Sunday, November 24, 2013

Zuppa Toscana

2 pounds bulk mild Italian sausage
1 pound bulk hot Italian sausage
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 lb slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 large sweet onions (softball sized), diced
8 qt chicken broth
20 potatoes, thinly sliced (about 5 lbs, medium sized)
1 qt heavy cream
1 bunch kale, torn with stems removed

Cook the Italian sausage and red pepper flakes in a skillet oven over medium-high heat until crumbly, browned, and no longer pink, 25 - 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Cook the bacon in the same skillet oven over medium heat until crisp, about 20 minutes. Drain, leaving a few tablespoons of drippings with the bacon in the bottom of the pan. Chop bacon into ½” pieces.
Stir in the onions; cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 15 minutes.
In a large stock pot, pour the chicken broth along with the bacon and onions; bring to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes, and boil until fork tender, about 40 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the heavy cream and the cooked sausage; heat through. Mix the kale into the soup just before serving.
Yields about 2 ½ gallons of soup

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Rueben Dip

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Thousand Island dressing
16 ounces sauerkraut, rinsed and squeezed dry
8 ounces shredded corned beef
16 ounces shredded Swiss cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  1. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and dressing.
  2. Spread sauerkraut into a 9x13-inch baking dish. Layer corned beef, Swiss cheese, and the mayonnaise-dressing mixture on top of the sauerkraut.
  3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Brandon's Chili

This is impossible to mess up so don't worry about measurements or having it all. You can add other stuff to if you want.  I have never had it go wrong. -- Brandon

Meat and Veggies

1 lb to 2 lb Ground Venison
1/2 lb to 1 lb Ground Beef (80/20 or 70/30)
Olive Oil
Minced Garlic
Italian Seasoning
Black Pepper
Chili powder
2 Green Bell Peppers - diced
2 large Sweet Onions - diced

Liquid ingredients

1- Large (28 oz ) cans Crushed Tomato 
2-  Large Can 28 oz Diced Tomato. (Can use Italian style if desired). 
1- Large can Tomato Sauce. (May not need all 28 oz.   
1- 12 oz bottle of hot sauce.   

In a large pan or large Pot (use largest pot  if possible saves dishes) on the stove add olive oil and some fresh garlic minced  you can be generous with both. 

Take all the Venision and add 1/2 lbs to 1 lbs of 80/20 or 70/30 ground beef.    Make sure its defrosted and add to the pot on the stove and cook meat till all the pink is out on Med heat.   Add spices to taste - Parsley, Italian Seasoning, pepper.

Mix Green pepper and Onion in with Meat as its cooking 

After meat & veggies are cooked make sure your pot will have room for the next step.    If not move a bunch of the meat and veggies to crock pot.  

Add crushed and diced tomatoes into the pot.  Bring to a boil then back off the heat to low. Add the hot sauce to taste (I always put the whole bottle in -- Its not that hot).

Add pepper and Chili Powder to taste.  

Move the Tomato mixture into the crock pot with the meat and Veggies.   Stir and taste.   If it needs to he thinned you can add the can of tomato sauce as needed.   

Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream & pepper croutons.

(NOTE: You can put the crock pot in the fridge overnight and heat day of.   It does take several hours on high to heat if it was in the fridge the whole night.)

Recipe courtesy of Brandon Bower

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Apple & Thyme Custard Tart

Tart Dough
3 C confectioners sugar
4 1/2 C all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
3 sticks of butter (4 oz, or 1/2 C)
3 eggs

Sift together the confectioners sugar, flour, and salt.
Beat the butter until smooth; add the flour mixture and egg. Mix just until it comes together as an evenly formed mass. Wrap in plastic and chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
When ready to bake, working quickly, line the sheet pan with the dough. Trim off any excess dough that hangs over the edges. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork a few times.
Enough for 2 – 12x18 cookie sheets

Tart Filling
5 - 6 crisp apples (peeled, cored, and thinly sliced) - I used Macintosh
5 eggs
2 1/2 c sugar
2 cup heavy cream
4 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 teaspoons fresh thyme
3 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Toss apple slices with lemon juice, nutmeg, and thyme. Working from the one end, toward the other, lay the apple slices in the tart shell in a consistent linear pattern, overlapping them slightly.
Gently whisk together the eggs, sugar, cream, and vanilla, until just combined. Pour the custard mixture over the apple slices.
Bake tart at 375 F until the crust is golden and center is set, 30 to 40 minutes. (Note: if you find your crust is browning too quickly, cover the tart with aluminum foil for the duration of baking.) Allow the tart to cool before serving.

Adapted and scaled for larger pan size from