Friday, May 09, 2008

Red Beans and Rice



Seven years ago I bought Robin Robertson's cookbook, Rice & Spice. I've used it a lot and even loaned it to several friends. It's one of the best cookbooks I own. The recipes are tasty and most are simple, with easy-to-find ingredients. For some of the ingredients that are more difficult to find, Ms. Robertson offers suggestions for substitutes. Best of all, the recipes - all of which are vegetarian - can easily be adapted to the preferences of my family, either by adding some kind of meat or dairy or by serving them as side dishes.

One of our favorite meals is red beans and rice. I make it often, but always use my mother's recipe. This week I decided to use the recipe from Rice & Spice.

Louisiana Red Beans and Rice

1 T. vegetable oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 small bell pepper, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained

3 c. cooked or canned kidney beans, rinsed if canned

1/2 c. water

1 t. file powder

1 t. Tabasco sauce

1 t. dried thyme, crumbled

1/2 t. salt

1/8 t. cayenne

1 bay leaf

4 to 6 cups hot cooked long-grain white rice

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic and saute until tender, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, kidney beans, water, file powder, Tabasco sauce, thyme, salt and cayenne. Cover and simmer until flavors have blended, about 10 minutes. Serve over hot rice.

I also cooked sausage in a separate pan. Then I divided the red beans into 2 pots and added the sausage to one. Amy, Jacy and I ate the vegetarian red beans and the rest of the family had the beans with sausage. I did not have file, or bell peppers, but it was delicious anyway. (And the vegetarian red beans are only 2 Weight Watcher points per cup serving!)

Next time we go to the lake I'll get some sassafras leaves and make my own file powder.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Wool Winder said...

I grew up in Louisiana and red beans and rice is a staple over there. Never thought of starting with canned beans, but it's much easier that way. Sounds tasty!

8:18 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I always cook dried beans for it, too, but it's good to know canned would work!

11:33 AM  
Blogger Dana said...

We love red beans and rice, too :)

Did you serve a side? like steamed cabbage or coleslaw?

5:20 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

We had a salad on the side, but we do like coleslaw with it, too.

7:39 AM  

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