Thursday, December 8, 2016

Spectacularly Simple Red Beans and Rice

Every once in a while you come across one of those spectacularly easy recipes that everyone loves.
This is one of those recipes, guys.  You're going to want to print it out or write it down or bookmark it or pin it or whatever you do when you find one of those keeper recipes.
I really don't think this is a traditional red beans and rice recipe since it doesn't have andouille in it- but I'd be lying if I said I was some kind of expert on red beans and rice!  My experience in Louisiana is pretty much limited to a couple of drives through the state on road trips and New Orleans.
I'm not exactly a connoisseur of cajun food.  I am however a bit of a lover of good food, and I can say with every degree of certainty that this is indeed very good food.

This recipe uses kielbasa rather than andouille.  I learned a long time ago that I love cooking with kielbasa.  It just lends such a surprising amount of flavor to a broth with so little effort.  One of my favorite recipes is a kielbasa soup that I've been meaning to write about for oh, I don't know...like as long as I've had this blog?  It's amazing.  I'll try my best to get that one written up while the weather is still cool.  :-)
Knowing how much I love using kielbasa when cooking I was really looking forward to trying out this recipe.  There are few things more filling and comforting than rice and beans.  This recipe takes those satisfying ingredients, adds in the delicious flavor of kielbasa, and makes magic.

The beans come from a can.
The tomatoes come from a can.
If you really don't feel like making rice you could use instant rice.
Essentially if you can sauté some bell pepper and onion you're good to go with this one- could not be easier!

1 lb kielbasa, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 (14 oz) can Ro*Tel
2 cups water
2 cubes chicken bouillon
1 Tbsp salt-free garlic and herb seasoning (such as Mrs. Dash®)
1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning blend
(If you're like me and do not have seasoning mixes on hand, sub the following for the cajun seasoning and the Mrs. Dash®: 1 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 3/4 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp cayenne, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp marjoram, 1/4 tsp basil, 1/4  tsp parsley, 1/4 tsp sage)
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
3 (16 oz) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
salt to taste
3 C cooked white rice

1. Combine sausage, onion, and bell pepper in large sauce pan and sauté until onion softens.  Add Ro*Tel, water, chicken bouillon, garlic and herb seasoning, Cajun seasoning blend, red pepper flakes, and bay leaf in a large stockpot; Bring to boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced by half, 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Add kidney beans to the sausage mixture; season with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until kidney bean mixture is thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf.
Spoon 1/2 cup cooked rice into 6 serving bowls; top with kid

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