Red Beans & Rice with Smoked Sausage
-1/2 cup dry, small red beans
-4 cups water
-1 to 2 Tbs. minced onions
-1 teaspoon garlic powder
-1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste!)
-1/2 teaspoon paprika
-1/2 teaspoon thyme
-cayenne or black pepper to taste
-3 (14-oz.) cans chicken or vegetable broth
-1 cup uncooked white rice
-1/2 lb. smoked sausage, chopped into bite-sized slices
-1 (15-ounce) can tomatoes
-1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
Begin by rinsing 1/2 cup dry small red beans and placing them in the bottom of a medium-to-large saucepan. Cover them with 4 cups water and bring to rapid boil. Sprinkle the following spices over your beans: 1 to 2 tablespoons minced onions, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon paprika and 1/2 teaspoon thyme. Add pepper to taste. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium setting and place lid slightly ajar over pan to prevent any boiling over but prevent liquid from all steaming away. Simmer mostly covered for about 90 minutes.
After an hour-and-a-half, remove lid from spiced beans and add 3 cans chicken or vegetable broth. Stir in 1 cup uncooked white rice and replace lid slightly ajar.
While water/broth mixture returns to simmer, chop 1/2 pound (about 3 regular brats) smoked sausage and add to stovetop mixture. Drain a 15-ounce can of tomatoes and add to pot.
Add 1/4 cup butter or margarine to boiling rice mixture and replace lid, stirring often to prevent sticking and checking rice periodically for doneness. Allow rice to cook 30-45 minutes, or until soft. It’s okay if there’s a little liquid left that hasn’t soaked into the rice and beans; because of the added butter, the liquid will thicken a little when you remove the pot from heat and serve as a rich broth.
Serve garnished with fresh parsley or chives.