I know, I know, almost everybody is thinking about Thanksgiving cooking right now but, I am thinking about what to have for dinner early in the week. It needs to be quick and easy because there will be enough fancy cooking for a bunch of people come Thursday. It is also nice if it can stay on the stove a bit waiting for out of town company to show up. Leftovers? Yup, this is even better the next day. So, I give you White Bean Chili Verde. One pot, mostly pantry items. Prep time is just chopping an onion, opening some cans and browning the meat and onions. About 10 or 15 minutes.
You know spring is arriving when the asparagus is on sale. Ah spring, it is finally peaking through winter’s gray. Little hints of green here and there. And then there is the beautiful green asparagus, one of my favorite spring foods. It’s in the store now and it’s dirt cheap. I love it with pasta, in omelets and frittatas. I love it grilled and roasted. And, I love this Asparagus Lemon Soup. It has all that yummy asparagus flavor and just a hint of lemon. The yogurt or cream makes it luxurious and yet the lemon makes it refreshing. It is equally good served hot or cold. I love a soup with that kind of versatility.
There is no comparison between store-bought and homemade chicken broth especially using bones that have been roasted. I love the flavor you get from store-bought rotisserie chicken bones. Just toss leftover bones into a freezer bag and store them in the freezer until you’re ready to make broth. I like to use bones from about three chickens. Here’s the thing, for the broth to be really good, you have to have a lot of bones. This batch I have pictured below is actually a combination of turkey (yup, from Christmas) and chicken. It turned out with a deep, rich flavor. So worth the time.
This flu season has been a tough one. So, I thought it was high time to make some homemade Chicken Soup. Flo’s Chicken and Vegetable Soup has a few twists to it. The first one is okra. For all of you out there that are wrinkling up you nose right now at the thought of slimy okra, stick with me. First of all, you can buy frozen sliced okra and use as much or as little as you like. You just open up the package and pour some into the soup. No sliminess involved. Here is why you want to use okra in your soup, it will thicken it a bit and give it a sort of silky texture. The okra itself will literally melt in your mouth as you eat it.
Its been a couple of frustrating days here in the kitchen, but Flo’s Carrot Soup is a keeper. I have created and tested recipes for stuffed mushrooms and queso blanco cheese dip (thinking about Super Bowl food). Neither are worthy of sharing yet. But, this carrot soup, well I just spent the last few minutes scraping every last bit of it out of the cooking pot. YUM! The flavors are very subtile. No one flavor jumps out at you but the combination is intriguingly delicious. This soup is gluten free, dairy free and vegan if you leave out the butter.
New Mexico Green Chile Stew from a Native New Mexican
Yesterday it was cold and blustery. A perfect day to hang out by the fire with a good book and have a nice hot bowl of authentic New Mexico Green Chile Stew. Ground beef, green chile, and potatoes in a hearty broth. Top it with a bit of shredded cheese, add a flour tortilla along side, and you have a culinary electric blanket on a cold winter evening.
My favorite holiday is coming up. New Year’s Day! A fresh start, a brand new year brimming with possibilities. One of my resolutions for 2018 is to take the time to make special days special. So, for New Year’s I am making Posole, a dish that is traditionally reserved for special occasions. It is the perfect winter stew, hearty, spicy, done in the slow cooker. If you can’t find Posole, you can substitute canned hominy.
On a weekend, don’t you just want something that takes a few minutes to prepare, can cook for however long (as in the time is flexible), and will serve a good number of people? Well here is one possibility. Tortilla soup cooked in a crockpot. Vegetables, protein, starch, all cooked in the slow cooker. Just add a few fresh toppings like green onions and cilantro if you like, but avocado and cheese are a must along with crushed up tortilla chips.
Fall is here. We have already had our first hard freeze. As I write this sitting on the front porch, flocks of snow geese fly overhead. The mule deer are making their surprise appearances all over the ranch. We have started stacking wood for the cold nights that are not far off. And I am having a running battle with the wood peckers that think the eaves of the house will make a swell winter refuge.
The Estancia Valley of Torrance County New Mexico is known for it’s Pinto Beans. Now I have never really been a fan of Pinto Beans until I picked up a bag at the local feed and hardware store. Oh my gosh, so much better than what you buy at the grocery store. I don’t know if it’s that they are fresher, but my guess is as with wine grapes, it’s all about the soil and the water. If you can pick up some local beans via a farmer’s market or produce stand, do it. The best way to cook them is in a slow cooker. Sort, soak, slow cook. The only thing I add is water and a bay leaf.