Sunday, November 05, 2006
Spicy Sausage Stew
Yesterday's crisp evening air led to a hearty one dish dinner; a meal unimaginable under today's hot summery sun. Ah, November in Los Angeles. The leftovers will have to wait until the chill returns.
Spicy Sausage Stew
Merguez (or mirqaz in Arabic) sausage, native to North Africa, is often made with lamb and spiced with harissa. I bought mine fresh at Bristol Farms. The "Tuscan" beans are a lightly spiced mix of cannelini and chestnut lima beans. Trader Joe's doesn't always have these beans, so I buy lots when they do.
small handful dried cremini mushrooms
2 merguez sausages
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 small onion, diced
2 small carrots, diced
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme and/or marjoram
1 bay leaf
1 bunch kale, roughly chopped
1 can Trader Joe's Tuscan Bean Medley, drained
Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl and pour water over them. Set aside.
Heat a bit of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add merguez sausages, cooking for about 2 minutes on each side, until browned. Remove from skillet and set aside.
Heat a few swirls of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic cloves, cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add onion and carrots. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add thyme and/or marjoram sprigs and bay leaf. Salt and pepper the mixture to taste.
Add 1/2 of the kale to saute pan, stir in gently. As the first batch of kale wilts, add the rest of the kale.
While the kale is wilting, cut your sausages into 1 inch chunks. Once the kale is wilted, add sausages to saute pan. Add the beans as well. Remove the dried mushrooms from their water bath, and pour a bit of the mushroom water into the skillet, just enough to moisten everything. Add the mushrooms, too.
Cover pan and let cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Remove lid, and if there's still a lot of liquid, let cook over high heat for a few minutes to evaporate it. Serve with some crusty bread.