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How to Not Serve Chili for Superbowl January 27, 2014

Filed Under: Uncategorized - Sue Fuirst @ 7:04 pm

Everyone knows that chili is the standard of Superbowl food, but what if you want to change it up a bit? What can you serve that can be made ahead, be eaten on your lap, served in one bowl or plate, use limited utensils and, of course, be a crowd pleaser. Lasagna is always a hit in my house, but certainly not original.   But what if you still want it to be memorable?  Not outrageous, just memorable.

Why not serve Cassoulet?   It only sounds pretentious. Trust me;  it’s delicious!  And if you are looking for a vegetarian meal, substitute Seitan for the poultry and sausage and vegetable stock for the chicken stock.  Complete the meal with a crusty bread for soaking up the sauce and beer and wine.

http://www.basicsfuirst.com/cassoulet/

For those who can’t stray from their chili…  http://www.basicsfuirst.com/chili/

Happy Half time!

 

 

fudge brownies with sea salt

Filed Under: Recipe - Sue Fuirst @ 12:43 pm

fudge brownies with sea salt

 

  • 6 oz unsalted butter
  • 2 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 scant tsp sea salt, I use hawaiian red salt

 

Preheat oven to 350°.  Butter a 9” square glass baking pan.

 

In a large saucepan over a low heat, melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate.  Stir until smooth.  Remove from heat and mix in sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Gently add in cocoa and flour.  Stir in salt.

 

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes.  Let cool in pan and cut into squares.  Makes 16 brownies.

Beef Stew January 8, 2014

Filed Under: Recipe - Sue Fuirst @ 3:50 pm
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classic beef stew

 

2 slices of bacon

2 lbs beef cubes

¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp flour

1 large onion, coarsely diced

2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

2 stalks celery, coarsely diced

3 large carrots, cut vertically and thickly sliced into half-moons

1 lb package frozen pearl onions

1 cup red wine

1 15-oz can diced tomatoes

1 cup beef stock

½ lb small white potatoes, cut into cubes

1 heaping tsp Basics Fuirst Cassoulet Seasoning

Kosher salt and pepper

1 tablespoon butter, softened

1 tablespoon tomato paste

 

 

Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat.  Add bacon and cook until fat is rendered.  Remove bacon and save for another use.  In the meantime, place ¼ cup of flour on a large plate and season with salt and pepper.  Toss beef cubes in seasoned flour, shake off excess, and add to bacon fat in pot.  Brown beef on all sides, work in batches to avoid over-crowding.  Transfer browned meat to a clean plate.

 

Add onion, garlic, celery, carrots and pearl onions to pot and cook until soft and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.  Raise heat slightly and add wine to deglaze the pan.  Pour in diced tomatoes and beef stock.  Return browned beef to pot. Add potatoes and Basics Fuirst Cassoulet Seasoning.  Season with salt and pepper.  Adjust heat to a gentle simmer and cook, partially covered, for 1 ½ hours. Alternately, place in slow cooker on low and cook for 4 hours.

 

While stew is cooking, in a small bowl, mash together butter, remaining 1 Tb flour and tomato paste until well blended.  Stir into stew to thicken and enrich the gravy. Adjust salt and pepper as needed.  Ladle into soup bowls and serve with rustic bread.

 

 

A Classic for the for the Deep Freeze

Filed Under: Cassoulet seasoning - Sue Fuirst @ 3:46 pm
Tags: , , ,

Cold temperatures, like we have having in the Northeast, deserve a comforting classic meal.  Make a double batch and eat it all week long.  Or freeze for another time.

classic beef stew

 

2 slices of bacon

2 lbs beef cubes

¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp flour

1 large onion, coarsely diced

2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

2 stalks celery, coarsely diced

3 large carrots, cut vertically and thickly sliced into half-moons

1 lb package frozen pearl onions

1 cup red wine

1 15-oz can diced tomatoes

1 cup beef stock

½ lb small white potatoes, cut into cubes

1 heaping tsp Basics Fuirst Cassoulet Seasoning

Kosher salt and pepper

1 tablespoon butter, softened

1 tablespoon tomato paste

 

 

Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat.  Add bacon and cook until fat is rendered.  Remove bacon and save for another use.  In the meantime, place ¼ cup of flour on a large plate and season with salt and pepper.  Toss beef cubes in seasoned flour, shake off excess, and add to bacon fat in pot.  Brown beef on all sides, work in batches to avoid over-crowding.  Transfer browned meat to a clean plate.

 

Add onion, garlic, celery, carrots and pearl onions to pot and cook until soft and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.  Raise heat slightly and add wine to deglaze the pan.  Pour in diced tomatoes and beef stock.  Return browned beef to pot. Add potatoes and Basics Fuirst Cassoulet Seasoning.  Season with salt and pepper.  Adjust heat to a gentle simmer and cook, partially covered, for 1 ½ hours. Alternately, place in slow cooker on low and cook for 4 hours.

 

While stew is cooking, in a small bowl, mash together butter, remaining 1 Tb flour and tomato paste until well blended.  Stir into stew to thicken and enrich the gravy. Adjust salt and pepper as needed.  Ladle into soup bowls and serve with rustic bread.