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Cajun Red Beans and Rice

Trying out a new look for 2015…hope you like it!

We were in Cuba in February and came to enjoy the red beans and rice. Looking for a similar dish, I found a recipe for Cajun Red Beans and Rice on my friend Kevin’s site www.closetcooking.com

I used a smoked pancetta as Andouille is not common down here. The flavour was great. This recipe makes enough for four hungry people!

Cajun Red Beans and Rice (adapted from http://www.closetcooking.com)
Ingredients
• 2 tablespoons oil
• 1/2 pound Andouille sausage or smoked Pancetta (cut into small pieces)
• 1 cup onion (diced)
• 1/2 cup celery (diced)
• 1/2 cup green pepper (diced)
• 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
• 4 cups chicken broth or chicken stock
• 2 (19 ounce) cans red beans (rinsed and drained)
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
• 1 teaspoon oregano
• 1 teaspoon thyme
• 2 bay leaves
• salt and pepper to taste
• 4 cups cooked rice (I like to go with Basmati)
Directions
1. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat add the sausage and sauté until lightly golden brown, about 5-7 minutes, and set aside.
2. Add the onions, celery and green pepper to the pan and cook until tender, about 7-10 minutes.
3. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
4. Add the stock, beans, sausage/pancetta, paprika, cayenne, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer covered for at least 1 hour
6. Remove the bay leaves.
7. Mash or puree about a quarter of the beans if desired.

If you feel there is too much liquid, just let it simmer down.
Just before serving add the cooked rice.

Cajun Bread Pudding with Warm Praline Sauce

Larry adapted this from Taste of Home and it was incredible with the addition of the rum and peel! The secret is in the dried French bread cubes!!!

Cajun Bread Pudding Recipe (Taste of Home)

Adapted by Larry with the red ingredients….

  • Prep: 20 min. + soaking Bake: 45 min.   Yield: 12 Servings

Ingredients

  • 4-3/4 cups milk, divided OR 2 cups whipping cream + 2 cups evaporated milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 11 cups cubed French bread (1-inch cubes) baked in 250 degree oven until dry!
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, pinch of ground clove and nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup golden raisins, optional
  • 2/3 cup toasted chopped pecans, optional
  • 1 cup of candied citrus peel

PRALINE SAUCE:

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Dash salt

Directions

  • In a large saucepan, heat 4 cups of ‘milk’ until warm; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt and remaining milk. Gradually add warmed milk, stirring constantly. Stir in butter. Add bread cubes; let soak 10 minutes. Add cinnamon, and raisins and/or pecans if desired.
  • Pour into a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 45-60 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.
  • For sauce, bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add brown sugar; stir to dissolve. Add corn syrup and cream. Bring to boil; cook 15-20 seconds. Remove from the heat. Stir in the pecans, vanilla, butter and salt. Cut pudding into squares and serve with sauce. Yield: 12 servings.