RECIPE. Jul 8, 2011

Red Bean Saffron Rice

We love to host BBQ’s at our house, especially ever since my husband acquired his beloved smoker. Every summer we have that smoker going at least once or twice a week. We have been gone so much this summer, however, that the invitations for others to join us has been lacking. When we are home, we just want to be together as a family. This post is not about our anti-social qualities. It is about a friend, one who we do not see nearly enough of and her incredible red beans and rice. It sounds like a simple dish and it really is. Yet the first time I bit into home made heaven, I begged for more and then begged for the recipe. It has been almost a year since she handed over her ingredients and I have yet to re-create this obsession in a bowl. Why?

Lets just say when I eat beans then my son eats beans and infants don’t like gas. The thing is, he is growing up and so is his gut. This is cause for celebration and my first order of business was beans and rice. I decided to add my own flair and the saffron was such a damn good idea. That’s right, I’m patting myself on the back. I deserve it.

The ingredients are simple, the time is minimal and the result leaves you speechless because you can’t stop shoving in the mouthfuls. I give exact measurements but please ignore them and experiment. The ratio of beans and rice is all that must stay consistent. Otherwise, go nuts.

Boil beans in enough water to cover/ submerge. When beans are starting to get tender (about 60-90 minutes) but not super tender, heat generous amounts of olive oil or lard in a large pan on medium high heat and brown sausage. Add onion for 5-7 minutes until translucent. Add garlic and saffron and saute another 2-3 minutes. Add sausage, onion and garlic mixture to bean pot.

Bring to a rolling boil, add herbs de provence, bay leaf, smoked paprika and worceshire sauce. Then lower heat to medium or medium low and let simmer uncovered until beans are tender, let keep simmiring uncovered until beans thicken naturally. Stirring occasionally. You want it to be thick but not super thick, like a loose gravy consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Total cooking time shouldnt be more than 3 hours. Serve over cooked brown rice.