Red beans and rice is a trademark Louisiana dish, traditionally served on Mondays using the ham bone left over from the previous Sunday's ham dinner. Red kidney beans are most often used, but many purists think that flavor is too strong and use the small South Louisiana red beans instead.
Here's an excerpt from The Picayune Creole Cookbook, 1900:
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This traditional recipe for red beans and rice with sausage or ham is a commitment. It takes three hours and 15 minutes to cook, though the preparation takes just 10 minutes. You'll start by soaking red beans overnight and then cook for several hours with ham hock, sausage, onions, garlic, and seasonings. Serve this classic mixture over white rice.
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