Active time:20 minutes
Total time:1h15 plus overnight soaking
I had adapted the recipe from New Orleans restaurateurs Emily and Alon Shaya. She makes the vegetarian version they make for friends and family every Monday (accompanied by a meat version and a salad), following a tradition whose roots are believed to be in Mondays, wash day. Before the advent of washing machines, the story goes, it was an all-day affair, so cooks would look for a way to use up Sunday night’s leftover meat and leave the pot bubbling away on the stove. for hours without too much, if any. , Warning. Qualified red beans.
For years I cooked the dish gently and slowly, using smoked paprika and soy sauce instead of meat. Following Emily Shaya’s instructions, I start with the “trinity” of onion, green pepper and celery, along with Creole seasoning, then cook the beans over low heat for four to five hours before adding more flavorings (including Tabasco) and mashing them in the pan for that creamy, flavorful texture. Before they are cooked, I steam white or brown rice.
The 8 year old loved it so much he asked me to pack it for his weekday lunches, which I was happy to do. At the time, I was working from home, so it was pretty easy to start at noon and finish it in time for dinner, even on weekdays. Fast forward a year, and I’m back in the office almost every day. The 8 year old is 9 years old and lives with his extended family, although we can see him for regular visits, and now we have a 14 year old who always seems to be hungry. He also loves those red beans and rice, but between work and commuting to or from basketball practice and such, I rarely feel like I can stay home long enough. slowly simmer a pot of beans.
The solution was obvious: I now make the beans exclusively in the Instant Pot, which saves me hours on the process. This approach is still not lightning fast; kidney beans take longer to become tender than many varieties. But it works like a charm, especially once I reduce the amount of liquid to account for the IP’s lack of evaporation. When I hear that telltale beep, I manually release the steam before finishing the dish, then lay the stewed beans in shallow bowls and add a scoop of rice.
In a way, I’m still true to tradition. Because the hour or two it takes to cook the beans is about enough to do a load or two of washing (in a machine, of course), even if it’s not a Monday.
Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice
Serve with a salad and bread, if desired.
Storage: Refrigerate separately: beans up to 1 week and rice up to 3 days. Freeze separately: beans and rice for up to 6 months.
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- 1 pound dried kidney beans, soaked overnight
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow or white onion (8 ounces), chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 celery rib, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon salt-free creole seasoning (like Tony Cachere’s, see NOTES)
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 4 cups Scrambled vegetable broth or store-bought no-salt-added vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups basmati rice or other long-grain white rice
- 3 cups of water
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce, plus more to taste
- 2 teaspoons Tabasco or your favorite hot sauce, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon fine salt, plus more to taste
- Chopped green onions, for serving (optional)
Rinse and drain the kidney beans.
Set a programmable multicooker (such as an Instant Pot; see NOTES) to SAUTE. Allow the pan to heat for 2 minutes, then add the oil and heat until it shimmers. Add onion, green pepper, celery and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in creole seasoning and smoked paprika and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds
Add beans, vegetable broth and bay leaf. Secure the appliance lid and make sure the steam valve is sealed. Select PRESSURE (HIGH) and set the cooking time to 1 hour. (It should take about 10 minutes for the device to reach pressure.)
About 20 minutes before the beans are ready, prepare the rice: In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the rice and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so that the water simmers, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the rice sit for 10 minutes, then uncover, fluff with a fork and cover again if necessary to keep warm until ready to serve.
When the beans have completed the hour of pressure cooking, release the pressure manually by moving the handle to “Venting”, covering your hand with a towel, and making sure to keep your hand and face away from the vent when the steam is released. Open the device and check if the beans are soft. If not, return to PRESSURE (HIGH) for 10 minutes at a time, manually releasing pressure and steam each time, until very tender.
Stir in the soy sauce, tabasco and salt. Taste and season with more Tabasco and/or salt as needed. Use a wooden spoon or bean masher to mash some of the beans, or use an immersion blender to very briefly puree some of the beans in the pan. (Alternatively, scoop out about a cup, puree in a blender or food processor, and return to the pot.)
Divide the beans into shallow bowls and add a scoop of rice to the center of each. Sprinkle green onions, if using, on top. Spend more Tabasco at the table.
This was tested in a 6 quart instant pot.
If you are using a Creole seasoning that contains salt, reduce the salt you will add later to 1/2 teaspoon before tasting and adjusting; To make your own spice mix, see this recipe (omitting salt, if desired).
Per serving (1 cup beans and 3/4 cup rice)
Calories: 422; Total fat: 6 g; Saturated fat: 1 g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 977mg; Carbohydrates: 79g; Dietary fiber: 15g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 17g
This analysis is an estimate based on the available ingredients and this preparation. It should not replace the advice of a dietitian or nutritionist.
Adapted from “Fresh Beans” by Joe Yonan (Ten Speed Press, 2020).
Tested by Joe Yonan; questions by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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