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Local Dish: Red and Yellow

St. Clair Shores Sentinel readers share their favorite recipes

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published June 19, 2018

 St. Clair Shores Fire Chief James Piper dishes on his hearty firehouse meal.

St. Clair Shores Fire Chief James Piper dishes on his hearty firehouse meal.

James Piper, fire chief of St. Clair Shores since January, on his hearty firehouse meal, as told to Kristyne E. Demske.

“This recipe was one I learned from an old-school firefighter in Copperas Cove, Texas, and it was a favorite around the firehouse because it’s easy, it’s fast and it’s pretty filling, which is all the things you really need in a busy firehouse. For a number of years, he had worked in a neighboring department. If I recall correctly, I think it was one that he learned at the firehouse at that other department. It’s kind of an ancient fire department recipe, I think, from that area.

“A couple times a month, we have it at the fire station, and my family loves it so much that at least once a month we have it at our house. It’s easy, it’s tasty, everybody loves it. The ‘Red’ is designed to be spooned over the ‘Yellow,’ but depending on how fussy your eaters may be, they don’t have to touch to be delicious.”

• 1 lb. kielbasa sausage, sliced
• 1 bottle Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce
• 1 box family-size Velveeta shells and cheese
Optional: garlic, yellow onion, peppers

In a large skillet on medium heat, put just a small amount of olive oil, one tablespoon should be sufficient. For an extra kick, consider Tabasco-infused olive oil. Cook sausage completely, about 5-10 minutes depending on heat. While cooking sausage, now would be the perfect time to add any of the “optional ingredients.”

Reduce heat to low. Add barbecue sauce and mix with sausage until completely covered and a quarter-inch or more of sauce in pan to simmer in sauce. (You could technically skip the barbecue sauce step if you wish, but why would you?).

For families with kids, you may consider putting some sausage aside with zero sauce as they tend to be in the “no sauce” camp. You should definitely use Sweet Baby Ray’s brand sauce. If you haven’t had it before, prepare yourself for excellence.

In a large pot, put water in to start boiling. Follow directions on Velveeta package for amount of water, but we don’t get particularly bothered at the Fire Department if it is too much water. When water comes to a boil, add pasta from Velveeta box. Stir pasta occasionally while boiling for about 8-10 minutes. Drain pasta when cooked and place back into hot pot. Cut and empty cheese packet into noodles. Stir well. Stir well again (you probably are leaving behind tasty cheese sauce). 

Serve on plate with a nice bed of Yellow noodles topped with Red sausage mixture. This pairs nicely with a fine cola or root beer, as well as a side salad or garlic toast. Serves 4.

If you would like to submit your recipe as part of the St. Clair Shores Sentinel’s Local Dish feature, email Kristyne E. Demske at