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Louisiana Red Beans & Rice
“This quick version of red beans and rice gets its smoky goodness from super-lean Canadian bacon and a hit of ground chipotle pepper. It's delicious as a leftover but will thicken as it stands. To keep it properly syrupy, just thin with a little water and reheat.”
4⅓ cups water, divided
1½ cups brown basmati rice
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup diced onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 15-ounce cans red kidney beans, or pink beans, rinsed
6 ounces sliced Canadian bacon, chopped
½ cup chopped celery, plus 1 tablespoon finely chopped celery leaves
½ cup diced green bell pepper
¼- ½ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper, (see Note) or cayenne pepper
1Combine 3⅓ cups water, rice and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer; reduce heat to low, cover and cook until all the water has been absorbed, about 45 minutes.
2About 10 minutes before the rice is ready, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until the onion is lightly colored and tender, about 3 minutes.
3Place 1 cup beans in a small bowl and mash with a fork. Add the mashed and whole beans, the remaining 1 cup water, Canadian bacon, celery, celery leaves, bell pepper and ground chipotle (or cayenne) to taste to the pan. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has thickened into a gravy and the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Serve in shallow bowls, spooned over the rice.
Note: Chipotle peppers are dried, smoked jalapeño peppers. Ground chipotle can be found in the specialty spice section of most supermarkets.