Wednesday, March 26, 2008
White Bean and Sausage Stew
Mmmmm, I just ate the most delicious grapefruit. George and I had a discussion where we debated whether of not grapefruits are underrated. After an informal survey of our IM friends, grapefruits ARE underrated. Just like I thought. I win, George. You lose.
So I've been the apartment cook for the past few days and this has given me the chance to cook fromChef On A Shoestring. As with the pizza recipe and an upcoming braised beef recipe, this recipe turned out really, really well. Absolutely no complaints.
I forgot to take the traditional picture of the collected ingredients. Oops. Please forgive me. But for this recipe it doesn't really matter 'cause it's so easy.
Start by soaking 1 pound of small, dry white beans overnight. Although there is debate over the necessity of soaking beans, I'm not going to get into it here. If you prefer other types of beans, feel free to use them. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time.
The next day, pick through the bloated, engorged beans. You're looking to get rid of any pebbles and things of that sort. Some people like to sort the beans before soaking them...this is fine. The important thing is to pick through the beans at some point.
After the beans are soaked and picked through, it's time to cook them. Add the beans to a large pot. Cover with water. ALOT of water. Toss in 5 or 6 Italian sausages (hot or sweet) and a bay leaf or two.
Bring to a boil and then drop to a simmer. Remove the sausages after 15 minutes of simmering and set aside.
Continue cooking the beans until smooth and creamy. This will probably take between 1-1.5 hours.
While the beans are cooking, dice some veggies. You're looking for a cup of carrots, a cup of celery and a cup of onion. If you want to use more veggies, feel free. If you feel like adding other veggies, feel free. It's your call. Also, mince some garlic until you have a few tablespoons worth. I made the mistake of pureeing mine with my Micro-plane. I say mistake because pureeing the garlic releases ALOT of garlic flavor. I felt it was a bit overpowering. Oh well, you live you learn. Slice the sausages into bite size pieces.
Once the beans are done cooking and have had a chance to cool for 1/2 an hour, drain them but reserve 4 cups of the bean cooking liquid. Take 1/2 of the cooked beans and blend them with 2 cups of the cooking liquid.
Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to your large pot and saute the carrots and onion until the onions are soft and transluscent. Toss in the celery and garlic and saute for 30 seconds or so. Pour in 1/2 cup of dry white wine. Recipe calls for a full cup but I felt 1/2 cup was sufficient. Cook for 30 seconds. Toss in the drained beans, sliced sausage and blended/pureed beans. Season with salt and pepper.
Cover and chuck into your pre-heated oven. Cook for 30-45 minutes.
Remove from oven, re-taste for seasoning. If the stew is a bit thick, thin it down with the reserved bean cooking liquid.
Done! I like to drizzle each bowl with a nice glug of good quality olive oil.
And just a short video to show you the aftermath of pizza night and white bean stew...actually, our kitchen has been much, MUCH worse than this.
Time-Overnight to soak the beans, a few hours to simmer the beans but the rest of it takes no more than 30 minutes.
Total- About 6 bucks. Serves 4-5. $1.20-$1.50 per serving.
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