This day, Larry was focusing all his attention on a case (he’s a legal expert witness), I was volunteering at UCLA Hospital (Info Desk Lady). Crockpot + rice cooker = dinner. Now, this is not a New Orleans Sausage, Red Beans and Rice, it’s a Patti version. Nor is it “cooking fresh” — it’s what you might call a Desperation Dinner.
Larry and I both work from home offices. There are always ingredients in our kitchen, and Larry often cooks fine dinners for me on my volunteer days. But this day he was glued to his desk, so before I left the house (I actually walk to this volunteer gig), I pulled out the machines, along with two frozen sausages, two canned items, spices and rice.
Speaking of rice, we typically have several varieties here. My current favorites are from Lotus Foods. I met the company at a trade show and heard their mission. Dedicated to changing how rice is grown. Less water, better for the planet. I invited them to provide samples in our goodie bag at Camp Blogaway because their story is worth sharing. Tonight is Organic Mekong Flower Rice from Cambodia, one of our favorite travel destinations.
Back to dinner. I timed myself before heading out the door: 4 minutes crockpot prep + 3 minutes rice cooker prep + 4 minutes to locate and re-read the rice cooker’s preset timer instructions. I returned to a house with a hot, ready meal, and busy husband undisturbed. Here’s how:
- Rival crockpot, circa late-1980s. Second generation of a wedding gift that I literally cooked to death. 12 cup capacity. Workhorse. This is the machine for the sausage and beans.
- VitaClay Chef Gourmet Slow Cooker Pro, I like it so much I brought it with me to compete (and lose, but not the machine’s fault) in the Aetna Healthy Food Fight cooking contest. This is the machine for our rice cooking.
Sausage, Red Beans and Rice
- 1 cup uncooked rice
- 2 cups water
- 2 Italian sausages, totally frozen is better for timing
- 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, no salt added
- 1 15.25 oz. can low-sodium kidney beans, drain and rinse
- 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
- a few dashes of Tabasco
- fresh chives, cilantro for garnish, if desired
Place rice and water into rice cooker, set timer to start cooking 30 minutes before serving time (to give you about 10 minutes on warm cycle as you get ready to eat).
Put whole sausages, tomatoes, beans, minced onion and Tabasco in crockpot. No need to stir. Set on LOW for 4 to 8 hours, even more time doesn’t really matter.
When ready to serve, slice sausages into bite sized pieces, dish beans over hot cooked rice and sprinkle with herbs. Makes 3 servings (2 for our dinner, 1 for Patti’s lunch the next day).
To make more servings, add as many sausages as you have family members and double the other ingredients.
NOTE: canned vegetables and beans, I buy no-salt-added and/or low-sodium. So you can salt to taste.