Oh, you are in for a treat if you have never had Red Beans and Rice!
Mmmm the earthy spicy beans are bubbling on the stove right now- bringing back lots of memories of enjoying this meal with my parents and 5 siblings many years ago. My parents lived outside of New Orleans for 15 years and Mom picked up some classic cajun and creole recipes including this one.
A little story: When we moved from Louisiana to Antigonish, Nova Scotia , my parents invited Father Andy Hogan and Father Ginevin (two Roman Catholic priests-Antigonish has also been called "little Rome") over for dinner. Mom decided to serve Red Beans and Rice as it would be new and different to them. Well, they took one bite and that was it - they asked for the ketchup and smothered their meal in it.
Mom never served it to guests again.
As are many of my recipes - this is is sort of a 'non recipe' - no precise measurements.
Lousiana Red Beans and Rice
1 1b bag of dry red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
10 cups of cold water
Put this in a big pot
Add 1 chopped onion, a bay leaf, and some chopped garlic cloves.
Bring the pot to a low boil and cook uncovered for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
When the beans become soft add a generous amount of cumin - 1-2 tbsp (or more), 1-2 tsp of cayenne pepper and some cubes of cooked ham or cooked spicy sausage. Simmer for another 30 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
If bean mixture becomes too thick, add a little boiling water.
Serve the beans over hot brown rice. Some may like a dash of hot sauce over their portion - hopefully not ketchup though!!!
Enjoy! I hope it becomes a family favourite!