Here is my recipe for weeknight (read: pantry-friendly!) red beans and rice. The thyme and the smokiness are essential flavors, though most of the ingredient list is actually pretty flexible: jarred roasted red peppers can be used in place of fresh, a bit of ground chipotle can be used in lieu of the liquid smoke, less tomatoes can be used for less saucy beans. Complete this dish with some garlicky braised collards or other greens, or serve with a nice big ol’ salad.
1 cup rice (I love brown basmati here)
bit of vegetable bouillon or pinch of salt (optional)
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small frying or bell pepper (any color), or ¼ cup roasted red pepper, chopped
1½ tsp dried thyme
1/2 to 1 15-oz can fire-roasted chopped tomatoes
1 15-oz can red beans, drained and rinsed
1/8 tsp ground cayenne
drizzle or two of olive oil
couple splashes of liquid smoke
- Cook rice your preferred method, with a bit of bouillon or pinch of salt if desired. Brown rice typically takes around 40 to 50 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook onion in olive oil over medium heat until slightly softened, about 4 minutes.
- Add garlic, chopped pepper, and thyme (and more oil if necessary). Cook for another 4 minutes or so.
- Add tomatoes and cayenne, turn up heat, let bubble a couple minutes.
- Turn down heat, add beans and liquid smoke, and simmer for a few minutes. Check for seasonings. Add beans to rice and serve with your favorite hot sauce.