Bean
Posted March 01, 2006 12:59 PM

This is the best casserole I have ever made. Smile

The only thing I added were 2 to 3 T. bread crumbs to the meatball mixture to make them bind better. DELISH!!!

Black Bean and Sausage Meatballs Delight

Makes 6 servings

Meatballs:

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

Filling:

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

Corn bread dumplings:

1 cups self-rising yellow cornmeal mix (see cook's notes)
to 1 cup buttermilk
cup olive oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
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 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, 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.

It took 30 minutes in my oven.

Presentation: Serve hot.

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b202/sltrax/casserole1.jpg