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Boost Your Red Beans And Rice With A Splash Of Vinegar

Red beans and rice
Red beans and rice - Milla1974/Getty Images

A bowl of New Orleans red beans and rice is a beloved staple in many households. Both substantive and delicious, this classic combo gained popularity during the Great Depression when food was scarce. It quickly became a Monday meal that could be slow-cooked and ignored so laundry and household chores could be completed. Today, everything from ham hocks to spicy sausage is added to create a truly hearty meal, however, these additions are not the secret to boosting the flavor of your red beans and rice. Just a splash of apple cider vinegar will amplify and enhance this dish in a way your taste buds didn't see coming.

With all their spices and aromatic elements, beans and rice are pretty tasty already, but a little sprinkle of apple cider vinegar — that's all you need — can really make a difference. Think of it as an afterthought, but a planned one. It doesn't find its way into this dish until after you've spooned it into your bowls. It will give this dish a light, tangy taste while mellowing out its savory flavor.

Read more: Vinegar Cooking Hacks You'll Wish You Knew Sooner

The Perfect Finishing Touch

Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar - masa44/Shutterstock

Apple cider vinegar's superpower is how it can transform heavier meals. Sure, it can be used as a fixer when you oversalt or over-sweeten, but it's also a finisher. It cuts through the richness and fats of a recipe to create balance. That's why it's such a game changer for the flavor of a dish like red beans and rice. It gives the creamy element of this dish a little umph that it would otherwise lack. But don't overdo it. This ingredient will make your mouth pucker if you get too much of it.

You can also add a shot of this acidic ingredient to the beans as they cook for a real treat. What does it do? It brightens the overall flavor, creating a taste of something that has been pickled. If you like how cider vinegar tastes in your red beans and rice, consider using it as a finisher when making your next batch of classic Cincinnati chili or hearty turkey chili.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.