Friday, August 28, 2015

Red Beans & Rice Stew

8 medium celery stalks
2 large green bell peppers
2 large onions
6 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons Creole Seasoning (recipe follows)
2 pounds fully cooked smoked andouille sausage (or kielbasa)
12oz of diced ham
(4) 15 1/2-ounce cans red kidney beans
12 cups chicken broth (6 cans)
2 Turkish bay leaves (I used regular bay leaves)
3 cups cooked white or brown rice (1 cup uncooked = 3 cups cooked)

Heat the vegetable oil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add diced ham to the saucepan; cook until the ham is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a small bowl and set aside (I didn't do that).

Meanwhile, chop the onions, celery, and bell peppers. Add the onion to the saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until it is lightly browned. Add the celery and bell peppers and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic into the vegetables in the saucepan; stir in the Creole Seasoning and cook 1 minute longer.

Halve the sausage lengthwise and slice it crosswise into ¼-inch thick pieces; rinse and drain the beans. Add the chicken broth, sausage, beans, ham, and bay leaves to the vegetable mixture and simmer for 15 minutes (let simmer for 45 minutes if you are cooking brown rice). Discard bay leaves and serve.

Creole Seasoning
Yields about 1/2 cup
Combine 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon hot paprika, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne, 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, and 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme in a small bowl. Transfer to a tight jar or tin and use as directed in a recipe.