Monday, March 4, 2013

His Winnings

When I returned from my latest sojourn to North Carolina, I discovered a fat, smoked summer sausage in the fridge, along with several hefty blocks of bright orange cheese. Inquiring of My Beloved as to their origin, as they are nothing he has ever purchased before, I learned that they were the spoils of a bet between him and an old pal over the outcome of the playoff game between the San Francisco Forty-niners and the Green Bay Packers, where Tom lives. Had San Francisco lost, My Beloved would have sent Tom a care package of iconic San Francisco foods; because Green Bay lost, we got cheese and this nice little Nueske's sausage from the Cheesehead.

The juxtaposition of smoked sausage and North Carolina brought Red Beans and Rice to mind. There are recipes galore on the interwebs, so I chose a simple one from to modify. I couldn't find Creole or Cajun seasoning, so I went with chili powder, and I added some bright chunks of red and yellow peppers to the dish for color. I also used Massa brown rice even though the recipe called for white rice.

I got a rather skeptical look from My Beloved when I mentioned I was making Red Beans and Rice for dinner - that didn't sound like something he'd enjoy until I mentioned that fat sausage. Visible relief! He does love his meat. And, once he tried it, he was pleasantly surprised - he'd happily eat this again. Win-win!

Red Beans and Rice, adapted from Bon Appetit, February 1996

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 pound fully cooked smoked sausage (such as hot links or Kielbasa), sliced into 1/2 inch rounds.
1 onion
1/2 cup small colorful peppers, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3  14oz cans kidney beans
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning, or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or 2 teaspoons chili powder)

3 cups cooked rice

Heat olive oil in a large, heavy Dutch oven over medium heat. Add sausage, onion and garlic and sauté until onion is browned, about 15 minutes. Add chili powder (or Creole seasoning) and cook until fragrant. Mix in kidney beans with their juices, broth and Creole seasoning. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until flavors are blended and mixture is very thick, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. If sauce is not thick enough, remove about 1/2 cup of the beans and mash with a fork. Return to pot and stir them in to thicken.

Spoon cooked rice into large soup bowls and top with bean mixture, making sure each portion gets some sausage pieces.  Serves 6. In our case, we had delicious leftovers for two days.


Blogger Diane said...

I lived in Green Bay for a time, a long while ago, where Cheeseheads and Packers are abundant! This made me laugh.

Monday, March 04, 2013  
Blogger Greg said...

The recipe sounds really good but talk about hard to photograph. Like a black cat in a coal mine at midnight. The plate with the red trim saved the day.I'm glad he won the bet!

Monday, March 04, 2013  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Diane, glad you got a chuckle.

Greg, yes, sort of looks like s**t, doesn't it? But good eating!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013  
Blogger Greg said...


Tuesday, March 05, 2013  

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