I am a fan of food with some kick, some spice, some heat. This one packs a punch and is so simple. It can easily be thrown together on a weeknight since I call for canned beans. If you're one of those bean purists and want to soak yours overnight and save some coins, have at it. Me? The last time I did the whole "soak overnight" thing, I forgot about them, left the house for the day, and came home to what amounted to the odor of a skunk rotting in August - only it was sitting in my favorite big pot.
Red Beans and Rice with Andouille Sausage
1lb Andouille sausage
1 red/yellow/OR orange bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained (approximately 16oz)
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- Heat 1tsp oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Slice the sausage into small rounds and saute for five minutes. You want to heat it through and get a bit of color on the meat. Remove from the pan and cover lightly to keep warm.
- In the same pan add 1 tsp oil and add the bell pepper and onion. Saute until softened. You do not need to caramelize these.
- Add the garlic and tomatoes with their juice to the bell pepper and onions. Lower the heat to medium to avoid scorching the garlic.
- Drain and rinse the beans and add to the vegetable mixture. Allow to heat through for five (5) minutes, stirring gently so that the beans don't get crushed.
- Return the sausage to the pan and heat through.
While cooking this dish make a pot of your favorite rice. I had jasmine on hand the other night. Even though jasmine rice evokes memories of Thai or Indian food, it paired well with the beans and Andouille.
Serve the dish in bowls with rice on the bottom and the bean mixture spooned on top. The addition of a bit of sour cream or Greek yogurt and freshly-chopped scallions adds freshness to the dish.
Don't know what Andouille sausage is all about? Take a gander.
You can use the easy-to-find Johnsonville brand in almost any grocery store. I've always had great luck speaking with managers when a brand I like isn't on the shelves. Never once has any manager told me he/she wouldn't be able to order what I requested. Well-stocked meat departments in grocery stores are beginning to carry Andouille in their meat cases. A mail-order company that offers high-quality Andouille is Jacob's out of Louisiana.
The sausage packs quite a wallop for some people. If your taste buds can handle the heat, see the variations below.
I didn't use additional seasonings in this quick recipe. Purists might blanch at the thought of omitting salt and pepper, among other items. The Andouille I use truly has enough seasonings in it to support the taste of the entire dish. Also, the use of canned tomatoes and beans adds some sodium. I liked how the bell pepper and onion provided just the right amount of aromatics to complement the deepness of the Andouille.
Replace the Andouille with a mild smoked sausage, shrimp, or chicken. If you do not use the Andouille, I'm suggesting the addition of the following spices/herbs to beef up the flavor of your dish:
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp cayenne
1 tsp chili powder