My love for red beans and rice is no secret. After all, I sometimes have them for breakfast. One good thing about loving red beans as much as I do is always having leftovers in the freezer. Normally, I could never get hubby to eat red beans and rice in the hot summer months, but this dish is a requested one. We enjoy all ethnic cuisines. In fact, one busy Saturday a few weeks ago, we chuckled that we were world travelers. We had Vietnamese food for lunch, Indian poppadoms as a snack, (which by the way go great with this dish) and Japanese food for dinner. So Coconut Curry Red Beans may sound strange to some, but for us it makes perfect satisfying sense. Curries can be adjusted according to taste, but be cautious, the heat can sneak up on you. Hubby once said, “Bring it on,” to a chef at an Indian restaurant. While he claimed it was perfectly spiced, I had my doubts based on the amount of sweat that was beading on his forehead!
Coconut Curry Red Beans…imagine the classic Louisiana Monday dish on vacation in the Caribbean. Leftover red beans flavored with sweet potatoes, coconut milk, cumin, curry powder, red pepper, and diced green chiles. No matter what meat I may or may not have in my red beans I always add a link of andouille or smoked sausage, but can be omitted.
We enjoy our Coconut Curry Red Beans served with basmati or jasmine rice seasoned with garam masala but any rice works. If you really want a taste explosion try coconut or saffron rice!
Put your TO COOK IS TO CREATE thinking cap on: No red beans? No problem, simply substitute black beans. Like tomatoes in a curry? Add chopped tomatoes, salsa, or even some bottled chili sauce. No curry powder? Add chili powder and paprika. Think about what else you enjoy in a curry and try it. Raisins? Bananas? Spinach? Eggplant? Peas? Pumpkin? Cashews? You just might be pleasantly surprised at the results. Love coconut? Top with toasted coconut flakes. Not in the mood for rice? Omit sweet potatoes from recipe and serve curry in a baked sweet potato. No meat in your leftover red beans? Omit the sausage and add another sweet potato for a vegetarian dish.
FOOD FUN: Take your taste buds on a last-minute summer vacation. Whenever I see a plane flying, I always ask whomever I am with, “If you were on that plane, where would you be going?” Where would you go? Is that special place known for a particular cuisine? If so, find a restaurant that specializes in it and treat yourself. Taking the family with you? Even better, search a recipe from your vacation destiny and get cooking. After all, a taste bud vacation is better than no vacation at all!