Ahhh a sunny Sunday afternoon. No pressing engagements. Food shopping all done, laundry washed, flat cleaned. Time to kick back and relax, turn up the music, and let something tasty bubble on the stove for an hour or so.
And so it’s the perfect opportunity to cook that New Orleans classic, beans and rice (or beans and bread in my case, as I couldn’t be bothered to put the rice on).
New Orleans BeanTwo tins kidney beans (red, or in this case white as they’re 4 for £1 at Sainsbury’s) Half a green pepper, chopped finely Half a white onion, chopped finely Two stalks celery, chopped finely 3 cloves garlic, minced Vegetable oil Thyme, oregano, cayenne, paprika Tabasco sauce Soy sauce (or Worcestershire sauce) Salt and black pepper
Pour a drink.
Put on some suitably bluesy music, preferably involving people called “Howling Wolf” or “Muddy Waters”
Heat the vegetable oil in a wok, then add the vegetables. Stir fry gently until the onion is transparent.
Add the spices, herbs, pepper, salt, tabasco and soy. Stir well.
Drain and rinse the beans, then add to the veg plus a couple of cups of hot water. Mix.
Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Partially cover.
Simmer for around an hour, stirring every so often and checking the seasoning. About half way through, use a potato masher to mash around a third of the beans in the pot, and mix back in. Add more water if necessary to stop the beans drying out.
Beans are ready when they’re nice and creamy (which will take about an hour at least). They’re also ready when they’re so moreishly tasty that you have to be physically restrained from eating them direct from the wok. Have you reached this point yet? If no, cook a little longer, add a little more seasoning, soy, tabasco or spices.
If you’re more organised than me, serve with rice, French bread and a dash of hot chilli sauce on the side. For meatavarians, add a grilled pork chop.