When there is leftover rice I seek a quick meal to use it up. Add some canned red beans and a sofrito and off we go: Quick red beans and rice.
The sofrito begins with the trinity: sautee bell pepper, onion and celery in extra virgin olive oil. Salt to taste and put a pinch of red pepper flakes in the mix. Purists say sautee the red pepper flakes in the oil before adding vegetables to bring out the flavor.
Next add diced spring garlic and the diced stems of whatever leafy green vegetable you have from the garden. Add a medium-sized tomato (canned or fresh) and a cup of frozen okra. If there’s not enough liquid, add a tablespoon or two of water.
Once the vegetables are soft, slice and add the leafy greens from which you took the stems. Mix and sautee until everything is cooked.
Add a can of drained and washed red beans and a cup of leftover rice. Stir constantly until everything is thoroughly heated. Garnish with coarsely chopped cilantro, sliced spring onions, and a dash of Louisiana-style hot sauce.
Makes two servings for diners that enjoy spicy food. If the other diner doesn’t, save the second portion for yourself to reheat later.