Sausage with fall veggies and beans

Fall veggies are plentiful and the air is getting chilly. This dish is perfect for this time of year and really easy to make. It’s a one pot meal so the clean up is minimal, which makes it great for weeknights after work because it doesn’t take much time!

You can choose what ever sausage you like. I have made this with sage turkey sausage (from The Turkey Lady), chicken apple sausage, and sweet Italian pork sausage. I think my favorite was the sweet Italian pork sausage.

1 lb. sausage (your choice!)

olive oil

1 large sweet potato

2 medium beets (I like golden beets because they do not turn the whole dish pink)

1 medium sweet onion

I medium carrot

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

1 can cannellini beans

1 can dark red kidney beans

1 bunch swiss chard or kale

salt and pepper to taste

Add about 2 teaspoons of olive oil to a dutch oven set to medium high heat. Sear the sausages and remove from the pot.

Chop the onion, mince the garlic, and cut the sweet potato, carrot and beets in to 1/4 inch cubes (to match the size of the beans).

Saute the vegetables in the dutch oven for about 5 minutes, until the onions turn translucent.

I used red beets this time, so my final dish turned out pink. I also had to substitute chick peas to the cannellini beans because I didn’t have any cannellini beans left. You can substitute with pink beans as well but I think the cannellini work best in this recipe.

Chop your swiss chard or Kale into smaller pieces. If you decide to use kale, remove the tough stems and use only the leaves. I chose to use black kale this time because it was available at market and it is slightly softer than the regular kale that I usually find. After experimenting a bit, I still really like using the swiss chard.You can use the stems of the Swiss chard too, the red and yellow colors are a nice addition.

Use 1 cup of chicken or vegetable stock to deglaze your pot, scraping any bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the swiss chard or kale and season with salt and pepper. Place the lid on the pot and allow the liquid to boil and cook down the greens (about 7 minutes).

When the greens have reduced in volume, add in the beans. replace the lid and bring the liquid back up to a bubble.

Nestle the sausages back in the pot vegetables. Try to submerge it under the liquid and cover the pot again, bringing the liquid back up to a boil. Allow the sausages finish cooking (about 5-10 minutes, depending on size).

Remove the sausages and slice them into pieces, add the sausages back into the pot and serve…. comfort food for a chilly day.

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NOLA Eats – Red Beans and Rice

It’s Monday! I got here really late last night and there was a crazy lightning storm so we hung out in side for a while. I haven’t had time or internet to post the rest of my California adventure. I did keep writing about it so I will post those throughout the week as I have time.

Dan had this great idea that we should try to make red beans and rice while we are here. It is a traditional Monday thing to do in Louisiana (or so I read in the New Orleans cookbook this morning). So it’s Monday afternoon and we are simmering red beans and rice right now.

We kind of put a bunch or recipes that we read together and made up our own thing…

…for the Red Beans:

1 lb. dried red kidney beans

1 medium onion

5 stalks celery

1 green bell pepper

5 coves of garlic, minced

1 lb. pickled pork

1/4 lb. bacon (about 4 strips)

3 Cajun sausages (Andouille)

2 tbsp. Cajun seasoning

2 bay leaves

salt and pepper

…for the Rice:

3 cups long grain rice

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp olive oil

6 cups water or chicken stock

Soak the red beans in a pot completely covered in water overnight. drain and rinse them in the morning, cover with water again and boil for 1 hour.

Chop the onion, celery, and bell pepper small – they call this the Trinity – a popular base for a lot of cooking Creole dishes.

Chop the pickled pork and bacon into small pieces. In a large dutch oven, saute the bacon to render the fat. Add the Trinity and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent. Add the pickled pork and cook for a few minutes.Season with salt and pepper and  add the Cajun seasoning. Add the beans and cooking liquid to the dutch oven and stir. Let it simmer for about two hours, stirring occasionally.

Cook the rice by bringing the water, salt and olive oil to a boil. Stir in the rice, cover and turn the heat down to low. Allow to cook for about 20 minutes, turn off the heat and let sit for about 20 minutes.

This makes a lot of red beans! It will serve 6-8 people or you can just eat it all week- which is why it is the traditional Monday dish.

I actually ate it with scrambled eggs on the side the next morning and it made a great breakfast.

Here’s our temporary cat for the week. She likes to sit and watch you cook. I can’t tell if she is waiting for food or waiting for attention.

Beautiful Beans

Look at these beautiful beans that available at market right now!

I have been using them in so many dishes lately. I thrown them in to pastas, soups, and salads. I just steam them by dropping them in boiling water for about a minute. Their color intensifies and it takes a little bit of the rawness out of them. After steaming, I drain them and drop them in ice water to halt the cooking process. This way they stay nice and crunchy. I really don’t like over cooked veggies that are mushy.

Here’s one of my favorite salads. It’s so easy to throw together, it only takes about ten minutes to make. It’s perfect to bring to parties in the summer months. You can mix and match the beans to go along with whatever is in season. It’s even great with a variety of canned beans if it is the middle of winter.

Easy Bean Salad:

1/3 lb green beans

1/3 lb yellow wax beans

1/3 lb dragon tongue beans (the ones with the purple stripes above)

1 can black beans

1 can chick peas

1 can dark red kidney beans

1 can cannellini beans

1 lemon, zested and juiced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 small red onion, chopped small

1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup garlic vinaigrette  or white wine vinegar

handful of  basil leaves, chopped

handful of flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped

salt and pepper (to taste)

All you have to do is mix it all together in a big bowl and serve. It is even better the next day! You might want to make some extra for yourself…