As the weather turns colder and the evenings start earlier, we all naturally turn to comfort foods. For Midwesterners, those foods are usually of the "stick-to-your-ribs" variety. It's natural. It gets colder, and we yearn for foods that make us feel warm and filled. I imagine it's some sort of primitive, early historic, instinctual thing. We want to be full and we want to keep ourselves warm throughout the winter.
Or maybe I've just lived with my husband too long.
Whatever the reason, this particular stew is one we've often turned to on cold nights. It comes together quickly, smells positively delicious, and is incredibly filling, while still being rather healthy. The leftovers reheat exceptionally well, and there's something in it for everyone. It's also very customizable, so you can swap out ingredients for others if you like.
Indian Corn Stew
(Adapted from Susan Jacobs, The Gooseberry Patch, The Harvest Table)
1 lb. bacon, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
1 onion, diced
28 oz. can stewed tomatoes, undrained
28 oz. can plain tomato sauce
1 1/2 lbs, green beans, trimmed and chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 10-oz bags of frozen corn
Salt and pepper, to taste
Dash hot sauce
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Heat a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Cook bacon until crisp. Drain off all but 2 T. drippings. Add diced onion to pot, reduce heat, and cook till tender, 5-8 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, green beans, and corn. Check for seasonings, add salt and pepper to taste. (Salt might not even be necessary!)
Add a dash of hot sauce (or more, if you're daring) and heat through. Serve topped with cheddar cheese and additional hot sauce.
- To make this vegetarian, feel free to omit the bacon and sub in something else. I prefer the bacon, since it lends a nice smokey quality to the stew. However, if animals aren't your thing, it's fine to leave it out and saute the onions in a little olive oil instead.