These Creole Red Beans & Rice are easy and delicious…and one heck of a cure for the Monday blues!
“Laissez les bons temps rouler!” For all you non-Cajun French speakers out there, that means “Let the good times roll!” It’s also the unofficial motto of the state of Louisiana…and rightfully so. If anyone knows how to party, it’s those crazy Cajuns living in south Louisiana. Oh, and they know how to eat pretty darn well, too. These Creole Red Beans & Rice are classic Louisiana fare. When I lived in south Louisiana, red beans and rice was one of my favorite meals to order when I went out for lunch or dinner. (If you’re ever passing through Baton Rouge, then promise me that you’ll make a stop at The Chimes restaurant.) Now that I live in upstate New York, good Cajun food is kinda hard to find (imagine that!). So I’ve resorted to making my own, and red beans make a frequent appearance in my kitchen. With Fat Tuesday just one day away now, these Creole Red Beans & Rice are a great way to celebrate Mardi Gras and bring the flavor of New Orleans into your kitchen!
Red beans and rice is traditionally served on Mondays in New Orleans. This custom is so entrenched that you’ll often hear folks say they want red beans just because it’s Monday. The tradition came about because Monday was “wash day” in the deep South, and women would do the laundry while the red beans cooked on the stove. Aside from a little bit of prep work, red beans and rice is a fairly hands-off meal. It just cooks in a large stock pot over medium-low heat for several hours…which makes it a great meal to prepare when you’ve got other household chores to do.
Another reason why red beans are a good Monday meal is because the leftover ham bone from Sunday’s dinner was thrown into the pot for added flavor. (The use of the ham bone is another reason why red beans and rice is a Monday tradition in New Orleans.) I don’t often have leftover ham bones around, so I add in a bunch of andouille-style sausage instead. Although times have changed and Monday is no longer “wash day”…the red beans and rice tradition has stuck around. And I’m glad it did because these Creole Red Beans & Rice are one heck of a cure for the Monday blues!