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Red Beans and Rice for a group, Mix or not.

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Calling all Cajuns (ok, Creole).

I got about 25 servings of red beans (6 quarts) cooling in an ice bath, and I'm gonna make the rice tomorrow. My question is, smother or mix?

If I top the rice with the beans, it's more authentic, but the rice may dry out and firm up, sitting there on the table, and the ratio might get off.

If I mix it, I control the ratio and the rice stays moist, but it is so.... non-Creole.

Opinions?

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  1. Let each guest decide what ratio of rice & beans s/he wants. (FYI, I like mine heavy on the rice, especially if the beans are spicy!).

    1. The rice will soak up the gravy and become mushy and thick. Don't premix.

      Also, I always cut my sausage up and put it in the sauce. Anytime I have the sausage to the side, some $%! goes through the line with like 4-5 links only.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Crockett67

        I mixed the sausage rounds in, I know it no ideal, but if someone wants a whole bowl of sausage they are gonna have to pick them out. Any clues on how to keep the rice soft? Crock pot?

        1. re: guitarpah

          Just keep the rice covered like in a buffet pan with lid until ready to serve. Rice is not as fragile as you are making it out to be. It really takes time before it gets crunchy if covered.

          1. re: Crockett67

            I agree with you. At Carnival parties the pot sit on the stove usually. The other goodies are on a table and you start there. I have never heard of putting the sausage to the side since I want it cooked into the beans. I do stagger the addition of beans, though, because I want some to disintegrate and later ones to be cooked but recognizable. THe rice absorbs that souy part in a second.

            I had a cousin who made the best white rice I ever had. She got the recipe from years in INdonesia and it is LOTS of work, involving multiple boilings. But she'd put the finished product on a buttered coookie tin in a low over until the grains swoll (swelled) up and each grain was perfect and distinct but not dry, perfectly capable of asorbing whatever (in her case, a curry).

            1. re: Crockett67

              even if uncovered!

            2. re: guitarpah

              This is where a good rice cooker comes in handy, they can keep the rice at eating temp for hours without over cooking it. Maybe you can borrow one from a friend?

          2. Do not mix!! ~ Serve Separately, ~ Serve Both Hot ~ Do not mix!!

            Rice is Cheap ~ Don't run short!

            Luck & Fun!

            6 Replies
            1. re: Uncle Bob

              But how to keep it from drying out?

              1. re: guitarpah

                Cook the rice just prior to serving.....Use rice cooker(s). They will keep it warm and moist enough.

                1. re: Uncle Bob

                  Good plan, but no rice cooker.

                  1. re: guitarpah

                    Then cook it in a pot. Time it as close as you can to 'time to eat'. ~ Place it in a covered pan. If the beans are hot it want matter if the rice is just warm......

                2. re: guitarpah

                  Take Crockett67's advice above.

                  1. re: guitarpah

                    The rice will not dry out if it is covered as stated by many posters already.
                    Just cook it and let it sit sit till serving time, then fluff and serve.
                    No need to keep it piping hot as long as the red beans are hot.

                3. I wouldn't mix it either.
                  As for teh rice, you can cook it ahead of time if you want and keep it warm in a steamer. If you don't have one, then make one up.: just a big pot of boiling water and then a colander on top with the rice (make sure the rice doesn't touch the water) and a lid on top. This gives you a nice fluffly rice and all you need to look out for is that the pot doesn't cook dry :)