Monday, April 30, 2007

Cajun Red Beans and Rice

Hearty and spicy with so little effort. I couldn't get my hands on for-sure GF Italian sausage, so I used Hillshire Farm's Polska Kielbasa sausage and loaded this up with black pepper. Don't half it and you'll have enough leftovers for several lunches (tortilla bean wrap, anyone?) I loved this over white rice, but brown would probably work well, too.
From Pillsbury's Best of the Bake-Off Cookbook.

Serves 4
30 minutes
-large large saucepan with deep sides, or pot
-large pot for rice

Bean Sauce
1/2 of a package Hillshire Farms Sausage (Smoked or Polska Kielbasa)
1 large white onion
1 medium green bell pepper
1 medium yellow bell pepper
4 cloves garlic
2 (15.5 oz) cans of red beans*
1 (8 0z) can tomato sauce*
1-2 tbsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1 tsp. dried (or minced fresh) oregano leaves

1 cup uncooked white or brown rice
*Bush's red beans are GF; Hunt's tomato sauce is GF

1. Rinse off sausage then cut into 1/2 inch slices; half each slice. Place into large large saucepan.
2. Chop onion into coarse pieces and add to the sausage. Let the sausage/onion mixture sit for a couple minutes while you cut the rest of the veggies.
3. Wash and core the bell peppers. Coarsely slice, then cut up each pepper. Also rinse off and mince the garlic. Set veggies aside near range.
4. Add 1 cup rice to another pot and begin cooking as directed. This should all come out at once.
5. Begin cooking sausage and onions over medium heat. Add in 1 tbsp. of black pepper. Cook until sausage is heated through and onions are just translucent, around 5 minutes.

6. To the sausage/onion mixture, pour in the beans, tomato sauce and rest of veggies (green bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, garlic). Season with thyme and oregano.
7. Turn down heat to medium-low and continue cooking beans/veggies/sausage uncovered for an additional 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want some liquid left in the saucepan, so don't let the beans simmer too rapidly. Add a little water as needed.
8. When rice is ready, sample the beans again. Sprinkle saucepan with more black pepper if not spicy enough. Remove beans from heat and serve in bowls over the rice. Easily frozen or doubled.

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