Times being what they are, we’re one of many families on the lookout for inexpensive meals to feed ravening hordes. Linda‘s been cataloging some of their hits and missed, so I thought I’d note one of ours. We had it last night, so it’s fresh in the memory.
Red Beans & Rice
Take one 1lb bag of red beans (not to be confused with kidney beans) and cover them, in a large pot, with 2″ of water. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Cover and remove from heat and leave in peace for at least 2 hours. I do this right after lunch for that night’s supper.
About 2 1/2 hours before you want to eat, drain the beans and put in 6 cups of fresh water. Turn the heat on high. While that’s coming to a boil, add in:
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp red pepper (this will not make it very spicy at all…if you want spice, addd loads more)
1 small can tomato paste
2 tsp salt
1 bay leaf
1-1 1/2 lb sliced smoked sausage
Stir well, making sure the tomato paste is unclumped. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer at least 2 hours. Uncover and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the gravy thickens a bit. Serve over rice.
With Kansas grocery prices, you can make this for under $3, especially if you’ve already got spices on hand. If you want to leave out the meat, you’re probably at around $1. It fills up my family, including boys who go for third helpings.
It’s a bit on the bland side, and I’m tinkering with how to add more flavor without adding a lot more heat, but there it is for now. If you have an addition or variation, would you share it with me?