nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Playing with my food

A nameless thing-- I had some dried lima beans from the farmer's market. (I'm counting the months till the May, when the farmer's markets will be running again.)

Now, about lima beans-- I used to hate them. That's because canned lima beans are disgusting and frozen limas are vaguely ok at best. However, fresh limas (see above about the farmer's markets) are wonderful and cooked from dried can be very good.

Anyway, the limas seemed to want sausage, and I got some at Di Angelo's. Unfortunately, I don't remember what kind of sausage, but I'll find out if anyone cares. It was moderately spicy, with the flavor so nicely balanced that I didn't add any other spices.

I was thinking tomatoes and spinach, but dcseain recommended mustard greens instead of the spinach, and that worked out well.

And I was thinking, "Bake it, with swiss cheese on top". The cheese turned out to be Compte Badoz from Di Bruno Brothers across the street. (What's the opposite of a food dessert? I think I live in a food rain forest here in south Philadelphia.) This is a spectacular cheese, especially melted.

$15/pound cheese isn't ideally frugal living, but this one improves a meal enough that it's clearly a win (in terms of money for quality) over eating out.

Anyway, I didn't have a large enough baking dish to do this in one batch in the oven, so it was stovetop. The lima beans were cooked separately (usual bean recipe-- soak, boil briefly, skim the scum, simmer till done, which was maybe an hour). Sonny Di Angelo (who makes and sells the sausage) believes in browning the sausage until it's about half cooked, then simmering it the rest of the way. I'm not sure this is better than just frying it, but it does produce a nice texture.

Anyway, while the sausage was browning, I threw in the stalks from the mustard greens. When the sausage was brown enougn, I added chopped tomatoes (roughly the same volume as the sausage). They added enough liquid to simmer the sausage. When the sausage and tomatoes were just about done, I added the chopped mustard green leaves, which only needed a little time.

I wasn't sure it was hot enough to melt the shreeded cheese, so I gave it a minute in the microwave. Browning in the oven might have been better, but I don't think it could have been much better.

Not only is this tasty, I was surprised that it turned out to be a pretty dish. The lima beans are ivory-colored, the sausage is brown with a little red, and the tomatoes and mustard greens add red and green.

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