Saturday, October 6, 2012

Cajun Red Beans in the Crock Pot

For the next 13 weeks my weekends are pretty much shot with studying and then I have school 1-8PM Mondays and Tuesdays. I am always trying to find meals I can make in the crock pot. Now the cooler weather is setting in and I find myself gravitating toward more hearty meals. I went grocery shopping today and priced canned red beans over dry. Dry beat them out by a landslide both price and volume wise. A bag of dried beans are only a dollar. Canned beans can run from .80 to $1.50.

 Previously I have made a huge batch of black beans in the crock pot and froze them. I did the same thing with the red beans. This time I used a new method of putting the dried beans in boiling water for two minutes and then letting them sit for a hour with the lid closed. They are not cooked all the way through but enough where they won't take long to cook. I divided them up using two cups for this dish and froze the rest in one cup portions for chili and stew.

Next I added the beans to the crock pot with 1/2 diced onion, a Knorr chicken flavor base, 16 oz of water, a few dashes of hot sauce, three chopped andoullie sausages, and some green pepper. Lastly I made up some Cajun seasoning. (see recipe below) The beans are sitting in the crock pot on high and I will be serving them over rice. Lastly, about a hour before serving take a potato masher and mash down some of the whole beans. This will serve two purposes: it will thicken the broth, and will make the broth creamy. If the sauce becomes too thick just add about 1/4 cup water. You can also add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce.

This Cajun seasoning can be made and kept in a zip loc bag. It will last as long as moisture doesn't get to it. I found that 1 tsp. of Cayenne might be too much. In that case you may use 1/4 tsp. Add all the ingredients to a bag and seal. Mix all the ingredients inside the bag thoroughly.

1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. Cayenne (see note above)
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. chili powder

Cajun Red Beans over Rice

16 oz. kidney beans (from dry)
3 andoullie sausage links cut into rounds
1/2 green pepper diced
1/2 onion diced
2 bay leafs
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning (see recipe)
16 oz. chicken stock
white rice for serving

Add the partially cooked kidney beans to the crock pot with one cup of water or chicken broth. I used a Knorr flavor pack. Add the onion, green pepper, broth, and sausage to a crock pot. Next add the seasoning and bay leafs. Set on low for 8 hours or 4 hours on high. Kidney beans are pretty hearty. Check for doneness if on high around the 3 hour mark. Serve over white rice with your favorite hot sauce.

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