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Simply put, I carry my Dad's legacy with me through my cookbook, cooking and everyday I am writing my food columns, he is always with me. I carry my Mom with me through a silent reminder of her struggle with breast cancer that took her life, as well as the lives of many other women who have dealt with, and are still dealing with, this horrible affliction. Besides, why not pink? It makes a man look good!

Yankee Red Beans and Rice

Question. Who used to sign(along with his autograph) the words "Red Beans and Ricely Yours"? That would be New Orleans' own Louis Armstrong! This is one of those dishes where everyone has their own interpretation and this recipe is no different. Red Beans and Rice was born out of thrift, much like our ingrained quality up here in the North. On Sundays in Louisiana, frequently vegetables, ham bones or leftover pork was sitting in the cooler, so on Monday guess what everyone went to work with or had as their evening meal? Yup!

Although ham or pork would be excellent in this rendition of a southern classic, I thought I would kick it up a notch and add some great flavor in the way of sausage. Add or remove certain spicy elements if desired as well.

Ingredients

For 4 people

Recipe

  • 1/4 cup(s) apple juice or cider mixed with 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 lb(s) sweet or hot Italian(which I used) sausage, casings removed and crumbled
  • 1 green bell pepper, minced
  • 1 small red onion, minced
  • 1 rib celery, minced
  • 2 teaspoon(s) minced garlic in oil
  • 3 teaspoon(s) Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon(s) dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) dried sage
  • 2 (15 oz) cans red (kidney) beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup(s) beef broth
  • 1 (15 oz) can whole tomatoes, coarsely mashed
  • 4 cup(s) hot, cooked rice
  • Apple cider vinegar, optional

Yankee Red Beans and Rice Directions

  1. Over medium heat, add apple juice and butter to a large saucepan until hot. Add the sausage, peppers, onions, celery and garlic. Stir to break up the sausage meat and mix in with the vegetables, juice and garlic.
  2. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sausage is cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. Add seasonings, beans, broth and tomatoes, mix well and bring back to a light boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and ladle over hot cooked rice, My family has been drizzling apple cider vinegar over our Red Beans and Rice for years and it is delicious. Served with a side of applesauce and you have Yankee Red Beans and Rice!
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