Well, it’s that time of year again! Fat Tuesday is just around the corner. If you know me, you know that I love to make Cajun food! When I was thinking about what to make this week, I couldn’t believe that I didn’t have a recipe for Red Beans and Rice. It’s one of my favorite things to make. I love the rich, creamy beans, the spicy andouille sausage, the Cajun spice blend and all the veggies inside this big pot of goodness! To me, it’s a perfect meal!
When I was gathering all my ingredients to make this weeks post, I realized that many of my staple foodstuffs are products that are made in Colorado! We are lucky here as we have some amazing local companies producing some of the best products on the market. This isn’t a sponsored post but I am going to give shoutouts anyway! In my mind, it’s good to support local companies and this is my little way of doing so!
I will provide links to all these companies, but feel free to use products that you love to substitute if you aren’t local or just don’t want to place an online order.
Merf’s Hot Sauce
“Merfs Condiments was created in Denver, Colorado among the scenic Rocky Mountains. We are excited to be a part of a thriving food community that’s focused on providing organic, local, and delicious eats“.
The first time I tried Merf’s was at a local restaurant and thought I had died and gone to heaven with the Hand Granade Siracha and the Jamberry Siracha sauces. Both had so much flavor and just the right amount of heat. Jamberry is a little sweeter though, which I like. I enjoyed them so much, that the next day, I went down to the General Store 45 in Downtown Littleton and bought 4 bottles.
When I getting ready to make this weeks post, I headed back down to the shop and bought Dancing Queen. It’s definitely a bit spicier with a bit of a vinegar undernote which is great for Cajun food. I used Dancing Queen in this recipe but Fool’s Paradise would be great too if you like things really spicy!
I highly suggest trying to get your hands on Merf’s if you love a great hot sauce. To me, hands down, the best that I have ever had!
If you are in Colorado, you can buy Merf’s at specialty food stores and at King Soopers in the “Buy Local” section. Out of state friends, go to Merf’s Condiments or they sell their products on Amazon as well! If you order it, let me know how you like it! I love to hear all about it!
Savory Spice Shop
I will begin by saying that the Savory Spice Shop is my happy place. I have been shopping at their Littleton location for years and it’s the ONLY place that I buy my herbs and spices, period. They sell the freshest product at super reasonable prices. Once you check out their prices you will wonder why you buy spices at the grocery. It really doesn’t make sense. Another bonus of buying at Savory is that you can buy in small quantities. People always wonder about shelf life for spices, if you buy what you will use in a reasonable time, your spices will never go bad! Hum, brilliant!
For this recipe, I used their Cajun Blackening Seasoning. I know it says blackening but it’s a true Cajun blend that’s perfect for Red Beans and Rice. It has a “good” heat to it, so adjust to your taste. I used 2 tablespoons in this recipe which was just what it needed for me. Savory’s blend doesn’t contain salt so if you use another brand for this recipe and it contains salt, you will need to adjust the salt in the recipe to your liking.
Savory Spice has locations all over Colorado and many other states as well. If you don’t have a shop near you, you can order online. Even if you have to pay to ship it will be more cost effective than buying at the grocery!
My heart belongs to Polidori. Seriously. I adore it. My love affair with good sausage probably started in my teens while traveling in Europe. I got my first taste of good sausage back then and could not find a good one since until I found Polidori. I know, what you are all thinking (giggle) but in all seriousness, Polidori is the bomb!
Polidori is a local Colorado company that has been producing top quality sausage products for generations. They source only the finest cuts of pork, use all natural spices and don’t add any MSG to their over 60 varieties of sausage products. I always have their Italian sausage on hand but I also love their chorizo, their brats (amazing), they have a green chili brat that is to die for, and for this recipe, I used their andouille which is just as great as something made in Lousiana! The spices are spot on and it’s just spicy enough for you to say, “hum”!
Polidori is sold in over 2500 stores in the Western Region including King Soopers, Safeway (they have the best selection in their meat case), City Market and Spinelli’s. Unfortunately, you will have to come out for a visit if you don’t live out West for this product, it doesn’t look like ship their products! But if you live here in Colorado, make sure you buy Polidori! It really is the best sausage, hands down.
When you read my recipe, feel free to substitute these products for what you have on hand. I was just lucky enough to realize while I was making it that I had really great “Colorado Proud” products on hand. It was the perfect post to give support to companies that make my life happy. Yep! A good hot sauce, spices, and sausage can make a gal happy. I live a simple, uncomplicated life and when good food fits this, life is really good!
One last thing
If you are looking for other great Cajun food try these on for size!
Red Beans and Rice
To Make the Beans
- 1 pound red or kidney beans
- 2 bay leaves
- 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 cups water
To make the Red Beans and Rice
- 1 pound andouilli sausage, sliced
- 8 ounces diced ham
- 1 cup diced onions
- 1 cup chopped poblamo pepper you can use a green pepper here
- 2 stalks chopped celery
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2-3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
- 2-4 tablespoons hot sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- cooked beans, strained
- 6 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)
- Cooked rice for serving
- sliced green onions for serving
- extra hot sauce for serving
To Cook the Beans
In a large stock pot, add the beans, bay leaves, garlic and, salt. Cover with 6 cups of water. Bring the beans to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes and reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook the beans for 1 hour 15 minutes. Strain off the water, remove the bay leaves and set aside. It's ok to leave the garlic in the beans.
To Make the Red Beans and Rice
In a large stock pot, brown the sausage until almost cooked through, about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the onions, peppers, celery, and garlic. Cook for about 3-4 minutes or until the onions become translucent. Stir in the ham, Cajun seasoning, hot sauce, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and the beans. Cover with the chicken stock.
Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover the stockpot with the lid. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are creamy and delicious.
Cook as much rice as desired according to package directions. I used long grain rice for this recipe.
Serve the finished Red Beans with rice and finish off with green onions and more hot sauce if desired.