Monday. You bastard! Let’s face it. Mondays suck. And this Monday is no exception. The holidays are over, and it’s a New Year, so everyone around you will be talking about their resolutions to become a “better version of themselves” and it’s nauseating. I, however, will continue to be the same miserable, Monday hating person in 2016 that I was in 2015. Who’s with me?
No, but seriously, I hate a Monday. After a fun weekend of uninterrupted time with my daughter, I have to wake up early, bring her to day care, go to work, and be a human, interacting with other humans. And while I love my job, Mondays still come with challenges. So, after all that complaining, I can finally tell you: I’ve found a cure to Monday blues!
Did you know that it is customary to eat red beans and rice on Monday in New Orleans? My mom, being the good New Orleans Lady that she is, taught us that at a very early age. She also cooked red beans for us on many Mondays. The history behind this tradition tells us that families would gather the meats leftover from their Sunday meals, i.e. ham, sausage, andouille, and add them to a pot of red beans, and let the beans simmer away all day while the women scrubbed their laundry by hand. Today, many neighborhood restaurants in New Orleans serve red beans and rice as their plate lunch special on Monday. You can eat a heaping serving of red beans and rice, often accompanied by sausage, and cornbread. I love how traditions carry on in Louisiana!
With that being said, the idea of scrubbing laundry by hand all day on Monday makes me cringe. Thank you, Jesus for my washing machine and dryer! Also, I, like many women today, work full time, making it impossible for me to keep my eye on a simmering stove top all day. My mom, also a hard working woman, faced this same dilemma. However, she, being the brilliant woman that she is, found a solution. Working woman’s red beans and rice!
Many of you have heard of Blue Runner Red Beans. And yes, that is what is used in this recipe. However, I jazz them up to make them super flavorful, and most importantly, quick and easy to make! NOTE: I have made red beans from scratch before. In addition to the time it took to make them, they, in my opinion, were not creamier and more delicious than Blue Runner. With that being said, I have been a Blue Runner girl ever since.
So, turn on the music, pour your wine, and get ready. You’re about to transform your mundane Monday evening into a memorable night in New Orleans! Here we go!
Music pairing: Rebirth Jazz Band
Wine Pairing: I recently tried 19 Crimes Cab and I love it!
Blue Runner Red Beans (2 26 oz cans, 1 16 oz can) I make a big pot of this because it’s great for leftovers and also freezes well
1 can rotel
1 onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
½ bell pepper, diced
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1.5 lb smoked sausage, chopped
Liquid smoke- 2 tablespoons
Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Sauce 3 tablespoons (more or less depending on how much you like spice and garlic. I usually add more than this)
Worcestershire- a few dashes
Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, dried parsley flakes
Rice- I cooked 2 cups
Bring a large pot over medium high heat. Once warm, brown sausage.
Add holy trinity (onion, celery, bell pepper) to the pot, cooking in the grease from the sausage, and cook until translucent. Season with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, dried parsley
Once trinity is soft and translucent, add rotel to the pot. Stir to combine.
Add red beans to the pot. Stir, warming the beans through. Once the beans are warmed through, they will thin out. At this point, add the Cajun Power, Liquid Smoke, and Worcestershire. Stir to combine.
Cover pot and simmer on low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve with a heaping spoon of rice, and some cornbread. Turn up the Rebirth Jazz music, drink your favorite wine (or Moscow mule as pictured above), grab a white napkin, and second line around your kitchen while you eat your delicious red beans. Take that, Monday!!