Thirty-five years ago when Ann's husband, Gary (a New Orleans native), came a-courting to the south Texas border town of Brownsville, he was quite unfamiliar with Mexican food. "I admit that my family played more than a few tricks on him in the form of jalapeño peppers ('Here, try this little green vegetable!'), barbecued kid, and a rich soup called Menudo, which, among other ingredients, includes tripe. This romance endured, and I've tried to make it up to him by learning to cook some if his Louisiana favorites. Red beans and rice was served every Wednesday at his grammar school in New Orleans."
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 cup coarsely chopped green pepper
1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 to 1/2 cup butter; oil, or bacon drippings
4 cans (15 ounces each) red kidney beans, or 1 pound dried kidney beans, cooked
Salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
1-1/2 to 2 pounds Kielbasa sausage
Enough hot, cooked rice for 6 servings
Sauté onion, green pepper, and garlic in oil. Add beans (drained or not, depending on how much liquid you want for the rice), salt, and peppers. Add sausage, cut in large pieces. Simmer for 30 minutes. Serve over fluffy white rice, with a salad and French bread.