Category Archives: beans

Sausage and White Bean Soup

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Yesterday was a cold, drizzly, windy day here in Western Washington. I know you are thinking “cold, drizzly, and windy in Washington? NO WAY!” But yes dear friends, it was miserable. On top of mother nature bringing me down, I felt like I was coming down with a cold. I wanted to curl up under the covers in my jammies, I wanted to watch cheesy 80’s movies,I wanted my Mommy! But my jammies were in the laundry, and there were no 80’s movies on TV so I knew I would have to settle with something warm and yummy in my tummy. I took up the challenge and I ransacked my pantry. I was very happy with what I found.

Ahhh soup, glorious soup. As you all know I am a lover of all things “soupish”. Stews, Chowders, even Chili’s make me such a happy camper during the cold dreary months here in the Pacific Northwest. Which by the way last pretty much from October to July so I have tons of soup days!
I know I have mentioned that Kevin does not share this love of mine. In fact it is quite the opposite. He looks at soup as maybe and appetizer? He is looking for the real meal that goes with it. Many a time he has to walk away disappointed, or with a grilled cheese sandwich to supplement his meal experience. 
This evening though was much different though my friends. On this evening he was not only perfectly content with the idea of this soup as the main meal, he went back for seconds and thirds!! I was afraid to get between him and the pot for fear of being stabbed with his spoon!!! I have to agree though, this really is one of my favorite soups. You have the meatiness of the sausage, the creamy white beans, and just enough heat to make your mouth warm and tingly but it doesn’t blow the top off of your head. 
When a soup warms me, fills me up, and makes me want to curl up on the couch and purr with contentment, well I am just a happy happy camper!!
Sausage and White Bean Soup
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage
1 large sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
4 stalks of celery with leaves, diced
1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
3 teaspoons dried oregano
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1 cup dry white wine
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 15-ounce cans cannellini beans 
1 quart chicken stock
In a deep soup pot heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage and  brown well, breaking it up into little bits. Remove sausage from pot and reserve.

To the pot add the remaining olive oil, onions, garlic, chili peppers, celery, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent. Add the white wine, scrapping the bottom of the pan to release any brown bits there might be. Return the sausage to the pot. Add the crushed tomatoes, cannellini beans, and chicken stock.

Bring to a boil, once boiling reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pot and let it cook for 30 mins stirring occasionally.

ENJOY!!!


Southern Style Salmon Patties 2.0

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If you are thinking along the same lines that Kevin did you are asking yourself why in the heck I named this dish Southern Style Salmon Patties 2.0. Well, the reason I named it that was because this is my “Upgraded” version of the Southern Style Salmon Patties I learned how to make when I lived in North Carolina. I learned how to cook those first Southern dishes from my ex Mother in Law. That woman is a seriously good cook, but what was so funny is that (and I found out later is quite the norm for many cooks in the south) she didn’t use measurements. It wasn’t a cup of this and a tablespoon of that. It was a bit of this and a pinch of that, etc. When she taught me how to make cornbread one of the instructions read “add enough to make it the thickness of pancake batter”. I was a bit confused at first and had a lot of trial and error. But eventually caught on and still consider those recipes some of my favorite ones

So I am in no way saying that the original way I was taught to make them is wrong. No way, those were some seriously good salmon patties! Those patties had a ton of crushed up Saltine crackers in them that, while they tasted fabulous, added a lot of calories and sodium. Plus they were fried in a lot of oil. I wanted lighten them up and let the salmon flavor to shine with a few other flavors in the supporting cast. So that is where this recipe comes from.
Of course if you want to eat them “Southern Style” you need to have beans and coleslaw and cornbread right? Well I did make the coleslaw lighter, but had to make pinto beans (although in the south we had shelly beans which are OMG sooooo good!!). Even though I have been subbing black beans for pinto beans in all of my recipes lately, you just need pinto beans for the right flavor in my mind. The cornbread was left out (sadly) as I was trying to lighten the menu. But trust me it will make appearances occasionally. There is no way I could forgo corn bread forever!!
I realize this picture is not as pretty as the others but I had to show you how to put it together if you have never eaten them this way. WOW that picture makes me seriously hungry. This is one of the meals I could eat every week and I never leave leftovers!!!

Southern Style Salmon Patties 2.0
3 6-ounce cans of boneless skinless pink salmon (I get mine at Costco in a 6 can bundle)
4 green onions, chopped (whites and greens)
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped (reserve about 1 tablespoon for garnish if desired)
Zest of a small lemon
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
Coleslaw (see recipe below)
15-ounce can of Pinto beans (I used Bush Beans)
Add salmon plus the juice to a large bowl and flake with fork. Mix in the green onion,parsley, lemon zest, and eggs. using your hands combine. Add your bread crumbs (may need more if the mix is not thick enough to form patties). salt and pepper to taste.
Spray a large flat bottomed skillet with Non stick olive oil spray, coating it well. Heat over medium to medium high heat (depends on your stove, I hate my electric ggrrrr). Form into 8 patties. Working in batches fry the patties on one side until golden brown, flip and repeat.
Spicy Coleslaw:
  • 1 bag coleslaw mix from produce area (green and purple cabbage and carrots)
  • 3/4 cup light or fat free mayonnaise
  • 1/4 to 1/2 onion, grated (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard (a palmful)
  • 2 teaspoons celery salt
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a small bowl mix mayonnaise, onion, sugar, vinegar, mustard, celery salt, salt and pepper. Pour mayonnaise mixture over coleslaw mix and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow flavors to meld.

Ladle a scoop of pinto beans onto a plate. Place 2 salmon patties on top of them and the top the patties with a scoop of coleslaw.

ENJOY!!!

White Wine Braised Chicken

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Last night was the first night that we have had the kids over for dinner since we moved. They have been getting settled into their new place and we have been getting settled into ours. It was nice to have a bit of family time so we could all relax and take a deep breath after all the craziness (moving sucks…just saying). So I really wanted to make a nice hearty home cooked meal for them. Plus I had gotten a phone call from my son saying, “Mom I really miss your food!”. Tasty dinner coming right up!!
I have been making sandwiches, and fast food knock offs all week. I decided I wanted a meal that was balanced, filling, and full of good stuff. I mean we know what kids eat when they are on their own right? Protein, veggies, and some nice crusty bread seamed like a wonderful choice. I really do miss cooking for the whole family. It is nice for Kevin and I to have our own space but I’m seriously going through the empty nest thing here!!

I made this with skin on bone in chicken thighs because, well I just love the flavor and juiciness of thighs. But you could do this just as easily with breasts if you prefer. I would use skin on bone in breast though if you want that nice golden brown crust on the meat. I wish I had browned mine just a tad bit longer.
This one of my meals that I call a “kitchen sink” meal. I threw a tons of stuff in the that was on hand. Beans, veggies, herbs, you name it. That is the beauty of a recipe like this. Once you  have the meat and braising liquid you can go crazy and make it your own! 
Everyone loved it and it just ended up being a nice tummy filling comfort food kind of dinner to share with my family! I hope you give it a try!!
White Wine Braised Chicken
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 large leeks, white and light green portions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise, rinsed clean of grit
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 19-ounce can of Cannelinni beans, drained
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (2 ears of corn)
  • 8-ounces frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 2 Tablespoons. fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt 
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 loaf of crusty bread, opptional


Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides and, working in batches if necessary, brown the chicken on both sides, about 8 minutes total per batch. Remove to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the leeks and red pepper to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and wilted and absorbed most of the chicken fat. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute. 

Increase the heat to medium-high and add the wine using a wooden spoon to scrape up and browned bits that are on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for a minute or so to cook off the alcohol. Add the chicken stock to the pan and bring back to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Return the chicken to the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pan and allow to cook for 45 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with tin foil to keep it warm.

Add the beans and corn to the pan and turn the heat up to medium. Continue to cook while stirring occasionally, for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until the corn kernels have softened. Add the peas, chives, and lemon juice and cook for an additional few minutes to heat up the peas. Remove from heat and adjust seasoning.

Ladle the broth and veggies into a bowl and top with 2 chicken thighs. Serve with crusty bread.

ENJOY!!


Ham and Bean Soup

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Again, as I wander through old picture files, I find a picture for a recipe that I never posted. It is like a game now for me, hide and go seek with pictures! I can’t believe I didn’t post this soup before. It is one of my favorite soups. This just screams cool fall evening, or winter night curled up by the fire. It really is a soup that puts my tummy in a happy place. Maybe it is because it is one of the first things I ever learned to cook from scratch, I don’t know. I know I used to love having the soup simmering for a few hours, it made me feel like a real cook. I do know I love it and so does my family!!
I use dried beans for this #1 because that is the way my Ex’s Mom showed me how to make soup, and #2 because I think it just gives the soup much more time to develop flavors. But you can easily use canned beans if you want to speed up the meal. You could also do this in a slow cooker. Just add the soaked beans with the other ingredients and set it on low if you need it to cook all days while you are at work.

I am so glad that it is soup weather again!! The stews, the chowders…mmmmm so many possibilities. That is the good thing about living in the Pacific Northwest. I have plenty of soup weather here! Although I am having a tough time teaching Kevin that it is OK to have soup for dinner. 
Kevin – What’s for dinner?
Me – (whatever kind it is) soup.
Kevin – What else?
Me – That’s it.
Kevin – You’re joking right?
Me – (looking in pot) Nope, I am pretty sure I am making soup.
Kevin – (looking in pot) Where’s the meat?
Me – In the fridge.
Kevin – (blank stare)
Me – You can have a ham sandwich or something to go with the soup.
Kevin – (shaking head and walking away mumbling) How can you have a meal without meat?
My poor carnivore, I feel bad for him…..not really…..well maybe just a little. 
Ham and Bean Soup
8 cups of *chicken stock, plus a bit extra to thin soup if needed (can sub water)
1 pound great northern beans (soaked overnight and drained)
1 large ham steak, cubed
1 onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring chicken stock and beans to a boil. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand at least 1 hour, to overnight (I prefer overnight if possible).
Stir in ham, onion, bay leaf, carrot, celery, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, (skimming foam from top as needed), about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until beans are tender. If soup is too thick, add a more chicken stock. If you like your soup “creamy” use a potato masher to mash up a few f the beans.

Serve with fresh baked corn bread.

ENJOY!!
* Link is for a tutorial on how to make homemade chicken stock if you prefer homemade.

Spicy BBQ Baked Beans for #SundaySupper

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Ah yes, football season is back!! Be still my heart! I have been an avid football fan since I was 16. Now we wont discuss how many years that is. Let’s just suffice to say that it has been a long damn time!! In our house there are only two things that will bring everything to a dead stop and you will find all faces glued to the TV. NASCAR and football. Both of which I have enjoyed for the same amount of time.


Growing up in San Diego I became a Chargers fan and I when I did I did it full force. I can remember the year they lost in the playoffs to the Bengals. I, as well as thousands of fans, went to the stadium to wait for them to fly back. It poured the rain, we didn’t care. People started BBQs and a band showed up. There were TVs and people gave a us a run down as to where the Chargers were and when they would be there. It was midnight by the time they arrived, but we didn’t care. Now I live in Western Washington and have developed a love for the Seahawks as well. I have sat in the rain, snow, freezing wind to watch them play. Yes my friends I guess die hard could also mean a bit obsessed. 
Those years have passed. I enjoy the games in front of my TV on a comfy couch. No rain and I get instant replays!! BONUS! But I have never lost my love for tailgating. I love to have friends over, cook up a bunch of grub and have a few cold ones, all while arguing over who is going to win and if that was a bad call or not.  But football, fun, and great food always go hand in hand for me!
Spicy BBQ Baked Beans

2 tablespoons olive oil
6 slices of bacon, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
6 jalapenos, chopped (seeds and ribs removed if you want to bring down the heat level)
BBQ sauce (recipe below)
6 cans Great Northern Beans, drained
BBQ Sauce
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cups cider vinegar
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (we add more since we like it EXTRA spicy)

Add the ingredients for the BBQ sauce to a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile in a large heavy bottomed pot heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped bacon and cook until the fat renders, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the onions, garlic, and jalapeno and cook until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Add the drained beans and BBQ sauce. Heat to a simmer, then cover and reduce to low. Cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally). Remove the lid and cook until the sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

ENJOY!
Join us on Sunday as we share our favorite tailgate recipes and tips. Hop on twitter at 7pm EST for the live #SundaySupper chat.
The Lineup
Pre Game Warm-ups:
On the Sidelines:
Main Events:
Overtime:
From the Cooler:
Wine Pairings by Wine Everyday

http://bobbiskozykitchen.blogspot.com/2012/09/turkey-sausage-stuffed-zucchini-boats.html

Pasta e Fagioli

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Hello and happy Friday everyone! I know it has been quite a while since I posted. I have been under the weather for the last week and didn’t do any cooking, so I was so happy to finally cook!! I have been wanting to make this soup for so long but for some reason I just never got around to it. But since I have been under the weather soup sounded soooo good!!

Trust me I was so glad I made that decision. This soup is so good and is going to become one of my favorite comfort foods now. If you like soup and/or Italian flavors you have got to make this. I put crushed red pepper flakes in mine and it just gives it a little heat, but if you don’t like that you can omit them and it would be just as good.

Make sure to have some nice crusty bread to sop up all of that tasty broth, and have your appetite with you too!!

Pasta e Fagioli

  • 2 tablespoons (2 turns around the pan) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 pound (about 3 slices) pancetta, chopped
  • 2 (4 to 6-inch) sprigs rosemary, left intact
  • 1 (4 to 6-inch) sprig thyme with several sprigs on it, left intact
  • 1 large fresh bay leaf or 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans
  • 1 cup canned tomato sauce or canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups ditalini
  • 1 generous handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • Grated Parmigiano or Romano, for the table
  • Crusty bread, for mopping
Heat a deep pot over medium high heat and add oil and pancetta. Brown the pancetta bits lightly, and add herb stems, bay leaf, chopped vegetables, and garlic. Season vegetables with salt and pepper. Add the crushed red pepper flakes, beans, tomato sauce, water, and stock to pot and raise heat to high. Bring soup to a rapid boil and add pasta. Reduce heat to medium and cook soup, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes or until pasta is cooked al dente. Rosemary and thyme leaves will separate from stems as soup cooks. Remove herb stems and bay leaf from soup, add the parsley, and place pot on table on a trivet. Let soup rest and begin to cool for a few minutes. Ladle soup into bowls and top with lots of grated cheese. Pass crusty bread for bowl mopping.

Bobbi on a Budget-Fish and White Bean Tostadas with Pineapple Avocado Salsa

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OK you asked for it so here it is….Bobbi on a Budget TADA (and the crowd goes wild)! Ahem….OK let me reel myself back in and be a bit serious here. I was very happy when the votes came in and I saw that people wanted a budget post on a regular basis. With the economy the way it is and so many people out of work, it just makes sense that many of us can not afford to cook whatever we want whenever we want it. The dilemma? Trying to cook healthy (or at least healthiER) on a limited budget. That is something I struggle with all of the time. I love to use fresh produce and fresh herbs and, let’s admit, that isn’t “budget” cooking.

I am realizing that sale fliers are a wonderful thing (Ya, I know, who knew?). I have been so bad about just making a menu plan and shopping without even looking to see what was on sale. Now I am getting the hang of checking the sale fliers to the 3 local grocery stores and finding what meat, produce, etc. is on sale for that week.

A suggestion, look for things like canned tomatoes, tomato paste, stocks, beans, etc. All of things that are staples in your pantry. If you use dried spices a lot (I use a lot of cumin and coriander) grab those when they are on sale too. Again, probably not something you didn’t know but something I am having to learn quickly.
For the budget meals segment I will be trying to stay as close to $10 for a 4 serving meal as possible.

I took a little help from Melissa d’Arabian for my first post to get me started and in the swing of things.  I have to admit I thought there was no way I could feed my 3 hungry guys for $10 but I was shocked and pleasantly proven wrong. With the white beans they end up being quite filling. They all loved this meal and there was enough for everyone. I was lucky enough to have the O Olive Oils that I won in the eRecipecards.com challenge, so I used the Tahitian Lime oil for this recipe. But regular olive oil is just as good.

Oh, the meal? Ah yes, the reason we are all here. I guess I should post the recipe so you can all enjoy!!

Fish and White Bean Tostadas and Pineapple Avocado Salsa
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced, plus lime wedges for garnish
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for baking sheet
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound white fish fillets, (I used Tilapia) cut into finger-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • Sauteed White Beans, recipe follows
  • 1/2 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • Pineapple and Avocado Salsa, recipe follows
  • Sour cream, for garnish

In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, zest, garlic and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Put the fish in a baking dish and pour the marinade on top. Marinate for no more than 15 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the broiler or grill. Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil. Remove the fish from the marinade and arrange on the baking sheet, making sure to leave space between the pieces. Broil until just cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium saute pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Fry the corn tortillas, 1 at a time, just until crisp, flipping halfway through to brown both sides. Drain on paper towels and salt while still hot.
To assemble the tostadas: Layer each tostada first with Sauteed White Beans, then the fish. Top with the shredded cabbage and Pineapple and Avocado Salsa. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a squeeze of a lime wedge.

Sauteed White Beans:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans
  • 1 tablespoon dried Mexican Oregano
  • Freshly ground black pepper
In a small pan, over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot add the onion with a pinch of salt and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Raise the heat and add the white wine. Cook until the wine has reduced by half. Stir in the beans and oregano and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook gently for 15 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

Pineapple and Avocado Salsa:

  • 1 (14-ounce) can sliced pineapple in juice, drained and juices reserved
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small jalapenos, seeds removed and diced (You can just use one if you don’t like much heat)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium avocado, halved, pitted and flesh cubed
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro leaves
In a medium bowl, make the dressing by mixing 2 tablespoons of pineapple juice with the lime juice, honey, oil and jalapeno. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the pineapple and onion. Gently fold in the avocado and cilantro. Let the flavors blend for at least 15 minutes before serving.

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Food Star Friday – Creamy Spaghetti and Beans

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I was watching 30 Minute Meals, like I always do, and saw a recipe that sounded so good. Rachael said it was like a warm hug for your tummy. With the weather being so chilly at night here now I figured this was just what we needed.


I liked the sounds of this recipe because it is a sort of risotto made with spaghetti. It just sounded so interesting.. Plus I love white beans. Once she threw the word “creamy” in the mix I was already salivating!



It is a super simple recipe to make, not very many ingredients, it just takes time. You need to be on top of things and watch your pot so you can add the chicken stock when needed. 


I always have cannellini beans on hand so I substituted those for the Roman beans the recipe called for. I also left the carrots out. Since I am a huge bean fan I added 2 cans rather than the one can the recipe called for and it was a good thing because I kept nibbling on beans the whole time the meal was cooking!


Rachael really did hit the nail on the head by saying a bowl of this was a nice warm hug for your tummy. I know the weather is getting warmer so it may not seem like you need a “warm hug” but if it is cool or you just feel a bit under the weather, make this one. You won’t be sorry you did!

Creamy Spaghetti and Beans

Ingredients

5 to 6 cups of chicken stock
2 tablespoons EVOO
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 pound pancetta chopped into small dice
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound spaghetti
i medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, cut into a small dice
1 fresh bay leaf
5 to 6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 (15 ounce) can Roman beans or small white beans (recommended: Goya brand)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dry white wine, eyeball it
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
a generous handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Place the stock in a sauce pot and warm it over medium heat then reduce to a simmer.

Heat EVOO and butter in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta to brown slightly. Next add the garlic and the spaghetti and toast noodles lightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onions and carrots, bay leaf, and thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Soften veggies a bit, 5 minutes. Add wine and allow it to be completely absorbed. Add beans and then a few ladles of stock and stir the pasta. Keep adding stock a few ladles at a time allowing liquid to be mostly absorbed before adding more, as if you were preparing a risotto. When liquids are absorbed and spaghetti is cooked to al-dente, 12 to 15 minutes, stir in cheese. Adjust salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and stir another minute. Remove the bay leaf and thyme stems. Serve in shallow bowls and garnish with lots of parsley.

Serves 4

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

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I know I have mentioned (more than once) that I love Mexican food. Well, it seems over this last week I may have over done it just a tad. I have been told I am obsessed and I guess now I will have to bow my head and agree with it. However, this recipe satisfied not only my love for all things Mexican it also satisfied my craving for a nice hot bowl of soup.

I grew up and lived most of my life in Southern California and I used to get so happy when it would rain because it meant it was time to light the fire, sip hot chocolate, and make some tummy warming soup or stew! Now that I live in Western Washington I have “soup weather” more often than not. Yes, by the end of winter I am not as thrilled with the idea as I was in the fall but I still love the first few months that I can indulge.

When I lived in San Diego there was a restaurant called Island’s. Their specialty was burgers with all sorts of different toppings, but they also had chicken tortilla soup. You could get a bottomless bowl of it and it was oohhhhh so good! Theirs was a bit spicier than mine but I was trying to accommodate the different palates in my home. If you want it spicy like I do just add more chili powder,  jalapeno or even use Serrano peppers instead of jalapenos.

Once you bake your chicken tenders
shred them up with a couple of forks
Get your veggies going in a bit of olive oil
Add your tomato paste once your veggies have softened and stir it a bit to combine and heat up the paste
Add your fire roasted tomatoes, black beans, chicken stock, remainder of spice mixture, and shredded chicken. Bring the whole thing to a boil.
Mix together your corn meal and water and stir that in
Meanwhile get all your garnish ready
Doesn’t this just look like a big bowl of YUM?
Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 pound chicken tenders
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, diced
2 jalapeno, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
8 cups chicken stock
1 (14.5-ounce can) fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 (14.5-ounce) black beans
2 limes, juiced, plus wedges for garnish
3 tablespoons cornmeal
5 corn tortillas cut into equal strips
Sour cream
Diced white onion
Cilantro
Diced avocado
Shredded Montery Jack cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Combine the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt in a small bowl. Place chicken tenders on a baking sheet an drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle the cumin mixture on both sides of each chicken tender. Reserve excess mixture. Bake tenders for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Once cool shred chicken with two forks, set aside.
In a large soup pot heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and jalapenos and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the spice mixture and stir to combine. Cook for about 1 minute, then add the tomato paste and cook for an additional minute.  Add the tomatoes, black beans, shredded chicken, lime juice, and chicken stock, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
Mix corn meal with a small amount of hot water and add to the soup. Stir to combine. Allow to simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Turn off heat and stir in tortilla strips. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes and serve. Garnish with avocado, sour cream, onions, cilantro, cheese, and cheese.
ENJOY!!! 

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Food Star Friday – White Chicken Chili

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Although Mother Nature is giving us a reprieve from the rain and cooler weather today here in Western Washington (it is going to be 78 yessssss). The temp has definitely dropped enough to let us know Fall is on it’s way. I know I complained a bit about it, but that is just because we had maybe a month of Summer this year and I didn’t want to let go off it. However, with the drop in temperature, my love for Fall soups, stews, chowders, and chili is in high gear. I just have to balance them out so my family doesn’t get burned out on them. I think I seriously could eat them every night, but that is just me.

This is a recipe by Giada De Laurentiis that I have made a few times in the past. I love it, it is tasty and very healthy, and the big plus is my FAMILY likes it. What? My family, the WHOLE family actually likes something and it turns out it is healthy? Ya, I know, I was shocked!! Usually I have one straggler that just can’t jump on board with the rest of us. But there really is nothing to dislike about this chili.

I changed is the amount of chicken stock it calls for. With only 2 cups the chili cooks down too much in my mind and wont serve 6 people, which is what I needed to feed. So I added a couple extra cups. But if you are only feeding 4, or less, and like your chili super thick I would stick to the original recipe. I also more red pepper flakes just because I like a bit of heat

White Chicken Chili

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds ground chicken
1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons chili powder
3 tablespoons flour
2 (15-ounce cans) cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1 bunch (about 1 pound) Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves chopped  into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
4 (to 5) cups low sodium chicken stock (add the extra cup if the chili gets to thick)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (I used a full teaspoon)
Freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
In a large heavy bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the ground chicken, 1 teaspoon salt, cumin, fennel seeds, oregano, and chili powder. Cook stirring frequently, until chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Stir the flour into the chicken mixture. Add the beans, Swiss chard, corn, and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer, scrapping up the browned bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 55 to 60 minutes until the liquid has reduced by about half and the chili has thickened. Add the red pepper flakes and simmer for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle the chili into serving bowls. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.

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