Red Beans & Rice Nachos
By Joy the Baker
- 1 pound dried red beans, rinsed
- 1/3 cup diced pancetta
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch cayenne or a few dashes of Tony Chachere’s Seasoning
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
- 1/2 pound cooked smoked sausage cut into 1-inch pieces
- About 10 cups chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups cooked white rice
- Chopped green onions, for garnish
For the Nachos
- Corn tortilla chips
- 1 block of Pepper Jack or Monterey Jack cheese
- Cajun seasoning
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons creole or whole grain brown mustard
- Chopped fresh parsley and green onions
- Place rinsed dried beans in a medium pot and cover with room temperature water. Allow to soak overnight before making the beans.
- If you don’t have time to soak the beans overnight, don’t fret. Place the rinsed dried beans in a medium pot and cover with room temperature water. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. As soon as the beans boil, cover, remove from heat, and allow to soak for 1 hour. Carry on with the recipe.
- In a large soup pot over medium heat, cook pancetta until very well crisped, about 6 minutes.
- Add the onions, celery, and bell pepper, and cook until vegetables are very well done, about 8 minutes.
- Add salt, pepper, and cayenne or Tony Chachere’s Seasoning, and stir to combine.
- Stir in the garlic, parsley, thyme and sliced sausage. Increase heat to medium-high and cook until the sausage is well browned, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently.
- Add the softened beans, the stock and the bay leaves to the pot. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for about 2 hours, uncovered, until the beans are well softened.
- Taste and season with more salt or pepper.
- For a slightly smoother consistency, blend about 1/3 of bean and sausage mixture in a blender or food processor and return to the pot. This way, some of the beans will be ground smooth and some will be kept whole, creating a really lovely consistency. You can also smooth out some of the beans by mashing them against the side of the pan once they’re softened, but I like the bender method best.
- To make the nachos, turn the oven broiler on.
- Mound tortilla chips onto a sheet pan and sprinkle generously with cheese. Sprinkle with a few dashes of Cajun Seasoning.
- In a small bowl stir together equal parts beans and rice. Dollop mixture over the cheese and seasoning. Sprinkle with more cheese.
- Cook under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
- While mixture melts, in a small bowl stir together sour cream and mustard.
- Remove the nachos from the oven, add a bit more warm beans and warm rice and dollop with sour cream mixture and sprinkle with herbs. Enjoy warm!