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New Orleans inspired beans and rice

After going down to New Orleans and feasting on crayfish and beans and rice, I was hooked on this unique southern creole flavour that is rich, smoky and quite frankly addictive. Of course, salt seems to be one of the primary ingredients in this trilogy spice blend but I’ve taken out the salt and made my own version that is spicy and delicious.   Having busy lives and impatient children makes me realize how many fast, go to meals I make that are abundant  and  flavourful . Stew pot meals seem to be the most efficient when everyone is crying at the same time. I  made a de-spiced version of this meal for my son and he said he loved it. I guess I’ll have to work him up to the cayenne pepper. This meal is quick, easy and always delicious.

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Here is the recipe for Southern Beans and Rice:

Minced white onion

3-4 cloves if minced garlic

Diced green pepper

2 cans of Red kidney beans rinsed

2 cans of Diced Tomatoes

1 minced bunch parsely

2 heaping tablespoons of creole ‘essence’ spice blend. *(see below)

*This is a modified version of Emerill’s creole seasoning. I ditched the salt, onion and garlic powder and replaced them with fresh when cooking. This can be kept in a sealed jar for future use.

2 1/2 TBLS paprika

1 TBLS ground black pepper

1 TBLS cayenne pepper

1 TBLS oregano

1 TBLS thyme

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I bought a quality gluten free garlic sausage from a local company. I know it has nitrites in it but sometimes, I just crave sausage. You can always replace this with fresh sausage but it won’t quite be the same. I split the sausage in half and grill it under the broiler for about 10 minutes to make it crispy and drain any fat. It’s pretty lean stuff but it makes me feel better. In a big stew pot, I add the onions and garlic and fry up until clear. I slice up the sausage into large chunks and throw in the rest of the ingredients. I stir it all up and add about 2 tablespoons of the creole seasoning. You can add as much as you like..it depends how spicy you like it! I add about a tsp or so or rock salt. Once again, it depends on your tastes.  Put the lid on and leave to simmer for at least 40 minutes on medium heat. In the meantime, get a pot of parboiled rice or brown rice going so they’ll all be ready at the same time. This is pure comfort food for me and tastes even better the next day. Enjoy!

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