Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lima Beans and Turkey Smoked Sausage with Fresh Corn Polenta

This is about as country as my cooking gets.  I still had a bunch of veggies left from Thursday, and I'll get getting more in a couple of days.  I had no idea what I'd do with the lima beans at first; succotash came to mind, but for some reason I only ever want that in winter.  So, I hunted for a recipe and found this one, which called for chicken.  Since I just made chicken the other night, I figured I'd slightly alter the recipe to something just as flavorful (turkey smoked sausage) that wouldn't require so much effort.  Because of all the veggies I still had on hand, I almost made this without the smoked sausage so as to sneak in another veggie or two, but hey - make what you're in the mood for, right?

Lima beans with turkey smoked sausage:
2 cups fresh lima beans, rinsed and sorted
3 cups vegetable broth
2 tbsp canola oil
8 oz. turkey smoked sausage, cut in half lengthwise and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 tbsp canola oil
3 mild banana peppers, finely chopped
2 tbsp flour
pepper to taste

Bring 3 cups of vegetable broth to a boil.  Add lima beans, cover and simmer on medium for 20 minutes.

In a wide, shallow pan, heat 2 tbsp canola oil over medium heat.  Add turkey smoked sausage and saute until warmed, about 3-5 minutes.  Add green bell pepper and continue cooking until smoked sausage begins to brown, another 5 minutes.  Transfer smoked sausage and bell pepper mixture to a plate, keeping as much of the pan drippings in the pan as possible, and set aside.

Add another tbsp canola oil to the pan.  Once heated, add banana peppers and saute on medium heat until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes.  Stir in 2 tbsp flour and continue cooking until flour-oil mixture begins to brown (stir often to keep it from burning).  Pour in cooked lima beans and all remaining broth and stir well.  Stir in reserved smoked sausage and bell peppers.  Continue to cook, uncovered, until sauce has thickened to desired consistency.  Check seasoning and add pepper to taste.

Fresh corn polenta:
3 ears fresh corn, baked with husks on
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Remove all husks and threads from corn after baking.  Cut corn off the cob using a serrated knife.  Place corn kernels in a blender with water and puree until smooth.  Pour polenta into a saucepan and heat to medium.  Stir constantly when it starts to bubble, and continue cooking, stirring often, until desired thickness is reached.  Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese.

The end result was okay, although my original plan had been to make the polenta thick enough to form wells on the plate and spoon the smoked sausage and lima beans into that, making it a somewhat more sophisticated take on Southern cooking.  Turns out that if you want to put corn in a blender, you need at least four ears' worth if you don't want to have to add liquid.  Oh, well.  On the bright side, I learned as we were finishing up that Steve was still pretty full from the chicken l'orange he had for lunch!

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