Due to some conversation in chat, I'm making a thread for the sharing of recipes of various sorts. Here's mine for red beans and rice, which is paradoxically the only Cajun dish I know. It's adapted from a recipe by chef John Folse, so most of the credit goes to him for this one.
Red Beans and Rice (adapted from John Folse)
1 pound dry red kidney beans
1 cup onion,chopped
1 /2 cup bell pepper, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup green onions, chopped
1 package smoked sausage (a pound or so is fine, Andoullie if you can get it. Kielbasa is a good substitute.)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt, pepper, other seasonigns (hot sauce, etc) to taste. I use Tony Cachere's Creole Seasoning, and recommend it if you can get it.
STEP ZERO: The night before, put your beans in a pot and cover them with a few inches of water to soak overnight.
Step prep work: I find it helps to go ahead and prepare all the ingredients ahead of time, when it comes to chopping, etc. Anyhow, get a bell pepper and chop it up (after removing the seeds and other insides, of course. Get an onion and do the same. You only need a cup of onion and a half cup of the pepper, so if you've got stuff let over, you can either freeze it for use later, because it's not going to matter if it's fresh or frozen by the time we're done with it. Chop up celery until you've got a cup of that, too. Same for a cup of sliced green onions. Mince a couple cloves of garlic. You can go ahead and chuck all these vegetables you just cut apart into one big bowl for easier storage, if you want. Slice up the sausage.
If you're like me, you soaked the beans in the same pot you'll be cooking this stuff in, so drain the beans so the pot's empty. You'll need to drain the beans either way, though.
Put the pot over medium high heat (and it's got to be a pretty big pot, at least 4 quarts), and drop in a spoonful or two of lard (or bacon grease, or vegetable oil if you have neither of those). Once your frying medium of choice is hot, dump in the onion, green pepper, green onions, celery, and garlic, and saute them until they're wilted.
Add the beans and sausage and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring to mix this mess together and so whatever on the bottom won't burn.
Pour in enough cold water to cover the beans (and everything else) by about 2 inches.
Bring to a roiling boil and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Reduce heat to a simmer and cook at least 1 hour, or until the beans are tender. Stir occasionally so nothing settles too far or burns.
Season with salt and hot sauce (or whatever else, I use Tony's creole seasoning mix, and nothing else). This stuff cooks down into its own gravy, and you can tell it's done when it's thick enough to bubble like some sort of volcanic mud pit.
Once the beans are done, you can cover them and turn off the heat. Make some rice to serve them with and there you go.
This takes about 3 hours to cook, so you want to start a good time before you have to eat. Makes enough to serve 8 people. Leftovers are fine even if you freeze them. I personally think this stuff's even better after it's sat in the fridge for a day.