Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Red Beans and Rice - Quick Comfort Food


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.

PRINTABLE RECIPE


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.




7 comments:

  1. Sausage and bacon are more likely to be on hand, this sounds good:@)

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  2. Kate, I love red beans and rice with that nice sausage mixed in...but I have to leave out the bell peppers. Of course, adding bacon is genius! Too bad about peppers in my case as it does take some of the color out of the dish. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

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  3. This looks and sounds delicious Kathy and I really like your presentation.

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  4. Most definitely red beans and rice are comfort food and one of my favorites. I must try your version with bacon. It looks delicious.
    Sam

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  5. Hi Kate,
    It is that time of the year when we seek out cozy comfort and your Red Beans and Rice would sure be comfort. Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great weekend.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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  6. I love red beans and rice. We have a very good cajun/creole restaurant nearby called Pappadeaux, They do everything so wonderful and delicious that I rarely try things like this at home. It's on my list along with Dirty Rice..

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  7. What a perfect dish for a cold, rainy winter day. It looks like it is full of flavor and is the perfect comfort food in my book. Very nice photo, Kate.

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