Easy and inexpensive!
Start with one onion. The onions we have right now are really big, so I used only a half an onion. If yours are smaller, or if you really like onions, you might want a whole one.
Cut the onion in half from root to tip.
Cut off the tip of the onion. LEAVE THE ROOT INTACT. Remove all the dry peel from the onion so you just have white, yummy onion remaining.
Make one or two slices into the onion horizontally. This isn’t easy at first, so be sure to keep your fingers and your palm out of the way.
Make several slices into the onion from tip to root. Be careful not to cut into the root, because it’s what’s holding your onion together and making this easier to do. If you cut that root off or slice into it deeply, you’ve got a mess of onions all over the place.
Now make slices across the onion. The closer your slices are in this step and the previous step, the smaller the pieces will be. For this dish, it doesn’t need to be diced too small.
Heat some oil in a pan on high heat. I usually just use vegetable or canola oil because it’s less expensive. If you’re a foodie and want to use extra virgin olive oil, go for it, but I really don’t think you’ll notice a difference in this particular dish.
Next comes the rice.
Use Basmati. I’m telling you, it’s the best rice there is. I will never go back to plain white rice. Jasmine’s pretty good, but in my opinion, Basmati still blows it away. Sometimes you can find it in regular groceries, but you might have to find an international food market where they sell Indian spices and that sort of thing. As you can see, we buy it in bulk because Chef and I love it so much. If we were not married to each other, we would each consider marrying Basmati.
Add rice to the onions that are sauteeing in the oil. I used a cup of rice, but it was a little too much. I think 3/4 cup would have been better. Mix the rice with the onions, and let the rice kernels get just a little bit brown. You’ll start to smell the fragrant aroma of the rice as it browns.
Add water — twice as much water as you had rice. So if you go with a cup of rice, add two cups of water. If you use 3/4 cup of rice, use… um (I hate math), a cup and a half of water. Yeah. A cup and a half.
Cover your pot, reduce heat to low, and set your timer for 23 minutes.
Shuck three ears of corn. Honestly, if I’d had canned corn, I probably would have used that instead, but I didn’t have any. And we’d just been to the Farmer’s Market where we got corn for $2 a dozen. A dozen ears of corn go a long way for two people, so I figured I ought to use it before it became a green fuzzy corn monster in my refrigerator. Heat a pot of water on the stove — you’re going to put the corn in this pot, so make sure it’s big enough that the ears will fit in there.
Next you’ll need about half a pound of smoked sausage, Polish sausage, or Kielbasa. (My father-in-law said to me recently, “Kielbasa? That’s like saying Hechsmacktobnofterwich.” I guess he wasn’t familar with that term. Small tutorial: Kielbasa is basically Polish sausage.) (Oh, and that shadow on the sausage? That’s me. We have terrible lighting in our kitchen, and I was forever getting shadows of myself or the camera cord in my photos.) Dice the sausage into small pieces. I cut the sausage lengthwise in half, then cut the halves in half lengthwise, then cut the four lengths into small pieces the other direction. You do it however you like. There are no rules about How to Cut Sausage. At least, not in my world.
Heat some oil or other fat in a skillet. I used bacon fat. Why? Well first, we’re running low on oil. And second, I believe that almost any recipe is improved by the addition of some form of bacon.
Put the sausage into the hot oil or grease, stirring it occasionally.
By the way, is the water for your corn boiling yet? Yeah, mine wasn’t either.
Keep cooking and stirring your sausage until you get some nice yummy brownness. Smells good, too.
You’ll need a can of kidney beans. We got cheap ones at the Dollar General. I really don’t see any need to buy expensive kidney beans. If you’re purist, you might want to buy dry beans and soak them, but sheesh, who has time for that? My belly was growling!
Add the beans to the sausage in the skillet. Don’t drain them — the mixture will be too dry if you do. So just pour all that liquid in the skillet with the beans.
Hopefully your water is boiling by now and you can drop your corn into the pot. Cover and turn off the heat. In about three minutes, it will be ready.
Here are the seasonings: sea salt (regular table salt would probably be fine, but we keep sea salt on hand), black pepper (I would have preferred freshly ground pepper, but I have no idea where our pepper grinder went), cumin seed, and some sort of hot stuff. Ancho Chile seasoning is pictured, but after I took the photo I realized the can was empty. Good grief. So I tossed that out and used a squirt of hot sauce instead, and either the squirt was bigger or the sauce was hotter than I thought, because this dish turned out to be pretty darn spicy! It was good that way, though, so I’d probably do it again. You probably won’t need much salt because the sausage likely has enough in it to flavor the whole dish. I used maybe a quarter of a teaspoon. I used about a teaspoon of black pepper and about a tablespoon of cumin seed. Mix all those seasonings in with the sausage and beans.
Has it been three minutes? If so, then your corn is probably ready. Remove the corn from the water and slice the kernels from the cob. Be careful not to cut too deeply and get pieces of cob, but honestly, it’s going to be mixed up with all the other stuff and unless you get a LOT of cob, you probably won’t notice it if there’s a little in there.
Add the corn to the spicy bean and sausage mixture. Stir it all around and make sure it’s all hot.
Your rice is probably done by now. Put it in a bowl.
Put the beans, sausage, and corn mixture in the bowl, too, and mix it all up until it looks yummy.
Serve it up!
As I mentioned, mine was a little heavy on the rice, so next time I won’t use as much. And while I would have used canned corn if I’d had it, I really liked the fresh corn. It still had a little bit of crispness to it, which was a nice contrast to the softer textures of the beans, rice, and sausage.