Wednesday, January 30, 2013

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili - and of course, I like it spicy!
I got this recipe from a magazine about 15 years ago when I was in college.  It is still written on a tattered piece of lined notebook paper that I keep in one of my cookbooks.  I don't remember the magazine but I do remember that the recipe was selected as a finalist in a recipe contest for chili.  This chili has been a staple around my house for years.  Enjoy!

1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp cooking oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (4oz each) chopped green chilies – fresh roasted chilies are best
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp ground cloves
2 cans (14.5 oz each) chicken broth
4 cups cubed, cooked chicken breast
3 cans (15.5 oz each) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups (8oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Sour cream and chopped jalapenos for garnish (optional)

In a 3 quart saucepan, sauté onions in oil until tender.  Stir in garlic, chilies, cumin, oregano, cayenne and cloves.  Cook and stir 2-3 minutes more.   Add broth, chicken, and beans and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. 

Remove from heat. Stir in cheese until melted.  Garnish each bowl with a dollop of sour cream and chopped jalapenos, if desired.  I serve warm flour or corn tortillas on the side- a must for dipping into the white chili goodness!

Do you have a recipe staple like this one? 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Throwback Tuesday

Treasure Craft owl spoon rest - from somewhere in the 1970's
 Who remembers these owls from when they were all the rage?  I remember having an owl picture in our living room as a young child in the 1970's.  I found this spoon rest on a trip with my mother to Coeburn, Virginia this past Summer.  We were visiting her relatives near Coeburn and we ended up at a family friend's house perusing through 5 storage buildings of antiques and other rusty treasures .....American Picker style!   Seriously, the people that you see on the show really do exist out there, although the lady we visited had not been on the show before.  It was fun to look around and I got this spoon rest for only five dollars.   I keep this one pristine and unused since they are very collectible, but I bought another less collectible one for daily use in my kitchen.
Do you remember having one of these ............or do you still have one in your kitchen? 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Fiesta Taco Casserole

I love anything resembling Mexican or Southwestern food……I could eat Mexican food for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.   This easy recipe is what I make when I am craving tacos but don’t have the taco shells on hand.  The original recipe called for refried beans, but I am not a big fan so I used black beans.  I have to say that the result is a delicious taco casserole that is husband approved.   Since I work in an elementary school, I don’t have time to leave for lunch and this casserole is great reheated the next day with some tortilla chips on the side and a dollop of sour cream on top.

1 lb ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
1 (15 oz can) black beans, drained
2 cups mixed cheddar, jack shredded cheese, divided
1 cup salsa (I prefer spicy, so I mix in some Cholula hot sauce with the salsa)
2 green onions, chopped
1 small can sliced black olives
1 tomato, chopped
2 cups corn chips (coarsely crushed) – plain tortilla chips are good, but cheese flavored are excellent

Brown ground beef and drain.  Add taco seasoning according to package directions, with proper amount of water.  Place corn chips on bottom of an 8x8 dish.  In a small saucepan, heat black beans and salsa until hot.  Add 1 cup cheese and stir until combined.  More cheese can be added if you like because there is no such thing as too much cheese! 
Pour bean mixture over corn chips in dish.  Add beef to top of beans.  Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top.  Sprinkle green onions, black olives and chopped tomato over cheese. 
Bake, uncovered, in a 375 degree oven until the cheese is melted and casserole is bubbly (about 15 minutes). 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Beer Chili Con Carne

Adding a rich, dark beer to this chili makes for unbeatable flavor.   I adapted this recipe from a Betty Crocker cookbook and the result was an awesome chili with superb flavor….perfect on a cold winter day.  The original recipe did not contain beer, of course.  The beer was one of my additions……after all, beer makes everything better! 

Beer Chili Con Carne

1 lb ground beef
1 large onion chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp chili powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp salt
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano leaves
2 tsp cocoa powder
2 tsp hot sauce (I use Cholula)
1 small can tomato sauce
½ cup water
½ to ¾ of a bottle of dark beer (12 oz) –for best flavor I use a porter or a stout, like Guinness
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15.5 ounces) red kidney beans, drained
1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans, drained

Cook ground beef, onion and garlic in a 3 quart saucepan, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown; drain.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Adjust hot sauce and cayenne pepper to your liking for spicyness.  Heat to boiling; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  Spoon into a bowl and top with shredded cheese, if desired.   Yields 4-5 servings. 

Crockpot directions:   Brown the ground beef with the onions and garlic; drain.  Combine all remaining ingredients in a slow cooker and stir.  Cook on low 8-10 hours.

I have been making this chili for years and it is always a hit.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Easy Crockpot Chicken and Gravy

In the beginning, God created chicken……and then man created onion soup mix and cream of mushroom soup – two ingredients that would make chicken dishes (and a multitude of others) taste sooooo good with very little effort.  Here is a recipe that is quick to put together and the sauce that results from it will make you want to do the happy food dance.  

4 chicken thighs or 2 chicken leg quarters*
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 packet of Lipton onion soup mix
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup flour

*I use this amount of chicken because I am cooking for two, but you can easily double the recipe or add a couple more chicken pieces (keeping the rest of the recipe as is) and it will turn out great.  If you double the recipe, I would not advise adding double the onion soup mix, just half a packet more.
 In a medium bowl, whisk together cream of mushroom soup, milk, flour, and dry onion soup mix.  Salt and pepper the chicken pieces and place in the crockpot.
Pour soup mixture over chicken.  Cook on low for 8 hours.
Sauce should thicken during cooking.  Serve chicken and gravy over wild rice or mashed potatoes.
I would love to hear your comments!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Meatloaf for Two

Growing up, I never fully appreciated mom's meatloaf but these days I make it regularly (with extra ketchup!)  I love eating it with mashed potatoes on the side and green beans or corn.  I hope you enjoy this meatloaf recipe especially portioned for two.

1 lb ground beef
1 tbsp olive oi
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp thyme
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1/2 cup unflavored bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
4 slices bacon, cut in half
3/4 cup ketchup for topping

In a medium saute pan, over medium-low heat, cook the onions, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme until translucent, but not browned, approximately 10 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste and mix well. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Combine the ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, and onion mixture in a large bowl. Mix well and shape into a rectangular loaf on an ungreased sheet pan. Place bacon strips on top of loaf.
Bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Take bacon off top and spread remaining ketchup on top. Bake 5-10 mins more until ketchup is warmed.

Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

1/2 stick butter, softened, plus more for pan
7 medium russet or Yukon gold potatoes
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup milk
1/2 to 1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

DirectionsPreheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter an 8x8 baking dish.

Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Drain the potatoes in a large colander. Place them back into the dry pot and put the pot on the stove.

Add 1/2 stick butter and milk to a small saucepan and heat over low to medium heat until butter is melted.  In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, cream cheese, garlic powder, kosher salt and pepper.  Pour the milk and butter mixture over the potato mixture and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.

Spread the potatoes in the prepared baking dish. Throw pats of the remaining butter over the top of the potatoes and bake until the butter is melted and the potatoes are warmed through, 20 to 30 minutes.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Crockpot Beans and Pork

One of my favorite comfort foods - I crave this dish at least once per week in the winter months

Crockpot Beans and Pork
1 lb dry Pinto beans
3 small boneless pork loin chops
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1 large onion, chopped
5-6 chopped fire roasted green chilies (or 2 small cans chopped green chilies)
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped (you can use the leafy parts)
3 strips of uncooked bacon
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp hot sauce (I use Louisiana brand hot sauce- add more if you like it spicy)
5 cups chicken broth (approximate)
Salt to taste

Rinse dried beans then put in bowl and cover with water 1 inch higher than beans.
Soak overnight. In the morning drain and rinse beans.
Salt and pepper the pork chops and place them into the crockpot first.
Add vegetables, oil, spices (except for salt), hot sauce and broth next. 
Add broth until it comes just to the top of the beans. About 5 cups. 
Add bacon strips, making sure that they are covered by broth. 
Cook on low for 8-10 hours.  I like my beans softer, so I like to cook them at least 10 hours on low. 

When cooking is done and beans are soft, the pork will shred easily with a fork.  Shred the pork chops and then mix the meat all together with the beans.  Serve in bowls with extra Louisiana Hot Sauce on the side or my favorite – serve over a long grain wild and brown rice mixture with some nice toasty French bread.

Comments: When beans are soft you should switch to low - so use low or autoswitch if cooking all day. After the beans are soft, add salt to taste.
You can adapt this recipe to any type of beans - the only trick is to not add anything with too much salt or acid until the beans are soft. So if you want to add tomatoes add them later.
You can make them spicier by using hot green chilies (fresh roasted ones chopped finely). The recipe tastes best when using fresh chilies but using canned green chilies will turn out yummy too.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Burritos

Chicken and rice burritos smothered in cheesy goodness!

This is a recipe that I created one day when I was craving something spicy and covered in cheese.  Mission accomplished!  I make this dish for football parties, potlucks, and for weeknight dinners with just me and the husband.  My friends and husband all love this creation of pure comfort food


Cheesy Chicken and Rice Burritos

2 cans Campbells Fiesta Nacho Cheese Soup
1 cup milk
6 wedges of Laughing Cow creamy swiss cheese (or 6 oz. cream cheese, softened)
1 cup green chili (salsa can be substituted if desired)
2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped
1 ½  cups prepared Spanish rice (I use Zatarain’s)
1 ½ cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (Colby and Monterey Jack blend also works)
4-5 flour tortillas

Prepare Spanish rice according to package directions and set aside.  In a saucepan, whisk soup, milk, and green chili together and heat over medium low until warmed through.  Cut cream cheese into cubes and add to mixture in saucepan.  Continue to heat, stirring frequently, until smooth.  When the cheese sauce  is heated and smooth, spread enough cheese mixture into the bottom of a 9x11 baking dish.  Heat tortillas slightly for easier rolling and then assemble the burritos – sprinkle shredded cheese on each, spoon on desired amount of chicken and rice, then drizzle a little cheese sauce on the filling. Roll up each and place in baking dish.  This makes about 5 burritos depending on how much filling you place inside of each.   Pour remaining cheese sauce over all the burritos.  Sprinkle 1 cup of shredded cheese over the top, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and bake 10 more minutes until bubbly, adding additional cheese on top if desired.

I would love to hear from you if you enjoyed this recipe or if you have feedback!