Sunday, February 6, 2011

Red Beans and Rice - serves a crowd of trapped neighbors

I had the luxurious opportunity to get out of the house, finally, on Friday evening and Saturday evening.  One evening was spent with the kids, the other with a bunch of girlfriends.  It's pretty sad when you get picked up for a night out that the driver of the car can't get to the horn of the car fast enough because all women in the carpool were already out the door.  I think that had I not had to sit in snow, I would have been waiting on the curb I was so anxious to get away.  During our gathering, we all discussed what all we had been doing the past 5 days of being stuck in our homes.  Movie watching, cleaning closets, finding anything to do to pass the time.  One of those things was cooking.  I had one friend who baked until she was bleeding flour from her pores, one who put out two kitchen fires and the other who went through a series of magazines that had been set aside for quite sometime, cut out nearly every recipe within their pages and cooked them all.  God forbid should we have a earth shattering event, we can all go to her house for food, she has so much in storage now.  Amazing what women can accomplish when stuck at home.  We are compassionate comforters and food is one of the things that makes us show that love.  That, wine and being together.


1 pound of red beans, rinsed and sorted over
3tbs olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped poblano peppers
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 Pinch cayenne
3 bay leaves 
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp fresh thyme 
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
10 cups vegetable stock
4 cups cooked brown rice
1/4 cup chopped green onions, garnish


Place the beans in a large bowl or pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Let soak for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and set aside.
In a large pot, heat olive oil until shimmering. Add the onions, celery and poblanos. Season with the salt, pepper, and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the bay leaves, parsley, thyme, and cook about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the beans and stock or water, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and starting to thicken, about 2 hours. (Should the beans become too thick and dry, add more water, about 1/4 cup at a time.)
Remove from the heat and with the back of a heavy spoon, mash about 1/4 of the beans against the side of the pot. Continue to cook until the beans are tender and creamy, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and remove the bay leaves.
Serve over rice and garnish with green onions.

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