When I shared the recipe for Rosemary Focaccia in a Jar, I knew I’d want a soup or other food that would go along with the bread in a gift basket, so I came up with Red Beans and Rice. I think it would make a unusual gift, with the bonus of a reusable container when presented in a jar for storage.
To make it even more unique, I used my home-grown, dried heirloom Jacob’s Cattle beans, so instead of titling the recipe for my tag “Red Beans and Rice”, I called it “Heirloom Jacob’s Cattle Beans and Rice.”
You can substitute any bean, really, for the red beans and then title it appropriately.
The key to this jar is to keep the three items separate:
- the rice
- and spices
1. Put the rice into a clear tie-top baggie (zipper-top bags don’t fold as well in the jar) before setting it in a wide-mouth jar and then add the beans on top of the rice baggie.
2. Use a square of plastic wrap and measure out all of the spices into the middle.
3. Bring the edges together and tie the plastic closed with a twist-tie, creating a “spice packet” to add on top of the beans in the jar.
4. After putting the lid on, attach the instructions with ribbon.
Idea for a gift basket: Include a small bottle of hot sauce with the Beans and Rice and nestle them both, along with the jar of Rosemary Focaccia if you’d like, in a serving bowl (this one was a thrift store find) or a basket lined with a pretty napkin.
I’d be thrilled to get a gift like this- wouldn’t you? A night off from planning dinner!
Here’s how to make it:
Red (or black, or cranberry, etc….) Beans and Rice In A Jar:
- 2 c. long-grain white rice
- 2 c. dried beans (about 3/4 lbs.)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp. garlic powder (optional: omit and include a couple cloves of fresh garlic in basket)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp. dried basil
- 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
-Place the rice in a clear plastic baggie with a twist-tie closure. Put in the bottom of a wide-mouth quart jar. Pour the beans directly on top of the rice baggie.
-Place all the spices in the middle of a square of plastic wrap. Bring up the edges and close with a twist-tie. Put on top of the beans in the jar (trim the top of the spice packet with scissors, if needed).
-Use a ribbon or twine to attach the cooking instructions to the jar.
Instructions to attach to jar:
Red Beans and Rice
For the Beans: For the Rice:Beans and Spice Mix from jar Rice from jar1 med. onion, chopped 4 c. water1-1/2 lb. smoked ham hock OR1 ham bone, OR1 lb. link sausage, cut in chunks3 c. water
Make the Beans:1. Soak overnight in water to cover (alternately, quick soak bybringing to a boil, boil for 3 minutes, remove from heat and letsoak for 1 hour before proceeding with the recipe).2. Drain the beans and place in a 5 or 6-quart pot. Add the onion,ham hock (or ham bone or sausage), 3 c. water and the Spice Mix.3. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer gently for about 2hours, or until the beans are tender. If using a hock or bone, removethem, add any meat from them back to the beans and discard thebone. Remove the bay leaf and keep the beans warm until the riceis done.
Make the Rice:1. In a 3-quart saucepan, bring the rice and 4 c. water to a boil.2. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes or untilthe water is absorbed.
Serve:1. Place a spoonful of rice in each bowl and ladle some of thebeans over the top.2. Serve with hot sauce.[/recipe]
To Make a Tag:
Print directions and cut out; glue to a slightly bigger piece of cardstock or scrapbook paper; fold in half, punch a hole and thread a ribbon through.
This is linked to Handmade Christmas Carnival.