Tag Archives: rice

Red Beans and Rice

There is nothing better than spicy Louisiana cuisine. I like it all. Gumbo may be the state cuisine, but I’m sure red beans and rice run a close second.

Wikipedia states that the red bean originated in Haiti. I spent two weeks there and we ate diri am pwa like it was going out of style. Everyday, lunch was diri ak pwa, the Haitian version of red beans and rice. To add variation to lunch, I added scotch bonnet sauce, ketchup, Tabasco, anything. Americans are so spoiled. We rarely eat the same meal twice in a week. Haitians eat what they can get. They don’t have the luxury of variety.

I need variety and it definitely shows in my cooking. My beans vary each time I cook them. It all depends on what I have on hand. I tried to get some beef bones yesterday to render out the delicious marrow, but I had to settle for pork shank. I’ve also used ham hocks. I think they are pig knuckles. They taste great.

I decided to write down today’s recipe in case I want to recreate it. (Who am I kidding, this is probably the last time I see it).


2 oz finely diced Tasso
1 slice smoked ham shank
1 link smoked sausage
1 12 oz Pictsweet seasoning blend
1 tablespoon EVOO
1 cup Bordeaux (or any other red wine)
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (Gebhardt brand)
1 tablespoon beef base


Soak beans overnight.

Heat Dutch oven and brown ham shank. Dice the Tasso and the smoked sausage. Add to pot and add EVOO.

Once browned, add the Pictsweet chopped vegetables. I hate using frozen vegetables because they steam while you try to sauté them. When I am feeling puny, though, I’ll take the occasional shortcut.

Add bay leaves, minced garlic, paprika, cayenne, black pepper, white pepper, thyme, oregano, chili powder and Worcestershire sauce.

Sauté until onions are translucent. Add red wine to deglaze pot (if the steaming veggies haven’t done so already).

Add beans and fill pot with water and cover.

Simmer beans for approximately one hour with occasional stirring. Remove shank. Dice meat and return to pot. Add beef base.

Cover and simmer approximately 30 minutes. Smash about 1/4 cup of beans against side of pot with wooden spoon to give a creamy consistency and season to taste.

Serve over rice with some crusty French bread.


My First Crack at Black Beans

I can’t say I’m a black bean aficionado as I rarely eat them, but I have been craving them lately. Actually, this isn’t my first attempt at black beans. In 2012, I made them in Haiti at Nehemiah Vision Ministries. I spent two weeks there preparing mostly comfort food for Americans on mission.

We are still working our debt snowball.  Dave Ramsey inspired us to eat lots of rice and beans.  And beans and rice.

This is the first time I have made black beans in my home. In my dutch oven. I love that pot. Anyway, I thought I’d start taking down the recipe before I forgot what I did.


1 pound black beans

1 link andouille sausage or smoked sausage

1 bag Pictsweet Seasoning Blend

4 minced garlic cloves

2 bay leaves

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon ground Hatch chile pepper

2 tablespoons chicken base

(Note: I just eyeballed the spices. As always, season to your own taste. Too bad I didn’t have any serranos or I would have minced a couple. Plus, I have to keep it mild enough for my kids’ wuss palates).



Soak beans overnight.  Change water periodically.

Split andouille in half lengthwise, then split those two halves in half.  Chop the four lengths of sausage.

Sausage always tastes better when it begins to get crusty.

Toss sausage into pot to brown.  I know you are going to think I’m some nut carrying on about the Maillard reaction.  I guess I am.

Time to add the seasoning blend.  Normally, I would chop onions, peppers, and celery myself, but when my joints are causing issues I try to stay off of my feet.  Pictsweet came to the rescue.  I almost forgot the garlic. Never forget the garlic.

Saute until onions are translucent.

This picture came out lousy. My iPhone doesn’t like taking pictures as steam wafts. Actually, all of these photos look lousy. I need to get my guy to take some pics of this dish.

Drain and rinse beans.  Add to pot.  Be sure to add bay leaves, cayenne, black pepper, white pepper, paprika, chicken base and Hatch chile powder.  I order my chile powder from New Mexico.  If you want to rock the McCormick, be my guest.

Fill pot with water and simmer approximately 90 minutes while occasionally stirring.


(I’m a self admitted hack, but I have not received any promotional consideration. If I ever become a professional hack where companies want me to shill their products, you’ll be the first to know).