Red Beans & Rice - It must be Monday!

Monday is laundry day at our house, so following Creole tradition; I usually make red beans and rice. Because red beans usually take several hours to cook, I let the beans slowly cook all day, stirring and adjusting flavors between loads of wash. The rice and pan-seared sausage take only a few minutes and dinner is ready with little extra effort.

1 (16 ounce) bag of dried red kidney beans
6 cups of water
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, mashed or minced
2 teaspoons salt
1-2 carrots, grated
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon oregano
1 bay leaf
pinch of thyme
pepper to taste
1 cup scallions, chopped

Soak beans overnight in 6-8 cups of water. Drain water and replace before cooking.

Heat olive oil in the bottom of a saucepan. Add garlic and sauté until golden (do not let garlic burn or it will taste very bitter.) Add beans, water, and other ingredients and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until beans are soft; about 2 hours. This can all be loaded into a crockpot and cooked low and slow while you are at work too.

Stir occasionally and check water level. You may need to add water if the beans get to dry.  In their final form they should form a gravy and not be too soupy or too gloppy. Serve with rice and top with chopped scallions. Polska kielbasa, (we cut the sausage lengthwise and brown in a frying pan,) is served along side with Louisiana Hot Sauce (of course!)