At 3:45am there isn’t a lot on television to watch while I am working out in my basement so it leaves me extra time to think. Extra time
to think isn’t always a good thing either as I tend to dwell on things that frustrate me. Being frustrated while I workout isn’t that bad a thing since it does tend to get my blood flowing but I also have hypertension so getting frustrated isn’t exactly something
my cardiologist wants me doing these days. I’m supposed to relax and think happy thoughts.
And that brings me to reason I am writing this blog. As an Allrecipes Allstar, we get to try various products and in some cases, the products
try us out in return. One of our assignments this month was to create an original recipe using our product placement partner of the moment, al fresco Chicken Sausages. A lot easier said than done considering that more than half of the allstars seem to get
their assignments done within minutes of receiving the assignment email so original recipe ideas were being crossed off my list left & right.
So there I was, on my elliptical, sweating away (nice visual, I know), watching CHOPPED and trying to think of what to do what to do. We
had been assigned al fresco products before so I had a pretty good idea as to the different flavors that I could use but I was still stuck on what to do with those flavors. I thought about maybe doing a stir fry that I used to do all the time when I was single
and cooking with a wok was the “in” thing to do. I was going to take onions, peppers, carrots, snow peas & pineapple and then stir fry them with either a chicken sausage or some chicken meatballs along with some soy, tamari or uzu sauce. It seemed easy and
most definitely edible though not exactly exciting to me. By then CHOPPED was over, Sportscenter came back on the TV and there was a story about the New Orleans Saints.
LIGHT BULB !
RED BEANS & RICE !
Only, let’s give it a Mexican twist. (Not sure how that was the next logical step but then again I have always said there is a madness to
I finished my workout, ran upstairs and pulled out my old Cajun & Creole Cookbook for the red beans & rice recipe that I have used for the
past 20 years and started to think about how I could twist it a little. Instead of red beans, I thought of black beans. Instead of celery, I thought of red & yellow peppers. Instead of white rice, I thought of yellow rice. And Mexican creations just call for
green onions & cilantro so those were going to get worked in somehow too.
As for the star of the show, the al fresco Chicken Sausage, my initial inclination was to use the Mango Adobo but my local Shop-Rite had
every flavor but Mango Adobo. I did pick up both the Jalapeno and the Buffalo Chicken for the spice component. When it came time to dice up the sausage, I did pick the Jalapeno as I thought it would be more consistent with the other ingredients.
So I sautéed the onions & garlic first and then I threw in the peppers. Next came the black beans and sausage followed by a half cup of
water. I like to cook my red beans & rice down so that it has a gravy to it and I did the same here. The green onions & cilantro got added in at the end and of course, you should always salt & pepper to taste. I will admit that the black beans did give a little
bit of a gray sheen to some of the veggies in the dish but when served over the yellow rice it was really quite good. In the future, I think a squeeze of lime might help sharpen the flavor a little.
I very unoriginally named the dish “al fresco Fiesta Beans & Rice” which really didn’t highlight the product sponsor but then again, the
chicken sausage, much like the ham in the original, is a supporting character that plays an important role.
Come back next time when I write about something other than sausages, soup starters & butter….
I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and I’m not compensated for my work with Allrecipes.com.
Products received from advertiser are only used for experienced-based reviews on
Swampy's Kitchen. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of