Monday, August 16, 2010

Tortilla Soup

Ingredients to stew chicken:
3 split chicken breasts (with skin and bone)
2 to 3 carrots
2 to 3 celery ribs
1 onion, quartered
6 to 8 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Place the chicken breasts in a pot with carrots, celery, and onion. Add salt, pepper, and garlic. Cover with water, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for one to two hours, or until chicken is very tender.

Remove chicken pieces to a platter, and let it cool a bit, then shred (discarding skin and bones). Set a strainer over a large bowl, and pour stock with vegetables into strainer. Discard the vegetables. Pour the stock back into the pot. Add the shredded chicken to stock.

Additional soup ingredients:
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes (with its liquid)
1 15.5 ounce can black beans (rinsed well)
1 15.5 ounce can white hominy (drained)
1 cup frozen corn
2 Tablespoons chicken soup base
2 Tablespoons ground cumin
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
4 corn tortillas (tear into strips or small pieces)

Add all of above additional ingredients to stock and chicken. Stir gently to combine, and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes to an hour.

Ladle into bowls, and top with:
shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
sliced avocado
sour cream

My note: The flavor of this is like my favorite restaurant tortilla soup. Though I haven't had a restaurant version around here that included the beans, corn, or hominy, I wanted to add some fiber/texture and stretch the servings. Usually the restaurant versions use fried strips of tortillas added while plating, but I didn't want the extra step or oil, so I just added the torn tortillas to the soup while cooking to incorporate the tortilla flavor.

If you are really organized and/or watching your fat intake, you can cook the chicken one day, refrigerate the stock overnight, and skim the congealed fat from the top of the stock before reheating and continuing to make soup.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Freezer Pie

1 Keebler chocolate cookie pie crust
1 large box of instant chocolate pudding
1 1/2 cups milk
1 small tub of Cool Whip
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

In a large bowl, mix the box of pudding mix with the milk. Whisk in the Cool Whip. Unwrap the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (about 10 of the large ones, or about 20 of the minis, or however many you want to put in) and chop them roughly. Fold the chopped candy into the pudding/cool whip mixture. Pour all into the chocolate pie crust. Top with a few more chopped peanut butter cups. Store in the freezer till about 15 minutes before serving.
My kids love this better than cake, so I always make it for their birthdays.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Not-exactly-local Salad

It's winter, so none of these ingredients were locally grown. But I really wanted a salad!

Italian bagged salad mix
fresh strawberries
fresh orange
red onion
dried cranberries
feta cheese
Honey-Dijon vinaigrette

Place salad mix in a large bowl.

Wash and dry all fresh produce. Peel orange, and either section or cut into bite-sized pieces. Halve or quarter strawberries. Seed pomegranate. Thinly slice onion. Add all too the salad mix, and add feta, cranberries, and chicken. Toss with vinaigrette.

My note: Use any chicken you like...grilled, rotisserie, etc. All I had tonight was breaded chicken patties, so I cooked as per directions on package, and then cut them into bite-sized pieces to add to salad. Mushrooms and pecans would be great in this too.

Here is a priceless tutorial on how to 'open' a pomegranate tidily!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lentil Soup

1 onion, diced
3 ribs of celery, diced
1/2 cup shoestring carrots (you could peel and slice whole carrots, but I had shoestring, and it was easier to use them)
1 cup link sausage, diced
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 14 oz. can chicken broth
4 to 6 cups water
2 cups lentils
1/2 cup fresh spinach

In a large pan, heat about 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Add diced onion, celery, carrot, and sausage. Saute, stirring occassionally, till onion is translucent. Add canned tomatoes (do not drain), chicken broth, and 4 cups water, and heat to boiling. Add the lentils, and stir. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 to 60 minutes until lentils are tender. Check occassionally during cooking, and add rest of water if needed/desired. At end of cooking time, stir in the fresh spinach.

My notes: This was very quick to pull together and get in the pot. And it was quite good. very hearty. I was tired, so I just served with crackers, but it would have been great with cornbread.