My neighbor, Chris, gave me his mom's "Red Beans and Rice" recipe back in November 2011. I've made it a few times since then, and I've altered it to my liking, but I put the original recipe (that Chris sent me) at the bottom of the post.
1 pound bag of red kidney beans
8-10 cups of water
1 bay leaf
1.5 lbs hot Italian sausage, chopped
6 strips of bacon, chopped
2 medium white onions, sliced/chopped
1 bunch of celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
Tony Chachere's seasoning
1. Rise and sort beans. Soak them overnight with 8-10 cups of tepid water. Beans should be totally submerged. You can skip all these "bean prep" steps if you just use canned beans.
2. In the morning (or whenever), put your beans in a big pot and fill it up with 8-10 cups of water again (or use the same water you used to soak the beans in). Bring water to a boil and then lower the heat to low (where beans are simmering). Add in bay leaf, some salt, and some pepper. Let beans simmer for 1.5 hrs.
3. While the beans are simmering, pan fry the sausages and bacon until cooked. Pat the bacon dry with some paper towels. Pour out half of the rendered bacon fat and add in the onions and celery. Cook for about 7 minutes and throw in the green peppers, garlic, and half of the parsley. Cook for another 5 minutes or until all vegetables are tender. Season vegetables with salt and pepper as you're cooking.
4. After the beans are tender, take out the bay leaf. Reserve a cup of the bean water and drain the beans. Take out 1 cup of beans and mash them with the cup of bean water until you get a nice puree. I used a blender, but really, this is just to add texture, so do it to whatever texture you want it to be.
5. Pour the meat and vegetables into the pot with the beans and mashed beans and turn the heat up on high. Add in some Tony Chachere's to taste. Stir until everything is evenly mixed together. Turn off heat.
6. Serve beans with rice!
The exact transcript that Chris sent me:
1 lb. red kidney beans
1/2 lb. sausage
8-10 cups of water
1 onion chopped
1 toe garlic
1 T. celery chopped
2 T. parsley chopped
1 large bay leaf
salt to taste ~ 2 t ?? /lb of beans
Rinse and sort beans. Cover with warm or tepid water (never add cold water to beans as it tends to make them hard). Start to cook over low fire in covered pot. Render meat in saucepan and add to beans. In meat drippings, saute' onion, garlic , celery, and parsley. Add this, with bay leaf, to beans and cook for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours Add water if necessary while cooking. 15 minutes before done, mash 4-5 T. of beans with fork against side of pot, stirring into the liquid. This makes liquid creamy. Serve over fluffy (long grain) rice with hot French bread and salad.