House Works: Red Beans and Rice

Today, we thought it might be fun to share a House Works story from the vault. It's a popular recipe for Mardi Gras!

And that means plenty of partying and a chance to make some good food. So in this House Works, Chef Judy joins us with a healthy take on that traditional red beans and rice.

Red Beans and Rice
Judy Gilliard
Servings: 12

2 pounds dried red beans, small, picked over and rinsed
4 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
2 large yellow onion, chopped
4 stalks celery
2 large green bell pepper, chopped
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon thyme
8 cloves garlic, chopped
4 each low-fat smoked sausage, precooked
8 cups brown rice, cooked
8 each green onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
hot sauce to taste

Place the dried beans in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Soak the beans overnight in the refrigerator.

Drain the beans and put them in a large heavy pot, add chicken broth. Simmer, uncovered, until the beans are tender and starting to thicken, about 2 1/2 hours. You want the beans to be almost overcooked, like they are getting ready to burst. Stir the beans occasionally to prevent scorching on the bottom of the pot. Add about 1 cup of water toward the end of cooking if the mixture appears too thick or dry.

Heat olive oil in a skillet, add the onion, celery, green pepper, cayenne, parsley, thyme, garlic, and several shakes of red pepper sauce; Cook until all are soft and onion are golden. Add the vegetables to the beans. Slice the sausage in the angle and saute in the same skillet to brown the sausage.

Place 1 cup of the cooked beans in a blender and puree, this makes the broth thick and creamy. Toss in the sausages and cook for another 30 minutes to heat them through. Adjust the seasoning, if needed. Serve the red beans in a wide bowl over some steamed brown rice and garnished with chopped green onion.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 479 Calories; 6g Fat (9.3% calories from fat); 39g Protein; 85g Carbohydrate; 23g Dietary Fiber; 6mg Cholesterol; 238mg Sodium. Exchanges: 5 Grain(Starch); 3 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Fat.

About the Author...
Taryn Vanderford
Taryn Vanderford is an Emmy-winning journalist who currently works on "First at Four", "Pure Nebraska" and "Moms Everyday" for 10/11 and Gray Television.
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