Hello, May! You are here, and the OBX is gettin’ busy. The shop is busy, you guys are busy, we’re all busy. Thank goodness for this easy peasy lemon squeezy recipe for Beans and Greens with Sausage, loaded onto some crusty, olive-oiled bread. It’s good for you (hello beany fiber and greeny vitamin K and iron), it’s simple (hi, one pot), and completely delicious (talkin’ about you, spice and garlic). Let me not forget to mention you can eat it with your hands, unless you don’t enjoy using a big hunk of toasted bread as a utensil, in which case… you’re missing out on an important part of life. I mean… ⤵⤵⤵ … yum.
So, like I said, easy peasy: brown some sausage (ideally from this amazing place where they are kind to their pigs), add some onion, garlic, greens (like kale, spinach, or both), pine nuts if you’re feeling fancy, crushed red pepper and paprika, and simmer it down with some chicken stock. Then, pile it high on bread that you’ve hopefully toasted with lots of olive oil in a skillet, squeeze with a little lemon juice if you like, and chow down. Woot woot!
A one-pot, super satisfying and good-for-you dinner that you can eat on huge slices of crusty bread!
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:20 minutes
Total Time:30 minutes
2 T olive oil
1 lb of Italian sausage
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
4 big handfuls of chopped kale or spinach, or 1 box of frozen spinach, thawed
1 can of white beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 C pine nuts (optional)
1 t crushed red pepper
1 t smoked paprika
salt & pepper
1–2 C chicken stock
a squeeze of lemon juice
crusty bread, drizzled with olive oil and toasted in a skillet for serving
Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Lower the heat to medium, add the onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes, until soft.
Stir in the greens, white beans, pine nuts (if using), paprika, crushed red pepper, and salt to taste.
Add 1 C of chicken stock and let it simmer and reduce for a few minutes. If you want more sauciness, add more chicken stock. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice over top, taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve over toasted crusty bread.
Joey and I reheated the leftover bean/green/sausage mixture with a little heavy cream, tossed it with pasta, and sprinkled parmesan on top – equally as yummy!
Well, these little superstars were a big surprise. They were voted Fan Favorite by everyone I know. OK, nobody actually voted or called them that, they just said they were really good. Like, reeeaaalllyy gooooood. Bonus: Because I made a batch for some of Joey’s beer-drinking friends, we also learned they pair incredibly well with beer. I kinda want to change the title of the recipe to Beer Pairing Cookies. Yes?
Speaking of the title, I do want to point out there is no peanut butter, in its true form, in these Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies. The peanut butter is inside the peanut butter pretzels – you know, PeanutButterPretzels? The kind with big salt crystals that come in the big jugs.
Everything else that goes into these cookies is up to you (I threw in handfuls of chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and white chocolate chips) because the base of the recipe is pretty darn amazing. It’s the New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe and it’s foolproof. I can say that because I did not follow the instructions properly and yet, here we are. The original recipe calls for chilling the dough for 24 hours. I did not have that kind of time (slash, I’m lazy) and they were still totally delicious and compliments rained upon me. If you are a planner-aheader, feel free to chill the dough and see how you feel. I’m just here to tell you, life is short, bake the cookies.
1 12 oz bag of chocolate chips or a few handfuls each of chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and white chocolate chips
sea salt for finishing
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl an set aside.
2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together until pale yellow, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in crushed peanut butter pretzels and chocolate chips, or whatever you are using, by hand until just combined.
3. Drop scoops of cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets (I used a #50 scoop). Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through. Remove from the oven, sprinkle very lightly with sea salt, and cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Let’s chat for a bit about great food, created with a little bit of heart and soul in downtown Manteo. Maria and Thomas Williamson, the husband and wife owners of Avenue Grille, stay true to who they are by featuring coastal southern cuisine reminiscent of Thomas’s grandma’s cooking combined with clean, real food that, in some cases, also happens to be gluten-free, vegan, or vegetarian. Their menu has something for everyone and is a reflection of how they love to cook and eat at home. But there’s another element of great importance to how Avenue Grille operates: community. Maria and Thomas wholeheartedly support their town and their restaurant has become a gathering place for locals, as well as hungry visitors. We are not just customers in this place, we are friends, here to enjoy fantastic food and breathtaking views.
Gabe Stabley’s approach to his food and the environment at Outer Banks Taco Bar is intuitively centered around what’s going to make people feel good. People, meaning all of us: me, you, Gabe, and the people who work there. It’s comfortable and satisfying; unique and interesting but still familiar. Nothing feels forced about the food or the setting, because it’s not. The empanadas, the fried rice, the Cuban sandwich – everything is made fresh to order. It’s not cooked until the feeling strikes you and you ask for it. The music is whatever the staff feels like listening to. Even the specials are often inspired by whatever the cook, Nick, or the servers were craving and plucked fresh out of the kitchen for their own lunches between customers.
With a careful focus on quality and regional, seasonal ingredients, Matt Payne is creating true artisan goods on the Outer Banks. While he spends his days cooking wildly-popular dishes as the chef for Bad Bean Baja Grill, more ideas for new and interesting flavors and foods are ever-present in his mind.
Nine years ago, Matt, a 2003 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, began making homemade bacon as Christmas gifts he and his wife could share with friends and family. Each year, he’d turn out a new version of bacon, with different seasonings and components. Recently, he arrived at the idea of pancetta but with a southern twist of adding smoke to the process. This, along with Bacon Jam, Habanero & Sweet Potato Hot Sauce, and Ghost of the Outer Banks Hot Sauce were the first of his Paynefully Good Artisans items available to the community for sale at Buffalo City Jug Shop’s Crafts & Drafts Holiday Market this past Christmas. The demand for the jarred Bacon Jam exceeded the supply in the first hour of the event and Matt started an email wait-list of sorts for his next batch. Now, Matt has bacon, bacon jam, and hot sauces in progress all the time and available for sale at pop-ups around town.