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With a good deal of my family hailing from Louisiana, I’ll have to admit that I am an absolute sucker for good, down home, Cajun cooking. As a child, I remember visiting my relatives, down in Lake Charles, Louisiana. This was long before the days of huge Casinos and the Lake Charles was still a sleepy little town, with huge towering trees, that draped over alligator infested swamps. It always seemed to take an eternity to get there from Houston, but when we did, my Aunt Geri always had a big pot of Seafood Gumbo on the stove and the most delicious Red Beans & Rice, my small little mouth had ever tasted. My Nana used to always tell us stories about the different Cajun traditions, one of those being “Monday Laundry Red Beans & Rice.” Now, in Louisiana, Monday’s used to do be the traditional “wash day” of the week. Normally, the women of the house would put a pot of Red Beans & Rice on the stove, to cook all day. To this day, many Cajun families will still have Red Beans & Rice to cure their “case of the Monday’s”.
Now, while I love a great Red Beans & Rice, I am not a fan of preparing a meal that must cook on the stove all day… I know that using a crock pot is also a decent method. Here’s the deal though… Typically, I don’t start out my day by thinking about what I’m going to make for dinner. I’m honestly just trying to get myself out the door and praying that I didn’t forget anything significant, in the process. If you’re anything…like me… dinner is one of those things you think about oh…around…”panic there’s no dinner plan o’clock”, leaving you just about an hour or so to conjure up a miracle. I’ve found that the best way to conjure up such a miracle is by using one of my favorite kitchen appliances, the Instapot.
I’ve been playing with this recipe for a while now and have found that timing may be a little off, depending on the specific brand of the red bean you use, so you may need to experiment with adding on time, if they don’t come out perfect for your liking. Some other tips I have for you are to make sure you’re using quality ingredients, here. They absolutely make a huge difference in the final product. You may notice that I’m not using the traditional Cajun Andouille Sausage, instead opting for Applewood Smoked Sausage. I do the same with the ham. This is because I honestly like the flavors better. I encourage you to have fun with this recipe… Add stuff… Take stuff out… Let me know what you liked or how you’d change it, making it even better! Most of all….. ENJOY!
Quick Instapot Red Beans & Rice
- 14 oz – Pecan Smoked Sausage (about 1 large link), cut into 1/4″ or 1/2″ pieces
- 1 lb – Applewood Smoked Ham Steak, cut in 1/4″ cubes
- 1 – 16oz bag of red kidney beans
- 4 qts – Chicken Stock (This adds more flavor than using just water.)
- 3/4 – large white onion ( ~ 1 1/4 cups), diced
- 4 cloves – garlic, minced
- 3 stalks – celery, diced
- 1 lg – green bell pepper, diced
- 1 T – black pepper
- 1 T – salt
- 2 – bay leaves
- 1 T – Frank’s Louisiana Hot Sauce (or to taste)
- Combine all above ingredients in your Electric Pressure Cooker (Instapot) and set it for High Pressure for 50 minutes. This should be enough time, but like I said, you may have to play a bit with the precise timing, for the specific beans you have.
- Once the timer goes off, wait for 5 minutes before you quick release the steam, from the steam valve.
- Serve over white rice, with parsley (if desired), and hot sauce. ENJOY!