Sunday, February 21, 2010

Red beans and rice

Okay, okay, here it is. I promised I would post it. I didn't get to make this for Mardi Gras but at least I made it during the week of Mardi Gras. A couple of days ago I tinkered with a couple of recipes I had and came up with my own version of red beans and rice. And it has come in handy the past two nights. Last night my friend Rick and I went to a matinee at the Shakespeare Theater and luckily when we got back I had this in the refrigerator. Voila--dinner in five minutes! I also had made a big batch of my infamous guacamole. A little dollop of guac is nice on top of red beans and rice. [But I have to report that we saw less than one act of Richard II. There was a technical malfunction early in the play and they had to cancel the rest of the performance.] And tonight my friend Trish stopped in for a visit and I fed her. Maybe one more round tomorrow night? It was a good experiment, a keeper!

Red Beans and Rice

12 ounces pound andouille sausage, cut into ½-inch slices (Aidell’s is good)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery ribs, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded, stemmed, cut into ½-inch pieces
2 cups chicken broth
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons bouquet garni
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ ground cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
2 15 ounce cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups hot cooked rice (I used brown rice)

In non-stick skillet, sauté sausage until brown, drain grease and set aside.

In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery, and bell pepper to pot. Sauté until the vegetable are softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, and spices. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Stir in the drained beans. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Stir in the cooked andouille sausage and cook for 15 minutes more.

Using a large wooden spoon, crush enough of the beans in the pot to thicken the dish to your desired consistency. Serve in bowls, spooned over hot cooked rice.

Serves 8.

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