The last time I supped on red beans and rice, I was on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. As I recall, it was just after slurping down two hurricanes, inhaling a plate of beignets at Cafe Du Monde, and finding the oily crumbs from a long ago eaten fried shrimp po’ boy in my hair.
Grace and class.
This time was much less memorable and a world less authentic, but still delicious.
And I credit nearly all of the flavor to the Andouille sausage.
Also, the Creole seasoning. Though not the most natural of products, a little goes a long way in adding tremendous dimension of flavor. If you buy it for this recipe, you can be sure you’ll want to use it again in other dishes since it’s fairly versatile. If you’re not interested in picking up the pre-made kind, here is a recipe to make your own.
The finished all-in-one meal was on my table in an hour’s time. It was hearty, rich, and satisfying with lots of the smokiness and spiciness common to Creole cuisine. I finished the dish with fresh thyme and parsley, but fresh scallions would have been lovely, too.
Quick Red Beans and Rice with Andouille Sausage
adapted from Simply Recipes
makes 4 servings
3 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 ½ cups dry brown rice
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 links smoked Andouille pork sausage, each sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15-ounce) can red beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, in their own juices
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
Bring chicken broth and bay leaf to a boil in a small pot. Add the rice, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 20-25 minutes if using white rice or about 40 minutes if using brown rice, until the broth has been absorbed into the grains. Turn off the heat and fluff the rice with a fork. Return the lid to cover and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced sausage rounds and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes, until browned on both sides. Use a slotted spoon to remove the sausage to a plate; cover to keep warm. To the skillet with the rendered sausage fat, add the onion and green pepper and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes, until tender. Add garlic and stir constantly for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Stir in red beans, diced tomatoes and their juices, salt, black pepper, cayenne, and Creole seasoning. Add the rice, parsley, and thyme. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow flavors to blend. Return the sausage to the pan and stir to combine. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information for 1 Serving (1/4th of Entire Recipe): Calories 500, Total Fat 21.4 g, Total Carbohydrate 53.5 g, Dietary Fiber 9.7 g, Sugars 1.9 g, Protein 21.5 g