Photo credit Food & Wine
For me, the fun of the party is the food and camaraderie. We all make appetizers, husband Frank makes a Caesar salad and we order in pizza.
Homemade yeast doughnuts are on the menu, too, with the little ones helping cut out, cutting the doughnut shapes and frosting the doughnuts when they come out of the frying pan. Messy but fun. I’ve shared them before in this column, but if you didn’t save the recipe and want to make them, check them out here on the site for recipe and photos.
If you’re looking for “tastes like more” appetizers and a chili recipe that’s not the norm, try these. They’re sure to win top scores for the cook!
Ohio farmhouse sausage chili
I have worked with a good many celebrities, and Ethan and Susan Becker of the Joy of Cooking empire are on my list of top faves. They are what I call “good people”, authentic to the core and passionate about family, friends and, of course, food.
Before moving to their home at Half Moon Ridge in the East Tennessee mountains they lived in Cincinnati. Ethan and Susan were guests at my cooking school and made some yummy food. The class loved this chili. Even after all these years, it’s still requested. Not too spicy so it’s a good chili for those in the crowd who love a more mild chili with lots of flavor.
Ethan says: “Look for sausage that is not heavily spiced. Corn bread is perfect served alongside.” You’ll enjoy their site: www.joyofcooking.com where you’ll also meet the next generation of Joy: John and Megan.
Brown in a large skillet:
1 pound loose pork sausage
1 large onion, chopped
Toward the end of the browning, add:
1 celery stalk, diced
When the celery is softened, add:
One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, chopped
2 cups tomato juice or chicken broth, or a mixture of the two
1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup or molasses
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1-1/2 teaspoons powdered sage
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Simmer for 20 minutes then add:
3-1/2 to 4 cups red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Simmer for 15 minutes more.
Serve with: Sharp cheddar cheese, cubed and Northern corn bread
Tip from Rita’s kitchen:
Corn bread recipe is in the Joy of Cooking All About Soups & Stews
By Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker & Ethan Becker
Simon & Schuster, Inc., October 2000
Hardback, 128 pages, $19.95
Warm chicken taco dip
A slow cooker favorite. I use deli-roasted chicken. Go to taste on seasonings, adding more if you like.
1 can diced tomatoes with peppers, like Rotel, drained
1 pound Velveeta or similar processed cheese loaf, cubed – use regular, not light or low fat
2 cooked skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, shredded
1/3-1/2 cup sour cream
1-2 green onions, sliced thin
2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Minced jalapeno pepper to taste
1 can black beans, drained, rinsed and drained again
Finely chopped tomatoes for garnish (opt)
Spray the slow cooker. Put everything in except for black beans and extra jalapenos. Stir and cook on high just until everything melts and the dip is hot, anywhere from 1-2 hours. Stir occasionally. Stir in beans, let cook a bit more until hot. Sprinkle tomatoes on top and serve.