Saturday, February 03, 2007

No-Kitchen Red Beans and Rice

Saturday, February 3, 2006
My daughter Sarah lent me a crock pot, so I spent several hours searching the internet for crock pot recipes. To my dismay, I found that most of them call for several cans of cream of something soup or chicken bouillon granules or canned mushrooms. Sarah accused me of being a food snob, but I really am not. I like almost all kinds of food, including very simple food like fried chicken or meat loaf. I just like good food with real flavors and not too many added chemicals. I don't think that makes someone a food snob.
I did manage to find some recipes that sounded pretty good. This is my first attempt.

1 T. olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1 large onion
3 leeks
1 red pepper
1 cup baby carrots
2 cans red beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable)
1 T. ancho chile powder
1 T. ground cumin
1 T. Santa Rosa chipotle powder
1 t. salt
1 t. ground pepper

Heat oil in crock pot. Crush garlic cloves into olive oil and cook for a few minutes. Chop the onion, leeks, red pepper, and potatoes, and add them, along with the baby carrots, to the pot. Stir everything together. Add the beans, broth, and seasonings, and stir. Cover and cook 6 to 8 hours on low heat. Serve over rice (made in electric rice cooker), and Cajun hot sauce (I used "Pain is Good" Louisiana style).

This recipe yields a fairly soupy result; if you wanted it thicker you could use less broth or mash some of the beans into the broth before serving. It bears little or no resemblance to the traditional Cajun or Creole dish, but, on a day when the thermometer never got up to zero (Farenheit), it was very satisfying.


kneadtobake said...

Looks yummy! Is that bread I see in the background???

Anonymous said...


I just discovered your blog and am so impressed! I, too, am a lawyer (well, only 6 months now) and am currently clerking - but I hope to become a public defender when this is finished. And I love to bake bread. I just purchased the Bread Bible after reading your blog. Congratulations on baking it all!

Doughadear said...

Thought you might like to give this recipe a try.

Soup Aux Pois
2 cups dry yellow split peas
1 ham bone or 8 0z uncooked bacon chopped or salt pork
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalk of celery chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 glove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. pepper

In a large bowl, soak peas in about 6 cups cold water for 12 hours or up to 24 hours. Drain and rinse. Place in slow cooker
Add 6 cups water, ham bone/bacon, onion, celery, carrots, garlic, bay leaf and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf.

Melinda said...

Nice to see food featured again.
I seem to remember that you have an electric griddle. You can do lots of things with that. But where is it at? where is the flour...the scales...the BB?

Anonymous said...

Like Melinda, I'm also curious: how have you set this up? ... where do you chop things? How do you wash dishes?

What do people do when they don't have a kitchen for two months? One week without a kitchen, and I can see eating out lots , but not for 2 months. How did you strategize this?

You're not even using paperplates and plastic forks! Pretty amazing!

And oh, yes, indeed, whose bread is that?


pinknest said...

i've never used a crockpot! that looks yummy and simple. i'm with you on not using ingredients that have additives and tons of salt. it's not being a food snob. it's eating good food!

breadbasketcase said...

It is bread you see--two hard rolls from Rustica Bakery, just a few blocks from my house. If you're not going to be baking your own bread, you'd do well to buy it from Rustica, which also makes fabulous croissants and Danish. A friend also brought me a loaf of a nice hearty oatmeal bread to help me through my bread withdrawal.

Welcome to the bar, and, more importantly, to bread baking. I also started my career with a clerkship. It's a great way to begin--it's gratifying, in a perverse sort of way, to see that a lot of lawyers really aren't all that good; it helps you realize that you could be probably do at least as well as they're doing. I hope you get to be a PD. I love my job, and all the attorneys in my office are, as in Lake Wobegon, above average.

Thanks for the recipe! It sounds delicious. I just bougoht some organic vegetarian split pea soup, which was better in theory than in practice. I think that it really needs that ham bone or bacon.

I do have an electric griddle, which I was planning to use a lot. As you guessed, I have no idea where it is.

My temporary kitchen is in the laundry room of our basement--the original 1915 basement. I told Jim he could only take closeups in the basement so people wouldn't see the scary-looking "kitchen." I chopped the vegetables on a table that's too low for comfortable kitchen work. I got out my old Microwave Gourmet cookbook, which I'm going to try, and I figure I'll do a crockpot recipe once a week or so. A friend (who hates to cook) said that I should get a panini maker because I could eat them every night. I'm a little dubious about that.

Doughadear said...

When I make this soup on the stove top I add a smoke ham hock to it and when the meat has cooked for an hour I remove it from the pot, cut the meat off the bone in bite size pieces and return it to the soup. I can't see why it wouldn't work in a crock pot also. Really good on a cold winter day.

nlberry said...

Your recipe looks good -- I don't like to use "fake" tasting ingredients in my crockpot recipes, either. Given that, here's a book recommendation for you:

Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook by Beth Hensperger

You can search inside the book here:

I hope that you enjoy this book even half as much as I've enjoyed your blog.

--Nancy Berry
San Francisco

breadbasketcase said...

Pink Nest,
I agree! And I know that you also have varied and diverse tastes in food.

Thank you! I just ordered this cookbook tonight. A friend of mine told me that, for some reason, recipes for "slow cookers" are more likely to be tasty than are recipes for "crock pots." Apparently crock pots are cream-of-mushroomy, but slow cookers are organic and granola.

Alison said...

Now I have a recipe to use my leftover ham bone in. I think it would be a perfect addition to your already hearty looking dish.

Trish said...

Hi - Just found your blog by way of the mention in the Minneapolis newspaper article on no knead. I had to chuckle about the add a "can of this or a can of that". I feel exactly the same way. Just looking at a can of undiluted cream of mushroom soup makes my appetite go away...My husband, a retired Lutheran pastor calls Cream of Mushroom Soup the "Lutheran Binder" - I have subscrbed and look forward to further posts and the completed kitchen.

breadbasketcase said...

I love the "Lutheran Binder" nickname!