The term bootstrapping is one of those entrepreneurial buzzwords. I bet you can remember a time when you had never even heard the word ‘startup’. Small business guys like the buzz words. It makes us feel new and creative – unique. Another great word tossed around is ‘bootstrapping’. It used to be that you were on a tight budget. I can’t fathom how bootstrapping caught on when I’m one of the only few people I know that even wears boots on a daily basis. Regardless of the term, when you’re starting out you might be short on cash and long on hunger. I can help with that.
I don’t think eating beans means you’re poor or even on a budget. This white bean stew has all the right things going on – and it’s cheap. Now, I never thought I’d be writing a cooking blog but it struck me that there are a lot of difficulties when starting a business. One of those is finding time to eat (takeout on the way home) or cooking (a fast meal between blog posts). Eating out cuts into the bottom line and cooking cuts into your time, something just as important.
Either way, as autumn approaches, I hope you enjoy this filling stew. I adapted it (heavily) from this recipe. The original makes a truthful 6 bowlfuls. I halved it and will get about 2 or 3. The recipe below is for the half size portion.
Bootstrapping Recipes – Sausage and White Bean Stew
- Some sausage – I used what we call summer sausage in the South. You can use chorizo, chicken sausage, brats, anything. I used about a third of a link.
- One can of white kidney beans – don’t rinse them, I think it needs the extra liquid
- An onion
- Two garlic cloves
- Thyme – I only had dried flakes
- Broth – I used a bullion cube in a cup of water. Mine expired two years ago and I lived. Lots of salt in these, watch out.
- Something green that grows in the ground. I used frozen okra because it’s what I had. The original recipe says to use spinach.
- Olive oil
- Paprika seasoning
I figure if you have the basic stuff around the pantry you can whip this up for about $2 per bowl. I added two slices of bread. If you add cheese, figure about $2.50 per bowl.
Heat a skillet. I use a cast iron and pretty much just keep it on the stove all week. They say to season them, so I figure it can’t hurt. Cook the sausage on medium heat. I used the number 4 setting. Cut it up before or later, depending on the type of sausage.
While the sausage cooks, chop half the onion. Cut the head off, then cut it in half from head to root. Make slices towards the root, but don’t cut through the root end. Then turn it 90 degrees and make your chops. Perfect onion pieces. Save the end in a freezer bag to make soup stock later when you get a good stash going. Mince the garlic too and then sprinkle the thyme over the onion and garlic on your cutting board.
Take the sausage out, put it on the cutting board. Dump the onions, garlic and thyme in the pan with a little bit of oil. No oil? Butter.
Slice the sausage and grab a beer.
After a few minutes, dump the beans and water/broth into the pot. Add some pepper. I also added some jalepenos from a jar. Give it a stir and listen to three songs while you finish your beer.
Now throw in your green stuff. If you have spinach, only let it cook for one more song. If you found okra in your freezer like I did, I let it cook for another three songs, with a lid on it. I used about a handful for the half recipe we’re making.
Take this time to wash your cutting board and knife. When you’re done with that, pop the bread into the toaster and get some butter out. When the toast pops, put it in your bowl and plop on the butter.
Spoon that stew on top of your bread. Pour some olive oil on top – I like to use my finger to partially cover the spout so it doesn’t spill out so fast. Sprinkle some paprika on top. You’ll thank me.
This little stew will stick to your ribs and is pretty cheap to make. If you looked at the original you can see that I really deviated. Take the reins and use what you have, no doubt it will turn out great. I think it would also be great over some rice – but that would involve another pot to wash.
Hope you enjoy this recipe whether you’re bootstrapping or not! Leave your feedback in the comments, you may be the inspiration for someone else’s culinary masterpiece!