Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Cool Weather Favorite

This hearty stoup from Rachael Ray has become a favorite in our household. During the cool months, we have it at least every other week. It only takes about 45 minutes to make and is so good leftover that I usually make a double batch.

Chicken, Chorizo and Tortilla Stoup
Serves 4

1 pound chicken tenders
Salt and pepper
3/4 pound chorizo sausage (in packaged meats case near kielbasa at the grocery store)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
6 small red potatoes, diced
1 can fire-roasted chopped tomatoes (15 ounces), such as Muir Glen brand
1 can dark red kidney beans (15 ounces), drained
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 quart chicken stock
1 sack red or blue corn tortilla chips
2 cups shredded pepper jack or smoked cheddar
Suggested garnishes: chopped scallions, chopped cilantro or fresh thyme leaves

Pre-heat medium soup pot over medium-high heat. Chop tenders into bite-size pieces. Wash up after handling raw meat, then season chicken with salt and pepper. Dice chorizo. Add EVOO and chicken to pot. Lightly brown chicken two minutes, then add the chorizo and garlic. Cook another 2-3 minutes, then add peppers, onions and potatoes. Cook five minutes, then stir in tomatoes, kidney beans and hot sauce. Add chicken stock and bring soup to a bubble. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10-12 minutes. Ladle soup into shallow bowls and top each bowl with a generous handful of crushed tortillas and cheese. Garnish with scallions and herbs.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Relaxing Saturday

I do my best to take Saturdays as my day of rest each week.  Today, I'm spending the day watching old episodes of Monk, making granola, and enjoying mango tea (that I received as a Christmas gift from one of my students) brewed in the cool teapot Kirk gave me for Valentine's Day.


Granola Recipe

2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons oil (vegetable or canola)
1 tablespoon water
1 cup extra ingredients (such as died fruit, nuts, etc.)

Heat oven to 275*F with the rack in the middle position.  Coat a cookie sheet with cooking spray or butter.  Mix dry ingredients (except dried fruit).  Bring wet ingredients (including sugar and salt) to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat.  Drizzle over oat mixture and stir to combine.  Pour onto pan.  Squeeze cereal to form small clumps.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Stir in dried fruit.  Continue to bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.  Let cool.  Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.