January 24, 2008

another graceful offering

As Karen is to being alive, Carol is our spiritual hunter - ever in search of peace of mind. She's methodical, organized (actually most of the graces in my life are highly organized, I've learned lots from them), fiercely loyal, caring and huggy.

She organized the cooking night that pulled together five women who would put oodles of food in my freezer.

She not only invited the graces to bring recipes, but she made one of her own and served us dinner, all on a Tuesday night.

My job was to sit in a chair, scoff appetizers, throw wine down my gullet and offer pithy critiques of the whole jumbled process. They said that's what I do best....hmmm.

Carol's dinner choice was interesting. It was Chicken Sausage with White Beans and Rosemary, from a book called On Rice by Rick Rodgers (wasn't he a country singer? he shoulda been...maybe that's where the bean recipe comes from, home on the range).

Rodgers writes in his book that this is a Tuscan version of the worldwide pairing of beans and rice - I have a limit to my beans and rice intake, since my various trips to Central and South America. I have done my fair share...

This recipe sounded pretty white - and pretty bland. But it was incredibly comforting. So I share it here - although I might raise the octane on some of the flavourings at will - and don't skimp on the salt. Taste carefully at the end.

Chicken Sausage with White Beans and Rosemary, from On Rice

1 lb hot or sweet chicken sausage or turkey Italian sausage
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium red pepper, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary or 1-1/2 tsp dried rosemary
2 cans (15 ounces each) white kidney beans
1/4 tsp of salt (I'd add and taste...because I suspect this might be low for some people)
1/4 tsp of freshly ground black pepper

Pierce the sausage with a fork. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer uncovered, until the sausage is firm, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Slice the sausage into 1/2" rounds and set aside. (I might grill these next time, to see if that offers a different hit of flavour.)

In a flame proof casserole or Dutch oven heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic and red pepper. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring often.

Stir in the broth, wine and rosemary. Bring to a simmer for five minutes, uncovered. Add beans and sausage rounds, simmer for 10 minutes until beans are hot. Add salt and pepper.

Serve with rice. Place rice in bottom of bowl and spoon meat and beans over top, and serve.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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