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Black Bean and Sausage Meatballs Delight

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Ingredients You'll Need


1 pound hot Italian sausage
1 large egg
1 jalapeno pepper, diced (see cook's notes)
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder


1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
14 ounces canned diced tomatoes
1½ cups black beans, rinsed
2 medium hot banana peppers, cored, seeded and diced
½ teaspoon ground red cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon white pepper
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup water
½ cup tequila (I used Jose Cuervo Especial)
Juice of ½ large lime

Corn bread dumplings:1½ cups self-rising yellow cornmeal mix (see cook's notes)
¾ to 1 cup buttermilk
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
1 cup Colby cheese, shredded
1 large jalapeno pepper, minced (see cook's notes)
1 tablespoon garlic powder


Cook's notes: For milder flavor, substitute sweet red or green bell pepper for the jalapeno. For more intense flavor, stir 1 tablespoon chile powder into the filling mixture as it simmers. The original recipe called for Martha White brand. Some brands of cornmeal mix are very sweet. So you may omit ¼ cup of sugar.

Preliminaries: Heat oven to 425 degrees shortly before making the dumplings.

Prepare the meatballs: In a medium mixing bowl, lightly but thoroughly combine all ingredients for the meatballs. Heat a 9-inch cast-iron skillet lightly coated with cooking spray, and brown the meatballs well. Remove and keep warm.

Make the filling: Brown the onion and garlic. Add all the filling ingredients; stir, return meatballs to pan (covering them with mixture), cover and reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes. Remove pan from heat.

Prepare corn bread dumplings: While filling simmers in skillet, using a medium bowl, combine the cornmeal mix, ¾ cup buttermilk, oil, flour and sugar until smooth. Fold in the cheese, peppers and garlic powder. Let stand for 10 minutes. Add more milk if needed, just to make a very rich batter.

Shape dumplings, bake casserole: Wet hands in cold water and quickly shape batter into six balls, setting each one in mixture in skillet. Transfer to oven and bake for 20 minutes, until dumplings are done through and golden brown.

Source: Bean / CK

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