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Sarah Jean's Lowcountry Red Rice

browning the onions, peppers and sausage

add tomato paste or freshly crushed tomatoes, water and salt to create a stock

fluff with a fork and serve

I am starting off the Soul Food Revival series with Red Rice- my Aunt Sara Jean's signature dish and one of our family's most prized recipes.  It is innocuous in many Charleston homes but rarely appears in restaurants - it is a taste of 'real' Charleston, if you will.  Red Rice is essentially a tomato pilau that might remind you of a simplified Spanish peaella, with sausauge but no seafood. It's rich, satisfying flavors inspire a cultlike following among those who make and eat it. It is a simple one pot dish that you can prep in 10 minutes and leave to it's on devices while you attend to other matters around the house. When it's all said and done, you get a warm bowl of savory goodness that is a snap to make.  "No one can make better red rice than mine" is a phrase spoken with utter sincerity by many Charlestonians.  Try it and you might have folks calling you up to ask when you plan on cooking it again! 

Serves 12 to 15

1 lb of spicy chorizo or spicy pork sausage, cut into 3/4 inch rounds.
3 cups long grain white rice
2 cups vine ripened tomatoes, peeled and chopped or 1 5oz can of tomato paste
1 quart of water
1 medium bellpepper, chopped medium fine
1 medium onion, chopped medium fine
1 tsp salt
3 tbls vegtable oil

In a large stock pot, fry the sausage, onions and bell peppers in the oil until slightly browned, about 5 minutes.   Add the tomatos or paste, water and salt.  Turn the flame up to high heat.  Once the sauce has reached a low boil, add the rice and reduce to a low simmer.  Cook and cover for 30 to 35 minutes.  Remove from the heat and allow to sit for a a few minutes.  Fluff with a fork and serve.

Come back next week for more recipes in the series.

Are you planning to try any new recipes this weekend?

Reader Comments (5)

This recipe made me feel so hungry right now. I love sausages so I think I will like this bowl of rice. I will try this recipe. It seems quick and easy to make.

October 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFlyer Printing

This sounds absolutely amazing. Do you soak or rinse the rice first and can this be made with <please forgive me> brown rice?

November 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDara

I love these simple dishes. Can't go wrong with tomatoes and sausages. This looks like a great weekday dinner.

Hi Dara,

Nothing to forgive! I tend to look at recipes as suggestions or ideas about how sometheing can be prepared. While there are certainly a few hard and fast rules in cooking that are designed to help you get the most out of any ingredient, sometimes a choice comes down to a matter of style or personal preference.

With that in mind, one can use brown rice. It has a different gluten content and will more readily take on the broth. Shorten the cooking time by about 7 to 10 minutes and reduce the liquid by 1/2 cup. Otherwise the end result will be more like a porridge.

Also, (and I admit that I have yet to try this myself), if you prefer to use minimally processed rices, consider using a long grain black rice. It wont take on so much moisture and will do a better job of holding it's shape and texture, which is important.

Lastly, for an authentic red rice experience I reccomend trying rice from www.ansonmills.com The grains are grown from heirloom seeds that are decended from rice grown on the South Carolina coast in the 18th and 19th century - the same rice that inspired this recipe.

Let us know what you end up trying and how it works out!

Finally, consider going to www.ansonmills.com and ordering rice from here; the company grows grains from heritage seeds that

November 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

I am making this tonight. Looks sooo good and comforting, just my kind of cooking!

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterulla

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