I have been home recuperating from major surgery, none the less the urge to get off the sofa and start cooking was too overpowering and I had to get back in the kitchen and have at it! Ahhh…it felt so good! I swear it was euphoric, and no, I am not on pain meds this is my actual experience! I decided to make some grub for the boys at House #5. They are always so grateful for anything the wives make them, and I love giving back to them for their bravery, and it’s one less meal they have to worry about making in the course of their busy day. Because sometimes they are stuck at a fire for hours and do not have time to make dinner.
The day I made this for them, ironically, they had a fully involved structure fire that began early in the morning. Sadly the family lost everything,my heart breaks for them, as the call came in as the house was fully involved as firefighters made it to the scene. No one was hurt thankfully, but it took many hours at the fireground scene to control it, and keep the fire from spreading to surrounding homes. They did a tremendous job of containing the fire and saving lives.. I am so proud of my husband and the men he works with. These are some of the bravest men I know. Kudos boys! Well done EFD B-Shift/C-Shift, and all BC’s and Captains at the fireground that day! The food I made them was a big help that day, as they didn’t have time to make dinner or lunch that day. Not to mention that they were back at the same firescene as sometimes happens, and had a few calls while dinner was being reheated. The life of a firefighter…everyhting around them is HOT (including their signficant others) accept their food! xo
I chose to make them a hearty batch of my signature chili, only I upped my game and made it a little heartier with the addition of my homemade Mexican chorizo, I also made them some good old southern skillet cornbread, and for desert, well I made a classic Mexican dessert, Tres Dulce De Leche Cake, with homemade caramel, and fluffy whip cream topping with a luscious coconut milk cake, and chocolate chunk brownies.
I hope you give the recipes a try. They are delicious, easy and a chance to explore different cultures and the food they enjoy.
* A special thanks to my hubby, Henry J. Maurath III for taking these pictures. Love you! xoxo
House 5 Chili with Beef and Mexican Chorizo
Aof Mexican Classic, that's full of flavor, easy, and oh so satisfying!
- My homemade chorizo is really easy since I take already seasoned sweet Italian sausage out of the casings, and begin to add some Mexican flavors to come up with a sausage that is very close to chorizo. I like using my own spices to nail the flavor. Feel free to use store-bought chorizo as well. Credit: CrazySexySavor.com/Susan Mangieri-Maurath
- 1 lb. of Mild Italian Sausage casings removed, or regular chorizo,
- 3 lbs. of 80/20 ground beef
- 1 finely diced and seeded long hot pepper
- 1 can of diced chilis
- one large onion finely diced
- 2 cloves of minced garlic
- one large can of whole tomatoes crushed with hands, juice included
- 1 can of mild Rotel tomatoes with chilis
- 1 can of Goya red kidney beans
- 1 can of Goya pink beans
- 1 can of tomato paste
- juice of one lime
- 1 tbsp. of unsweetened cocoa powder or Oxacan Chocolate chopped, (this is a Mexican chocolate from the region of Oxaca Mexico.
- 2 tbsp. of Chipotle chili powder
- 2 tbsp.of chilii powder
- 2 tbsp. of cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp. of smoked paprika
- Kosher Salt and Cracked black pepper to taste
For the Chorizo
- With the sausage out of the casings, in a large bowl, add the sausage, along with 1 tbsp. of the following, chipotle chili, chili powder, cumin, 1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well to combine. Brown separately in a large skillet with a 1 tbsp, of EVOO, over medium high heat, and add into chili.
- In a large Dutch oven, heat over medium heat, with 2 tsp. of solid vegetable shortening or lard. Add onions to soften, careful not to burn, about 3-4 min. Turn heat to high and add ground beef, allow to sit on bottom of pan to crust up before moving around. You want a delicate sear, you will get that if you don’t crowd the pan, your pan is screaming hot, and you let the beef do its thing. Drain off excess fat, continue browning the meat, and add in the garlic and chorizo. Mix well. Add in beans, pepper, and diced chilis. tomatoes, a half a can of water, and the paste. Season well and let simmer for about two hours.
- Add in the chocolate or cocoa powder if using, after about an hour, check and adjust seasonings at this point. Cooking for two full hours. Squeeze the juice of one lime to balance flavors.
- When chili is done, serve immediately or store for later use. Serve with a hearty topping of shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, or lime crema if desired. My youngest loves to crush crackers over the top of his with his cheese. Devour!
Sexy Southern Cornbread
A southern classic, that's quick, easy, and so delsh!
Credit: CrazySexySavor.com/Susan Mangieri-Maurath
- 1 cup of unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of corn meal
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 6 tbsp. of melted butter
- 1 cup of buttermilk
- 1 egg beaten
- 1/4 cup of canola oil
- 1 tsp. of cayenne pepper
- 3 tsp. of baking powder
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425°
- In a large mixing bowl combine the flour and cornmeal, add in the baking powder, and sugar, mix to combine, add in seasonings, 2 tbsp. of the butter, reserve the rest for the pan and brushing the top with butter when the cornbread comes out of the oven, Add in the oil, buttermilk, and egg. Mix to combine, don’t over mix.
- Grease a cast iron skillet with a teaspoon of canola oil, and some butter to grease the pan. Add the batter to the skillet, and place in oven to bake for about 30 -35 min. Serve immediately with butter if desired. Devour!
Tres Dulce de Leche Cake
A classic Mexican dessert that's creamy, fresh, and so delicious!
- Classic Tres Leche is a “three milk”cake using whole milk, evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk. I used coconut milk in place of the evaporated milk and added in some homemade caramel sauce. You can use either method, but he..llo, who says no to caramel? Surely not I! Credit: CrazySexySavor.com/Susan Mangieri-Maurath
- 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup of softened unsalted butte
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. of baking powder
- 1 cup of whole milk
- 5 eggs separated
- 1 14 oz. can of coconut milk
- 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tsp. of vanilla divided (1 tsp. for the whipped topping)
- 2 cups of heavy cream
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup of powdered sugar
- Mix of 3 tbsp. of coco powder and 1 tsp. of cayenne pepper in a separate bowl for dusting cake with. (optional but it’s so good)
- In the bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer add in egg whites and 1 tsp. of cream of tartar, whisk on high-speed until stiff peaks form. transfer to separate bowl and set aside.
- In cleaned out stand mixer bowl, add in sugar and butter. Beat until creamed. Add in flour, slowly mix on low to combine, add in egg yolks, combine well. Fold in egg whites combine well. Pour into greased 9×13 baking pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
- Remove immediately and place on baking rack to cool. Wait five minutes, then with a chopstick, or fork, pierce cake to make holes all over cake. Allow to cool.
- In a large bowl combine coconut milk, milk, and sweetened condensed milk, mix well and pour over top of cake covering all surface of cake well. Cover cake with a generous layer of caramel. Let sit for about five minutes.
- Make whipped cream. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine heavy cream, vanilla and powdered sugar, beat well on high until peaks from. Immediately frost the cake with the whipped topping. Covering the cake completely.
- Drizzle on more caramel, and dust with cocoa powder/cayenne mixture. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Cut into pieces and serve while cold. refrigerate any leftovers. Devour!