“…till he had dust in his throat and eyes, and splashes of whitewash all over his black fur, and an aching back and weary arms. Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with its spirit of divine discontent and longing…”
Well! I’ve been trying to describe something like that lately! (You might have discerned incoherent traces of it if you’ve been following along.) But not the last couple of days, because they’ve been positively february-y or novembery. Cold, rainy, grey upon grey upon grey. And Isaac has strep throat, which is a wintery worry, in my mind. I was stuck at work on Sunday, with Isaac home sick. I hate that! I really do! I just want to be able to sit next to him and kiss his hot forehead anxiously every other minute. Is that a lot to ask?!?! But I determined, while I was still at work, that I would make bangers and mash when I got home. It seemed comforting, for a cold drizzly day. Did I eat bangers and mash in my nursery, when I was a child, surrounded by talking teddy bears? I did not!! Did I think that my Isaac, even on a good day, would eat a “sausage” made from roasted red peppers, pecans and red beans? I did not! I knew he’d eat mashed potatoes, though, if I made it into a volcano of butter. And he did. And my Malcolm would (and did) like the idea of a roasted red pepper sausage. He helped decide what would go in. He helped mash the red beans. He helped mash the potatoes. I think this is a fun meal to make with little ones!!
The sausages were delicious! Smokey, a bit spicy, a nice flavor of fennel. They were softer inside than an actual sausage, lacking gristle. But there’s something quite pleasant about a crispy outside/soft inside bit of sausage.
Here’s James Brown with Mashed Potatoes. This is a nice one!
1 can small red beans – rinsed and drained
1/2 cup roasted red peppers (about one red pepper, roasted and peeled)
2 t balsamic
1/2 cup pecans
3 smallish pieces whole wheat bread, processed to crumbs
1 cup grated sharp cheddar
1 t spanish smoked paprika
1 t sage
1 t rosemary
1/2 t thyme
1/2 t fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
pinch each allspice & nutmeg
1 fat clove garlic – toasted
1/3 cup flour
salt & plenty of pepper
olive oil for frying
Process the pecans, toasted garlic, roasted red & balsamic in a food processor or blender.
Combine everything in a big bowl. Start with the beans, and using a potato masher or something like that, mush them up a bit. Add the puree of roasted reds and pecans. Add the bread crumbs. Add all of the spices. Stir in the flour. Stir in the eggs. Stir in salt and plenty plenty of black pepper. The mix should be sticky, but dry enough that you can pick it up in your hands and mold it into a sausage-shaped shape.
Warm some olive oil in a wok or frying pan. About 1/3 inch should do it. Roll a sausage in your hand. Maybe 4-5 inches long and half an inch thick. Drop it in the oil. Fry, turning it from time to time, for maybe ten minutes, till it’s nice and brown and crunchy-looking on all sides.
Set it on a paper towel to drain, then put it in the toaster oven to keep warm while you make the rest.
And that’s it!!
Make some mashed to go with, if you like!!