Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Red Beans with Rice

First cold day, 18 degrees and I'm longing for warm comfort food. My family and friends in the Northern Hemisphere are laughing - 18 degrees is not cold they tell me! It sure feels like it after 6 months of hot, rain free months and I'm not sure I like wearing this many clothes. (Sorry, I'm going to ramble on a bit today).

However, this is a wonderful time of year in the garden. Stunning autumn leaves of the deciduous trees and a recent trip to Mt Lofty Botanic Garden did not disappoint.  

 When the sun comes out even on these autumn days it's still very strong. Get out from the wind and it could still be a summer's day. But as soon as that southerly hits and the leaves are tossed and turned into the air, you know that it's soon going to be winter.

Getting prepared for the colder months means we eat comfort food - and that to me means chilli and beans!   

I think of myself as a 'bean aholic' because I love beans in every shape and form. From good old Heinz baked beans, to haricot beans, black beans, kidney, broad, French and butter beans. I can make a multitude of dishes with beans - don't you find them just so versatile? Ok, well yes, too many may have a disastrous effects on some of you, but be polite ...... we wont talk about that here.   

Do not worry, I have had this dish twice in as many days and all has been fine!!!! So dispatch yourself to the kitchen and get your beans ready. This spicy, aromatic bean recipe is really flavoursome. Be warned; it's not pretty to look at and you might think twice about serving it to your friends. 
But if they are true friends then give them a treat and serve this, because they will love this, even though it does look a twee bit ugly! Don't be put off by this because the taste is sensational.

I would love to have some feed back on this recipe, so drop me a quick email or comment because I want to know if you love the recipe as much as I do. I mean, what's not to like about beans??



2 x 400g tins of cooked red kidney beans, washed and drained
1/2 green capsicum
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
2 sticks of celery
3 cloves garlic
1 onion

1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp fresh thyme chopped finely
1 tsp fresh oregano chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
1 tablespoon liquid smoke/Habenero/Tabasco Sauce (more or less to taste)
1 tbls olive oil

Take a large pan and add olive oil. While this is heating, process the onion in a food processor and add to the pan. Cook gently for a few minutes.

Again use the food processor to chop garlic, celery and green capsicum. Add this to the pan of onions, with a couple of tablespoons of water and continue to cook for 5 minutes. 

Place half the beans and half the tomatoes into the food processor and blitz until the beans are coarsely chopped. At this point it all looks a little ugly, but don't despair, it all comes together nicely. Add this to the pan, with the remainder of the beans and the tomatoes.   

Now add all the other ingredients except the hot sauce/liquid smoke/Tabasco, cover tightly and cook gently for at least 45 mins. Remember to keep checking and stirring so the beans don't get stuck to the bottom. Add a little water if the beans look too dry.

Just before you serve add a tablespoon of hot sauce, keep tasting until you get the right amount of heat for your palate.

Serve with rice, a spoonful of plain yoghurt and some chopped coriander/parsley or oregano.

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