3 Jan


I got 3 new cookbooks for Christmas! They include The Martha Stewart Living cookbook, Cooking For Two and The Way To Cook by Julia Child. They were all given to me by Brian’s family…should I take this as a hint? Don’t starve our sweet boy! I immediately took to my Martha Stewart book though and decided to tackle a recipe New Years weekend- “A Savory Fall Stew”. So I wrote my ingredient list and headed to the most magical place on earth, Whole Foods. Shopping for the ingredients proved to be harder than I thought it would be. I walked around the produce section aimlessly searching for fennel bulbs and parsnips. I had no idea what they looked like, do you? Is this something I should have already known? I happened to be chatting on the phone with my mother while looking for the parsnips and asked her if she knew what they looked like. She had no idea either. Clearly you can see why I never learned to cook. So I zeroed in on a very nice looking produce man and told my mom I had to call her back. With his help I put together my ingredients.

When I got home I started in on my stew. It actually turned out great! Although I do have a little bone to pick with Martha. I think she has got her timing a bit screwy because my vegetables did not cook down in 10 minutes. More like 35 minutes, Martha. Just a note.

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2 tablespoons of olive oil

12 ounces hot Italian sausage, cut into small chunks

12 pearl onions, peeled

1 1/2 cups of crushed tomatoes

3 cups of low sodium chicken stock

1 handful of herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, or oregano

1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

3 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

3 parsnips, cut into 2 inch long pieces

1 fennel bulb, halved, cored, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices

12 brussels sprouts, trimmed, cut into half with kosher salt and pepper


– Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook sausage, stirring until it breaks into small pieces and is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside.

– Pour off all but two tablespoons of rendered fat, and discard. Raise heat to medium high and add onion; cook, stirring, until golden, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes, stock and herbs; simmer over medium heat until the liquid starts to thicken, about 20 minutes. Add the sausage, squash, carrots, parsnips, and fennel; cover and simmer until vegetables are tender; about 10 minutes (LIES). Add brussels sprouts; cook; stirring occasionally, until the liquid thickens, 10 to 15 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper; serve hot.


12 Responses to “186”

  1. barbarapotter January 3, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    Love this. By the way. The cookbooks always get that wrong. Never fails. I use them as a guide and then make the magic myself. Looks good. Going to try it with sweet Italian sausage. My husband does not like hot. Actually going to do it for dinner tomorrow night. Yum.

    • katemcclafferty January 3, 2012 at 10:48 am #

      Barbara- Let me know how it turns out!! Sweet sausage would be delicious in it! Happy New Year!

      • barbarapotter January 3, 2012 at 11:38 am #

        I sure will. This is Jenny P’s mom by the way. I follow your blog.

      • katemcclafferty January 3, 2012 at 11:48 am #

        I know exactly who you are Barbara! Love you and your daughter!!

      • barbarapotter January 21, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

        HI Kate,

        Doing this tomorrow. Was thinking did you serve it over anything like rice? I think this will be great.

  2. barbarapotter January 21, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    Also which herbs did you use. I am not a fan of oregano at all.

    • katemcclafferty January 21, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

      Hey Barbara! I did not put it over rice but I think that is a GREAT idea! It needed something like that….:) As far as the herbs I used all three which was a mistake. If I were to do it again I would probably just use thyme. Keep me posted about how it turns out!

      • barbarapotter January 21, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

        Great I like Thyme. Only have dry though.

  3. barbarapotter January 22, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

    Ok Kate, all I can say is Yummmm. I made it and had 2 people over for dinner. Everyone including my husband loved it. I did use sweet Italian sausage and not hot. I also made white Jasmine rice which came out great and we ate it on top of it perfect. Everyone absolutely loved it. The only thing I did different is when I put in the veggies and everything I felt they needed to be covered a little more so I poured some of the 1 cup of chicken stock in that was left in the container after I used the 3 cups, Just poured not measured maybe 1/2 cup. I also used fresh thyme and not the other herbs. The Thyme was just right. Back to the part about 10 minutes for cooking veggies….joke. I did at least 20 and then added the Brussel Sprouts. I then cooked it at least 30 more minutes. I think I could have put the sprouts in the same time as the other veggies. I had to cook it a little longer than I would have because the sprouts were not done enough.

    I just judged by how I thought it looked. It was absolutely perfect. I used 1 lb of sausage and the butternut squash was large and with all the other vegetables I could have easily used. 1.5 lbs. but even with the 1 lb it was so good.

    The flavor of the crushed tomatoes and the squash together was sort of sweet and lovely. I also used the whole net bag of Brussel Sprouts which was maybe 15 or 16 instead of 12. Did not want to waste them. Everyone raved over it. It is going to be one of my favorite dishes for company for sure. I have enough left over for another meal too. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • katemcclafferty January 23, 2012 at 8:02 am #

      Barbara it sounds like you created a masterpiece! I loved reading your take on the recipe and wish I was there to eat it! Do you have any great recipes I could try that you love???

  4. barbarapotter January 23, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    I will see what I come up with. Usually I just throw things together and don’t have a recipe but I did make a dish last year with fennell and brussel sprouts to Christmas so I could bring a veggie dish to our friends house and I loved it. Sent some home to Jen and she loved it too. I have to find it again.


  1. 163 « - January 26, 2012

    […] also noticed that it was a Martha Stewart recipe. We all know how I feel about Martha Stewart after cooking a stew from her book last month. I think she’s a liar. Plan and simple. I think she makes things […]

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