January 21, 2012

Sausage and White Bean Cassoulet

This is one of those recipes that you would be proud to serve to company yet it's ridiculously simple. My favorite recipe type by far. While it could definitely be gussied up by adding some confit, some homemade bread crumbs, or maybe serving it over some sort of puree, I liked it just the way it was. Served with some french bread torn right off the loaf, a glass of wine and a simple salad with nothing more than red leaf lettuce and some homemade vinaigrette. Yup, this was winter Friday night staycation worthy alright. Follow it up with a documentary and some downloading of Nico records and I'm in heaven.

I modified the recipe a little and added some spices to the tomatoes before they went into the oven. I also added much more than a "glug" of wine...I like to drink my wine in as many ways as possible. Enjoy!

Sausage and White Bean Cassoulet
recipe from Sweet Sugar Bean

2 pints of cherry tomatoes
4-6 hot Italian sausages OR Chorizo sausages
4 large garlic cloves, smashed
1 onion, cut into wedges
extra virgin olive oil
balsamic vinegar
coarse salt and pepper
few sprigs fresh thyme OR rosemary
3 cups cooked white navy beans or white kidney beans OR 1 19 oz can (540ml) of white beans, rinsed and drained well
chicken broth or white wine(optional)

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 425 *F.
Scatter tomatoes over bottom of dish (reserve about 1/2 cup to add later). Add garlic, onion and sausages over top. Drizzle with balsamic and olive oil. Toss on rosemary and sprinkle with S & P and other spices if using. Bake about 25-30 minutes, for sausages to be golden and tomatoes start to burst. Remove from oven and stir in beans and reserved 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes. If you'd like a bit more sauce with your beans, add a glug or white wine or chicken stock. Return to oven and bake 20 minutes longer or until beans are cooked through. Serve with bread and butter for dunking; green salad on the side. Makes enough for 4.

Snug as a bug

In go the beans

C'est fini

January 9, 2012

Hot and Sour Mushroom, Cabbage and Rice Soup

This was seriously the most delicious thing that I have made in a while. The moment I saw this recipe in my email from The Kitchn I knew I had to make it as soon as humanly possible and I am so very glad I did.

I have always loved hot and sour soup at Chinese restaurants, though I have not had it in a very long time. This soup was not quite exactly the same as how I remember traditional hot and sour soup, but the flavors were very similar. This soup is much different than soups I typically make, flavorwise, but I loved it. I never thought I would create such a close replica of hot and sour soup at home as quickly and easily as it was with this recipe.

I modified the recipe a touch from the original, but only adding an onion and shredded chicken. I didn't have any home made stock to use, but store bought worked great for me. I could not stop oohing and aahing over how delicious it was! In fact I think as soon as I finish with this post I will go eat another bowl of it.

I highly recommend making this soup if you are in dire need of a winter blues remedy, as the original post suggested. It definitely made me happy.  This could very easily be made vegan by omitting the chicken and using veggie broth. I also think it would be great to add more vegetables like carrots or using brussels sprouts in place of cabbage or tossing some spinach in or any other veggie that needs to get used up. The broth is so flavorful!

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Without further ado, here is the recipe as I made it.

Hot and Sour Mushroom, Cabbage and Rice Soup: (makes about 8 servings)

-1 tablespoon canola oil
-1 small onion, julienned
-1/2 pound cremini or shiitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced
-1 to 3 jalapeno peppers, finely diced (I used 2 red peppers because the store didn't have jalapenos, and I wish I had used more, but topping the finished soup with Sriracha chili sauce did the trick!)
-6 cloves garlic, minced
-One 3-inch lump ginger, grated, or 1 tablespoon ginger puree
-3 limes, zested and juiced
- 8 cups broth — turkey, chicken, or vegetable
-2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
-1/2 cup jasmine rice
-1/2 small head green cabbage, cut in half and shaved thin 
-2 tablespoons soy sauce, plus more to serve
-Chili garlic sauce or kimchi, to serve

  2012-01-08 amazing soup 001


-Heat the oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent.

-Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes without stirring. Toss the mushrooms after 5 minutes and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until well-browned.

- Add the diced peppers, garlic, and ginger and cook for about five minutes or until fragrant and slightly softened. (This smelled incredible!)

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-Add the lime zest, chicken, and broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked.

-Remove chicken from pot, add the rice, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the rice is just barely soft.

-While the rice is simmering, shred the chicken.

-Once the rice is barely soft, add the shredded chicken back to the pot along with the shaved cabbage, lime juice, and soy sauce.

-Simmer for another few minutes or until cabbage is hot. 2012-01-08 amazing soup 013

-Serve with extra soy sauce, lime wedges, and kimchi or chili garlic sauce.

 Now I'm hungry. Enjoy!