Cam's Creole Bean Dish

It's spicy!  (It doesn't have to be, just lessen the cayenne if you're scared.)

Cam came up with this one and made it for me the other night.  It's so good.  I felt like I was back in New Orleans.  

We used Scarlett Runner beans from Rancho Gordo.  They are large and dark.  Use those if you can find them.  Otherwise, try cranberry/borlotti or red beans.   

 Makes 6 servings.

Cam's Creole Bean Dish

1 1/2 cups dried beans, soaked overnight in plenty of water

2 links garlic herb pork sausage, casings removed

1 yellow onion, diced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

3 celery stalks, diced

1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon fennel powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder

1 quart vegetable stock

On a pot, over medium high heat, brown sausage meat.  When meat is 'halfway' browned, add onions.  Cook, stirring frequently, until onions become softer and glossy.  Add tomato paste. Stir to coat onions and sausage.  Stir in celery, bell pepper, garlic, bay leaves and all seasonings.  Add stock and drained, soaked beans.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.  Partially cover and simmer 2-2 1/2 hours.  Stew will have thickened and beans will be tender.  Salt to taste. Serve with rice. 

Grilled Portobellos + Creole Tomato Sauce

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There's a restaurant in Ithaca, New York called Maxie's Supper Club that I am obsessed with.  Their margaritas come in pint glasses and there are things like tasso gravy and mighty mighty gumbo on the menu.  They also have chicken fried tuesdays.  (And who doesn't need a little fried chicken on a tuesday?)  

I'm getting carried away.  The reason I bring up my beloved Maxie's is that they have something on the menu that is grilled portobellos with creole tomato sauce.  While I've never seen or ordered it I've haven't stopped thinking how good it sounds.  Cam and I decided to give it a go.

We had sauce leftover and ate it over roasted spaghetti squash.   

(If you are vegetarian, omit worcestershire sauce.  It contains anchovies.)

Serves 4. 

Grilled Portobellos + Creole Tomato Sauce

splash olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, seeded, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

4 cloves garlic, diced

2 green onions, diced, white and green separated  

1 28 oz tin tomatoes

3 bay leaves

4 thyme sprigs, stems discarded

s + p

splash worcestershire sauce 

1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

pinch sugar

8 portobello mushroom caps, cleaned, stems removed

In a medium pot, on medium high heat, cook onion in splash of oil until soft, about 8 minutes.  Add bell pepper, celery, garlic, green onion whites and thyme, cook, stirring, 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes, bay, thyme leaves, worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and cayenne.  Boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.  Adjust seasoning with sugar, salt and pepper.  Stir in parsley.  

While sauce is simmering, cook mushrooms on medium high heat in a grill pan on the stove.  About 5 minutes on each side.  Mushrooms can also be roasted in 425 degree oven, loosely covered with foil for 35 minutes.  

Once mushrooms are done, top with warm tomato sauce.  Garnish with green onion greens.  We served ours with kale sauted with garlic.  yum.