Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Red Beans & Rice

The first time I had red beans and rice was for a friend's birthday (his wife cooked his favorite meal). It wasn't bad, but it was lacking a bit of flavor. Never had authentic red beans and rice from New Orleans, I can't compare this recipe to the real thing. However, I think it's pretty good. And the leftovers the next day are amazing! Again, not my recipe and my notes are in italics!

Red Beans & Rice

1 - 16 oz. package turkey kielbasa, cut diagonally. I used a smoked turkey sausage.
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 - 15 oz. cans of kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 - 16 oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes, chopped as small as you like. Save juice.
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
salt to taste
1/2 tsp. pepper

In a saucepan, bring water to boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Or follow directions on whatever rice package you're using. I think I used 5 minute brown rice.

In a large skillet over low heat, cook sausage for 5 minutes or until seared on both sides. Stir in onion, green pepper and garlic. Saute until tender. Add beans and tomatoes with juice. Season with oregano, salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. I added quite a few shakes of cayenne pepper so that there would be some heat to this dish. Paprika would work too, but you would get more of a sweet spicy flavor instead of the smokey heat from cayenne. Serve over rice.

This was yummy. Nice sweet flavors from the green bell pepper and tomatoes. I have to say though, the leftovers the next day were amazing. The longer this dish sits, the longer the flavors have to marry and the more flavorful this dish gets. Who knows if this is authentic or not, but it's quick and easy and delicious.

Sorry for the lack of pictures. I need to start leaving my camera in the kitchen. Happy cooking!

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