Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hayes Star Brand Bean Soup Mix - Sausage, Beans and Rice

Tonight we are having ribeye steaks and frankly I don't generally do much with those. Usually I sprinkle just a little bit of Worcestershire sauce on both sides, let 'em come to room temp and then grill them on the outdoor grill. Add a salad, and a starch like some potatoes and we're good to go for dinner. 

I came up with this bean recipe as another way of using those Bean Soup Mix packages, like Hayes Star Brand, that showed up in co-op boxes fairly regularly in the boxes. My first try with the bean soup mix was to create a soup and that actually did turn out really tasty, but this recipe is my next experiment of what in the world to do with this soup mix! 

I didn't want to make a soup this time, but rather something that would be thicker, served with rice and kind of mixed together - think like Hoppin' John style, to go with those steaks. If you want it a bit more soupy, just use extra chicken stock. 

I also used some andouille, which is a very spicy smoked Cajun sausage. Andouille has quite a lot of heat to it, so if you don't want that much kick, you should substitute regular smoked sausage. Personally if I were to use regular smoked sausage, I would bump up the heat just a tad bit with my favorite standby Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning and a tablespoon or so of sliced jalapenos, chopped up. I say sliced, because while fresh are great, sliced refrigerated jalapenos are the kind that I always have on hand. I really like the Mezzetta brand Deli-Sliced Tamed Jalapeno Peppers because they have lots of flavor and a little kick, but aren't overpowering.

I was very pleased with the flavor of this dish, and Hubs loved it too, so it was a winner. Hope you enjoy it too! 

Mixed Beans and Sausage
From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish  
  • 1 (1 pound) package mixed bean soup mix, like Hayes or Hurst brand
  • 3 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 links smoked andouille or milder smoked sausage, sliced lengthwise and chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 a medium onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2 pinches of kosher salt
Place the beans in a medium stockpot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat, cover and let soak for 1-1/2 hours. Alternatively, you can cover the beans with water plus about another 2 inches and leave to soak overnight. Drain well and set aside. 

Heat the stockpot over medium heat and add chopped bacon. Cook until softened. Add the chopped smoked sausage and cook until browned. Add the chopped onion and celery and continue cooking until softened. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the basil, pepper and bay leaves. Return the beans to the pot. Stir well, add the chicken stock and mix in, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to simmer and simmer covered for 45 minutes to an hour. Check the beans to see if they have softened, add salt, adjust seasonings as needed. Serve as a side dish or spoon over hot, steamed rice.