January 5, 2010

What's Cookin': Red Beans & Rice

I am a southern girl. Not technically - I was born and raised in California. But my mother and just about her whole family is from Louisiana. This means a LOT of beans and rice. Up until just recently I hated beans and rice. Couldn't stand them. I think it's from years and years of "beans and rice" being horrible, bland, over cooked pots of black eyed peas. My grandmother and great grandmother seemed to make them all the time. And then I started cooking. And realized that I could make beans and rice however I wanted. Added on to that the fact that beans and rice are CHEAP. So here is the recipe for the beans and rice I made yesterday. It's not the traditional version, but it was very good.

Red Beans & Rice - makes about 10 - 12 servings
1 lb dried red (kidney) beans - .98
6 C water - .00
3 Tbs dried minced onion - .89
1 tsp garlic powder - .03
1 tsp cayenne pepper - .83
1 tsp sugar - .01
1 bay leaf - .09
1/2 tsp salt - .00
2 C ham, chopped - 2.73
2 C rice - .64

Dump your beans out onto a something you can sort them with. Plate, cookie sheet, whatever. Pick through them and make sure there aren't any rocks or sticks or sickly looking ones. Rinse them, then put them in a large bowl. Cover them with 2-3 inches of water. Let soak over night.

The next day, drain the water and put the beans in a crock pot. Cover with the 6 C water, stir in the rest of the ingredients, then cook on low for about 6 hours, or until the beans are soft and edible. I wanted a little richer flavor so I stirred in 2 Tbs of tomato paste (.10) in the last half hour. Serve over cooked rice, and if you're feeling really southern, with corn bread.

Total: 6.30

Variations: Ok I was lazy and should have used fresh onions. I didn't feel like crying at 9 in the morning. But if you were to use fresh go for about 1/4 - 1/2 cup. That would have saved me just about that whole 89 cents. Also, you could omit the cayenne for price reasons, but I liked the little bit of spice that it added. I thought about adding some diced bell peppers too. Maybe next time. If you want to be authentic then shove a whole ham hock in there rather than the diced ham.

This made a TON of beans, and we had a whole quart zip bag of rice left over (always make extra). So I would say this actually made 2 meals worth. If I were to price it per meal that would make it $3.15 for last night.

Added 1.25.10 - I made these again this morning but I changed them a bit. I used a small fresh onion (.02) instead of minced, added a 1/4 pound of bacon (.62) and I found a cheaper and larger ham at the store (1.32). So the new price is $4.64 (with rice). Since it makes two meals worth (or more) that comes out to $2.32 per meal.

Ben Rating: 5! But I have been requested to put bacon in next time. :)

1 comment:

Farm Girl said...

cool!! I love all the things you are cooking.
I can't wait to try it!!

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