Vegetarian Red Beans and Rice
Note from original chef:
I was a vegetarian for over six years, which made me get creative when it came to some of my old favorite recipes, like Red Beans & Rice. The small additions of a little liquid smoke and sun dried tomatoes really makes the difference. I know, I know, sun dried tomatoes are not a traditional red beans rice ingredient, but then neither is Vegetarian Red Beans and rice either.(taken with great thanks from http://www.fabulousfoods.com/recipes/main/veg/vegredbeans.html)
2 C dried red beans
6 C vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
3 T olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4 – 6 cloves garlic, diced/minced
4 soaked sun dried tomatoes
2 roasted red bell pepper (see note at bottom for instructions of roasting if needed)
1/4 tsp. cayenne
salt, pepper and hot sauce (preferably Tabasco) to taste
2 C uncooked rice
Wash, sort and soak beans overnight, as per package instructions. You will want to roast the bell peppers ahead of time the day of cooking.
When you are ready to start cooking, chopchopchop the onions, celery, garlic. Slice the sun dried tomatoes and roasted red bell peppers smaller.
Place soaked beans in a large Dutch Oven with water and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Lower heat and continue to cook, uncovered.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet and sauteé onions, celery, garlic and herbs and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add onion mixture, along with sun dried tomatoes and roasted peppers, to beans. Cover, but leave lid ajar, lower heat and simmer until beans are soft, about 45 minutes.
Add rice, cover completely and simmer until rice is cooked, about 25 minutes. Watch carefully and add more water or stock as needed and stir frequently.
How To Roast Peppers
You can roast whole peppers (sweet or hot, depending on what you intend to use them for) over a very hot wood or charcoal fire. Place peppers directly on the grill (if it’s still flaming a bit, so much the better!) and turn frequently with tongs to allow the skins to blister and blacken. Roasted peppers are wonderful on their own or as a recipe ingredients.
When the peppers are charred, remove them from the fire and place in a food grade plastic bag. Allow some air to remain in the bag and loosely tie. The steam that will form in the bag will help to remove the skin. Let cool for about fifteen minutes or until you can easily handle the peppers. Remove from bag and use your hands to peel off the skins. Cut off the stem end and slice the peppers open. Remove the core and seeds and cut into strips.
Alternatively, you can use one of these other methods to roast peppers:
- You can roast and blacken the pepper on the burner directly over the gas flame on your stovetop (have a fire extinguisher nearby and never try this with an electric stove).
- If you don’t have an open fire, you can also roast peppers in the oven or under a broiler. Put the peppers directly on the oven rack and roast until blistered and charred. Proceed as above. Quarter, core and seed larger peppers before roasting this way.