Anatomy of a Dinner Party: a day in the life of a hospitalityaholic

I Guess It’s Mardi Gras Time?

Written by Patti on February 10th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

Well, of course I knew that Mardi Gras time was drawing nigh, but I hadn’t realized that it was starting last night.  What I did know was that I had some red beans and andouille sausage with cornbread set to serve for dinner. How fortuitous!  Since there is still plenty of partying going on in NOLA (isn’t there always?) I thought I would post the recipe I used last night. It’s from Martha, but surprisingly simple. Really. Truly.  I fudged a little and used Jiffy cornbread mix for my cornbread, but I’m pretty sure this is acceptable in most southern homes (at least I’m hoping….)

Not only is this an easy meal, it is very inexpensive and it is OMG good enough for company. I had to keep myself from eating two large helpings.  And though the recipe suggests soaking the beans over night, on the bag of beans it gave a great tip if you need those beans tonight.  Rinse and sort through your beans (making sure there are no rocks or un-beany things in there), put your beans in a pot with 8 cups of hot water (I just used hot tap water), bring to a boil for 2 minutes, take off the heat and cover for one hour. Voila! Your beans are ready for the recipe. Right after you rinse off all the cooking liquid.

Such a Yummy Dinner!

Serves 4

* 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
* 1 pound andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
* 1 medium onion, diced small
* 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
* 1 bag (1 pound) dried, small red beans, soaked overnight and drained
* Coarse salt and ground pepper


1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add andouille; cook until fat is released and sausage is slightly golden in spots, 10 to 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate. Add onion and garlic to pan; cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add beans and 4 1/2 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, partially cover, and cook until beans are tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours, adding more water if necessary. Stir in andouille and heat through; season with salt and pepper.

I love how easy, cheap and utterly delicious this is. Enjoy it this week. Your family will adore it.

Throw me some beads beans!

xoxo, Patti


3 Comments so far ↓

  1. Kevin Walsh says:

    Yum! I love this stuff! I think I’ll make some next week when I return from Vegas!

  2. Kevin Walsh says:

    Okay, so I finally made this today along with made-from-scratch buttermilk cornbread. I’ve never made either one before. I don’t think I softened the beans well enough. I let them soak in water for 8 or 9 hours and still ended up letting them simmer for over two hours (I also think I may have simmered them on too low a temperature for a while.) The cornbread was perfect and fantastic!

  3. KellyB says:

    Hi Patti,
    Love your site! I’m planning a 50th Birthday Mardi Gras dinner party for my husband. Any suggestions? I want it more classy than trashy! I’m hiring a bartender to serve drinks on silver platters to start with…