I am feeling a bit nostalgic. This recipe is the one that started it all...the laughter, the tears, the drinking...sigh. This dish brings back so many memories. Okay, so maybe I am overstating it a little for dramatic effect...but I am sure you get the picture...this was my first blog recipe.
I have already confessed that I have not been very original lately. But, to my credit, I looked back through my own blog to get ideas versus stealing someone else's. That is a step toward progress right??? I realized that we really, really liked this recipe and have not had it since I first made it back in July. Also, today is the perfect day to bust out the slow cooker. I have big plans for my afternoon, and cooking is not one of them. Sitting on my couch and reading...now that is my big plan.
I went spelunking in my freezer and found the other half of the smoked sausage I used the last time I made this dish. BINGO! I love economical recipes where you can save some of the ingredients and use them to make the recipe a second time. I also love it when I am thrifty, organized, and cognitive enough to plan ahead.
I decided to make a couple changes to the recipe, based on my results the first time. Normally, I try not to re-post recipes, but since it is slightly different this time, I am posting it again. I changed a couple quantities (salt and water) and I added Cajun seasoning as one of the ingredients. Other than that, I made a note that I used the hot sausage. Everything else is unchanged. If you are a fan of traditional Red Beans and Rice, this is a great easy version.
Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice
3-4 cups water
1 cup dried red kidney beans
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 (14-ounce) package turkey, pork, or beef smoked sausage, thinly sliced (such as Healthy Choice) (I use HOT)
1 bay leaf
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning
3 cups hot cooked long-grain rice
1/4 cup chopped green onions
pat of butter to top each serving
Combine first 12 ingredients in an electric slow cooker. Cover with lid; cook on high heat for 5 hours. Discard bay leaf; stir in salt. Serve over rice; sprinkle servings evenly with green onions and a pat if butter.
Check your mixture every couple hours, to make sure all the water does not evaporate. I almost burned mine last time by not checking it. Luckily, I was able to add water at just the right moment and salvage the dish.
If the water is low or almost gone, add an additional 1/2 cup to 1 cup of water, depending on consistency. You can always remove the lid and let it reduce later if the final mixture is too soupy.
First off, the battery on my camera was going dead as I took my picture. I could not get it to flash or click, so I resorted to other methods of photography. I had the husband take this picture with his camera phone, and it is a little fuzzy...but you can get the general idea of what our meal looked like tonight.
As far as taste goes, this dish was just as good as I remembered it. I made brown rice to go with it, instead of standard white rice. I actually liked the brown rice better, because it reminded me of the texture of "dirty rice". Overall, this meal was very satisfying and totally yummy. As I said in my first post results, this dish is a keeper.