Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, etc., etc., etc....

So in honor of this festive week, I decided to make that good old Louisiana classic, red beans and rice, with sausage.  Nothing fancy, in fact it's nice and hearty for a chilly February evening.  And if you have leftovers, it's even better the next day.

I'll add I'm home today with a horrible chest cold.  And to anyone else who has the galloping crud, well... it's awful, isn't it!?! 

Oh!  One more thought - if anyone recognizes this dishware pattern, and has some they'd like to get rid of, let me know!  I purchased it from Target about 15 years ago, and have since lost a few pieces, and would love to replenish it!

(Picture quality isn't so great - snapped it with my phone!)

Anyway, here's how I make this yummy, easy, hearty, add adjective here, dish.  I would add one word of caution - check the ingredients on your can of kidney beans, as some contain quite a bit of sugar!  I prefer the red beans from Aldi, you get more "bean" taste, and not "sweet" like in other giant superstore brands.

Redbeans, rice and sausage

1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
2 ribs celery, sliced
2 Tbsp cooking oil
1 can red kidney beans
salt and pepper to taste
cooked rice
sausage - I used keilbasa, sliced and fried up separately

Optional - tabasco, jalepeno, or other pain-inducing food items.

In a 2 qt. saucepan over medium high heat, add oil, onion, garlic, and celery.  Cook this until the onion is translucent and a little limp.  Dump in the can of beans, including liquid.  Turn heat to medium-low, cover, and let simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring a few times.  You can add a few drops of hot sauce, however I don't care for it, so this is a pretty mild version

In the meantime, cook your rice - remember the 2:1 ratio, 2 cups of water to 1 cup of dry rice.

After awhile, uncover your beans and check the texture by mushing a few against the side of the pot with a spoon.  If they're still firm, let them simmer another 10 minute, covered.  If they're fairly soft, then mush a few more - this helps with the thickening of the beans.  Uncover, stir, and turn the heat up to medium-ish for another 5 or 10 minutes, or until the beans thicken.

While the beans are in their final boil-down, slice your sausage and fry it up!  Just warmed through, or dark and crispy, however you prefer.

Now plate that bad boy up.  I like to put down the rice, then the beans on top, then add sausage.  Some like it separated.  It's up to you.  I like that about food.

Enjoy this nice, filling, and relatively healthy meal!