Red Beans and Rice (no Ham Hocks)

 

My best friend and her dyed-in-the-seersucker New Orleansian husband taught me this recipe, which I've bastardized in a few ways. It has a deep, smoky flavor and hit of spice without the usual various pork product flavorings. If you don't have Creole seasoning lying around, consider making some and keeping it in the cupboard - it's a versatile blend.

What you will need

1/2 pound dried red kidney beans

4 cups water

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup diced onion

1/2 cup diced celery

1/2 cup diced green bell pepper

2 teaspoons minced ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 bay leaves

1 (or to taste) tablespoons Creole seasoning, such as Tony Chachere's

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