There are quite a few different versions of Red Beans and Rice and it would be difficult to say which one is the best. One thing for certain, though, is that they all start with the holy trinity of Creole and Cajun cooking - onion, bell pepper and celery.
This version of the dish includes sausage as opposed to a smoked pork chop and bacon instead of a ham hock. It is a very good thing that there really isn't a recipe per se....it is a basic combination of red beans, the holy trinity, sausage and rice...along with tomatoes and some spices tossed in. Quick and easy as I only had canned beans in the pantry, no dry beans.
Red Beans and Rice - Quick Comfort Food
adapted from The Encyclopedia of Cajun and Creole Cuisine
Yield: 6 servings
3 strips thick-cut smoked bacon, chopped
1 pound Andouille sausage, sliced on the diagonal (I used Louisiana Hot Sausage)
4 15-ounce cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups chicken stock, plus additional, if needed
2 14.5-ounce cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
6 ribs celery, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 bell peppers, chopped (about 2 cups) (I used a combination of red and green bell peppers.)
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (omit or adjust as desired)
2 cups uncooked rice
2 green onions, sliced
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
In a large Dutch oven over medium high heat, brown the chopped bacon. Add the olive oil, onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent.
Add the kidney beans, tomatoes, chicken stock, sausage, paprika, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, salt and cayenne (if desired). Bring to a boil and reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the mixture gets too dry, add additional chicken stock.
While the beans are cooking, prepare the rice using your preferred method. (I make mine in the microwave.)
Spoon the rice into the bowl, top with a ladle of beans. Garnish with the chopped green onions and parsley.
We really enjoyed the beans but they were a bit spicy! I am certain that using the Louisiana Hot Sausage contributed to the "heat"....I definitely should have tasted before adding the cayenne! We love hot and spicy dishes....I just hadn't expected it!
I would definitely make this again....quick and easy comfort food for a chilly day!
I am sharing today at Full Plate Thursday hosted by Miz Helen's Country Cottage and at Foodie Friday hosted by Michael at Rattlebridge Farm.