As Kardea Brown shows us time and time again on Delicious Miss Brown, truly crave-worthy comfort food features a few common characteristics: it’s inspired by tradition, it’s simple to prepare and it’s packed with distinctive flavour — just like her colourful, devourable Gullah red rice.
Kardea’s red rice takes a flavourful staple of West African cuisine — jollof rice — and gives it an intensely delicious, sure-fire spin that’s influenced by her Gullah culture and her contemporary cooking style.
At its base, any red rice dish is just as it sounds — it’s rice cooked in some form of tomato, typically with an element of smoked meat added. To help keep her rice from getting soggy, Kardea uses parboiled rice (which has been dried and steamed in its husk). The result? Rich, fluffy red rice that’s so good, there won’t be any leftovers.
Rinse the rice until the water becomes slightly clear. (This removes the starch).
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, onion and pepper and cook, stirring, until the vegetables soften and start to brown at the edges, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, sugar, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir rice into the tomato mixture and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and spread into an even layer. Add just enough water to cover the rice (about 2 cups). Tightly cover with a lid or foil and bake for 30 minutes without uncovering the baking dish. Turn off the oven, remove the rice, fluff the rice, then cover and return to the oven for 10 minutes more.