From the kitchen ofOne Perfect Bite...The Silver Fox and I are both active people, who have, unfortunately, been cursed with appetites that are in sync with the physical effort we expend. I'm not a person generally given to envy, but I do begrudge those who appetites diminish with exercise and other physical activity. Though we have learned to be self-regulating eaters, our summer meals rarely showcase salad as a main course. I still serve soups and stews, though they are lighter than their winter counterparts. The recipe I'm featuring tonight falls into a category that Rachael Ray calls a stoup. A stoup is a casserole-type dish that is thinner than a stew but thicker that a soup. They lack the rib-sticking heaviness of their winter counterparts, but they are substantial enough to satisfy a hungry crew after a day on the water. Now, I'm not sure the folks at Bon Appetit would categorize their bean and sausage creation as a stoup, but it really falls into that category. I really like this dish and I think you will too. it is easy to make and darned near foolproof if it is made with fresh herbs. I'm not much into absolutes, but dried herbs simply will not work in this dish. I have made just one small change to the original recipe. I wanted the dish to have a bit more body to it, so I worked a tablespoon of flour into the butter enrichment that is added just before the stoup is served. The beurre manié does the trick and thickens the sauce so it barely coats a spoon. The herbs and sausage carry the flavors in this dish, so use the best that you can get your hands on. The dish comfortably feeds four when it is extended with a salad and good bread. I really hope you'll give this recipe a try. You won't be sorry. Here is how this stoup is made.
Franks and Beans...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Bon Appetit magazine
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, smashed
1-1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage links (about 6), divided
2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed
1 cup dry white wine
10 flat-leaf parsley stems
10 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (such as oregano, flat-leaf parsley, and tarragon), divided
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1) Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5-8 minutes. Remove and discard casings from 2 sausages; add sausages to pot. Cook, breaking up with a spoon, until sausages and onions are lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
2) Add beans and wine to pot and cook until wine is reduced by half, 8-10 minutes. Using kitchen twine, tie parsley and thyme into a bundle; add to pot along with bay leaves and broth. Cook on medium-low heat, partially covered and stirring often, until liquid thickens, 40-50 minutes. Discard bundle and bay leaves. Mix butter with flour to form a paste. Stir into bean mixture along with 2 tablespoons chopped herbs. Season with salt and pepper.
3) Meanwhile, after beans have been cooking for about 25 minutes, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook remaining sausages, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 15-20 minutes. Slice.
4) Divide bean mixture among bowls. Top with sausage slices and remaining 1 tablespoon chopped herbs. Yield: 4 servings.
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