Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sausage, Red Beans & Rice

We're not huge Cajun food eaters around here. Not that we don't like Creole cuisine, it's just not my go-to cooking style. It's probably because I have always been a wimp when it comes to spicy foods and Cajun seems synonymous with heat. Thanks to my jalapeƱo-lovin' hubs, I have gradually opened my palate to a new realm of flavor options. Who knew that "spicy" foods were more about flavor and not just being hot for hot's sake? Not me. Lesson learned.

(For all of you that are scared of heat, like I was, another lesson learned is that honey or sour cream tame even the spiciest of dishes. These comes in very handy when trying to feed a toddler from the same pot that I want Daddy to happy with, too.)

All of that to say, I made Red Beans and Rice for the first time this week and - man - did it ever go over well with the family. I thought it would be rather run-of-the-mill but we were so happy with it that I thought I'd share it with all of you. As for the heat-factor, we simply added hot sauce to our individual servings. Here's the how-to, if you're interested:


2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, seeded and chopped
3 chicken sausage links, cut into bite-size pieces -- Any flavor will do (I used a garlic and provolone)
1 can red beans, undrained
1/2 c medium grain white rice
Salt and Pepper
2 bay leaves
2 tsp dried thyme
2 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth


In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil then saute onion and green pepper for 5-6 minutes. Move the veggies to one side of the skillet. Add the sausage to the open side so that it has good contact with the pan and can caramelize a bit. After you have some nice brown surfaces (4-5 minutes), add the red beans, bay, thyme and broth. Stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, make the rice in a separate pot. Cook the rice just until there is still a bit of water on top of the rice (probably 7-8 minutes shy of the full cooking time). Add the rice and water to the skillet. Stir slightly and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Check the rice for doneness. When it's tender, remove the bay leaves and add more salt and pepper, as needed.

Top individual servings with scallions, sour cream and hot sauce to taste.

Hope you enjoy it!

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