Hey, it’s Shelagh. Gloomy enough out there for you? Me too.
Have you been trying to get more beans in your diet, me too! Love to buy dry beans (cannellini are one of my favorites), soak them overnight then simmer them with a few bay leaves on the stove until they are nice and soft. I really do think canned beans are just fine, but you know me, I love the scratchy-scratch stuff. If you do use canned beans, skip the flavored or saucy versions so you can rinse and drain them.
This one-pan recipe is perfect for a day like today. If you can get outside to grill the sausages, great, if not, just brown them in the same pan. Vegetarian? Leave out the bacon and sausage, (you will need to sauté the veg in about a tablespoon of olive oil), and add another teaspoon of anchovy paste.
Now let’s talk umami, heard of it? I’m a big fan. These beans are loaded with it. Umami just means deep, savory flavor which comes from building certain ingredients as you cook. It’s a Japanese term, they are quite serious about it, for good reason too. You might be thinking ‘anchovy paste, gross’ but trust me, we are taking umami here, and when you sauté it in the pan with the tomato paste, you are building that flavor, umami. It’s a small step but a really great way to boost the beans flavor, and beans need flavor!
For this dish I’ve used a bbq sauce I bought at the St. Paul Farmers Market last week. Chef Earl’s Gourmet BBQ Sauce, Tangy Hot Carolina. It has a little cayenne, vinegar and honey. Chef Earl uses no
high fructose corn syrup in any of their sauces. A eight-ounce bottle was $9 and they are really tasty. Chef Earl and his wife Felicia are pure entertainers! She sells the goods, jokes around with the customers, and he is all chatty business at the grill making samples, selling sandwiches using their sauces and spice mixtures. They are adorable and so personable. Say hi next time you stop at the market, tell them the ‘girl’ with the pigtails sent you.
Bbq’d White Beans & Sausage
Makes 6-8 servings
1 strip of bacon (applewood smoked is yum)
3-4 cooked chicken sausages of your favorite variety, I used a jalapeño variety from TJ’s
1/2 medium red onion, sliced
1 small yellow (or whatever color you like) pepper, diced
1-2 large garlic cloves, chopped up
1 tablespoon tomato paste (splurge on the tubed stuff, it will last a long time and you usually only need a tablespoon or two at at time for most recipes)
1 teaspoon anchovy paste (same thing as tomato paste, you can buy it in a tube, lasts a long time too!)
3 cups cooked cannellini beans or 2 cans of white beans rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chicken stock (water is fine too)
1/2 cup Chef Earl’s Tangy Hot Carolina (or your favorite sauce)
1-2 green onion tops (optional)
1. In a large cold pan, over medium high heat, cook up the bacon until crispy. Remove from pan onto a paper towel lined plate. If cooking the sausage on the stove, add them now, whole and brown on all sides, then remove to bacon plate. Once cooled a little, cut the sausages on the bias.
2. Add onions, and peppers to the pan, sauté for about 4 minutes, stir in the garlic.
3. Make some room in the pan so the tomato and anchovy pastes have contact with the pan, sauté for about 1 minute, then stir into with the rest of the veg.
4. Now add the beans, chicken stock (or water if using) and the bbq sauce. Return the sausages to the pan and simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
5. Sprinkle on some sliced green onion, if using, and serve!
6. Enjoy and for sure let me know what you think! xo