Makes 8 to 10 servings
Red rice is a traditional Southern dish (and a tradition in other cultures as well), and I love the nostalgia of it. This version is an update that makes it into an easy one-pot meal where you don’t have to cook the rice ahead of time. And there are so many variations. You can add cheese. You can serve it as a side instead of a main. You can make a vegetarian version. My children love it. My favorite thing is the way the rice gets crispy on top. It gives the dish that extra bite and texture that makes me happy.
6 slices bacon
1 yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
3 celery stalks, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 green bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
4 cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups basmati rice, rinsed 4 to 5 times in cold water and drained
1 cup water or chicken stock (can substitute vegetable stock)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground coarse black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 (14-ounce) package smoked sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Heat a cast-iron skillet or sauté pan to medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Remove the bacon from the skillet and drain on paper towels. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease from the skillet. When the bacon is cool, crumble it and set aside.
3. In the same skillet with 2 tablespoons of bacon grease, add the onion, celery, green bell pepper, and garlic. Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat.
4. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, oregano, red pepper flakes, rice, water, lemon juice, crumbled bacon, and salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
5. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter to the same cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, pour in the rice mixture. Add the smoked sausage slices and top with bread crumbs. Dot the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter all over the bread crumbs.
6. Cover with foil and bake for 45 to 60 minutes. Remove the foil and broil 4 to 6 minutes to toast bread crumbs and crisp sausage.
Recipes excerpted with permission from Hot Little Suppers: Simple Recipes to Feed Family and Friends by Carrie Morey published by Harper Horizon 2021. Photography by Angie Mosier.
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