Tony's and 1/2 Tablespoon of Garlic Powder.
Remove the Bay Leaves (good luck finding them!) and Serve over rice and enjoy!!
I usually serve mine with brown rice, but my mom and dad didn't like that too much, so white rice is good too. And I know its strange but we usually eat our with cornbread too!