Easy Southern Red Beans & Rice...7:40 AM
Here in the South, we have tons of 'comfort foods'. Our idea of comfort food is something hearty, warming and filling. Chicken and dumplings, mac and cheese, chicken spaghetti, dressing, and of course, red beans and rice. Red beans and rice is one of those foods that is perfect for a cold day and being in the 20s and 30s the last few days (yeah, we are NOT used to such temperatures) red beans and rice seemed the perfect dinner for my little ones when they got home from school. Besides, they never can seem to resist cocktail smokies.
Most people make this with any type of sausage link or brats, but after becoming a mom I found cocktail smokies are the right bite size already and no need for the extra step of slicing up tons of sausage. You can slice the cocktail weinies in half though if making for children.
You will need:
2 packages of cocktail smokies (or one package of smoked sausage or brats, sliced)
2 packets of Brown Gravy Mix
2 Maggi or Knorr Chicken bouillon cubes
1 small bag of Dry Red Kidney Beans
I used dried beans which drives up the cooking time a few hours. You can clean and boil the beans in a large pot for 3-4 hours or start them in a crockpot full of water overnight for them to be tender by lunch. If using a crockpot, cook on low until dinner. Add your bouillon cubes to the water no matter which way you decide to cook them.
You can used canned beans but dried is always so good. Beans should be tender and easily mashed if pressed when they are done.
Once your beans are done, mix gravy as directed on package and pour into the reduced heat pot of beans. Stir for a slight thickness to create a nice and savory sauce.
Add in your cocktail smokies or sliced smoked sausage. Turn heat to low until ready to serve.
Serve your red beans over cooked riced and with a slice a cornbread or dinner roll. Truly delicious and oh so filling.