Firehouse Chili

Football season is in full swing. However, as much as I love me some pizza and wings during NFL Sundays, I am trying to conserve some money. I figured chili is just the way to cook at home, eat yummy Fall food, and still have enough leftovers for the Monday night game. So fire up the crockpot when you wake up next Sunday and have a delish serve your self “buffet” set up for all day game watching. Your wallet will thank you and you can always check out the cute delivery guy next Sunday.

  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons of minced garlic (fresh not powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds Hot  (or Mild) Italian Johnsonville Sausage crumbled (and then 1 pound ground beef, or turkey or even all 3 lbs. sausage, you pick!)
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes with green chilies (I used Rotel)
  • 2 packages McCormick Chili Seasoning Mix (any flavor)
  • 2 –  15 oz. cans Bush’s dark or light red kidney beans
  • 2 green bell peppers chopped small
  • 2 cans yellow corn
  • Pinch of cumin & red pepper flakes to taste (I ended up just throwing in a jalapeno instead of red pep flakes)
  • chicken broth, as desired for thinner consistency chili. It can also be stirred in at end.

Dump all ingredients in the order listed above and cook for 6-8 hrs. in crockpot. (I stirred half way through to make sure the meat was cooking evenly). I served with a platter of “garnishes” such as: shredded cheese, sour cream, pea shoots (or shredded lettuce), diced green onion, chopped avocado with a side warm baked corn bread. (don’t hate, but I cheated and used the store bought mixes vs. making from scratch). You can even skip the cornbread and crush up some tortilla chips as a topping as well. That’s why I love chili, its so versatile. Spicy, mild, whatever meat, veggies, and toppings galore, just eat and enjoy how you like it best!

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Happy Eating, XO.

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Fall Stew

Guys, I miss football. I miss Fall. I mean if its going to be this cold I’d rather us be back in Fall than pretend to be in Spring. There aren’t any flowers, the showers are more like snow, and there just isn’t great spring food. I mean there is good Spring food, but not mouth watering great. Although I will say to stay tuned for an Easter Sunday themed blog post with yummy tea party sandwiches and snacks. (shameless blog plug) Anyway, point being I am going to eat like its still Fall and still can before summer comes around and I need sultry salads, fruits, and iced tea. Ok so back to this divine stew. I can’t even tell you how flipping good it is. There is this amaze balls Italian market near my work and not only do I get lunch from there AT LEAST 2x a week, but I always pick up tasty imported items from Italia whenever I can (aka last time I was there I picked up truffle butter AGAIN, whatever, Jess said we don’t judge here). Anyway, Tredici is the bomb.com for all the delish food they have on their regular menu, but they also have daily specials. This puppy was debuted in September and it made its way back once a month throughout the fall and I miss it so. I decided I must re-create it and have it available all year round. (or I’ll die, because I love it THAT much).  Ok melodramatics aside, I don’t think I can say I replicated the magical stew 100%, but this is pretty darn close, say 99.9% for all you math nerds. Anyway, it satiated my hankering for this delish stew and I hope it does the same for you! (ha “stew”, “you”, rhyming, happy camper, belly full).

  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 12 oz. hot Italian sausage, cut into small chunks (I just did droppings of the sausage by cutting out the casing, that lets the stew grab on to all the spices of the sausage).
  • 12 cipollini onions peeled (pearl onions can be substituted)
  • 1 ½ cups crushed tomatoes (Cento is my fav canned brand)
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • ½-oz bundle of herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, sage or oregano (there is a trio packet that’s sold at my grocery store, saves time & money so I just used that. It was parsley, thyme, and oregano)
  • 1-  2 ½ pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch chunks (again I buy the pre-prepared stuff from Trader Joe’s)
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces (I hate cooked carrots but I left them in and just fished them out so I could get the flavor but not have to eat them. I know I am a child).
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch long sticks
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cut in half
  • 12-15 Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Fall Stew

Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add sausage, stirring until the sausage breaks into small pieces and is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, set aside. Raise heat to medium high, add onions. Then cook, stirring until golden, 5 to 6 minutes. (At this point, I put the sausage and onions in the slow cooker and added the remaining ingredients. Stir to mx.)Add tomatoes, stock, and herbs. Simmer over medium heat until liquid starts to thicken, 20 to 25 minutes. Add sausage back and the squash, carrots, parsnips, and fennel. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.  Add Brussels sprouts now and cook, covered about 5 minutes more. (or cook on high in the slow cooker for 4-5 hours if not doing it stove top). Remove cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid thickens, 10 to 15 minutes more. Adjust seasonings and serve warm. This will serve 4 – 6 people based on if you are making this a meal or a 1st course.

Happy Eating, XO