Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Fall Comfort Food: Sausage and Black Bean Stew

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Fall Comfort Food: Sausage and Black Bean Stew
Serves: 6
Difficulty: Easy
Sausage and Black Bean Stew 
This is a wonderful stew to serve as the weather cools. Mostly, this is a cozy meal, the perfect antidote to weeks of excess without feeling excessive. It is quite flexible, and you can try it with turkey sausage, chorizo or Italian sausage, sweet or hot. I used a combination of Italian sausages for this recipe. You can also vary the beans. We love black beans but one could also use garbanzo, pinto, white or a mix. Throw in some chilies for heat and rainbow chard and you are on your way to a wonderful crowd-pleasing mix of flavors. You can swap chard with kale, spinach or another green. (If you are unfamiliar with chard but like spinach, trust me, you’ll love chard.)

While onto to warming, healthy food, check out Curried Chickpea, Lentil and Swiss Chard Stew http://cookingwithlarue.blogspot.com/2012/10/curried-chickpea-lentil-and-swiss-chard.html

But before summer/fall gets away from you, maximize your use of eggplants.  Now is the time and they are great. Three of my favorites, well to be honest, I have many eggplant favorites but for brevity will highlight three to remind you!!

  • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • 1 lb turkey sausage, Italian sausage, chorizo or a mix
  • 8 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 can (14½ oz) diced tomatoes
  • 3 Tb thinly sliced jalapeno or Serrano chilies
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary or ½ tsp dried
  • 2-3 (15 oz) cans of beans, black, pinto, white or garbanzo (undrained) – or mix
  • Fresh corn from 2 ears, or frozen
  • 2 C chicken stock
  • 1 bunch of chopped rainbow chard
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 Tb fresh lemon juice
  • Garnish: chopped cilantro, crème fraiche, sliced avocado 
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add sausage and chopped garlic and sauté until sausage if golden brown and cooked through, breaking up sausage with back of fork, about 5 minutes. 

Cooking the sausage....there are many options here
Reduce heat to medium. Add tomatoes with their juices, sliced jalapeno or serrano chili, ground cumin and chopped fresh rosemary and simmer 10 minutes, stirring frequently. 

Adding the tomatoes and chilies

Add beans with their liquid, chicken stock, corn and bring to a boil. Decrease heat and simmer 10 minutes.  

.....and the beans
Add chopped chard and simmer 5 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Just before serving, add lemon juice. Garnish with chopped cilantro, sliced avocado and a dollop of crème fraiche.

Rainbow chard
All the fixins'
If you want to vary the stew a bit more, place a thick slice of well-toasted, garlic-rubbed bread underneath, ladle the stew over it and finish it with a softly poached egg.  Or, a few gratings of Parmesan or Romano might also be welcome on top, but I don’t think it needs either to be tasty.


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