Unauthentic Red Beans & Rice

I have never experienced authentic Red Beans & Rice, but I eagerly anticipated putting this dish together. It would obviously not be authentic, and deliberately so, since I am vegetarian, and Andouille sausage and pickled pork are usual ingredients. Of course recipes for red beans and rice differ from household to household and chef to chef but are nevertheless  authentic. I attempted to mimic these flavors in at least a remote way yet keep my dish vegetarian/vegan.

Another unauthentic aspect of my dish is that I used brown rice instead of the traditional white rice. Speaking of authenticity, one of my friends from Louisiana is adamant that the rice must be served on top of the beans and never beans over the rice. I won’t take a side in that debate. I chose to follow his method for esthetic reasons.

I began by triple washing/rinsing the small red beans early yesterday afternoon and started the Crock-Pot® cooking at bedtime after draining and re-rinsing the beans and adding fresh water. After slow cooking overnight I added a bay leaf and a few cloves of garlic.

red beans & rice

The beans were not yet done so I reset the heat intensity and duration on the slow cooker and drove to the city to pick up some needed ingredients and run a couple errands.

Upon returning home, I chopped and sautéed red onion, celery and green bell pepper then mixed them in with the beans.

red beans & rice

red beans & rice

red beans & rice

red beans & rice

I began seasoning by adding the smoky flavors of black habanero hot sauce, smoked paprika, powdered chipotle chilis and liquid smoke. I held off on the salt, since that is said to delay softening of the beans.hot sauce

chipotle 1

When the beans were thoroughly cooked I plunged the stick blender a few times to partially blend and thicken the beans.

red beans & rice

Kosher salt, dried thyme, basil, parsley, crushed celery seeds and cayenne were added as well as additional smoked paprika, powdered chipotle, liquid smoke and black habanero sauce. To mimic the tartness of pickled pork, which I eliminated, I add a little apple cider vinegar.

red beans & rice

Finally, I added a sliced Tofurky® Italian Sausage plus half a chopped and mashed one to the beans.

red beans & rice

red beans & rice

My red beans and rice dish may not be authentic but, by golly, it tasted good!
red beans & rice

A note of importance:

I usually make a point of rinsing cooked beans, whether from scratch or from a can, to avoid undesirable effects of a gaseous nature. In this dish retaining the gravy gravy was essential. I think the final rinsing after soaking the beans prevented such repercussions.


6 thoughts on “Unauthentic Red Beans & Rice

  1. My NOLA boy would wrestle anyone to the ground for a plate o’ dem goooood- lookin’ beans. Your friend is right about the placement of the rice. Should be lots more beans than rice, and is usually served in a shallow bowl rather than a deep bowl or a plate.

    Not sure how authentic, but I always get a request for shredded Cheddar cheese and sliced scallions for toppings.

    Virtual hugs,


    Liked by 2 people

  2. I HAVE had “authentic” red beans and rice and from your description, I think your version could definitely compete! The flavor combinations look complex and well-developed. I would try this. I definitely agree with Judie about the garnishes – for me, it has to be scallions and flat parsley, sometimes maybe even very thinly sliced jalapeños. Thanks for sharing, you made me hungry for this traditional dish!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I had no idea if I was even close to authentic. I love the idea of sliced jalapeños as a topping. Jalapeños are a a prominent ingredient in most everything I make.I do not shy away from anything jalapeño. I very nearly avoided a trip to the city by substituting jalapeños for bell peppers.

      Liked by 1 person

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