Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Snowy Weekend - Part 1

Finally!  It was about darn time for a frosty weekend at home, as our "winter" thus far hasn't offered its typical font of seasonal culinary inspiration.  I almost forgot how much I adore a pot-of-delicious-something bubbling away on the stove, its aromas filling the house while the snow falls quietly outside.  Call me cheesy; you'll be correct.

I owe a debt of gratitude to my dear friend Maura, who provided me with a recipe from Martha Stewart's January issue, which tragically did not make it into my mailbox for reasons unknown.  I've felt the void.  I've mourned.  But I'm moving on now, thanks to February's delivery and, more importantly, this amazingly delicious recipe that makes me feel like I never missed out in the first place.

Pork Sausages with White Beans

What a completely unworthy title.  I know I get pretty enthusiastic about food in general, but trust me that this a stand-out.  Why?  Imagine savory sausage nestled in a divine stew of white beans, diced tomatoes, white wine, chicken stock, onions, herbs, and yup -- bacon.  THEN this goodness is topped with a layer fresh breadcrumbs sauteed until golden.  Two minutes under the broiler puts the exclamation point on this dish.  It's cozy, super tasty, kid-friendly, and makes great leftovers.

Kinda looks like stuffing on top, huh?   Well, thanks to the wee bit of butter in which the bread sautes, I beg you to believe that it's even BETTER. 

Martha and Maura, you are both my heroes!  On to the recipe.

Pork Sausages and White Beans
(courtesy of Martha Stewart)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounces diced bacon
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes (from one 14.5 ounce can)
1 1/4 cups chicken stock
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 pounds cooked pork sausages (French garlic or bratwurst,) left whole or sliced 1 inch thick
5 cups homemade breadcrumbs, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (sourdough is delicious!)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 325.  Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large braiser or high-sided ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.  Add bacon; cook until crisp.  Add onion; cook until tender.  Add garlic and thyme; cook for 1 minute.  Add wine; cook for 1 minute.  Add tomatoes; cook until sauce is thickened.  Add stock and beans; bring to a simmer.  Add sausages.  Bake for 30 minutes.  

Toast breadcrumbs in remaining butter in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until golden, 8-10 minutes.  Stir in parsley.  Season with coarse salt.  

Remove skillet from oven.  Heat broiler.  Scatter bread-crumbs over top of sausage mixture.  Broil 6 inches from heat source until top is deep golden brown, 1-2 minutes.


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