I Guarantee

Now that I am officially a stay-at-home mom, I’ve been watching a lot more television than I used to, particularly when I have an armload of fussy baby who doesn’t want to be put down. That means a lot of Food Network, and sadly, it appears that Nolan particularly finds Emeril Lagasse fascinating. Give me that Louisiana Cookin’ guy instead any day (anyone else remember that show from PBS?).

All the days of Emeril seems to be sinking in, though, at least a little, because I started craving red beans and rice, even though I’ve never had it before. I picked out a rather basic version of this dish to make and can’t vouch for its authenticity, but it was a delicious and very easy meal made from ingredients I typically have on hand, and gave me several days of leftovers for lunch.

And in a nod to the origins of my interest in red beans and rice, I made up a little bit of Emeril’s own “essence” spice blend (an incredibly poor choice of words, in my opinion) to use as my Creole seasoning.

Red Beans and Rice

2 T olive oil
1 lb kielbasa, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 (14 1/2-oz) can kidney beans
1 C canned low-salt chicken broth
1 tsp Creole or Cajun seasoning or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 C cooked rice

Heat olive oil in heavy large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add sausage, onion and garlic and sauté until onion is brown, about 15 minutes. Mix in kidney beans with their juices, broth and Creole seasoning. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until flavors are blended and mixture is very thick, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.

Divide cooked rice among large shallow soup bowls. Spoon bean mixture over rice and serve.

Source: Slightly adapted from Epicurious.

Essence of Emeril

2 1/2 T paprika
2 T salt
2 T garlic powder
1 T black pepper
1 T onion powder
1 T cayenne pepper
1 T dried oregano
1 T dried thyme

Mix all spices together; makes about 2/3 cup. (I just used vaguely proportional dashes of each spice because I didn’t need so much.)

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