Yellowstone it is.
That was the final decision in the great should-we-drive-out-to-Vermont-with-my-brother-and-his-family-or-go-on-the-vacation-we-planned-with-them debate. (Thanks for all the advice from those of you who weighed in with your comments last week.) In the end, weighing many factors such as cost, time off of work and ability to drive big trucks, my wonderful dad won the opportunity to drive out with them. Congratulations to him. Devon and I have to content ourselves with going on a vacation to Yellowstone with my brother and his family instead. Darn.
We've been giving my brother a hard time about taking four days to drive up to Yellowstone when he is moving just a few days after he gets back. In fact, he's starting to get a little sensitive about it, probably because the word "crazy" is all but implied in every conversation the family has with him concerning the trip. Seeing how excited my nephew is about going is enough to make you realize why they're going ahead with it. He is just fascinated with Old Faithful. He even gave us a lesson last night on how geysers work that was incredibly detailed and enthusiastic. I'm pretty sure there are incoming college freshman that know less about the inner workings of a geyser. So, crazy or not, we're joining them on the vacation they planned as one last fling before they move away.
In honor of our upcoming Yellowstone trip, I thought I'd share this Cajun Rice and Sausage dish.
Okay, okay. I know. Cajun Rice has nothing to do with Yellowstone. In fact, I'm not sure what kind of food even would. S'mores, maybe?
This dish does go with summer, if that helps. It's the type of stovetop, not-heating-up-the-kitchen meal that I like to cook during the summertime. Easy, fast, with plenty of leftovers that heat up well. That's what I like to go for in the few months of the year here where the temperature is above 60. The cajun sausage gives the rice a little bit of a kick and a unique flavor. Plus, I get to buy okra for it, and how exotic do I feel buying okra? (The answer is: very.) Don't let the okra turn you off, though, if you've never had it before. It has a mild flavor in this dish and would be a great chance to try it if you haven't before. Everything is cooked in one skillet, meaning there are less dishes and more time to go outside and enjoy the sun.
Or pack for your trip to Yellowstone.
Cajun Rice with Sausage
2 slices bacon, chopped
12 ounces spicy chicken sausage (preferably Cajun style), cubed
1 small onion, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
2 gloves garlic, minced
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups chopped frozen okra, thawed
2 T chopped fresh parsley
1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Add the sausage, onion and bell pepper to the skillet and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft and the sausage begins to brown, about 3 minutes.
2. Add the garlic, thyme, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper to the skillet, then stir in the rice. Add the chicken broth and 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Stir in the okra, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, 5 minutes. Add the bacon and parsley and fluff with a fork before serving.
Recipe Source: Food Network Magazine