A Jewish Girl’s Delicious Bolognese March 11, 2014

Filed Under: italian seasoning - Sue Fuirst @ 11:44 am
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Bolognese Sauce


2 Tb olive oil

2 lbs ground beef, veal and pork mix

1 lb sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings

1 onion, diced

1 rib celery, diced

1 carrot, diced

4 cloves garlic, diced

1 Tbsp Basics Fuirst Italian Seasoning

1 bay leaf

pinch of red pepper flakes

½  cup red wine

1 cup beef broth

2 28-oz boxes or cans chopped plum tomatoes

1 28-oz boxes or cans tomato puree

Kosher salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add ground meat and cook until no longer pink.  Remove from pot, drain off fat and set aside in a bowl.  Add sausage to pot and cook until no longer pink, breaking apart as it cooks.  Add to bowl with ground meat.  Place the onions, carrots, celery and garlic in the pot and sauté for 10 minutes to soften the vegetables.  Add meat to the vegetables.  Raise the heat to medium hight and add the wine.  Let the liquid boil for one minute.  Add beef stock. Lower heat back to medium, add Basics Fuirst Italian Seasoning, red pepper flakes and bay leaf and stir.  Pour chopped tomatoes and tomato puree into pot. Season generously with salt and pepper.   Reduce heat to low and simmer sauce for about 2 hours.  If sauce begins to thicken more than you like, partially cover.

Serve over cooked pasta or wonderful as a base for lasagna.  Freezes very well.



Soup for the first snow flakes November 12, 2013

Filed Under: rosemary roasting blend - Sue Fuirst @ 6:47 pm
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white bean and escarole soup


3 Tb olive oil

½ lb sweet Italian sausage, turkey or pork, removed from casings

1 medium onion, finely diced

1 carrot, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

1 tsp Basics Fuirst Rosemary Roasting Blend

1 head escarole, chopped

¼ cup white wine, optional

1 15-oz can diced tomatoes

1 19-oz cans white beans, rinsed

4 cups chicken stock

1 inch piece of Parmesan rind

Kosher salt and pepper




Heat olive oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven.  Add sausage and sauté until cooked through.  Remove to a plate and chop into small pieces. Add onion and carrot to the pot and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, one to two minutes. Mix in red pepper flakes and Basics Fuirst Rosemary Roasting Blend

. Return sausage to pan.  Pour in wine to deglaze the pan.  Add escarole and cook to wilt. Add tomatoes with their juice, white beans and chicken stock.  Tuck Paremesan rind into soup.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve with Parmesan sprinkled on top and crusty bread.


Serves 6.

Taking Even More Liberties With Cassoulet February 27, 2013

Filed Under: Cassoulet seasoning - Sue Fuirst @ 9:33 pm
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Basics Fuirst is so cutting edge! This Wednesday’s dining section had an article entitled Taking Liberties with Cassoulet.  Did you see it? The author, David Tanis, maintains that the French take Cassoulet very seriously and referred to the cold weather favorite as “an extremely particular kind of baked-bean dish, one accompanied by a lot of lore, legend and strong opinion. Once you have decided whose recipe to trust, there is work ahead of you. To make a proper Cassoulet is a labor of love (several days’ worth, in fact).”

I’ve been making my wonderful Cassoulet-style stew using Basics Fuirst Cassoulet Seasoning for years. Plus, it only takes about an hour.  Of course, I’m not French, so I don’t have to adhere to the French food rules.  Follow along and feel free to take even more liberties.  And before winter ends make a comforting and delicious chicken, sausage and bean stew and call it Mock Cassoulet!



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ lbs boneless chicken thighs
  • ½ lb French-style garlic sausage or kielbasa, sliced into ½” half-moons
  • 3 large carrots, sliced into 1” rounds
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 heaping tablespoon Basics Fuirst Cassoulet Seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf, optional
  • 2 19 oz cans white beans, rinsed and drained
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, optional



Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot.  Add chicken thighs and cook on all sides.  Transfer chicken to a plate.  Add the sausage to the pot and cook until brown. Transfer sausage to the plate with the chicken.


Drain most of the oil from pan. Add carrots, onion and garlic and cook over medium heat and cook until vegetables are soft.


Return chicken and sausage to the pot with the vegetables.  Pour in chicken broth, wine, Basics Fuirst Cassoulet Seasoning and bay leaf. Partially cover pot and lower heat.  Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add white beans and cook for an additional 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.


Ladle into bowls and serve with a rustic bread. Serves 6-8.