Aaaah, November 8th, it’s finally here. I am SO happy it will be over soon. I suppose I shouldn’t really be too happy just in case I end up in the internment camp one of our presidential candidates wants to send me and all my kind. Let’s hope they have WiFi and I’ll let you know in my next post.
All jokes aside, it really has been an ugly and offensive campaign all around. It’s a little embarrassing in that, one of these two is the best we can do to represent the great United States. Of course, I really can’t talk, look at the state of the United Kingdom, we’ve got our very own clowns running the country. ****SIGH****
I’ll just be happy that I don’t have to receive 10 mud slinging fliers every day in the mail telling me this and that. Honestly, they’re like a bunch of kids whining about or telling on each other. I teach my children to not be whiners and tattle tales but here we have grown ups doing the very same thing!
ANYWAY, I have managed to keep politics out of my blog all year and I’m not about to start now. Of course, if I get whisked away and locked up, I may need you all to fight for my release 🙂
So, this stew…delicious.
I first had something similar in a restaurant in Houston where the lovely Turkish man who owned the restaurant went out of his way to make everything special for us.
This was a few years ago when my cousins were still studying in the University of Houston, unmarried and without kids and family. We spent a lot of time together and if they’re weren’t at my house, we’d be out trying a new restaurant or having picnics at the parks.
My children were still young at the time and spent a lot of time with their uncles. My children were great bait for young, single women and my cousins used that to their benefit!
My cousins first discovered this little Turkish gem and wanted me to try it out. The owner was a lovely man. I asked his opinion on what to try and he told me he’d make this special dish for me. I agreed and I remembered it came out in a little clay bowl, hot and bubbly with the greatest aroma ever.
The flavour was rich and tomatoey with a garlicky, spicy smokiness from the soujouk. I remember enjoying every morsel spooned over some perfectly cooked and buttered, white Basmati rice.
If you are not familiar with soujouk (or sujuk or soujuk) it’s a semi dried, semi hard sausage originating from Armenia. It’s popular in Turkey and in other Mediterranean countries. It can be mild or spicy and has a great garlicky flavour and chewy texture. As you know, I’m not a big sausage fan but I like soujouk. I can’t always find it and even if I can, I don’t always buy it. I try, usually, to steer clear from nitrites and sulphites but once in a while to satiate a craving or nostalgia, I’ll buy some.
Soujouk is great just sliced up and fried along with breakfast but it lends well to stews because it’s so highly flavoured.
I cooked this in a clay pot but you can just use a regular dutch oven or pot. I remember my dish at the restaurant was cooked and served in an individual clay pot. I’m not entirely sure if that added any flavour, but since I have a clay pot, I thought I would use it to add that “authentic” flavour and look 🙂
Serves: 6-8 servings
- 1 pound/455g Soujouk sausage, spicy or mild
- 1 cup/160g onion, finely chopped (1 small onion)
- 2 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 3 cups/470g gold potatoes, small cubes
- 8-10 oz/275g frozen butter beans or other tinned white beans
- 2 cups/475ml water
- 15oz/425g tin crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons harissa paste, mild
- 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper/Pul Biber
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley to garnish.
- Slice the soujouk sausage in slices or chunks, your preference.
- Heat a sauté pan, dutch oven or clay pot on medium heat and add the sausage.
- Let the fat render from the sausage and brown.
- Once the sausage is browned, remove from the pan and take out all but a tablespoon of the fat.
- Add the onions and saute until softened.
- Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two until fragrant.
- Add the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes to remove the "raw" flavour.
- Add the cumin powder and paprika.
- Add the cubed potatoes and the butter beans and toss with the spices and oil to coat.
- (NOTE: if you are using tinned beans, add them closer to the end of cooking time.)
- Fry a couple of minutes and then add the 2 cups of water.
- Bring to a boil, lower the heat and cover.
- Simmer until the potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes.
- Add the tin of crushed tomatoes, the harissa paste, the Aleppo pepper and sugar.
- Add ½ cup more water if needed.
- Mix through, cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes.
- If you are using tinned beans, add them 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
- Serve with hot, buttery Basmati rice and a fresh, lemony green salad.
If you are able to find the soujouk sausage, I hope you’ll give this a try. It’s really quite delicious.
I have been quite under the weather the last couple of weeks with a cold, migraines and bouts of severe nausea. It’s a combination of a change in weather, sick kids and trying new cocktails of medications. I haven’t been able to make my blog rounds so I do apologise. I am on the mend so hope to catch up with my reading this week.
Since I started this post off with kind of a depressing scenario, I will end with some happy news. My husband and I celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary next week and so we’re off to celebrate the weekend up in Cheyenne Mountain. I would’ve loved a trip around the world but our jobs and kids don’t permit that kind of time away. I’m happy with a weekend in a resort in the mountains.
I’m really excited, not just because of the weekend but because of our milestone. It isn’t easy to get along with one person for 20 years, but he’s such a laid back, easy guy that I haven’t even felt the years go by. We just get along and we’ve made sure to make time for each other throughout the years.
So, Trump or Clinton, I don’t care at this point. I have the love of my life, my kids, you guys and my weekend away. I’m happy.