I've been on a bit of a southern food kick lately, making things like fried catfish, blackened snapper, and the like. This recipe for red beans and rice makes for a nice meal on its own, or in combination with any of your southern favorites. It goes great with your favorite gluten-free cornbread.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons--Arnold GatilaoIngredients:

  • 6 cups GF chicken stock
  • 4 cups water
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 4 cups cooked white rice
  • 1 pound dried red beans, rinsed and sorted
  • 1 pound smoked ham hocks
  • ½ pound smoked sausage, split lengthwise and cut in 1-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup chopped ham
  • 3 tablespoons bacon grease
  • 1½ cups chopped yellow onions
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • ¾ cup chopped red bell peppers
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 3 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped green onion as garnish, as desired
  • Pinch ground cayenne pepper

Directions:
Place the beans in a large bowl or pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Let soak for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and set aside.

In a large pot, heat the bacon grease over medium-high heat.

Add the ham, and stir as it cooks for 1 minute or so.

Add the onions, celery and bell peppers.

Season with the salt, pepper, and cayenne.

Add wine and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables get soft.

Add the bay leaves, parsley, thyme, sausage, and ham hocks,

Stir and cook until sausage and ham hocks are brown, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute.

Add the beans and stock or water, stir well, and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for a couple of hours, or until the beans become tender and start to thicken.

Add water as needed to keep the beans from getting too thick.

Use a slotted spoon or strainer to remove about ¼ of the beans from the pot and place into a bowl.

Use a potato masher or a large spoon to mash the beans in the bowl.

Return mashed beans to pot, and continue to cook until the beans are tender and creamy, 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat. Take out and discard the bay leaves.

Serve in spoonfuls over white rice and garnish with green onions.

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