Mardi Gras
Red Beans & Rice

It's Fat Tuesday, get your red beans and rice fix with this hearty recipe. Make extra and serve at your mouthwatering Mardi Gras party.

Red Beans and Rice

Maple Balsamic Red Beans and Rice

Serves 8

Ingredients:
2 cups brown basmati rice
4 cups water or broth
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 to 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
Pinch of salt or more to taste
Black pepper to taste

1-1/4 pounds sweet or hot turkey sausage links
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup very thinly sliced shallots
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup thinly sliced celery (cut crosswise)
1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 (16-ounce each) cans kidney beans, drained, rinsed
1/3 cup finely chopped flat-leaf or Italian parsley

Directions:

1. Toast rice in a large pot over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until golden and fragrant. Remove from heat and add water or broth, mixture will bubble and sizzle. Place back on stove burner and stir in rosemary, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer until rice absorbs all of the liquid, about 20 minutes. Read cooking directions on package of rice for best results, especially if you substitute brown rice or plain basmati rice or another grain. Remove from heat and let sit uncovered for 10 minutes then fluff with a fork. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, preheat broiler and spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Place sausage links on sheet and broil in oven for 10 to 14 minutes (turn sausages after 5 to 7 minutes) or until browned and plumped. Remove from oven and set aside.

3. In a stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat and add shallots, garlic and celery. Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables soften, about 6 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar and maple syrup. When mixture begins to bubble, reduce heat to medium low and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes.

4. Thinly slice sausages and add to balsamic mixture. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add kidney beans and rice. Use a large spoon or spatula and thoroughly mix ingredients together. Reduce heat to low and stir in parsley. Keep covered, stirring occasionally, until ready to serve.

Nutritional Analysis (per serving): Calories 501 (28% from fat); Protein 26 grams; Carbohydrates 68 grams; Fiber 11 grams; Total Fat 15.5 grams (Saturated Fat 5 grams; Monounsaturated Fat 7 grams; Polyunsaturated Fat 2.5 grams); Cholesterol 55 milligrams; Sodium 672 milligrams.

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