February 12, 2018

Red Rice with Andouille Sausage



Ingredients:
1 lb andouille sausage
2 cups long grain rice (Carolina Gold, if possible)
1 onion chopped
2 cubanelle peppers, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cup water or stock
1 bay leaf


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large oven-proof pan*, heat  a small amount of oil. Saute the sausage, peppers, onions, and celery until the onion is translucent and the sausage browned. Add the rice and continue to saute until the rice is well-coated and translucent. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and bake 25-30 minutes or until the rice is tender. Stir and bake 5 additional minutes, uncovered. Remove bay leaf. Serve hot.



*if you do not have an oven safe pan, bring the mixture to a boil then transfer to a 2-quart baking dish  (with a lid or cover in foil) and follow the remaining instructions.


My thoughts:
There are a lot of theories to the origins of this dish from Southeastern coastal regions of Georgia and South Carolina and I can't quite get to the bottom of which is correct but I do know it is one of my favorite ways to eat rice. Traditionally it is made with bacon which not only coats the rice but gives it a smoky flavor but I had some extremely tasty andouille I couldn't resist using that. It makes for a spicer final dish but provides the same function that the bacon did.

Unlike a lot of Southern rice dishes, red rice is started on the stove top and finished in the oven. This gives you the best of both worlds: slighly crisp edges and soft, richly flavored rice inside. You can serve this as a side dish, but I like it as a meal all to itself.

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