Sunday, January 11, 2009

Red Beans & Rice

I've made this Red Beans and Rice several times before. I found it in Cook's Country (Feb. 2006) and it does not disappoint. Previously, I have just followed the directions and made the rice separately then tossed it together at the end. It is intended to be served over the rice but we like it all mixed together. This time, I thought, why make the rice on the side and then stir it all together. I'll just make the rice in the pot. There was lots of liquid remaining. So I used 1 lb. long grain rice (about 2 1/2 cups) straight in the pot when there was about half an hour to go on the beans. It sucked up all the water and I added another two cups. So I think next time I'll start with 16 cups liquid (I use all water, we don't really notice the chicken broth with all the other flavors). Then if it gets too thick just add a bit more water as it cooks. I am also happy that we can now find andouille at Scroger's (you know, Scott's bought out by Kroger's; sound better than Krott's). But it is good with Kielbasa as well. We like to serve it with hot sauce as desired. All of the boys but Bubba like this dish. He just doesn't think he likes rice.

Red Beans and Rice

Andouille is the traditional sausage for this dish, but we also had good results with kielbasa.

Serves 8 to 10
4 slices bacon , chopped medium
1 small onion , chopped fine
1 green bell pepper , chopped fine
1 rib celery , chopped fine
4 cloves garlic , minced

Ground black pepper
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 bay leaves

Table salt
1 pound dried red kidney beans , rinsed and picked over
7 cups low-sodium chicken broth
7 cups water
1/2 pound andouille sausage or kielbasa, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch half-moons
6 cups cooked long-grain rice (from 3 cups raw rice)

Hot pepper sauce

1. Cook bacon in large Dutch oven over medium heat until lightly browned and fat has rendered, about 7 minutes. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 1 teaspoon pepper, oregano, thyme, cayenne, bay leaves, 1/2 teaspoon salt, beans, broth, and water, and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain vigorous simmer (mixture will be steaming and several bubbles should be breaking the surface) and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until beans are soft and liquid thickens, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

2. Stir in sausage and cook until liquid is thick and creamy, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over hot cooked rice with hot pepper sauce, if desired. (Leftover beans can be refrigerated in airtight container for several days.)

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