Print the recipe page! cajun red beans n rice
If you’ve read much here on the blog, you know that one of the websites that inspired me most initially was Karen Wilkinson’s kneadfulthingsnow.com. So I was alarmed to receive an email this week that one of my links to her website wasn’t responding. I tried it myself and sure enough it wasn’t. I’m trying to contact Karen to see if I can find out where her site has gone, but in the meantime this brings me to share a word with you about the worth of recipes and the frailty of the internet.
It wasn’t all too long ago (my grandmother’s era) that recipes were guarded, prized and generally kept to oneself or strictly within a family. There are some funny stories my grandmother used to tell about women in the town she grew up in who either outright refused to share certain recipes or gave out bogus “altered” ones to keep their true recipes safe. Owning a copy of a good recipe was a big deal back then.
Today, we see the opposite: recipes are everywhere. Good ones, bad ones, and everything in between. This is great but with so much saturation we risk taking them for granted. As far as emergency preparedness goes (in my opinion) a recipe that uses your preps, that your family will eat, could mean the difference between surviving and staring at a wall of food storage not knowing what to make.
Bottom line: if there’s a recipe you think you might want to include in your food storage preps, don’t wait — get it printed out. You can always toss it later but on the other hand, you might be really glad you’ve copied it; you just never know. Remember, all the recipes here on the blog can be printed as a simple recipe card and are found at the top of each post.
Which brings us to our recipe, brought back to you from being “lost”…
Cajun Beans ‘n Rice, from Karen’s collection, is one you’re going to like. It’s a great recipe to use especially with a thermal cooker or Wonder oven, reducing the amount of fuel needed otherwise for the four hours (total) of cooking time. In her own words, this is what Karen had to say about it:
“This one is a family favorite! It’s excellent the next day so prepare enough for leftovers! Serve it one day with corn bread, and the next day with a crusty loaf of french bread. Um ya-that’ll do it! You control how spicy or mild you would like this dish. We like it spicy!”
1 lb. red kidney beans, dry
1 large onion chopped – or- 1/3 cup freeze dried onion flakes
1 bell pepper – or- 1/4 cup freeze dried bell pepper
5 ribs celery, chopped -or- 1/3 cup freeze dried celery
a few dashes Worcestershire sauce
5-6 cloves garlic, minced -or- 3/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 large smoked ham hock -or- 2 (5 oz) cans smoked ham, diced
1 to 1 1/2 lbs. mild or hot smoked sausage or andouille, sliced –or– 1 (6 oz) summer sausage, diced
1 tsp. thyme
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. celery salt (*my add in)
1/2 tsp creole seasoning (Tony’s is a good one)
6 cups water (to boil with the beans, first time)
3 cups water (second addition)
1 1/2 cups rice (along with 3 cups water) to serve prepared alongside
Although it’s not necessary to do an overnight soak if your beans are fresh, an overnight soak and next day rinse will decrease the gassy effects of the beans. It’s up to you.
Cover the beans with 6 cups water and bring to a steady boil. If cooking in thermal cooker or Wonder Oven, boil with lid on until hot, then transfer to cooker for one hour. If cooking over the stove, make sure the beans are always covered with water, otherwise they’ll discolor and get hard. Stir the beans occasionally to make sure they are not sticking to the bottom of the pot. Boil the beans for an hour, until the beans are just tender but not falling apart. Drain.
Meanwhile, sautee the Cajun Trinity (onions, celery, bell pepper) until tender. Add the garlic and sautee for two more minutes, stirring occasionally. After the beans are boiled and drained, add the sauteed vegetables to the beans, then add the ham hock or ham, and the smoked sausage, seasonings, worchestershire, and 3 cups water to cover. *If using freeze dried or dehydrated veggies just throw them in the pot with the meat and the seasonings.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer and cook the beans for three hours. Again, if using a thermal cooker or Wonder Oven, bring all to a boil with the lid on (until hot) and transfer to the cooker, 3 hours. The beans will become creamy soft and begin to fall apart. Remove the bay leaves when done. If cooking on the stove, stir occasionally, making sure the beans don’t burn or stick to the bottom of the pot. If you have old beans they won’t get creamy. Just remove 1-2 cups and mash, return them to the pot and stir them in.
Mmm-mm…good. Serve the beans over steaming white rice and add desired hot sauce.
Bring the beans to a boil, boil with the lid on to get the lid hot and transfer to a wonder oven or thermal cooker.
Cook one hour.
Drain the beans. Add in all the other ingredients and bring to a boil again, remembering to boil with the lid “on” so the lid is as hot as the pot.
Cook again, this time for three hours.
“Cream” the beans by mashing 2 cups or so in a separate bowl, then adding them back into the pot.
Serve with hot steamed rice along with desired amount of hot sauce.
- Notice the pot I cook with when using my Wonder oven is “just the right size” and nearly completely filled. Extra air space will decrease your heat retention so try to use the best sized pot for the job, the less air space the better.
- I’ve made this recipe up as a long term meal to demonstrate but the recipe itself has a lot of directions you can take with it as a three month meal.
- Andouille sausage is a cajun sausage made with chunked meat rather than ground meat like most sausage. It’s also a little spicier.