Wednesday dinner: Chorizo white bean stew

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My Wegmans just recently began carrying chorizo in its meat department. It’s possible that they have been doing this for a while, but I like to think that I would have noticed, as I look for these sorts of things on a regular basis. I’m glad, to be honest. I’ve had success making my own, but sometimes a store-bought version is handier. The best I had found locally was at Nojaim Bros. on Gifford Street in Syracuse‘s Near West Side neighborhood, which serves the area’s Latin American and Caribbean populations. It’s out of my way to get there, so I’m happy that Wegmans has a convenient, and good quality, option.

2013-01-30 at 17-21-48I ran into a problem or two with tonight’s recipe from Bon Appétit. First, the recipe calls for fresh sausage, either chorizo or Italian sausage. Fresh Italian sausage is easy to come by around here. It’s all a matter of the butcher, deli or grocer you want to visit. Fresh chorizo…not so much. While I make my own from time to time, I don’t case it. I leave it loose and use it as bulk sausage. Tonight’s recipe would not work as well with that style. Secondly, there is far too much liquid here. The 16 oz. of stock came nowhere near reducing in the way that it should. The end result was a soup that I served with a slotted spoon. It was fine, don’t get me wrong, but something was not right here. I took a few liberties in the instructions, which is why I’ve listed this recipe as “adapted from” rather than “by” the magazine.

WHAT WORKED: The chorizo links. The other reason this recipe is adapted is that I didn’t have to cook the sausage. It was already done for me. What I did do was brown the chorizo, which brought out both the meat’s juice’s and a sweet flavor.

WHAT DIDN’T: The amount of liquid, as mentioned above.

WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: She thought it was good. Today was an eventful day at her place of work, so she didn’t deviate much from that story.

WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: Maybe, but with some tweaks.

2013-01-30 at 18-16-04Chorizo white bean stew
Adapted from Bon Appétit

1 tbsp. olive oil
12 to 16 oz. fully cooked chorizo sausage
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 sprig thyme, stripped of its leaves
2 15 oz. cans cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
5 oz. baby spinach
Two pinches of smoked paprika

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Add sausage to a Dutch oven over high heat. Cook until browned on all side, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside.

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Reduce heat to medium, add olive oil, onion, garlic, and thyme. Cook until onion is browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Add beans, broth and paprika, and cook 8 to 10 minutes, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Crush a few beans with the back of a spoon against the side of the pan to release starches and thicken the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Add spinach by handfuls and cook just until wilted, about 2 minutes.

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