Beans (Dried and Fresh) Month on February, 2018: Help with red beans and rice please! ?

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February, 2018 is Beans (Dried and Fresh) Month 2018.

Help with red beans and rice please! ?

* 1 pound red kidney beans, dry

* 1 large onion, chopped

* 1 bell pepper, chopped

* 5 ribs celery, chopped

* As much garlic as you like, minced (I like lots, 5 or 6 cloves)

* 1 large smoked ham hock, 3/4 pound of Creole-style pickle meat (pickled pork), or 3/4 lb. smoked ham, diced, for seasoning

* 1 to 1-1/2 pounds mild or hot smoked sausage or andouille, sliced on the bias

* 1/2 to 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves, crushed

* 1 or 2 bay leaves

* As many dashes Crystal hot sauce or Tabasco as you like, to taste

* A few dashes Worcestershire sauce

* Creole seasoning blend, to taste; OR,

o red pepper and black pepper to taste

* Salt to taste

* Fresh Creole hot sausage or chaurice, links or patties, grilled or pan-fried, one link or patty per person (optional)

* Pickled onions (optional)

Soak the beans overnight, if possible. The next day, drain and put fresh water in the pot. (This helps reduce the, um, flatulence factor.) Bring the beans to a rolling boil. Make sure the beans are always covered by water, or they will discolor and get hard. Boil the beans for about 45 - 60 minutes, until the beans are tender but not falling apart. Drain.

While the beans are boiling, sauté the Trinity (onions, celery, bell pepper) until the onions turn translucent. Add the garlic and saute for 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally. After the beans are boiled and drained, add the sautéed vegetables to the beans, then add the ham hock (or ham or pickle meat), smoked sausage, seasonings, and just enough water to cover.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook for 2 hours at least, preferably 3, until the whole thing gets nice and creamy. Adjust seasonings as you go along. Stir occasionally, making sure that it doesn't burn and/or stick to the bottom of the pot. (If the beans are old -- say, older than six months to a year -- they won't get creamy. Make sure the beans are reasonably fresh. If it's still not getting creamy, take 1 or 2 cups of beans out and mash them, then return them to the pot and stir.)

If you can ... let the beans cool, stick them in the fridge, and reheat and serve for dinner the next day. They'll taste a LOT better. When you do this, you'll need to add a little water to get them to the right consistency.

Serve generous ladles-ful over hot white long-grain rice, with good French bread and good beer. I also love to serve grilled or broiled fresh Creole hot sausage or chaurice on the side. Do not serve with a canned-beet salad, like my Mom always used to do. (Sorry, Mom ... try something interesting with fresh beets and we'll talk. :^)

I like serving a few small pickled onions with my red beans -- I chop them up and mix them in with the beans. It's great! Why does it taste so good? As my sister's friend (and dyed-in-the-wool New Orleanian) Cherie Valenti would say ... "It's da vineguh!"

YIELD: 8 servings

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When are green beans ready to be picked?

When are green beans ready to be picked?

If you're eating them as "green beans" - pick them when they look about the right size to you. Slender young beans are best. If you leave them on the vine, the seeds inside develop, and they aren't quite as good as fresh beans.

If you're wanting soup beans, then leave the pods on the vines, and when they dry at the end of the season, shell them and gather all the beans (seeds) into a sack. The store for months dry.

How long will beans keep for?

How long will beans keep for?

Depending on what you mix them with, in the fridge they will last from 3 to 5 days. You can freeze beens for a month or two after they have been cooked.

In their dried state they often last for a year or more.

If your going to start using dried beans I suggest you buy a slow cooker. (crock pot) for making them in. Let them soak over night in the, unplugged pot. Toss out the soaking water and put in fresh water. plug the pot in and by the time you get home from work you have cooked beans.

Also on this date Thursday, February 1, 2018...