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HELP! Red Beans and Rice - Kidney Beans or Red Beans??

h
happyfeelin Jan 9, 2012 01:46 PM

This argument seems to be all over the place. I wouldn't dream of using Red Kidney Beans and frankly that recipe from 1900 has Tabasco and I don't recall my g-ma using Tabasco (Louisiana Hot Sauce maybe). So that's suspect on its own. I use small red beans (some now refer to them as adzuki) because once soaked, they turn pink and these beans are what become the creamy and smooth red beans we know in traditional red beans and rice. Kidney beans may be used because they're found more easily, but they don't cook the same creamy consistency as small red beans and they don't stand-up to long boiling time but once you've had them, you won't have anything else.

Try both and choose the one that works best, but frankly, I am sticking with my small red beans.

  1. h
    happyfeelin Jan 10, 2012 12:29 PM

    There are alot of companies out there (Zatarains, Camelia) who sell products but that has absolutely nothing to do with the recipe and what makes it correct to make. I'm just saying what my grand momma used and what I use. Folks can use what they want, but that don't mean that they taste good or even fair.

    1. jen kalb Jan 10, 2012 08:06 AM

      there are many kinds of small red beans in addition to kidney in the common bean species (phaseolus vulgaris). I happen to like the small red beans better than kidney in rice and beans (caribbean style) because the size is more similar to the rice.Kidneys cooked with appropriate seasoning work as well. Adzuki beans are a vigna species related to mung and are not true beans. They may be nice but are not the same thing

      1 Reply
      1. re: jen kalb
        Perilagu Khan Jan 10, 2012 08:50 AM

        I think that should be gaseous vulgaris.

      2. s
        sr44 Jan 10, 2012 08:04 AM

        I don't think adzuki and small red beans are the same.

        1. twyst Jan 10, 2012 07:46 AM

          If you are trying to make Louisiana style red beans and rice, its definitely kidney beans. Ive never seen anyone use anything else in New Orleans.

          5 Replies
          1. re: twyst
            Monch Jan 10, 2012 08:04 AM

            We are in Wisconsin and my wife makes red beans and rice about three times a month...trying to instill in her that it should always be Monday...but she refuses to bend to tradition.

            All that said, when I bought her a gag gift of 20# of Camelia brand red beans...the results were dramatically improved over her use of "small kidney beans".

            I had HEARD that Camelia was the way to go, was skeptical...should NOT have been skeptical.

            1. re: Monch
              twyst Jan 10, 2012 08:09 AM

              Yep. Camelia Red Kidney beans are definitely where its at.

              As for her not cooking them on monday's, keep working on her and hopefully she will give in. Its such a great tradition!

              1. re: twyst
                r
                rouxqueen Jan 10, 2012 09:01 AM

                Camellia here also. I've had other beans, but for New Orleans red beans and rice, it needs to be Camellia brand. They are the creamiest without a doubt. We have to bring them back to NC when we visit the Gulf Coast (home). We always eat our red beans on Monday. Of course, if there's leftovers, I'll eat them later in the week too.

                1. re: rouxqueen
                  Monch Jan 10, 2012 10:38 AM

                  Nice to see the radification.

                  You should have seen my wife's eyes when she opened this 20# box that had been under the Christmas tree for days!

                  Two things saved me from dire scorn:
                  1) The jewelry that FOLLOWED the beans
                  2) The noticable improvement in her RB&R!

                2. re: twyst
                  Monch Jan 10, 2012 10:40 AM

                  For the record, I have her at about 80%.

                  We even have a little hand-painted wall-hanging that we purchased on Magazine:

                  A depiction of one red bean:
                  "This is a bean; It is a red one; We eat them on Mondays; Thank You"

                  She saw it and had to have it.

                  Whenever we have non-Monday beans, I rave about the flavor AND tap the wall hanging.

            2. Perilagu Khan Jan 10, 2012 07:37 AM

              I use Pintos.

              1. n
                Nanzi Jan 10, 2012 07:31 AM

                Definitely the small red beans you find in the spanish section of the store. My mom was raised in Honduras and we could not get the right beans up here, Mid Atlantic, for years. Now they are widely available, and the difference in taste and texture is discernible. I took some out to Indiana where my 90 yr old mother is, and we made red beans and rice, and fried plantains for her. She was delighted. I'm so glad we don't have to use the black turtle beans anymore.

                1. m
                  magiesmom Jan 9, 2012 04:27 PM

                  I like kidney beans the least of all beans as I don't find them flavorful, so I use small red beans, or when really not concerned with authenticity, pintos.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: magiesmom
                    h
                    happyfeelin Jan 9, 2012 04:51 PM

                    I agree with both of you. Small red beans cream up and become what many know is the true authentic red beans and rice. I think it's an arguement of the ages, just like whether miracle whip goes into southern-style (e.g. not german style) potato salad (to shut up the masses I mix mayo and MW and it comes out just grand).

                    1. re: magiesmom
                      tcamp Jan 10, 2012 07:41 AM

                      Yes, me three. I haven't spent time analyzing why but kidneys are never my first choice. I'll eat 'em on salad bar or in some else's chili but don't use them at home.

                      For red beans and rice, definitely the small red beans.

                    2. mamachef Jan 9, 2012 04:23 PM

                      As would I, being a prescreptivist and all. :) I like the small red beans, whatever the name, in mine. Kidney beans are somehow grainier.

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