Latin Gumbo

Tonight B and I took an existing side-dish recipe we had and turned it on its head. I present to you, Latin Gumbo.

Latin Gumbo

1 package beef sausage
2 16oz cans black beans
1/2 to 1 small red onion, chopped finely
2 jalapeños, deseeded and chopped finely
olive oil
1/3 c cilantro, chopped
2 t cumin
2 t balsamic vinegar
1/8 to 1/4 t cayenne pepper
salt and pepper

Thinly slice the beef sausage and place it into a skillet to brown, stirring occasionally. While the sausage is browning, chop the jalapeños, red onion, and cilantro. After the sausage is browned, drain the grease and set the sausage aside. In the skillet that the sausage was browned in, sauté the red onion in the olive oil. After the onion is almost done, add the jalapeños to cook them slightly.

Drain one of the cans of beans about half way and add it to the onion/jalapeño mixture. Add the entire contents of the second can. Continue adding the rest of the ingredients (cilantro, cumin, balsamic vinegar, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper) and heat covered until cooked through. Allow to simmer uncovered until the desired consistency is obtained.

Serve over Benjamin’s famous white rice with slices of french bread (or flour tortillas if you’re wanting to stick with the Latin theme). Possible additional serving suggestion: sprinkle with feta cheese.

Change out the beef sausage for chunks of chicken for a leaner meal or leave it out altogether for a still-hearty vegetarian recipe.

We started cooking the Gumbo right after Benjamin started cooking his white rice and they finished up about the same time so estimated cooking time is about 30 minutes. It probably won’t be near as good with your plain jane everyday white rice, but given that even I don’t know his secret, don’t expect to get that recipe anytime soon.

Norah Jones, musician — and actor?

Benjamin and I are big fans of Norah Jones. We saw her in concert at Red Rocks last year and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. She is a wonderful entertainer as well as singer-songwriter. Her song My Dear Country (and Pink’s Dear Mr. President) got heavy airplay in our household over the past 4ish years. I particularly enjoyed her duet with Dolly Parton in Creepin’ In although something about Rosie’s Lullaby always pulls me in.

At some point the movie My Blueberry Nights was added to our Netflix list for the sole reason that she was in it (Jude Law and Natalie Portman also star in it). We watched it last night and decided that she’s a decent actor but that the plot was a bit sloggy (as in, “we slogged through it”). It’s telling that the highlight of the movie was the opening and closing song which she wrote and performed.

I’m unsure I would recommend the movie, even for Netflixing, but I would recommend the soundtrack in a heartbeat.