As the dog-days of August are winding down – although to be truthful, we’ve had some pretty glorious days for late August on the East coast – we’re beginning to tire of salads and dinners on the grill. Personally, there are days when I just want some really hearty comfort food despite the heat. Alas, I don’t want to turn on the oven and heat up the house. This dish is one that I’ve been throwing together for awhile now; it’s hearty and delicious without heating up the kitchen.
Another thing that makes this dish a winner is its versatility. You can change, or add more vegetables. I’ve made it with peas instead of green beans; my sister adds celery and carrots when she makes it. You can also cook all the components ahead of time and refrigerate them. After a long day of work, just come home and throw everything together in a large skillet and let them mingle til they’re heated throughout.
Here’s what you’ll need:
One pound sausage, pork or turkey, links or ring, sweet or hot – lots of choices!
Three large potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed, and cut into chunks – I prefer red potatoes or Yukon Gold
One large onion, sliced
One can green beans
Salt and pepper to taste
First things first:
Scrub those potatoes, and cut them into -a little bigger than- bite size chunks. Peel and slice the onion. Rinse and drain the green beans. Set everything aside.
Sprinkle salt in the bottom of a large skillet; add the sausage. I learned the salt trick from my cooking teacher in high school – shout out to Mrs. Adele Thorjussen – she taught us when cooking meat to sprinkle salt in the bottom of a pan to keep it from sticking, thus avoiding any additional oil.
Put the potatoes in a large pot, and cover with water. Place on medium-high heat and parboil for about 15 minutes. You don’t want them to be cooked completely through because you’re still going to add them to the skillet with all the other ingredients and they will get too mushy.
You’ll want to use the same method with the green beans; boil them for three to five minutes.
Using a colander, drain the potatoes and green beans together and let them hang out till they’re ready to join the sausage and onion.
When the sausage has been browned on both sides, and cooked slightly through, remove to a cutting board and slice into large chunks. Return the sliced sausage to the skillet and add the onion.
When the onion has become translucent, not browned, add the potatoes and green beans to the skillet. Cover and cook on medium-low heat for another 15-20 minutes.
This was borne from not knowing what to have for dinner one day, and checking to see what I had on hand. It’s one of my all-time favorite dishes, and it’s even better the next day as leftovers! It’s really easy to make; there’s no added oils or rich sauces, just a wonderful melding of flavors and textures.
Well folks, enjoy the rest of your summer. Remember your sunblock, stay cool and hydrated. Before you know it, school bells will be ringing again and it will be time for apple picking, pumpkin picking, and a bevy of new recipes!
Kathleen’s Kitchen is a column running on Kate-book.com once a month. It is written by the amazing Kathleen Neafsey, who loves trying new recipes. Follow her on Twitter @dbmomkat. And make sure to look out for her amazingly fun column, Fabri-Kate