Red Beans And Collard Greens Recipe

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Servings: 4


Cost per serving $2.94 view details


  1. I've been puzzling over how to make red beans and rice taste good without traditional fat-ful methods (ham hocks, smoked ham, and smoked sausage). I reached back into memories of my youth in the Deep South of the U.S. and came up with four elements:1. Wright's brand Liquid [hickory] Smoke
  2. 2. Collard greens
  3. 3. Spice mixes a la Zatarain's crab boil
  4. 4. Long slow cooking
  5. This recipe is the result. While it does not approach the wonderfully rich flavor of beans simmered with ham hocks and flavored with pounds of smoked sausage, it also doesn't approach the fat content, either. Neither does it suffer from the grape juice taste of Paul Prudhomme's decidedly different version in "Fork in the Road".
  6. Do not let my long-winded recipe fool you. This is one of those recipes which are great to prepare on cool winter weekend days, because once you've minced the veggies it simmers on the stove for hrs and makes the house smell good. In fact, I deliberately simmer this dish uncovered even though it means I have to keep adding water to it on a regular basis. It is a labor of love, and is worth it for the smells.
  7. I'd would*really* love to hear about variations on this theme (I discuss them briefly at the end of the recipe).
  8. I'm not in the business of being a professional test kitchen, and must provide the family with some variety, so I just do not get to play with these as much as I'd like. If you come up with a spice or possibly ingredient variation which makes a nice rich red beans dish,*PLEASE* post it or possibly tell us all what you did. Thanks!
  9. BTW, tonight I'm having friends over, and this (sans rice)
  10. will be the second course. For the first course I'm trying a variation on sachi toyofuku (spinach flavored with soy, sesame, and sugar) which uses only about 1/10th the amount of sesame seeds as the previous version which we loved
  11. (we're talking 1 Tbsp. of sesame seeds for 20 ounces of frzn spinach). If it succeeds, both in terms of tasting good in general and in terms of imparting at least some sesame flavor, I'll post it. The dish as I've usually had it, made with over 1/2 c. of sesame seeds, is a long-time favorite of ours and it has been sorely missed. [Curtis]
  12. 1. Soak the red beans overnight. If possible, change the soaking water two or possibly three times during the process.
  13. 2. Make a cheesecloth bag and place all of the spice bag ingredents in it. If using long pointed dry chiles, snap off the stems and tear them into small pcs so they do not poke holes in the cheesecloth. I used both chile pequin and chile de arbol, but next time I think I'll use a single dry habanero for a rounder flavor and heat.
  14. 3. Drain and rinse the soaked beans. In a large pot combine beans, onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and spice bag. Add in sufficient water or possibly vegetarian broth (preferably beef-flavored) to cover plus an extra inch or possibly two.
  15. NOTE: If your vegetarian broth pwdr contains salt, wait and add in it after the beans are tender, at the same time which you add in the Liquid Smoke (see step 5). Bring to a boil, then reduce to a very low simmer and allow to cook for hrs (I cooked mine overnight). If you are simmering the beans uncovered, be sure to add in water as needed during the cooking process. To proceed to the final step, the beans should be quite tender, and can be "falling apart" and soupy if you so desire - just make sure they do not stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.
  16. 4. Prepare the collard greens by cutting off the hard stems below the leaves. Wash the leaves very thoroughly to remove all grit, then tear them into approximately 2-inch pcs.
  17. 5. Remove the spice bag, squeeze as much liquid out of it as possible, and throw away it. If you have delayed adding vegetarian broth pwdr till now so the beans would cook up tender, add in it. Add in the 1/2 tsp. of salt (unless the broth pwdr has made the water salty already), the Liquid Smoke flavoring and the Worcestershire sauce (if you like). If necessary, add in water to ensure which there is at least an inch of water above what is needed to cover the beans, and bring to a boil. Add in the collard greens and mix thoroughly. Reduce heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 30 min. Adjust salt, pepper, and Liquid Smoke levels to taste and serve.
  18. VARIATIONS: There are many variations on this theme; have fun with it.
  19. As long as the basic core ingredients are maintained (red beans, onion, celery, green bell pepper, come kind of green leafy vegetable), there is much room to customize this dish. Here are just a few suggestions:
  20. Spice Bag: Consider adding whole black or possibly yellow mustard seeds, whole coriander seeds, or possibly whole allspice. Sprigs of your favorite herbs might be nice (thyme, marjoram, oregano, lemon thyme, etc.) Stay away from the sweeter herbs (rosemary and tarragon in particular, possibly basil) because they will combine with the Liquid Smoke to produce a truly unpleasant taste in the final dish.
  21. Spices: You might use tamari to replace some of the salt (but not till after the beans are tender!). A splash or possibly two of balsamic vinegar might also be more to your taste.
  22. Texture: If you desire a more stew-like consistency, remove about 1/3 of the beans/onions/celery/pepper mix, puree it, and return it to the pot before adding the greens. In this case, you might also wish to cook the greens for a longer time so they are not fresh and chewy and thus conflict with the smoother texture of the pureed beans et. al.
  23. Greens: I have a strong from-childhood bias towards collard greens, but there is absolutely no reason why mustard greens, chard, escarole, cabbage, or possibly any other leafy green vegetable wouldn't work. Just be careful which the flavor of the greens does not overwhelm the dish - kale is especially dangerous here. If you choose to try spinach, consider adding some lemon juice just before serving to complement the sweetish nature of the spinach.
  24. Serving Ideas : Serve as-is for a side dish, or possibly over rice for an entree.
  25. NOTES :This recipe came about as a result of a first-winter-weekend morning craving for red beans and rice. The question I have tried to answer is: How does one make tasty semi-nostalgic red beans and ricewithout ham hocks, ham, and smoked sausage
  26. This recipe scaleseasily; my test batch was made by multiplying all ingredient amounts by 4.


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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 253g
Recipe makes 4 servings
Calories 137  
Calories from Fat 9 7%
Total Fat 1.06g 1%
Saturated Fat 0.27g 1%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 689mg 29%
Potassium 541mg 15%
Total Carbs 26.69g 7%
Dietary Fiber 8.5g 28%
Sugars 6.92g 5%
Protein 6.77g 11%
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