Sausages with White Beans in Tomato Sauce via Bon Appetit

>> Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Perfect for the first day of fall, the Bon Appetit newsletter highlighted several Oktobestfest, and easy Italian recipes. Upon looking, I was immediately floored to cook this delicious recipe: sausages with white beans in tomato sauce.

I followed the instructions almost to a tee and it turned out beautifully. Hearty, rich and protein heavy, this was a simple recipe that can be execute by the most novice of chefs. I would highly, highly recommend on a blustery fall day :)

I changed up the recipe for portions and also I did not have the 1/2 cup of reserved cooking liquid, but it was still great.

Ingredients (for two! Jackie ate with me :) )

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can white beans 
  • 4 links of sweet Italian sausage (although this was a lot for two people - going back I would use two)
  • 1 can plum tomatoes in juice
  • 1 large fresh sage sprigs
  • 1 cup water

Heat oil in a large pot (can be skillet, but I liked using a pot). Saute garlic until browned, about 2 minutes.

Add in sausage. I removed the casings and simply crumbled. To remove the casing just run your knife down the side of the link and pull back the casing. Saute the sausage for about 5 minutes until its brown.

Add in the tomatoes and sage. Let this simmer on low heat for five minutes.

Next add in the white beans and water, then place lid on and let the mixture simmer for 30 minutes.

If your stew is too runny, take off the lid and turn up the heat. If you mixture is looking too dry add in 1/4 cup water.

Honestly, the consistency for me was perfect.

This will be one of my go-to recipes for the fall. Not only is it completely filling, but for the entire meal including bread the total came out to about $10, which will serve about 3 people (we had enough left overs for another person).


Fette Sau

>> Friday, September 18, 2009

Now I have lived in the South for a long time and experienced all different kinds of BBQ. As you know from my previous posts, I'm not afraid to travel for barbecue that I know to be good. Take Lexington Barbecue for example - I drove an hour and half outside of Charlotte for 30 minutes of eating and I wouldn't take back one second of it. Bottom line: I love good food, especially barbecue, and will travel for it. This brings me to the subject of this post: Fette Sau.

I am not saying Williamsburg is far from Manhattan - it's not. It's just a mental distance that I had to cross. Fette Sau (which means "fat pig" in German) is only one stop off of the L line at Bedford and it's worth the whole 10 minutes that it will take someone from Union Square to get there...

Tucked in the back of an alley and only illuminated by a bright pink neon sign, Fetta Sau's inconspicuous nature is only the beginning of it's charm. Once home to an old body shop, this bbq eatery automatically kept rising in my books when I walked in and noticed the wall of liquor (mostly bourbons) and cuts of meat painted on the walls. The smell of smoke and meat fill the air and I was automatically turned into a vicious carnivore ready to attack my kill - or someone else's kill rather (all of their meat is lovingly raised). Instead of being rash, John, a wonderful friend of mine, sat down at the bar to check out all the different types of bourbons that we could sip on. The bartender informed us that they only server liquors from the northern hemisphere and despite my protest they were unable to make a hot totty, mainly because they don't have access to hot water or a stove. That's right, everything cooked at Fette Sau is slowly roasted. I put my anger aside and realized that this was a great thing - no stove in a restaurant - classic.

After consulting with our bartender we mustered the strength and stood in line, mentally prepared for our order:

  • 1/4 lb pork belly
  • 1/2 lb pulled pork
  • 4 pork ribs
  • Medium baked beans
  • German potato salad
Everything is weighed and priced per pound, which actually is great thing since you are able to mix and match pieces of meat and truly customize your order. Feeling confident we sat outside at our picnic table and then accessed each potential bbq sauce, because no matter how good your bbq is, sauce will always make it better. Just like Goldy Locks we had to try all three to find one that was juuuuuusssst right. The first sauce was clearly a North Carolina style sauce and definitely vinegar based, the second one was ketchup based and a little sweet, and the third one was so spicy! Instead of picking one we put the vinegar on the pulled pork and mixed the ketchup based and spicy bbq together. Perfection.

Now for the good stuff: how did it taste?! Well the pulled pork was juicy, tender and the right mix of meat and fat. Had a nice smoky flavor and would have been perfect on a sandwich. The ribs literally fell off the bone. I mean one bit and the meat was just dangling there! Pink lined the edges showing just how long those suckers had sat in a smoker. The care that went into the ribs was evident in every bite. Outstanding! Then the pork belly. Oh the pork belly. So rich, it would melt in your mouth. On either side of the meat were two large layers of fat that just soaked up the sauce, the smoke, everything. Honestly, I only had two bites, but trust me I savored every last second of them.

Unfortunately, the baked beans were a complete miss for me. The flavor was almost there, but there was too much brown sugar and too much sauce. I like my beans with a little more bacon and not as much sauce. I mean they were fine, but based on the caliber of dishes that I just described, I think you can agree, that more was to be expected. However, the German potato salad was a nice refreshing treat from all the heavy meats. With grainy mustard, sweet valdalia onions and tangy vinegar these were a hit!

While not an everyday sort of meal this was one for the record books. Delicious food, amazing atmosphere knowledge staff and reasonable prices make this a trip worth taking!

354 Metropolian Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11211


Solvay Cares Scholarship

>> Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It's that time of year again, the Solvay Cares Scholarship is here! This scholarship is creatively focused and recognizes the achievments of students with Cystic Fibrosis or CF. It's a great cause and they need your help to decide the winner of a $17,000 scholarship.

Check out this video montage of all their work and click here to vote for your favorite student!!


Clinton Street Bakery

>> Monday, September 14, 2009

It's 2:30 on a Sunday and I am thinking to myself, the time has come; Clinton Street Bakery once and for all - you will MINE. This immensely popular bakery has been on my list for some time (I feel like I say that a lot, but sincerely you should see this list...) and when my best friend Jessica came in town it provided the perfect opportunity to head down to the Lower East side and see if we could grab a sear at this famous brunch spot. Despite the fact that it was 2:30 in the afternoon we still had to wait for a seat, but at that point I was just happy to know that temporary bliss was only thirty minutes away. 

Brunch is a hard thing to sell to people - I mean how different can pancakes, bacon and eggs really be? When I kept telling Jessica "It's ok, just a little while longer this place is suppose to be great...I know your tired, but I heard the pancakes are out of this world...I promise it's worth it!" It better be worth it. 

Walking in, you think you are in store for just another classic diner/bakery. There is a lot of hustle and bustle and beautiful glass cases displaying the different scones and muffins. Lucky for us we were sat near a window and were greeted quickly. 

Knowing that I would die if I did not get something immediately, Jessica and I quickly scanned the menu and decided that scones and biscuits were necessary ASAP. Our lovely se rver returned with a mixed berry scone, butter and raspberry jam. Unfortunately there are no pictures because it was inhaled. I am 99% sure there is crack mixed in with the dough. Salty and sweet with a nice a soft, flaky crust, this scone was made for eating. 

Quickly after that our main meal arrives...

  • Blueberry pancakes with warm maple butter
  • Sugar cured bacon
  • Cheese grits
Jessica got something else, but let's be honest, I was focused on me. Me, me, me. My grits must have been prepared by a Southern; creamy, fluffy and bursting with cheddar cheese. The trick with grits it that you have to find the right balance between stirring often enough and not over stirring to the point where they become gummy. These were pretty damn close to being perfect, they congealed a little quickly, but maybe I was just savoring Jessica's pancakes too much. I'm going to be honest, it's not that the pancakes themselves were that great, its that the warm maple butter is simply out of this world. This for sure has crack in it, because there was nothing left in that little ramekin by the time Jessica and I called it quits. 
The sugar cured bacon. Hmm. Here's the thing. I really wanted this to be good. Really, I did. I have a sick problem with the whole salty/sweet thing. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. This time it didn't work for me. The sugar coating was so thick that it completely overwhelmed the saltiness of the bacon, which is the best part about the bacon. The sugar disabled the ability for the fat to melt in my mouth, which is the second reason that bacon rocks. I understand the notion behind it, but for me, I would rather just eat the regular bacon. Still points for originality.

Would I go there again and wait for 2 hours to eat? Probably not. However, I was more than happy waiting 30 minutes for a meal that I considered one of the better brunches in the city, if not just for that maple-butter-syrup-cracklaced-dipping sauce.  

4 Clinton Street
New York, NY 10002 


Pumpkin Fluff by Leah - Repost!

>> Thursday, September 10, 2009

Talk about welcoming Fall with open arms, this pumpkin fluff has affirmed my belief that all things Fall are incredible.

I came home yesterday to find this delicious orange treat staring at me softly whispering "EAT ME NOW" and so with a ginger snap I dove in. I couldn't stop. I made myself sick. No big deal, it was totally worth it.

If you too want to be seduced by this delectable treat


  • Approx. 16 oz. canned Pumpkin
  • Lg. container of cream cheese
  • fresh nutmeg
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • cinnamon
  • lg. box of vanilla pudding mixture
  • whipped cream
Mix canned pumpkin and cream cheese, then add vanilla pudding mixture.
Add spices to taste and then fold in whipped cream. Everything is just to taste, if you like more spice, add more spice, if you want it to be lighter, add more whipped cream. You can't go wrong.
Serve cold with thin ginger snaps and watch out, I guarantee you will put a dent in it without even noticing.
I received a digital camera for my Bday so pictures will be coming soon and who knows, potentially a video. The Frugal Foodies are getting crazy!!
Happy Fall Everyone!!


Upcoming Posts

>> Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I know, I know I've been away...these past few weeks have been tough on me and my sanity...I've moved for the second time and am still not done (3 more to go...) However, I have been eating out a ton :)
Some of the thing on my list to write:

  • Corner Bistro
  • Lemon ice cream and Blackberry jam
  • Lemon Dill salmon
  • Clinton Street Bakery (SOO YUM!)
I am a lot better about updating my twitter account so if you are not already follow me on there:

I promise to start strong next week!!! Don't hate me dear readers!!



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