Friday, April 12, 2013

Black Beans and Rice

Earlier this year I attended a New Orleans Style cooking class with Chef Dez. I really enjoyed the Louisiana Red Beans and Rice dish he cooked for us. Back at home, I planned to make it just as he did, but when I found out that I did not have all of the exact ingredients, I made do with a similar dish that I'm sharing today, with the credit going to his original recipe. Chef Dez has been a gracious host to us at the West coast Women's Show and most recently written an endorsement for our Celebrations cookbook.
  • 500 g / 1 lb  Italian sausage (mild or hot)
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 yellow or red (or combination of) bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • leaves stripped from 6 - 8 sprigs of thyme,
  • 1/2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped finely
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups (parboiled) long grain rice
  • 4 tsp Better than Bouillon or 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 3 1/2 cups boiling water to dissolve bouillon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  1. Squeeze sausages from casings into a large heavy pot. On medium heat, break up meat with spatula while cooking until it resembles browned ground beef, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes until the vegetables are soft, stirring as needed.
  3. Add the rice and stir to coat just until rice is covered with the fat juices.
  4. Add the prepared chicken broth and bay leaf.
  5. Simmer, covered and without stirring, on low for 20 - 25 minutes, until liquid is gone. Stir in the black beans and let sit for a few minutes before serving.

This will serve 6 -8 depending on side dishes. I served it with a Caribbean chicken ( Neufeld Farms ) done on the grill and broccoli slaw. The dish is great on it's own with raw veggies and a sour cream or yogurt based dip, especially if using the spicy sausage.
A note about the Better-than-Bouillon: I prefer this cost saving option to purchasing cans or boxes, and appreciate the fact that it has natural ingredients and less sodium than the cubes.
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  1. This looks great Anneliese. It's something that we would really enjoy...

  2. I like this kind of recipe. Just good wholesome food.

  3. "500 g / 1/2 lb Italian sausage"? I imagine it doesn't make much difference, but this can't be right. 500 g would be a little over a pound.

    The recipe sounds delicious, and I think i'll try it with a pound of sausage.

    Also, a neighbor who came from New Orleans always made a little dish of chopped onion with olive oil, vinegar, and salt/pepper to garnish beans and rice. I think the tanginess is a good addition.

    You are so right about the Better-than-Bouillon -- it's a great product.

    Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Thanks for seeing the incorrect conversion ... I corrected it.

  4. What store caries Better Than Bouillon in Canada? I live in Manitoba.

    1. Costco carries it, also Safeway, as far as I know.

  5. Made this for dinner tonight :) Thanks for the excellent recipe! I have just one quibble - I think 3.5 cups is too much water. I used just less than 3 cups and it was still a bit soggy. Recommend cutting back a bit.

    1. Thank you, Becca . ... It may depend on the type of rice .. I generally would use 3 cups water for 1 1/2 cups rice . . . allowing for some moisture here for the rest of the ingredients to cook, letting it simmer until the liquid is gone.