Thursday, September 27, 2012

White Chili

I'm pretty sure the drop in the temperature lately and the gorgeous colored leaves all over the mountains mean that soup season is here!  I couldn't resist making a hearty chili today.

You'll be surprised how the chili flavors still shine through for a great full, satisfying dish. You won't even miss the red meat or tomato sauce of typical chili.  I started with a recipe posted by my friends at ourbestbites but had to adjust it more to my liking in several ways. I loved the outcome. 

1 TBSP olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 boneless chicken thighs, diced
1 smaller potato, diced
1 14 oz. can white northern beans (could use any other white bean)
2 cans chicken broth (28 oz.)
1/2 can green chilies
1/2 jalapeno, minced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp oregano
lime juice
chopped cilantro
sour cream
salt and pepper

Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil in soup pot for a few minutes. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper and toss into the pot. Add potato, beans (juice and all from can), green chilies, spices and jalapeno. Boil for 15-20 minutes until potatoes and chicken are cooked through. Top with little more salt and pepper, a sprinkle of lime juice, chopped cilantro and a generous dollop of sour cream.

If you need to go dairy-free, add a spoon of potato starch instead of the sour cream to help make a whiter broth with a bit of substance.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

What is the quintessential comfort/healing food when you are sick? Chicken Noodle Soup, of course. Now, I will admit that I will even resort to Campbell's canned version when I have no energy for anything besides microwaving a pre-prepared food, but it really isn't close to my mom's homemade chicken noodle. I get some of that, a grilled cheese sandwich and glass of milk and I feel magically improved. Even nurses at the hospital believe in the healing properties of chicken broth-they always get me a warm cup of Herb-ox broth to sip on when I get a cold about twice a year, like clockwork, and come to work looking miserable. This soup is more "brothy" than others for that very reason, the best part of the soup is the broth!

2 tsp oil
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 stalk celery, chopped
6 baby carrots, chopped
2 small chicken thighs (extra fat removed) or 1/2 chicken breast
1 cup dry egg noodles
6 cup chicken broth
Salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika

Put oil, garlic, onions, celery and carrot in the soup pot and saute for a couple minutes. Add in broth and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, chop chicken into small bite-size pieces and season generously with all 4 seasonings. Drop into the soup (raw) along with the noodles and boil for 10 minutes until all the ingredients are soft and cooked through. Enjoy. Makes about 4 servings

Did I get pretty close, mom?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New England Clam Chowder

About the beginning of autumn when I start seeing leaves change, I am reminded of a fantastic vacation spent on the coast of Maine.
 A friend and I took a 5 day trip to see the New England leaves, lighthouses, coastline and to eat as much seafood as we could every day. My favorite meal had to be the lobster they pulled right out of the ocean and cooked right there on the dock. It was sooooo tasty.
During that trip, I also made sure to sample everyone's good New England clam chowder. Yum!

 I just HAD to make clam chowder yesterday when it was raining hard (which it also does a lot on the coast of Maine) and brought back all those memories. Here's the best version I have come up with in land-locked Utah (even though we have equally beautiful autumn leaves).

I'm not the kind of girl that has heavy cream just hanging around my house unless I buy it specifically for a recipe a couple times a year. The rest of it tends to go to waste because it doesn't freeze well. I recently discovered a magical thing of UHT shelf-stable whipping cream at Gossners (they also do UHT milk that is great for food storage). I can have it in my pantry and not have to worry about it going bad. I think it tastes just as good, too.

Recipe Ingredients:
2 cloves minced garlic
1/3 cup diced onion
1/4 cup chopped carrot
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped potato
1 cup clam juice (can use the juice in the can + bottled kind)
1-2 tsp old bay seasoning (I made my own from a recipe online)
1 1/2 TBSP flour
1 1/2 TBSP margarine
1 1/2 cup milk (I use 1% milk)
1/2 cup cream
1 can clams
salt and pepper to taste

Put garlic, onion, carrot, celery and potato in a soup pot and cover with clam juice. Boil until veggies are soft. Add Old Bay seasoning and set aside in a bowl. Turn heat down to med-low. Melt margarine in pot and stir in flour until it forms a firm paste (roux) like this.
Add milk a little at a time and mix thoroughly into paste until it becomes a smooth, thicker liquid. (cooking it during that process helps to get rid of the flour-y taste). Add veggies and stir to combine. Add in cream and clams and just heat through (don't boil). Add salt and pepper and parsley flakes to garnish.