Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Inspiration and Beans - Now There is a Combination!

My cookbook idea, was actually inspired by my daughter Amy, who also is writing a wonderful food blog.  She also was the inspiration behind my writing a blog.  I had been thinking about doing it for ages, but it wasn't until Amy started that I got myself into gear and started my own. You must take a look at Amy's blog http://grumblingsfromagreedygirl.blogspot.com/ Amy is a very talented professional writer and a foodie from the word go!  She is currently in PR but wants to get into food journalism and she deserves to break into that industry!  Follow her blog as I know you will enjoy it immensely!

Back to the subject at hand.  Quite a while back, Amy asked me to write down my recipes for her.  I was very touched by this and I then decided that I wanted to do this right.  I wanted to write a real cookbook, something tangible, not just type out my recipes and hand them to her.  I've been in touch with someone to help me, but I am just trying to decide the right time to make this happen.  I can't think of a better gift for my daughters to have and cherish and perhaps one day hand down to their children!  It may not have monetary value, but it will be the essence of their mother, something that truly defines who I am.

So today I am going to share a recipe of mine.  It's not for a dessert, it is for a side dish or main meal, whichever you prefer.  I made this dish to go along with Cuban Pork for a dinner party and I made so much of it, that I am still eating it a week later.  Yes, it does stay perfectly good for that long, but it also freezes beautifully. 

This is The Yummy Yank's version of Red Beans and Rice!  The Yummy Yank does American desserts, but so much more as well.  My family and friends enjoy this and I hope you do too!  Amy, this one is for you!

Red Beans And Rice

5 cans of red kidney beans drained (You can also use 1 pound of dried red kidney beans, soaked overnight and drained, but it adds a lot of extra work)

1 cooked smokey ham shank (you can get this from most supermarket deli counters) OR you can use 1 ham bone that has a fair amount of meat on it

2 1/2 quarts OR 5 pints of water

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (you can use less if you don't want it as spicy)

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 onions peeled and chopped

1 green pepper, take the core and seeds out and chop

2 celery stalks chopped

1-2 garlic cloves peeled and minced or finely chopped

1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped

2-3 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme

1/2 tablespoon sea or kosher salt

1 pound sausage, smoked or spicy works best, sliced or cubed.  ( I used Chorizo, a spicy Spanish sausage)

Freshly cooked hot rice, any kind, but I prefer long grain white rice, in any quantities you want!   Cook according to package directions.  (Personally I like it to have more beans and sauce and not as much rice)

Drain your canned kidney beans and put them in a large saucepan or pot, a soup pot works best.  Add the water and ham shank or bone, pepper, cayenne and Worcestershire sauce.  Bring it to a gentle boil.  Once boiled, partially cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the onions, pepper, celery, garlic, parsley, bay leaves, thyme and salt and stir to mix thoroughly.  Simmer gently, partially covered for 1 hour.

Mix in the sausage and simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 hours longer until the mixture is fairly thick. 

Take out the ham bone.  By this time any meat would have fallen off the bone.  If it hasn't, remove the meat and cut in into chunks.  Return the meat to the bean mixture if you had to remove it yourself and stir it well. 

When finished, mix it with hot rice and enjoy!

Serves 4-6 as a main dish.

**Please note, if you use dried kidney beans, after soaking, cover with water in a pot and bring to a boil.  Boil for 10 minutes and drain.  Then add the beans to the pan with the measured water and proceed with the recipe as it is stated!**

You  also can use a mixture of sausages, it is completely up to you.

There you have it, my version of Red Beans and Rice, a wonderfully delicious and hearty dish!

As always, thanks for reading and have a nice day y'all!

Lisa AKA The Yummy Yank


  1. This looks delicious!! I'm going to try it out this weekend on my son and daughter in law. I love food and cooking :)