Friday, May 21, 2010

Red Beans and Birthday Skillets

Hello friends, as Justin Wilson used to say "How Y'all are?" I hope everyone is well and looking forward to a great summer of grilling lots of great food and enjoying the season with friends and family. Although today isn't Monday, (it's Friday) I made a big ol' pot of Red Beans, Creole style. This is one of my favorite dishes, although I am not having rice with them tonight.

Why did I mention Monday, because Monday was the traditional day to make red beans as it was "Wash Day". The woman of the house, or maid, would be busy with washing and cleaning up from the previous week and weekend, they needed something that could be put together and slid to the back of the stove to simmer all day. Plus there would be a big ham bone left over from Sunday to throw in the pot as well. I have posted a red bean recipe here before but I thought I'd repeat it. I usually make something a bit different every time I make it. These are no exception. This is slightly different from my previous red beans recipe.

Red Beans & Rice

1 lb pkg, Red Kidney Beans (dried)
1/2 stick butter
1 onion (diced small)
2 ribs of celery (diced small)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
2 tbs worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
1/2 lb Andouille sausage (diced small)
1/2 smoked (or country) ham scraps
1 chicken stock cube
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbs Tony Chachere's (or similar) Cajun Spices
2 cups crushed tomatoes
Water - enough to cover by 3 inches

First for the beans, soak them overnight or par-boil them before using them. In a 7 qt. dutch oven, melt butter, fry ham 5 mins. add onions, celery, and garlic, cook 5 more mins. Add the andouille, spices, sauces, tomatoes, and herbs. Stir well and add 2 cups of boiling water with the stock cube dissolved in them. Cook 5 mins. and then add beans, stir well. Add enough water to cover over the beans 3 inches. Bring up to MED/HI and cook for 30 mins. stirring often to prevent sticking. Turn down to MED and let cook uncovered until beans are tender and water has reduced and thickened. Usually about 2 hours. Serve with rice topped with thin-sliced, green onions.

On an ending note. I was at my Mother's house today making the beans and I mentioned I wanted to buy a new cast iron skillet of pretty good size. As you can see by the beans pictures, I love my sweet Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven. I said jokingly that I might get the new skillet for my birthday in July. She walked out on her back-porch and came back carrying something wrapped up in an old plastic grocery bag. She said "this has been sittin' on the porch for a long time, I was wondering what to do with it, Happy Early Birthday".

I couldn't believe it but it was a Griswold Cast Iron #6 Skillet that's at least 50 - 60 years old. It was in great shape, a few little rust spots I quickly buffed out, but all it needs is re-seasoning. Griswold was a fine old cast iron company from Erie Pennsylvania that produced sturdy, wonderful cookware like my new early birthday present. I am lucky she hadn't tossed it or given it to someone else, but I am also lucky to have a wonderful Mom like mine. At 87 years old she is still active running around with her friends, performing with a show-choir, and worring about her children and grand-children.

Man, those sure were good red beans tonight.



  1. I have several pieces of antique Griswold and Wagnerware cast iron, including five different size skillets, three Dutch ovens, and a square skillet. Three of the pieces say both Griswold and Wagner on them! I dearly love my old cast iron and use it almost every day.

  2. They look good! Great gift from your Mom.

    I have several Griswold skillets. Buy them every time I can find them at a good price.

  3. Now I have looked it over I am not sure if it is a 6 or a 9. I have to find the measurements.



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