SAUSAGE WITH BLACK BEAN AND SPINACH SALSA
Sprouts put a package of three bratwurst-sized pork sausage links on sale, so I scooped them up for another creative culinary experiment. Yes, there are sausages hiding in this photo! What can I say? I like toppings.
Rinse about ¾ of a bunch of spinach (minus the stems) first and thoroughly drain the water. The water needs time to drain before adding the spinach to the mix later, so you don’t get an explosion of popping grease when water meets hot oil.
I did this all in one frying pan, as usual. I browned the sausages on one side in coconut oil over medium to medium-high heat. After flipping them over and browning the other side, I pulled them out of the pan, sliced them in half lengthwise, and laid them out in the pan so the (former) inside was directly on the pan’s surface. This browned more surface area and sped up the process of cooking the interior.
When the sausages were fully cooked, I pulled them out and put all the spinach in the pan without removing any of the oil or melted sausage fat. Fat equals flavor, and we aren’t counting calories here.
I added two generous scoops each of canned black beans, diced pickled jalapeños, and fire-roasted salsa. Cooking over medium-high heat boiled off some of the liquid to thicken the mix a bit. (I worried this level of heat might harm the flavor, but it didn’t.) After a few minutes of occasional stirring, the spinach was fully sautéed and ready to pour over the sausages.
Top with freshly ground black pepper, and it’s good to go!
Unseasoned pork sausage is a bit bland on its own, but this dish made it part of a flavor explosion! The result reminded me of a rich gumbo, but with a much shorter cooking time. It might be even better if the sausage meat were first removed from the skins and cooked on its own, crumbling it into bits and stirring in the rest of the mix as it cooks. With three sausages and this topping, I could easily feed three people, so I saved 2/3 of this dish for later.