Friday, October 31, 2008

Chicken Chili

Many chicken chilies are made with green or all white sauces. I still like tomato with my chili, no matter what the rest of the ingredients are.

Chicken Chili
Serves 4-6
Printable Recipe

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts - cut into 1" chunks
2 cups cannellini beans - drained
2 cups diced tomatoes and juice - with or without chiles
1 medium onion - chopped
2 cloves garlic - minced
neutral oil such as vegetable
2 cups chicken stock
1 Tablespoon chili powder

1. Heat oil in a heavy pot; add onion and garlic. Cook until onion begins to turn translucent. Do not brown.
2. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink. Do this over low heat so the garlic doesn't burn.
3. Add beans, tomatoes, stock and chili powder. Simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, sliced black olives, sliced green onions etc.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Peanut Butter Soup

This isn't as odd as it sounds. When I had a small cafe for a short period of time, there was a man there who requested this soup. I made it for him and then he came back for more until the pot was empty.

Peanut Butter Soup
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

3 cups chicken stock or vegetable
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup sliced green onion + 2 tablespoons green tops only - sliced
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter

1. Melt butter in a heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until smooth.
2. Add stock slowly and whisk until thickened and satiny.
3. Add peanut butter, ginger and green onion.
4. Simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Stir well and serve with sliced green onion atop each bowl.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Kitchen Sink Soup

This started out as Portuguese Bean Soup, which is really wonderful in its own right, but I had picked up so many recipes for it and they were all so different that I attempted to come up with a combination of my own.

Well, this is what resulted instead and was so good I had to write it down.
The name comes from feeling like I had put everything but the kitchen sink into this soup.

Kitchen Sink Soup
Printable Recipe

1 lb hot sausage - sliced (Portuguese chorizo is great but not necessary)
1 lb ground beef
2 quarts chicken or beef stock, broth, or bouillon
1 large onion - sliced thin
3 large cloves garlic - sliced thin
1 large green pepper - sliced thin
1 small head cabbage - sliced
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can tomato puree
2 large cans kidney beans - drained
1 large potato - diced small
1 c small elbow macaroni - uncooked
1/2 t oregano
1/2 t basil

Brown onion, ground beef, and sausage in a large soup pot. Drain well. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until macaroni and potato are done, about 30 minutes.

Better second day reheated.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Potato, Sausage and Cheddar Soup

This soup was a happy accident. Having several cooked potatoes and a bit of cooked sausage on hand, I decided to toss it together for a truly delicious and filling soup.

Potato, Sausage and Cheddar Soup
Printable Recipe

1 pound bulk sausage
5 large potatoes - cooked and diced
6 cups chicken stock or broth
2 cups milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon dry thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground sage

Break up sausage and brown well in a large and heavy soup pot.
Add potatoes, stock, milk, thyme and sage. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 - 45 minutes; use the longer time for a thicker soup. Mash slightly with a potato masher if you like and add cheddar cheese. Remove from heat, stir well and serve.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Nacho Mama's Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup
I've always liked tortilla soup. It's so easy to make, full of flavor and one of those things that makes a very attractive bowlful.

I'm not going to give you a recipe that simply calls for tossing everything into a pot and simmering for 20 minutes, though. I feel that any good dish is built from the bottom up, flavor-by-flavor, and this one especially benefits from that philosophy.

While divine in it's own right, I think the addition of chicken makes it hearty enough for a meal.

Here is the basic recipe, but pay close attention to the method - it's not what you think.

Nacho Mama's Chicken Tortilla Soup
Printable Recipe

1 small onion - diced
1 small green pepper - diced
2 cloves garlic - minced
8 cups chicken stock
2 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
2 cups cooked and chopped chicken breast
1 sprig of epazote - chopped OR 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 lime - zested, halved and juiced
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano - rubbed
1 small dried chile such as arbol

For garnish:

8 corn tortillas - cut into strips
1 small avocado - peeled and diced
1 lime - sliced thinly
1/4 cup whole cilantro leaves
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Cook strips of tortilla in a small amount of oil over medium-high heat until toasted. Set aside on paper toweling to drain.

Toast cumin lightly in a non-stick pan. Cool and powder with a spice grinder. Toasting and grinding the seed makes the flavor deeper. Add the oregano to this and set aside.

Heat a couple tablespoons of neutral oil, like canola, in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onion and green pepper and cook until onion is translucent. Add minced garlic and stir for a moment. Add stock and tomatoes and simmer until vegetables are tender - about 20 minutes.

Add chicken, oregano and cumin, lime juice, zest and lime halves, cilantro and chile. Simmer for another 20 minutes until flavors blend. Remove chile and lime halves.

Serve in bowls, topped with tortilla strips, lime slices, avocado, cilantro leaves and shredded cheese.

*Note - the version in the photo contains kidney beans, which is not the norm, but is really good.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Wonton Soup

This first soup is the one in the photo used in this blog's header; Wonton Soup.

Wonton Soup is available in two different ways where I live; order it from a Chinese restaurant, or make it yourself. I like to make my own.

This is how it's done:

Minced chicken or pork with sherry, soy, garlic, green onion and ginger - and wonton wrappers.

Centered on the wrapper.

Folded over.

Long corners brought together and sealed with a little water.

Wontons in waiting.

Rapidly boiling stock.

Wontons surfaced and ready!

Perfectly yummy.

Wonton Soup
Serves 8
Printable Recipe

1 pound ground pork or chicken
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 garlic clove - minced
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon sliced green onion + 1/4 cup
24 wonton wrappers
12 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1. Mix pork or chicken with sherry, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and 1 tablespoon sliced green onion. (The green onion was left out of this batch of wontons for my husband).
2. Drop a teaspoonful of mixture on each wonton wrapper. Fold as shown in photos.
3. Bring stock to a boil and drop wontons, one at a time - about 6 -8 at once, into stock. When they are floating and turning slightly translucent they are done.
4. Pour 1 1/2 cups of stock into a bowl - add 3 wontons and sprinkle with green onion.