Red Beans and Rice with Fresh Cilantro
Have on hand
Brown basmati rice
Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
½ pound fresh Italian spicy sausage, removed from casing
1 large onion, peeled and diced (2 cups)
3 celery ribs, small dice (2 cups)
6 medium cloves garlic, finely minced (3 Tbsp)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (15-oz) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 (15-oz) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 bay leaves
Kosher salt, as needed
Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
Green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish
Cilantro, for garnish
A bottle of your favorite hot sauce on the side, optional
1. Begin cooking enough rice to make approximately 6 cups of cooked rice. I use a flavorful brown basmati for this recipe.
2. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil plus the spicy sausage to a medium saucepan. Place over medium-low heat. As the sausage cooks, break it up with a wooden spoon into small pieces. Cook for 3 minutes until the meat is nicely browned.
3. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes until soft.
4. Stir in the celery and cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Stir in the thyme and cumin and cook for 1 minute. Lastly, add the tomatoes, stock, beans and bay leaves. Increase the heat to high and once the liquid starts to bubble reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes to allow the beans to soften and the flavors to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Serve in soup bowls adding the cooked rice in first and then pile on the beans. To garnish add a sprinkling of green onions and cilantro. Don’t forget your favorite hot sauce! Enjoy.
YIELD: SERVES 6