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
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the rice and stir to coat just until rice is covered with the fat juices.
- Add the prepared chicken broth and bay leaf.
- 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.
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.