Red Beans and Rice is a popular dish in New Orleans, traditionally prepared and served on Monday nights. This version comes to us care of Pabeaux Johnson. He is a writer and photogapher based in the city, well-known for his open-door Monday night suppers with this dish in the starring role on the menu. Hear more about Johnson's Monday night supper in his interview with host Francis Lam.
Herbs and spices:
Brown the sausage in a little bit of oil until nice and crispy. Saute garlic and onion in olive oil and grease mixture until onions get "lazy" (limp and transparent). Add celery and bell pepper and saute for 5 minutes. Pour the soaked beans and water into the sauté, then simmer until beans soften (usually 1 1/2 - 2 hours). You can also use canned beans to save time, but if you do, cut back on the added salt. Add peppers and dried herbs, tailoring the spice to your own liking.
Fifteen minutes before serving, remove one cup of beans. Using a fork, mash them in a bowl, then return to the pot -- this will enhance the creamy texture of the final product. Add parsley and green onions. Simmer about 15 minutes, fine-tune spices, and serve over rice.
Serves 10 on a Monday night in New Orleans, or anywhere and anytime lovers of New Orleans gather.