Al Fresco Fiesta Beans And Rice - An Original Recipe - Swampy's Kitchen Blog at - 284481

Swampy's Kitchen

al fresco Fiesta Beans and Rice - an original recipe 
Sep. 19, 2012 6:00 pm 
Updated: Sep. 28, 2012 1:10 pm
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.



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 my method)

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 

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 Doug Matthews.

al fresco Fiesta Beans & Rice
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Sep. 19, 2012 7:36 pm
Wow, you managed to come up with a spicy little dish. I had never eaten black beans until a week ago. The jury is still out about them.
Sep. 19, 2012 8:52 pm
Poor guy, working out and wondering what your going to make for your assignment - those alone will cause hypertension. Well done Doug, great blog, great recipe.
Sep. 20, 2012 3:43 am
Good morning OpinionsToGo and thanks. I have become a big fan of black beans over the year and I actually have a twist on a black bean soup recipe here on AR that incorporates tropical fruits. Have a great day.
Sep. 20, 2012 5:37 am
Good morning bd and thanks - trying to keep up with all these women in the kitchen may just about kill me but at least I'll die with a full stomach. Have a great day.
Sep. 20, 2012 6:23 am
Good job Doug! I love your train off thought. From from Asia to New Orleans to South of the Boarder. Your recipe sounds like a winner.
Sep. 20, 2012 7:17 am
Hi BN & thanks - my mind is like a pinball machine at times - more often than not it hits TILT.
Sep. 20, 2012 7:18 am
Thank you Remsha - tea sounds good right now but what I really need is a triple shot of espresso (cardiologist jumps out and slaps me). Have a great day
Sep. 20, 2012 7:24 am
The mind is a wonderful thing...or not sometimes! In the winter when I have to hit the treadmill instead of the outdoors, ideas for blogs roll around in my head frequently. Unfortunately, they don't always make it to paper before my mind is off in a new direction. Recipe looks good, however, so well done! Now you need some of those hotter-n-hell peppers to go in it! : ) My husband can personally attest to the fact that the Trinidad Scorpion is indeed the hottest pepper even slightly surpassing the Bhut Jolokia. And as I've wandered all over the place in my mind now, I'll bid you adieu...great blog as always.
Sep. 20, 2012 8:35 am
Hi wisweetp & thanks - I really should workout with my blackberry so I can email myself whenever I have an idea but I don't so I forget great topics more often than not. I should do the same thing with recipes. I did add my own hot peppers to my plate and it certainly made the Fiesta a little hotter. Have a great day.
Sep. 20, 2012 4:42 pm
Your recipe sounds like it will be very tasty! Thanks for that idea!
Sep. 20, 2012 8:36 pm
You are so lucky that you can get Vidalia onions. Usually, I can find the onions in June and July in our local grocery stores. No such luck this year. Your recipe looks easy and tasty. I will have to make your red beans and rice. Safeway and King Soopers do not carry the al fresco brand. I checked online and will have to go to Albertsons to find the sausage. Thanks for the great blog!
Sep. 21, 2012 4:30 am
Good morning Marianne & thanks - feel free to play with it and let me know if you make any changes. Have a great day.
Sep. 21, 2012 4:34 am
Good morning Lela & thanks - when I lived in Colorado I was behind a King Soopers, down the street from Safeway and around the corner from Albertsons. I miss those days. Go Broncos !
Sep. 22, 2012 10:18 am
Don't you love those "light bulb" moments, Doug? This looks good!
Sep. 22, 2012 10:31 am
Looks like a wonderful recipe! I love black beans and am always looking for ways to use them. I'm from Denver too and know of several locations where Safeways, Albertsons and Kings were all within one block of each other. I don't think that's the case now. Yea Broncos!
Sep. 22, 2012 11:34 am
Hi Bibi - I'm just glad that my light bulbs haven't all burned out. Have a great weekend.
Sep. 22, 2012 11:36 am
Hi & Thanks kathygry - feel free to give it your own twist if you do make it and let me know what you did. There is always room for improvement. Beat Houston !
Sep. 23, 2012 3:39 am
Doug, your recipe has all the flavors I love. Grumpy tells me if I just add cilantro to food I will love it anyway. ;) Sounds yummy and I love the thought of it being a burrito filling!
Sep. 25, 2012 6:53 am
Good morning GH - I used it as layer in a 7 leftover layer type dish. Next time it goes straight into a burrito filling. Thanks for stopping by & have a great day.
Sep. 26, 2012 10:14 am
Hi Doug, not quite sure what to think about exercising at 3:45 am??? part of me thinks "you go dude!" and the other part of me thinks "maybe you should consider Ambien" HAHA! Good for you! I like your dish, very much the flavor profile I enjoy. This is the first month as an Allstar for me and in typical fashion I will be complete everything in the 11th hour!!!
Sep. 28, 2012 1:10 pm
Hi p and q - 3:45am is because of my 2 hour commute eah way each day and my desire to see my kids for at least a little while at night. Good luck on those assignments. I still have 1 al fresco to go and I'm not sure how or when I am going to do it.
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Doug Matthews

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Princeton, New Jersey, USA
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About Me
My mother decided early on that her sons would never have to rely on someone to feed them so we all learned to cook at an early age. I really started to branch out when I moved out west to Denver, SF & Dallas. Combine that with extended business travel to Louisiana & my growing love of spices and you get a real mix of flavors.
My favorite things to cook
Love to make cajun food with my favorites being crawfish pie, alligator stew & alligator chili - I go nuts on Super Bowl Sunday
My favorite family cooking traditions
We didn't have a lot of traditions per se but you could count on pancakes or waffles on sundays - dad making scrambled eggs twice a year on christmas morning & mother's day - veal parmagiana on christmas eve, Thanksgiving with Grandma Matthews and any menu of your choice on your birthday. We weren't a spicy family so I learned a lot of good strong basics in the kitchen from Mom that I have carried over into my cooking today.
My cooking triumphs
I love to experiment with variations of dishes I try around the country. My biggest success is here on allrecipes where I had 2 recipes published in the same cookbook - Southwestern Turkey Soup & Curried Carrot Soup. I think my corn muffins are a great starting point and my alligator chili has become a much requested Super Bowl favorite.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a few times in the past where I tossed everything and took everyone to a restaurant instead. I'm not too proud to say my cooking is awful when it really is.
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