Hot Dog Vegetable Stew
This vegetable stew is loaded with hot dogs as well as veggies. It's a hearty recipe your kids will enjoy and adults, too. Do not be disheartened by the list of ingredients. This is really easy and fast. Cut the hot dogs in fun shapes and use any small pasta shapes that appeal to your children. Don't limit yourself to the vegetables listed in the ingredients. This is a good time to use any leftover veggies you have. INGREDIENTS: 1 Tablespoon butter 1 Tablespoon olive oil 1 large onion, peeled, cut in half, and sliced 1 large rib of celery, diced 1 large carrot, peeled and diced 2 cloves garlic, finely-chopped 1 cup beer (may substitute extra chicken broth or white wine) 2 cans (about 14 ounces each) chicken broth or 3-1/2 cups homemade chicken broth 1 can (about 14 ounces) Italian-style chopped tomatoes 1-1/2 cups tomato juice 1 Tablespoon kosher salt 1 cup small pasta (ditalini, baby shells, or your choice) 1/4 pound fresh green beans, sliced into 2-inch lengths 1/4 of a green bell pepper, diced 1 cup frozen sweet peas 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels 1 can (about 15 ounces) cooked black beans with liquid or about 1-1/2 cups homemade cooked black beans 8 hot dogs (beef, pork, chicken, or vegetable), cut into 2-inch lengths (see Note) 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed 2 teaspoons chili powder
Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add butter, olive oil, onion, celery, and carrots. Gently saute until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic and stir-fry 1 minute longer. Carefully pour in beer. Simmer until beer is reduced by half.
Add chicken broth, tomatoes, tomato juice, and salt. Bring to a boil, then add pasta and green beans. Simmer at a low boil for 5 minutes. Add bell pepper, peas, corn, black beans with their liquid, hot dogs, oregano, and chili powder. Return to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer another 10 minutes before serving.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Note: The hot dog chunks are flared at each end. Kids get a big kick out of this. Simply cut an X about 1/2-inch long into each end of the hot dog pieces, leaving the center whole and connected. When they are cooked, the ends flare out into a fun shape making a perfect pairing with funky pasta.