A classic comfort food from the South, perfect for a nasty winter day in the North. This is an easy weeknight meal and can be enhanced with the addition of seared shrimp.
Red Beans and Rice:
1 T olive oil
1 lite kielbasa (I use Hillshire Farms), sliced
1 medium onion, coarsely diced
1 can reduced-sodium pinto beans (I use Goya), rinsed
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp chipotle in adobo*
2 cups water
For the shrimp (optional):
3 16/20 shrimp per person, cleaned and shelled
cajun spice mix or smoked paprika
1 T olive oil
Hot cooked brown or white rice
Hot sauce to taste
Heat olive oil in a large saute pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add kielbasa and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and kielbasa is lightly browned. Add beans, bay leaf, garlic, thyme and chipotle in adobo. Stir to combine, then stir in water. Cover and cook over a simmer for 20 minutes. Remove lid and use a potato masher to mash up about half the beans. Stir it all together then cook for another 20 minutes.
If using the shrimp, about five minutes before serving, heat olive oil in a small saute pan. Toss shrimp with desired seasoning and salt. Cook in pan, turning once after first side is seared and pink.
To serve, spoon rice into bowls, top with red beans and rice, hot sauce to taste, and scallions. Top with shrimp.
*I buy Goya chipotle in adobo in a can, removing the seeds from all the peppers, then pureeing them with the adobo sauce in a small chopper. I keep the container in the fridge to use a small amount as needed. If you don’t have this, you could use smoked paprika.