Thursday, May 8, 2014

New Orleans Red Beans, Rice and Greens - The Best of Both Worlds

Red beans and rice OR beans and greens? That was the question. Hmmmm. Why not the best of both?! 

Sunday's dinner was a simple, quick and easy cedar-planked, Cajun-seasoned filet of salmon on the grill with some bright green, thick spears of asparagus grilling right alongside. The side dish of beans, greens AND rice? Definitely simple, too.

A classic Cajun trinity - green pepper, celery and onion - was the base of the dish along with a kick of finely diced Andouille sausage to amp up the bayou flavors. After the veggies were softened and the Andouille had surrendered it's fat and flavor into the mix, I added lots and lots of sweet, green baby kale. 

Once the kale cooked down a bit, rice, chicken broth and, what else(?) Cajun seasonings emphasized the decidedly down home dish. You already know I kept this easy, so I used a bottled Cajun seasoning instead of mixing one up myself. Timesaver!

One thing for sure, this is one delicious, best-of-both-worlds, beans AND greens AND rice dinner decision that will be repeated!

New Orleans Red Beans, Rice & Greens

  • 1 T canola oil
  • 1 link Andouille sausage, diced small
  • 1 small onion, diced small
  • 2 ribs celery, diced small
  • 1/2 green pepper, seeds removed & diced small
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 5 oz. baby kale left whole or regular sized kale, roughly chopped - feel free to sub-in whatever greens strike your fancy or whatever you have on hand instead of kale
  • 2 T tomato paste - I love tomato paste in tubes, don't you?
  • 1 T Cajun seasoning - I used Weber's N'Orleans Cajun Seasoning
  • 1 can red beans (15 oz) WITH the liquid
  • 3/4 C arborio rice or long grain white rice - whatever you have on hand
  • 10 oz can chicken broth

Heat the oil in a large heavy pot. Saute andouille, garlic, onion, celery, green pepper until soft. Add kale and stir until wilted. Add tomato paste and cajun seasoning, beans WITH their liquid, rice and broth. Stir well and bring the mixture to a boil.

When the mixture comes to a boil, immediate reduce heat to low cover and cook until rice is tender, approximately 25 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve!

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