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Red Beans:

• 1 pound dried kidney (or other red beans), soaked overnight and drained
• 3 tablespoons canola oil
• 1 large onion, diced
• 1 small red bell pepper, seeded, membrane removed and diced
• 3 celery ribs, diced
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• Pinch white pepper
• Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
• 1 teaspoon dried thyme
• ¼ teaspoon dried sage
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 pound Andouille sausage, sliced (or any smoked pork sausage)
• 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
• 8 cups water
• 2 cups long grain white rice, steamed

Set a large Dutch oven or heavy gauge pot over medium high heat. Add oil and, once hot, onions, bell pepper, and celery. Cook until vegetables are tender and nicely caramelized, about 4-6 minutes. Season with cayenne, salt, white and black pepper. Using a wooden spoon, stir in thyme, sage, bay leaves and Andouille. Cook for 4-6 minutes, or until Andouille is browned and crispy. Add garlic and “sweat”, 2-3 minutes until is fragrant. Fold beans into Andouille mixture. Pour in water and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 2 hours, adding ½ cup of water if the liquid levels become too low.

Carefully ladle out about a cup of beans and vegetables into food processor or mash with a fork. Return puree to the pot and continue to cook for about another hour, or until the beans are soft and the liquid is a thickened, creamy texture. Season again with salt and black pepper, if desired.

Remove bay leaves and serve immediately with white rice.

Serves: 8 servings

Per serving: 521 calories, 71g carbohydrates, 26g protein, 15g fat (4g saturated), 13g fiber, 33mg cholesterol, 443mg sodium

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