I’m supposed to be blogging to promote my new release (left) but I’m tired of talking about the book and posting excerpts, so today is recipe day instead: red beans and rice.

Disclaimer: I’m not from Louisiana. I’m not even from the South, but I’ve lived here for ages and have spent quite a bit of time in Louisiana, getting addicted to Louisiana food. Still, if this recipe for red beans and rice is a bit off, you now know why.

2 cups red beans. I like small red beans best, but kidney beans are fine, too. Soak them overnight or at least for several hours, then drain.

2 Andouille sausages, sliced (or more, if you like lots and lots of meat with your beans). If you don’t like too much hot pepper, you can use other kinds of sausages. (Gasp!) Once all I had in the house was one Italian sausage (a kind that contains mozzarella cheese as well as meat, spices, etc.) and one chicken and apple sausage. They worked just fine. If the sausages aren’t laced with hot pepper, you can always add Tabasco or Crystal hot sauce. Actually, you can add them regardless, but with care, because usually the Andouille sausage is quite, quite hot. Ahhhhh. I love hot pepper. :)

Veggies: 1 onion, chopped, a few stalks of celery, chopped, and 2 cloves garlic, crushed.

Optional veggies: Use at least some of these in whatever quantity appeals to you: green pepper, red pepper, and leek, all chopped. I like the red pepper because it adds color, and the leek adds a nice touch of flavor.

Herbs: Parsley and/or cilantro, chopped. Parsley is somewhat standard for this dish; cilantro is an interesting addition, but it may not appeal to everyone. I’ve seen thyme in some recipes, but I keep forgetting to try it.

2 bay leaves – but be sure to remove before serving.

Tomato sauce – ¼ to ½ cup

Salt, pepper, and Tabasco or Crystal sauce to taste.

Sauté the onion, garlic and celery. Add the sliced sausage and other chopped veggies and sauté some more. Then add the beans, tomato sauce, bay leaves, and water to cover, and cook forever. Alternatively, you can cook the beans by themselves for a while and then add them to the veggie and sausage mix. I usually add the parsley and/or cilantro about the time I put the rice on to cook.

Cook whichever rice you like according to whichever method works for you. I usually steam basmati rice the Persian way, but I also use brown rice sometimes.

Season the beans to taste and serve over rice with lots of French bread and butter. Yum!

And, since I don't have a picture of this delicious meal because as usual I forgot to get out my camera, here's the ghost cat, Pause, instead. 


Photo credit: Shayda
Someone who comments will win a signed copy of Sunrise in a Garden of Love & Evil. :)


  1. E. B. Davis // September 1, 2010 at 8:17 AM  

    What a great name for a blog site. I've bookmarked it. I'm looking forward to reading your book. Sounds like my cup of tea, or maybe expresso, a more likely drink in New Orleans.

  2. Suzanne // September 1, 2010 at 8:55 AM  

    LOL, Barbara--you had me up until "tomato sauce" (or red gravy, as they call it in SE Louisiana). Love red beans and rice, though--restaurants in New Orleans always serve it on Monday along with fried chicken :-) Now, I'm wanting some andouille!

  3. Barbara Monajem // September 1, 2010 at 9:19 AM  

    E.B. - Thanks! Mmm... espresso, yes, or coffee with chicory. And beignets. I crave beignets :)

  4. Barbara Monajem // September 1, 2010 at 9:24 AM  

    Suzanne - The tomato sauce isn't really necessary. I usually just add a little, or a spoonful of tomato paste, but... shrug. I don't always have any in the house, and it's fine without. It's also possible to make a tasty vegetarian version -- no sausage, no tasso or other smoked pork -- just beans, veggies and seasonings. Sigh.

  5. Julia Rachel Barrett // September 1, 2010 at 9:59 AM  

    Oooh! Great recipe and I love the ghost cat! I love the cover for your book too!

  6. Judy // September 1, 2010 at 10:14 AM  

    Yum! I lived in Puerto Rico for about a year and I grew to LOVE rice and beans. That was a staple, even for breakfast, for some of the hotel workers. Again, I say Yum! Thanks for sharing...

  7. Toni V.S. // September 1, 2010 at 10:24 AM  

    First puppies, now kitties. Both precious. And love red beans and rice! We like it plain though, nothing but red beans, rice, and herbs. Tony-Paul wants to know if you have a recipe for etouffe?

  8. Pauline B Jones // September 1, 2010 at 10:30 AM  

    LOL! Yeah, looked up the red beans and rice recipes I got from my LA friends and you put too much stuff in. Still sounds good, but def not trad version. Red beans and rice make mondays better. Sigh.

  9. Patrice // September 1, 2010 at 10:36 AM  

    Yummy, Barbara! Love the recipe, and I like spicy food, but my hubbie doesn't, darn it! Thanks for sharing. Hope your book is selling well. It's a beautiful cover.

  10. Barbara Monajem // September 1, 2010 at 11:04 AM  

    Thanks, Julia. I'm surprised we even got a picture of the ghost cat -- he's very skittish and won't let us get close.

  11. Barbara Monajem // September 1, 2010 at 11:06 AM  

    Judy - Puerto Rico! I've never been there, but for some reason I associate it with black beans. Is that correct? I could use a good black bean recipe.

  12. Barbara Monajem // September 1, 2010 at 11:11 AM  

    Toni (and Tony-Paul) -- I haven't tried making crawfish (or shrimp) etouffe yet. I absolutely LOVE etouffe, so maybe it's because I just KNOW I'll add a bunch of ingredients that will change it completely.

    Maybe I should just let other people make the etouffe. :)

  13. Barbara Monajem // September 1, 2010 at 11:18 AM  

    Pauline - LOL. I can't help tinkering with recipes. Red Beans and Rice make every day better!

  14. Barbara Monajem // September 1, 2010 at 11:19 AM  

    Thanks, Patrice. Fortunately, my dh does like spicy food -- in fact, he's the one who got me hooked. :~)

  15. Marilu Mann // September 1, 2010 at 11:30 AM  

    I'm from Louisiana. This was a fun post. Grin, they serve this on Mondays because that was Wash day and you wanted something for dinner that didn't need a lot of attention.

  16. Barbara Monajem // September 1, 2010 at 11:53 AM  

    Marilu - Ah, yes. My mother always used to do wash on Mondays. I have no idea what she would cook on washday, though. Definitely not beans, or I would remember. The only bean dish we ate was pork-and-beans, which I heartily disliked.

  17. Mary Ricksen // September 1, 2010 at 2:04 PM  

    Loved the blog Barbara!
    But mostly because of the kitty. Cool picture!
    Now I have to be honest, I hate beans, yes shoot me, I hate them!
    I will not eat red ones, black ones, lima, pinto, all of them I hate them all.
    Now the reason is another story...
    But as I said before, love the kitty!

  18. Ellis Vidler // September 1, 2010 at 2:06 PM  

    I copied the recipe, including the ghostly picture of Pause, which I'm sure enhances the flavor.
    Can't wait to try it.
    Looking forward to reading your book too.

  19. Beth Trissel // September 1, 2010 at 2:07 PM  

    Love this post, Barbara, both the recipe, the way you told it, and the ghost cat. The book cover is quite catchy too.

  20. Mary Marvella // September 1, 2010 at 2:50 PM  

    Gotta try that recipe as soon as I get back from DragonCon this weekend. I'll be tutoring late this evening and head downtown tomorrow as soon as I finish tutoring. Not adding any dishes or trash today.

  21. Pamela Varnado // September 1, 2010 at 3:47 PM  

    Barbara, I love red beans and rice. Normally I buy it from the store but I think I'll try your receipe. You've had some great ones. Maybe you should compile a cookbook.

  22. Barbara Monajem // September 1, 2010 at 4:25 PM  

    Mary R - I'm sorry you don't like beans! When you come to supper at my place, I promise to serve something else. :)

  23. Barbara Monajem // September 1, 2010 at 4:26 PM  

    Thanks, Ellis. I hope you enjoy Pause's ghostly presence.

  24. Barbara Monajem // September 1, 2010 at 4:28 PM  

    Thanks, Beth. Pause is enjoying the popularity. :)

  25. Barbara Monajem // September 1, 2010 at 4:29 PM  

    Mary M - Ooh, have fun at DragonCon! Take some pics and post them on the blog, please.

  26. Barbara Monajem // September 1, 2010 at 4:30 PM  

    Pam -- Sure, I'll do that cookbook in my spare time, LOL. :)

  27. Scarlet Pumpernickel // September 1, 2010 at 8:36 PM  

    Can't wait to try this recipe on the DH. Thanks for sharing, but we can never hear enough about your books, so please keep up with the posts and excerpts.

  28. Barbara Monajem // September 1, 2010 at 9:04 PM  

    Scarlet - That's so sweet of you. I guess just because I'm sick of talking about the book doesn't mean everyone's heard everything about it. :)

  29. Mary Marvella // September 1, 2010 at 11:29 PM  

    Yeah, Barbra, you need to do a cookbook in your spare time. It could be short.

    I'll snap away at the Con!

  30. Mona Risk // September 2, 2010 at 9:58 AM  

    Barbara, I was to busy cooking and entertaining guests yesterday to sit at my computer. Delighted to see you were doing the same on the blog LOL. Did I tell you that your bookcover is one of the most beautiful I have seen in a long time. So different and eye-catching.

  31. Barbara Monajem // September 2, 2010 at 3:33 PM  

    Thanks, Mona. I've been getting a lot of compliments on the cover. I passed them on to the art department at Dorchester Publishing. :)

  32. Joanne // September 2, 2010 at 9:57 PM  

    You are absolutely hilarious, and have such a way with words. Guess that's cause you're such a good writer. Thanks for the recipe--I've never tried red beans and rice. And I second Mona's comment. I love your cover, too.

  33. Autumn Jordon // September 2, 2010 at 11:30 PM  

    This sounds like a dish the whole family would love. I'll have to try this over the weekend.

    Congrats on your new release. I love that cover too.