Thursday, January 6, 2011

Leftovers: A lame explanation with sausage, beans and polenta

The simple is always the most delicious. Jill, at Simple Daily Recipes invites all food bloggers to join the blogroll of culinary simplicity and all we have to do is ping her back with a post about a simple and delicious meal preparation. My submission is Sausage with Beans over Polenta. Very, very simple and oh so very comforting. But first, a word of explanation.

As many of you know, I have been blogging for several years. When I first started, I fancied myself a witty political writer and commentator. A satirist. All fine and good, but politics wore me out. Everything is absurd, and there are betterthings to write about. Family, hobbies, culture - in addition to the daily screed about outrageous things in high office.

I am not one of those histrionic types who suffers from Bush Derangement Syndrome, and I didn't invest much of my emotional stock in the Clintonista scandals when they were in office. Politics doesn't determine my fate so much anymore. That isn't to say it won't in the future, but at this time, not like it did when I was a passionate Republican years and years ago. No longer chained to the Republican Party, thanks in large part to the prevailing corruption and stupidity and spinelessness of that party, I now find all politicians and parties worthy of ridicule.

Yesterday, the British, once my favorite kind of Europeans, again preemptively surrendered a useful weapon in the ongoing asymetrical war on Western Civilization. Read about it in the post below. The absurdity of catering to terrorists' whims and taboos is silly to say the least, and stupidly dangerous, besides. Why even care? So I let both barrels go without so much as a care for what people reading it may think, and I am not sorry I said and wrote the things I wrote. Indeed, they were crass, and funny, and absurd. Which is the point. Rush Limbaugh set the precedent for conservatives in demonstrating absurdity by being absurd.
He never apologizes, unless he is wrong, and neither will I. Just an explanation, is all.

Now, for the Simple and Delicious part of the post.

Like you, I shop for bargains. One of the best ways I save money when grocery shopping, is to by from damaged goods stores and discount stores. Amelia's Outlets and Aldi come to mind. I spent the following on ingredients for last night's dinner. Next to what I spent at Amelia's is what I would have spent at Giant.

Canned Great Northern Beans 3/.99 (2.98)
1 large can Progresso diced Tomatoes .79 (1.89)
1 box Quaker Corn Meal 1.00 (2.59)
1 large box Chicken broth - Organic .99 (2.99)
2 pks Italian Sweet Sausage Links 12 links 1.98 (7.00+)
1 lg. pk frozen creamed corn .99 (1.99)
1 quart container of cheddar cheese shreds 2.99 (4.00+)
1 jar roasted red peppers .99 (2.59)

That is quite a whopping savings, wouldn't you agree? At Amelia's or Aldi, I can spend 40 bucks and get at least 3 dinners.

Preparation. Brown sausages in a casserole dish in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, just until lightly browned, but not cooked through. Drain fat from casserole and return sausages, and add sliced onions, roasted peppers, large can of diced tomatoes, and the three cans of white beans. Season with Italian herbs or pizza seasoning, cover casserole and lower the temperature of the oven to 275. Bake for two hours. Go do something with your family.

In the last 20 minutes of preparation, measure 1 cup of thawed cream corn into a sauce pot, along with 1 cup of chicken stock. Add 2 tbspns of butter or olive oil and bring to a gentle boil. If your liquid is boiling rapidly, reduce heat to the lowest setting and cover the pot with a lid. Slowly add 2/3 cup of corn meal while stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Add 1/2 cup - heaping, of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Season with chopped chives, salt and pepper, and if you find your mixture too thick, add a good dollop of half and half or milk. Cover and turn off heat. The residual heat will finish the polenta, and the result is a very silky, flavor packed corn mash with bits of corn and chive to punctuate the goodness. This is comfort food at its best, and very good on rainy days.

Serve in bowls and ladle the sausages and beans over the polenta. My eldest child was skeptical about polenta, but she ended up loving it.

And now some dreamy Madeleine Peyroux for a night cap:


  1. Enjoyed the video. Wish I'd had the sausages. Reminds me of home, which is out your way. I grew up in the fifties in what was then one of America's largest Little Italy neighborhoods, and we had sausage everywhere: at school bazaars, at corner delis, at church after Mass, at everyone's home. There was usually some in the sauce on the stove at my house, and I used to sneak some out of the pot with the wooden spoon when mom went downstairs or outside for a moment. As an adult, I would only go home to see my parents, now gone, every few years, but mom always had sausage when I arrived. Now I can only get the worst crap you've ever tasted.

    Had quite a lot of fun yesterday at Dhimmi Watch. You should check out the thread, about the Church of England, where Morgaan Sinclair once again graced us with a feminist tirade. I was actually quite nice to her, considering the entirely BS invective she spewed, mostly because I could see that the thread was being derailed anyway, and it certainly didn't need my assistance to jump the track completely. What was fascinating, though, was the Catholic-Protestant-atheist/agnostic brawl that ensued. Marisol stepped in, as I knew she would, which is the main reason I didn't launch my own rant, but the fight went on anyway.

    In the course of instructing me in the concept of "womb-wealth" as it applies specifically to the Roman Catholic Church, Morgaan weirdly alluded to Nostradamus and his predictions about the future of the papacy. What was weird about it isn't simply an allusion to Catholic eschatology in the context of an anti-Catholic tirade. No, that's weird enough, but nonetheless characteristically Morgaan. What was really weird was that she baited me about a detail that probably only one in millions of folks, even Catholics, would know. And I, Jewel, am that one. I alluded to the topic in cryptic fashion at the beginning of my essay "What's religion got to do with it?" I'm almost certain she's never been to my site (I have captured zero unknown hits from Cambridge). What's so weird about the whole thing is that, as I explained in my recent post "Infidel music: mail call" (it was posted while you were ill, so you haven't read it), I surprisingly got mail on the topic of Catholic eschatology and on Morgaan's allusion in particular. For my part I didn't get into it with Morgaan at all (as I say, I knew better) but to say that she's onto something would be understatement: she knows just enough about it to get it EXACTLY backwards.

    Anyway, I found the brawl itself way enlightening on the topic of "What's religion got to do with it?" Thus I'll be working on another essay.

    Anyway, sorry that this is all OT ('cept the sausages) but I'm not sure you had a T anyway. At least at this point I don't recall what it was. ;)

    I should do this much writing on my own weblog.

    More later.

    I love to end comments with "More later."

    See what I mean?

    More later.

  2. seanymph1:42 PM

    Maybe Im just getting old, but Im coming to the point of not caring what anyone thinks anymore either. Im sick of politics and politicians, they all lie. I dont think any have MY best interests at heart at all. So dont be sorry for what you write if its how your heart really feels.

    Reading about discount shopping reminded me of my gramma. I used to go with her when I spent summers there and hated that she bought day old bread and veggies and such off a clearance rack. But now that Im older and wiser Im beginning to realize that maybe gramma got the best deals. Ripe stuff is too ripe for sale but perfect for eating and sometimes for preserving. So why not grab it for yourself. Our store here regularly puts meats on a discount rack, 30-50% off. I thought yuck......but then I saw gorgeous steaks 50%off and not out of date. As a chef we used to put meat on a tray in the walkins to let get old and drier....thats called aging. It makes the meat tender. So I snagged some , I thought these dumb shoppers dont know what good is lol.

    Now they all do cuz theres never any steaks anymore, I really need to keep my mouth shut when I find deals :)

  3. Where ya been, hon? Even I've been posting more than you.

    Even here. ;)

    I hope you're not having trouble with the little hostile hottie or with your goomers.

    Come see me when you're up to it.

    Love and prayers,

    Your bud,


  4. Please fix the signature link for poor illiterate Haid. Oy.


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