Monday, January 14, 2013

Red Beans and Rice Stew

This past weekend was so wonderful. Saturdays work day was fun and FLEW by. I got to go on a Mansion Run with a dear friend (which means we ran throw a neighborhood of mansions, not a mansion house). My car did exceptionally well on gas. And Nick and I were able to spend Saturday night and most of Sunday with my dads side of the family, celebrating third Christmas. I am incredibly lucky because all of my cousins (and their significant others) are in the realm of 'my age.' When I was a kid, I had two built in best friends-- two girl cousins who were almost exactly my age. I'm realizing now how lucky I many of the kids I know don't have any cousins, or have cousins that are way  younger or way older than them. Family get togethers were always a blast and they still are, though we've matured beyond playing Pocahontas in the backyard and decorating the tree fort. But we still have a great time together-- the whole group of us-- which this year was a total of twenty-three people. And that is a very lucky thing-- to actually like your own family.

The FUN of the past two days made today that much worse....I struggled with feelings of failure and hurt over a work situation. I left my phone at someone's house and had to drive WAY out of my path to get it...which made me late...which made me feel even more like a failure...which made me want to cry...again...And I had my hair colored back to its normal color (which I haven't seen in many a year) and its almost brown. This is heartbreaking. I've always been a blonde...and I had no idea my hair had gotten so dark. Though I had my suspicions, and now they're confirmed. I did have a fantastic work out at my new gym this morning though, and I had a wonderful meal of leftovers to come home to. All is well that ends well...

Which brings me to this last. My cousin-in-law this weekend said that her husband won't eat soup because its not filling enough, and doesn't feel like a meal. If you happen to have this problem in your house, then you have to try this stew. Its thick, filling, meaty, a little spicy, and super delicious. I adapted it from the fantastic recipe book my mother-in-law gave me for Christmas, and Nick and I were THRILLED with the results. I almost never have seconds, and with this dish, I couldn't help myself. It was a small second. But it counted.

I used another snobbish bean...The Burt Goodwin Bean, which is an heirloom variety that Nick grows at the farm. But you could just use Kidney beans. Although the flavor of this bean is milder, and I think, superior. But I may be biased. I also used a spicy Chorizo sausage. If you want soup with less of a kick, you could go with kielbasa. But maybe you'd regret it.

Ingredients (serves at least 6)
1 large white onion, chopped
7 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
4 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
21/2 cups Burt Beans or Kidney Beans (soaked or quick boiled)
1/2 pound chorizo sausage
1/2 cup jasmine rice
salt and pepper
1 tbs cider vinegar

Chop up the onions, garlic, and poblano pepper.
 Throw them all, with the olive oil, into a non stick pan.. Add some salt and pepper (per always) and the paprika, thyme, and chipotle seasoning.
 Combine it all, and cook until the vegetables are softened.

Slice up  the sausage into medium sized chunks...I tend to slice things small because I always use less meat than a recipe calls for, because you don't need that much meat.
Throw the vegetables, sausage, beans (which you will have either boiled for fifteen minutes or soaked overnight) broth, and water into the crock pot. Add some salt and pepper, and the tablespoon of vinegar. 

Cover it and cook it on high for 6 hours or so. A half hour before serving, add the rice and a little more salt and chipotle seasoning. Once the rice is tender, dish it up and sprinkle a little cheese on top.

Then, start eating and savoring the amazing flavors. Truly, this is one of my favorite dishes to date. Even the left overs are delicious.
And it'll pick you up after a Really Bad Day. That and a dark and stormy...both of which I just finished.

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