Black Bean and Sausage Soup and Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry

I am still a week behind, yay! Luckily I’m taking this week off from cooking so I can catch up. I’m still cooking, but not specifically for the blog. I am toying with the idea of creating a separate page for my off week meals because 1. they’re easier and 2. I get to experiment. I will probably only post one or two meals because the point of having an off week is to give myself a break from posting and planning but some meals are meant to be shared. I’m just not 100% sure I want to do it because off weeks are when I catch up and do admin work and adding new posts kinda defeats the purpose. Also, is there even a desire for it? Would the five people that read this blog really enjoy it? Five people, feel free to leave input.

Last week we ate Brazilian food, specifically food from Rio de Janeiro. I found a couple of Brazilian cookbooks I liked but My Rio de Janeiro: A Cookbook stood out. It’s very colorful (I most definitely judge a book by its cover) and I really liked Leticia Moreinos Schwartz’s personal anecdotes that accompanied most recipes. The stories weren’t long or complex but I did feel like I was transported and was able to clearly visualize the story being told.

The soup was incredible! The recipe called for linguica sausage or chorizo but I used kielbasa. Being in Texas, I have access to Mexican chorizo but Mexican chorizo is very different from Spanish chorizo, which is what I assumed was closer to what she used than Mexican. Mexican chorizo is spicy, greasy, and crumbly; Spanish chorizo is cured so it’s closer to salami than Mexican chorizo. I love Mexican chorizo and if I could, I would eat it more often but it’s messy and not the healthiest food. The best foods are hardly ever the healthiest. I did a bit of research and saw that kielbasa was pretty close to linguica and it was right there in front of me at HEB so I went with it. The recipe said to crumble it up but I just sliced it. Easy peasy.

I also used dried beans instead of canned because canned beans don’t do well in soups. They get mushy and it really messes up the composition. If time allows, I always prefer to soak my dried beans for a few hours and then boil them. They get soft but very rarely break up the way canned beans do.

The baby loved the soup. Here’s proof. And yes, she’s shirtless. When we have particularly messy meals, I strip her down to nothing but a diaper. I am not about the laundry life!

The puff pastries were really good too! Baby was not a fan of those but the oldest one did enjoy peeling away the sheets of pastry. I would add more cheese next time because I felt they weren’t oozy enough but other than that, I loved them. They weren’t too heavy and I felt they went very well with the soup. The soup was just a little salty, probably because of the sausage, but the pastries helped calm it down. I actually ate one for breakfast the next day, heated it up in the oven for about five minutes at 350, and it was heavenly.

The meal was great and made us very anxious for the rest of the week. I’m just going to leave it at that.

Recipe, Recipe

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