Monday, October 8, 2007

White Bean and Sausage Stew

Since the weather is bound to cool down at some point, I thought I'd share a new recipe. This is something we "threw together" for dinner a couple of weeks ago -- and it turned out to be an instant autum favorite. It's a variation on the traditional cassoulet, and is PERFECT for cool temperatures. We like it with a spicy sausage and a hint of red pepper flakes, but this is a great dish for improvisation. Try Italian sausage and basil (add the basil at the end of the dish to finish) or chorizo with poblano peppers and pinto beans (serve tortillas on the side). Paired with some crusty bread, this is a fantastic one-dish meal.

Spicy Bean and Sausage Stew

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
10 oz. spicy sausage (such as andouille), sliced into rounds - we used chicken sausage
1 cup chicken broth
1 14.5-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
1 lb curly green kale, ribs removed, chopped
1 14.5 oz can white (or pinto) beans, drained and rinsed
Crusty bread

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the red pepper and red pepper flakes and saute until red pepper begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, and cook for about 2 minutes more. Add kale with about 1/2 cup of the chicken broth. Increase heat to medium-high, cover, and allow to steam for about 5 minutes (or until kale begins to wilt). Add the sausage, remaining broth, tomatoes and their juices. Allow to cook for 5-7 minutes at a simmer, allowing the juices to reduce slightly. Add beans and allow to remain on the heat until heated through. Remove from heat. Season with the salt and pepper and spoon into individual bowls.

Serve with bread.
Yield: Makes 4 servings

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