This formula is flavorfully vegetarian as is, but feel free to execute the initial frying with bacon drippings or chunks or ham or sausage if you like. Simmer it up with any sort of stock you have on hand, for a meatier version. Recipe submitted by eSS&SC reader Ashley Sorrondeguy.

  • 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 2 – 4 jalapeno or shishito peppers, chopped
  • 4 large tomatoes, cut into chunks (frozen or canned in winter)
  • 4 cups vegetable or other stock
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce, or to taste
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups uncooked brown rice
  • 3 cups cooked or canned kidney beans (or other favorite legume)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh chopped parsley or cilantro, optional

Heat oil or other fat in a Dutch oven or other large heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft. Add the celery, garlic, and fresh peppers, and sauté until just beginning to soften. Add tomatoes, herbs and spices and cook a few minutes more, then stir in the stock, rice, and remaining seasonings. Bring to a simmer, taste for salt, and turn to low and cover.

Simmer until the rice is cooked and the liquid is absorbed, about 30 to 45 minutes. Remove bay leaves, and gently stir in beans. Allow to heat through, and then serve topped with optional garnishes and more hot sauce on the side.

Serves 8.

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