Pressure Cooker Red Beans and Rice
Everything I know about New Orleans comes from television. The mystery of the week set in the French Quarter, Justin Wilson on PBS, and pregame shots of the Superdome parking lot, with tailgaters chanting “Who dat!” while stirring kettles of red beans. 1
I don’t let that stop me from celebrating New Orleans every Fat Tuesday. Why would I pass up the chance to cook from one of America’s great regional cuisines? But, there is one creole recipe I make year round, not just on Mardi Gras – pressure cooker red beans and rice. 2
Under pressure, red beans and rice are done in about an hour, perfect for both Fat Tuesday and a regular Tuesday after work. All I have to do is sort and soak the beans before I go to bed the night before. (If I forget, I can cook the beans without soaking, but it will take a little more than an hour to get dinner on the table.)
No pressure cooker? No worries. See the Notes section for stovetop instructions.
Recipe: Pressure Cooker Red Beans and Rice
- 6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot Electric PC)
- Forgot to soak? Increase the water to 6 cups and cook the beans at high pressure for 35 minutes (45 minutes electric PC).
- The downside to the pressure cooker is the sealed environment – there is no evaporation, so the bean liquid comes out kind of thin. That’s why I puree a copule cups of beans and liquid; stirring them back into the pot thickens up the bean broth nicely.
- No pressure cooker? No worries. Increase the water to 8 cups, and follow the directions, cooking everything in a 6 quart or larger heavy dutch oven. Instead of locking the lid and pressure cooking, bring the pot of beans to a boil, then reduce the heat, partially cover the pot, and simmer until the beans are tender, about 2 hours. Continue with the thicken and serve step.
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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As I’ve said before, this is the biggest hole in my culinary knowledge. I need to make a pilgrimage to New Orleans.↩
Cajun vs Creole? Cajun is rural, and Creole is urban. Cajun is the Acadians, fleeing religious persecution in France to Canada, and then fleeing the British takeover to America, settling in the countryside and bayous surrounding New Orleans. Creole is the cuisine of the city itself, a blending of the original aristocratic French settlers with the African cuisine of slaves and free people of color. For more info, see this article at [LouisianaTravel.com].↩