Friday, May 15, 2009

Recipe: Rice with Brazilian Sausage, Red Peppers and Chickpeas

One of my favorite kinds of restaurants to eat at is a Brazilian steak house or "Churrascaria". Typically the service is "rodizio" style. Basically, you're seated and cocktails are offered Shortly thereafter the feast begins. "Passadors" or "meat waiters" come by your table with knives and skewers full of a variety of meats slowly cooked in special rotisserie ovens. Among my favorite meats are sirloin, tenderloin, pork loin and pork tenderloin. Though, I can't complain about the lamb, chicken, fish or duck, though I usually pass on the chicken hearts or chicken livers.

One of my friends' and my own favorites is the roasted Brazilian sausage. I can remember one night in particular at a churrascaria in Montreal known as Le Misla where the sausage was incredible. In fact I think many of the guys at my table that night would have said it rivaled the beef tenderloin!

While it was in churrascarias that I was introduced to Brazilian sausages, it's in my own home and from my own grill that I tend to eat it the most. Luckily, I live near an Portuguese/Brazilian/Spanish market and a dependable supply is always available.

While it is easily great served solo right from the grill, I have managed to use it in a couple of rainy day recipes, when the grill is not available. The recipe below represents my current favorite.

I f you can't find Brazilian sausage where you are, don't fret. This recipe will also do well with a variety of sausages like Italian, chorizo, chourico, andouille and others. Never be afraid to experiment!

Rice with Brazilian Sausage, Red Peppers and Chickpeas

2 TBS. Olive oil
2 lbs. of Brazilian Sausage
4 plum tomatoes (diced)
2 medium onions (diced)
4 cloves of garlic (chopped)
2 tsp. smoked sweet paprika
1 bay leaf
2 cups of red bell pepper (diced)
1 15 oz. can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1 cup of white wine
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups of water
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh chopped parsley (to garnish)

Put the sausages in a deep pan and just cover them with water. Bring the water to a boil and simmer the sausages until the water almost runs out.

Set the sausages aside. When cool, slice into 1/4" disks.

Set another deep pan or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. When the oil begins to shimmer add the onions and simmer until they begin to brown.

Add the tomatoes and cook stirring often until they give up their juice.

Add the red pepper, garlic, paprika, bay leaf, and chickpeas and continue to cook stirring occasionally.

Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

Raise the heat a little. When the mixture almost loses all its moisture add the white wine and deglaze.

Add the rice and sausage and mix them in thoroughly. Cook it for a few moments to allow the rice to soak up some of the juices and flavor.

Add the chicken broth and water. Stir to mix in well and bring to a boil. Then lower to a low simmer and allow to cook uncovered until the rice is tender and absorbs most of the liquid. Add more liquid during cooking if necessary.

Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Top with chopped parsley and serve immediately.

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