Shepherd’s Pie

A good friend is experiencing a dream vacation with her family in Australia and New Zealand right now. Yes, I’m a wee bit jealous, but also can’t wait for her to get back to learn about her amazing trip. Before she left we went out to lunch at a favorite Reno restaurant, the very healthy and divine Great Full Gardens, and our conversation naturally turned to her planned adventures and what types of local cuisine she’ll sample. I confess I have never tasted the notorious vegamite (she had and didn’t care for it), but I remember trying shepherd’s pie made by some Australian students during a fun University of Nevada, Reno event – the Night of All Nations. The event features cuisine, music, dance and other experiences which represent the University’s and Reno’s cultural diversity. The annual event offers a wide sample of global cuisine and attendees can pass from booth to booth filling their plates full of such items as Spanish paella, Indian chicken masala, and Australian shepherd’s pie. Even the Klingon nation was represented, but I don’t recall trying any of their food.

So, inspired by my friend’s trip and what I experienced at Night of All Nations, I decided to make shepherd’s pie in my skillet. Traditional shepherd’s pie is made with lamb or mutton, but more common versions are made with ground beef. I decided to make a heartier version, using steak. I knew this would be a dish my husband would like because it is topped with a mashed potato crust. The following recipe is inspired by one found at, with a few personal tweaks. The recipe also left the herbal seasonings up to the choice of the cook. I used Herbs de Provence because it consists of a nice assortment of herbs and seasonings, including basil, rosemary, tarragon, garlic, lavender, marjoram, savory, thyme and parsley. All that spicy goodness in one bottle!

Shepherd's PieIngredients
Approximately 1 1/2 lbs. Steak, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 Onion, chopped
1 – 2 cups vegetables such as chopped Carrots and Celery, Fresh Corn sliced from the cob
Approximately 3 large Potatoes
8 Tbsps of Butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup Beef Broth
1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
Salt, Pepper, Seasonings of choice (I used Herbs de Provence)

Peel and quarter potatoes. Boil in salted water until tender, about 20 minutes

Peel and quarter potatoes. Boil in salted water until tender, about 20 minutes

Melt 4 Tbsps. of butter in large skillet.

Melt 4 Tbsps. of butter in large skillet.

Saute onion, carrots and celery over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes.

Saute onion, carrots and celery over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes.

Add steak and saute until no longer pink.

Add steak and saute until no longer pink.

Add fresh corn and heat through.

Add fresh corn and heat through.

Add salt, pepper and Herbs de Provence (or your seasonings of choice).

Add salt, pepper and Herbs de Provence (or your seasonings of choice).

Add Worcestershire sauce and beef broth.

Add Worcestershire sauce and beef broth.

Combine everything thoroughly.

Combine everything thoroughly.

Mash cooked potatoes with the remaining butter (4 Tbsps.) and cover the meat mixture. My potatoes are a little on the chunky side - just how I like them!

Mash cooked potatoes with the remaining butter (4 Tbsps.) and cover the meat mixture. My potatoes are a little on the chunky side – just how I like them!

Completely covered with mashed potatoes.

Completely covered with mashed potatoes.

Bake in a 400 degree oven until bubbling and the crust begins to brown, about 30 minutes.

Bake in a 400 degree oven until bubbling and the crust begins to brown, about 30 minutes.

The tasty layers of Shepherd's Pie. Enjoy!

The tasty layers of Shepherd’s Pie.




Rustic Skillet Pot Pie

Well, guess who has returned to the blogosphere! I sincerely did not intend to take such a long hiatus, but it seems my life got full again over the past few months. I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday and shared it with those nearest and dearest to your hearts.

My husband and I actually went out for Thanksgiving dinner, something we haven’t done in 10 years. With both of our hectic schedules, we decided to truly take the day off and let someone else do the cooking this year. Sadly, no Turkey Day leftovers, but also no big mess in the kitchen to clean up.

I still managed to bake a pumpkin pie and have cranberries patiently waiting in my fridge to be turned into homemade sauce. And I finally attempted my first skillet pot pie, which in this version I made with leftover grilled chicken, but it would also work beautifully with leftover turkey.

The pie crust comes from a recipe I received when I took a pie crust class at Nothing To It Cooking School, a local culinary center. As much as I’d like to share the recipe with you, I don’t feel that I can as it may be proprietary and I don’t have permission to publish it. But you can certainly find basic pie crust recipes online or find frozen crusts at the grocery store.

Finally, I failed to take a group photo of all of the ingredients. See what happens when you neglect your blog too long, you forget how to do things. I’ll get my act together, I swear!

Anyway, enjoy this rustic dish and my thanks to all of you who continue to follow The Skillet.

2 Pie Crusts
6 Tbs. Butter
1/2 cup chopped Onion
1 cup chopped Carrots
1 cup chopped Celery
1/3 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1 3/4 cup Chicken Broth
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
2 1/2 cups cooked Chicken or Turkey, cut into bite-size pieces

If using a cast iron skillet, heat oven to 400 degrees and remove all racks, except one on the lowest rung. If using a glass, ceramic or aluminum pie pan, then heat oven to 425 degrees. One thing I learned at the pie crust class is to always cook pies on the lowest rack in your oven.

In a deep cast iron skillet or 2-quart saucepan, melt butter and saute onions, carrots and celery together until soft.

In a deep cast iron skillet or 2-quart saucepan, melt butter and saute onions, carrots and celery together until soft.

Add flour, salt and pepper.

Add flour, salt and pepper.

Combine thoroughly until dry ingredients coat vegetables.

Combine thoroughly until dry ingredients coat vegetables.

Stir in chicken broth.

Stir in chicken broth.

Add heavy cream.

Add heavy cream.

Combine thoroughly.

Combine thoroughly.

Add chicken or turkey.

Add chicken or turkey.

Combine thoroughly into creamy veggie sauce.

Combine thoroughly into creamy veggie sauce.

Place one crust in 10-inch cast iron skillet or 9-inch pie pan. Spoon filling into skillet.

Place one crust in 10-inch cast iron skillet or 9-inch pie pan. Spoon filling into skillet. Place the second crust on top, seal edges, and cut a few vents.

Bake 30-40 minutes until crust becomes golden brown.

Bake 30-40 minutes until crust becomes golden brown.

Let it rest for 5-10 minutes, then serve. I am thankful for my skillets and plentiful food.

Let it rest for 5-10 minutes, then serve. I am thankful for my skillets and plentiful food.

Old Fashioned Tomato Butter

Wow. Where has the time gone? January is almost over and my poor blog (and followers) are probably wondering if I’ve been kidnapped. Rest assured, I’ve been thinking of you over the past few weeks when I was a bit slammed at work and during the past couple of weekends. No rest for the wicked, as the saying goes.

I am celebrating a birthday this week and such occasions always make me a little sentimental. Lately, I’ve been craving things from my childhood – Ding Dongs (which went away with Hostess), Marathon Bars (anybody remember those super long, ooey gooey braided bars of chocolate and caramel?), and my mom’s tomato butter. Since I can’t and shouldn’t eat the first two, I thought I’d give mom’s tomato butter a try, since I had some hothouse tomatoes languishing in my fridge.

My mom’s tomato butter is a sweet, spicy concoction of goodness that she would make while canning all of the vegetables she grew when I was a kid. It is the perfect thing to make with tomatoes that are going soft or if you have excess tomatoes from your garden. Ironically, I was never a big fan of tomatoes as a child but seemed to make an exception for tomato butter, which I usually ate with toast or as a substitute for jelly with my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Strangely, I have not had my mom’s tomato butter since I was kid so I had to hunt down a recipe online that sounded similar to how her’s tasted. I found one that comes pretty close and my inner child is happy once again.

Tomato ButterIngredients
1 lb. Tomatoes
1/4 cup Vinegar
1/2 cup Sugar
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Ground Ginger
1 tsp. Ground Cloves

Place peeled and sliced tomatoes in a deep cast iron skillet or sauce pan.

Place peeled and sliced tomatoes in a deep cast iron skillet or sauce pan.

Add the sugar and vinegar.

Add the sugar and vinegar.

And the spices.

And the spices.

Cook over medium low heat.

Cook over medium low heat.

Until the tomatoes break down into a thick sauce.

Until the tomatoes break down into a thick sauce.

Pour the tomato butter into hot canning jars. Let them sit on the counter top until they become room temperature. Refrigerate.

Pour the tomato butter into hot canning jars. Let them sit on the counter top until they become room temperature. Refrigerate.

Serve on your favorite bread, with peanut butter or try it on chicken, fish or pork ribs as a sweet tangy marinade.

Serve on your favorite bread, with peanut butter or try it on chicken, fish or pork ribs as a sweet tangy marinade.

Mother-Daughter Cream of Potato Soup with Dumplings

As a child, I loved my mother’s cream of potato soup. Whenever I was sick, that’s what I wanted to make me feel better, along with a hot cup of tea with cream and sugar. As a child, I didn’t realize how bland my mother’s soup tasted as it was very basic…milk, butter, onions, potatoes and a little seasoning. As I grew up and began to expand my palate, I decided to experiment with her very basic soup and make it my own. Today’s rendition is packed with flavor and lots of goodies like carrots, red onion, turkey sausage, and dumplings. No matter how much I change what I put in her soup, I still keep the basic foundation. And every time I make it, I always remember my childhood cravings and how good my mom’s soup continues to make me feel.

Soup Ingredients
1 Potato, peeled and diced
1 cup sliced Carrots
1/2 cup Red Onion, chopped
6 – 7 oz. Turkey Sausage, diced
2 1/2 cups Milk (okay to use low-fat to make this a leaner soup)
1 cup Chicken Broth
2 Tbsps. Butter
2 Tbsps. Flour
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Pepper

Dumplings Ingredients
2/3 cups Bisquick baking mix (use the HeartSmart variety)
3 Tbsps. low-fat milk

First, make the roux, which is a thickening agent of equal parts fat and flour.

In a small saucepan, melt 2 Tbsps. of butter.

To the melted butter, add 2 Tbsps of flour, the salt and pepper.

Combine to get a thick, bubbly, gooey mixture.

Add 1/2 cup of milk to the roux and stir continuously over low heat until completely combined.

In a Dutch oven, add 2 cups of milk, 1 cup of chicken broth, and the roux mixture. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, but be careful not to scorch the milk.

Once the milky mixture is boiling, add the potatoes, carrots and red onion.

Cover the Dutch oven and let the soup simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes until potatoes are cooked through.

While the potatoes are cooking, saute the turkey sausage in a cast iron skillet until they are slightly brown and heated through.

You also have time to make the dumpling dough by mixing 2/3 cups of Bisquick mix with 3 Tbsps. of milk until a soft dough forms (forgot to take a picture of the dough).

Once the potatoes are cooked, add the turkey sausage to the soup.

Form teaspoon-sized dumplings and drop them into the soup. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, then cover and cook for another 10 minutes.

Serve hot with a couple of plump dumplings. Invite your mom or daughter to join you…or the whole family for that matter. Enjoy!

Fell off the Wagon Caramel Apple Crisp

Yep. It’s true. My hubby and I fell off the low-glycemic wagon…again. I conducted another fridge and pantry purge over the weekend, trying to use up some ingredients and foods that I simply didn’t want to go to waste. There is nothing that I hate more than throwing away perfectly good food.

I had some tart Granny Smith apples in the fridge and a jar of sugar-free caramel sauce so I decided to make a twist on an old-fashioned apple crisp. Let me tell you, this dish tastes great and spreads a wonderful aroma throughout the house. My husband and I couldn’t wait for it to bake.

So here’s a dish for the fall and to celebrate the end of the election season, whether you are happy with the outcomes or not. The bleeping craziness is over. No more phone calls and campaigners ringing door bells, no more political flyers hung on my door and jamming my mailbox, and no more nasty campaign ads on TV. I think a little sweetness is in order, don’t you?

Apple Mixture:
5 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup Orange Juice
1/2 cup Sugar
1 12-oz. jar Sugar-Free Caramel Sauce

1 1/4 cups Brown Sugar
1 1/4 cups Oats
1 cup Flour
1/2 cup Butter, softened or slightly melted
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Nutmeg

Mix the apples with the orange juice and sugar in a bowl.

Spread the apple mixture in a 10-inch cast iron skillet or small baking dish.

Slowly heat up the jar of caramel sauce over low heat. Stir constantly until it becomes creamy. Don’t warm it at too high a heat or it will scorch. Don’t microwave it either as the same problem can happen.

Drizzle the caramel sauce over the apple mixture.

For the topping, place the brown sugar in a bowl.

Add the oats…


and the butter.

Add the spices and combine all ingredients to get crumbly pea-sized bits of topping.

Spread the topping over the caramel apple mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes until bubbly, the apples are cooked through and the topping begins to brown.

Serve with ice cream – the sugar-free variety if you have it. Enjoy!

Turkey, Bacon and Avocado Panini with Chipotle Mayo

Who doesn’t love a grilled sandwich? They are, for me, one of the best comfort foods around. They are quick to make and go well with soup or salad – or are quite tasty just by themselves. The Italian panini takes the grilled sandwich far beyond the American grilled cheese variety. I love them.

I don’t own a panini press, but I am still equipped with a ribbed cast iron griddle and bacon press that enables me to make any ‘ol panini any ‘ol time. If you own a panini press, I hope you use it often.

This particular panini recipe has many of my favorite ingredients – turkey, avocado, bacon (isn’t everything better with bacon), and provolone cheese – and it is smothered in a dynamic spicy chipotle mayo that takes all the ingredients to another level.

1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. Sour Cream
1 chopped Chipotle Pepper in Adobe Sauce (remove the seeds for a milder flavor)
1 tsp. Lime Juice
Lime Zest from one lime
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh Cilantro
2 Tbsps. Butter, softened
4 slices of thick Wheat or Multigrain Bread
4 slices of Provolone Cheese
4 – 6 slices of Deli Turkey
4-5 slices of Bacon, cooked
1 ripe Avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced

Fry four to five slices of bacon in a cast iron skillet. Once cooked, remove and drain on a paper towel.

While your bacon is sizzlin’ add the mayo in a bowl.

Next add the sour cream…

and the chipotle pepper. Remove the seeds first if you can’t take the heat in the kitchen.

Next, add the lime zest and lime juice.

Finally, add the cilantro.

Combine all ingredients until a creamy colorful mayo appears.

Butter four slices of bread on one side.

Flip the bread over and smother the other side with that delicious chipotle mayo.

Cover the mayo side of the bread with a slice of provolone cheese.

On two slices of bread, add a couple of slices of the deli turkey.

Tear two slices of bacon in half and place them on top of the turkey.

Place the slice of bread with provolone on top. Place the sandwich on a hot grill.

Place a bacon press on top of the sandwich and grill for 2 to 3 minutes until the cheese melts.

Flip it over with a spatula and grill the other side for 2 to 3 minutes. Look at those gorgeous grill marks. A feast for the eyes.

Look at that panini oozing with cheesy goodness.

Remove the panini from the grill and pull it apart. Add the avocado slices and put the sandwich back together.

Slice and serve. Then make another one. By the way, this recipe comes to you “Husband Approved.” My hubby ate his sandwich and half of mine. Hard to keep them on the plate. Enjoy!

Easy Cheesy Spaghetti with Serendipitous Sauce and Herby Garlic Bread

Serendipity = the phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for

Amen. I first fell in love with the idea of serendipity as a child when I read the wonderful children’s series by Stephen Cosgrove (remember Leo the Lop?). Serendipity was a pink sea monster who came across fortunate discoveries by accident while learning to cope with life’s everyday mishaps. The moral of Serendipity’s story is “knowing who you really are will bring you happiness.” Today, in my middle age, I still find happy surprises where I didn’t expect them…and call out “Serendipity!” when the moment hits me.

So, when I tried a few weeks ago to make braciole – an Italian steak roulade or filled meat roll – things didn’t go so well. The meat was tender but dry (probably because I used the wrong kind of steak and cooked it too long), the filling was too thick and choppy (because I should have pureed it in my Cuisinart), and I did a horrible job of tying the meat roll with butcher’s string. (The very next day after my beefy disaster, while surfing The Cooking Channel, I found a “Good Eats” episode on exactly the proper way to make braciole. This was not a serendipitous moment at all – rather, as Alanis Morisette so aptly put it – ironic.)

My serendipitous moment came when I made the marinara sauce that smothered the braciole. My little culinary disaster reared a wonderfully light tomato sauce flavored with onions, garlic, herbs, carrots and celery. And it made enough for the braciole plus a large Mason jar (plenty for today’s spaghetti recipe).

I may or may not attempt braciole again (I’ll have to consult Alton Brown on this one), but I now have a tasty marinara sauce that will become a staple in my house – Serendipity!

Marinara Sauce Ingredients
1/2 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 small Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 stalk Celery, chopped
1 Carrot, chopped
2 (32-oz.) cans Crushed Tomatoes
1 Tbsp. dried Basil or 4 to 6 fresh Basil Leaves
2 Bay Leaves
Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
Unsalted Butter

In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent.

Add celery and carrot and season with salt and pepper. Saute veggies until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes, basil and bay leaves and reduce heat to low.

Cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour. Remove the bay leaves and taste sauce. If too acidic, add butter, 1 Tbsp. at a time, to round out the flavor.

Store sauce in a Mason jar or freeze in a freezer bag for future use.

Spaghetti Ingredients
1 jar Serendipitous Sauce
1 lb. lean Ground Beef
4 oz. sliced Mushrooms
Spaghetti Noodles, prepared according to package

Garlic Bread Ingredients
1 loaf French Bread
Unsalted Butter
1 clove Garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp. each of dried Basil and Oregano
Grated Cheese (Parmesan or Pecorino Romano)

To finish the sauce, brown the ground beef in a large skillet.

Add the Serendipitous Sauce.

Add the mushrooms, mix into sauce and let simmer over medium-low heat until sauce is hot and mushrooms cook through.

While the sauce is simmering, preheat oven at 375 degrees. Prepare the garlic bread.

Slice a loaf of French bread in half. Place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum.

Melt 2 Tbsp. of unsalted butter with a crushed garlic clove in a microwave. Takes about a minute.

Add the dried basil and oregano

and combine.

Brush the herby butter onto the French bread.

Bake for 10 minutes until edges become golden brown.

Sprinkle grated cheese (I used pecorino romano) on top of the warm bread.

Spoon the marinara sauce on top of noodles, sprinkle with cheese and serve with garlic bread. A dish a pink sea monster would love!

Apple Nectarine Galette

Man oh man this is such a busy week at work. I’m afraid I won’t get many posts in this week. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel and October looks to be a quieter, gentler month (fingers crossed).

Thankfully, over the past weekend, I was able to lay low – no Dutch oven events, dog trials or other urgent matters – and got a chance to make something I have wanted to make in a long time. A galette.

What exactly is a galette? Basically a French freeform pastry, almost like a very rustic open-faced pie. The crust is slightly denser than pie crust and often filled with fruit of the season.

I had some Fuji apples and a very lonesome nectarine begging to be eaten, so they became my fruit of choice for my galette.

I found an apple galette recipe online and adjusted it to include the nectarine. I also reduced the amount of brown sugar, since I was using Fuji apples, which are pretty sweet. If you use tart apples, like Granny Smiths, then bump up the amount of brown sugar.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose Flour
1 Tbsp. granulated Sugar
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. cold Butter
1/2 cup walnuts
1 large Egg Yolk, lightly beaten
1 large Egg, beaten to blend with 1 Tbsp. Water
2 to 3 Apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 Nectarine, sliced
1/4 cup firmly packed Brown Sugar (not pictured*) – use 1/2 cup Brown Sugar if using tart apples
1/4 tsp. ground Nutmeg (not pictured*)

*In my haste and excitement, I forgot to include the brown sugar and nutmeg in the photo.

Combine the flour, granulated sugar and salt in a bowl.

Cut 1/2 cup of butter into pieces and work into the flour mixture

until it resembles coarse meal.

Add the egg yolk and 4 Tbsp. of cold water, one Tbsp. at a time, into the mixture.

Mix until you can form a ball.

Place the dough on some cellophane and flatten it into a disc.

Wrap up the dough and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

While your dough is chillin’, spread the walnuts in a baking pan (over parchment, if you like) and bake at 375 degrees in an oven for about 6 to 8 minutes, until slightly golden brown. Chop coarsely.

While your dough is still chillin’ and your walnuts are getting toasty, melt the remaining 2 Tbsp. of butter in a cast iron skillet.

Add apples and stir often over medium heat for about 10 to 12 minutes, until slightly softened and brown at edges.

Sprinkle brown sugar and nutmeg over apples.

Stir for about 5 minutes until liquid is bubbly and syrupy.

Add the nectarine

and the walnuts. Combine and remove from the heat.

Lay out the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface. Lightly flour a rolling pin.

Roll out the dough until it is about 12 to 15 inches in diameter. No I did not measure this. Just wing it. It’s rustic, remember?

Transfer the dough onto a parchment-lined cast iron pizza pan.

Pile the fruit filling in the center. Be sure to leave a couple of inches around the edges.

Gently fold edges around the fruit filling, pleating as you go, leaving an opening of about 3 to 4 inches wide in the center. (Again, I did not measure this. Mon dieux…rustique!)

Combine an egg and 1 Tbsp. of water to create an egg wash. Brush it along the edges of the crust.

Bake in a 375-degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced. Transfer the galette with the parchment paper onto a wire rack to cool.

Sprinkle the galette with powdered sugar and serve while warm. Try it with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Tres bien!

Foolproof Chili and Skillet Cornbread

Ahhh…fall is just around the corner – this Saturday marks the official start of my favorite season. So what better way to celebrate than with two of my favorite autumnal dishes – chili and cornbread (the two just go together, don’t they?). Now I must confess that I stole this chili recipe from one of my husband’s employees, who stole it from his mom, who won a few cooking awards with it. I was never much of a chili fan until I tried this recipe. Now, I am hooked. What I love most about this recipe is that it isn’t super hot (although you can ratchet up the heat if you want), but it has tons of flavor, includes ground beef and Italian sausage, black beans, and the secret ingredient – fresh corn cut from the cob. It is impossible to mess up this chili (thus the name) and it cooks well in a crock pot in case you want to serve it at potlucks, as a dip with tortilla chips, or tailgating. The cornbread is simple, yet divine, moist and fluffy like a cake. Baking it in a cast iron skillet just makes it that much extra special. Give it a try…and here’s to chilly mornings and turning leaves.

Skillet Cornbread ingredientsSkillet Cornbread Ingredients
1/2 cup Butter, melted
2 Eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups Milk
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Cornmeal
1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt

Whisk together the melted butter, eggs and milk in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, sift together all of the dry ingredients.

Make sure dry ingredients are fully combined.

Add the dry mix, one cup at a time, to the wet ingredients and stir.

Until dry and wet ingredients are completely combined.

Pour batter into a lightly greased cast iron skillet. I placed a cookie sheet underneath to make it easier to carry and to catch any spills – not that I’m a clutz or anything, because I’m not. Really.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for 35 minutes or until a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean. Your cornbread should be lightly golden brown. Check out those edges. I love you cast iron skillet!

Notice how moist and fluffy!

While your cornbread is baking, prepare your chili.

Foolproof Chili Ingredients
1 lb. Ground Beef
1 lb. Ground Italian Sausage, mild (choose hot if you want more heat)
1 10 oz. can RoTel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies, mild (or hot, if you like it spicy!)
1 6 oz. can Tomato Paste
1 15.5 oz can each of Black Beans and Red Kidney Beans
1-2 Bell Peppers (I like red and yellow), chopped
1 Jalapeno, chopped (add two, if you can stand the heat in the kitchen)
Fresh Corn cut from 3 corn cobs
1 Tbsp. each of Garlic Salt, Chili Powder, Ground Cumin, Oregano

In a Dutch oven, brown the ground beef and Italian sausage.

Once the meat is browned, add the RoTel tomatoes and tomato paste.

Add the beans.

Then the peppers.

Now the fresh corn.

Mix all ingredients well.

Finally, add all of the spices and herbs and stir into chili.

Cover the Dutch oven with a lid and let the chili simmer for 30 minutes until hot.

Serve with a hearty slice of Skillet Cornbread.