Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Yummyness...tortilla soup and cumin cheddar biscuits

One of my new favorite recipes is this Tortilla Soup recipe from America's Test Kitchen cookbook. (The big fat red one, got mine at costco). This baby is full of great tasty recipes, and many are easy to follow.

Sidebar TIP: I'm trying to cut corners on the ol' grocery bill. I've been picking up whole chickens lately, pretty cheap (about $3 a peice). On a day that I know I'm going to be home, I cook up a whole chicken. For my family of 4, we can get about 3 meals out of one chicken. I use some that night for dinner, I shred up the rest and divide it into a couple of zip top baggies and freeze it. I also LOVE to use chicken broth in recipes. Another way I 've been able to cut back on the old grocery bill is to use the "carcass" of the chicken after I take all the meat off. I use a few carrots, a few stalks of celery and an onion coarsly chopped, and the chicken bones...fill up my pot with water to cover it all up (pretty full pot) and simmer for about an hour. Then I strain the veggies and chicken out of the broth, and freeze the broth in one and 4 cup portions. So, I'm using one $3 chicken for 3-4 meals. Not too bad!

BAck to the recipes!

Tortilla Soup
Prep: 25 min total time 55 min Serves 4 adults (hearty serving)...

Layering is the key in serving it!

1tbsp veg. oil (I use olive)
1 onion minced
1 jalepeno, seeded and minced
1 tbsp chili powder
2 garlic cloves
8 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 lb boneless chicken breast (I use my pre- shredded chicken, making it even quicker)
2 tbsp fresh lime juice (I used a squeezie bottle, it was what I had)
5 oz crushed tortilla chips
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 ripe avocados, pitted and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 C fresh cilantro leaves ( I like mine chopped a bit)
( I like to top it with a dollop of sour cream and shredded cheese also)

Heat the oil in a large dutch oven or soup pot. add onion, jalapeno, chili powder and garlic. Coo til onion is soft, about 5 min. Stir in the broth and bring to simmer. Add teh chicken and simmer partially covered until no longer pink, about 15 minutes.

Remove the chicken from broth, and set aside to cool. Continue to simmer broth for 10 minutes. Meanwhile shred the chicken.

Remove broth from heat and stir in lime juice. divide ortions of the totilla chips, chicken, tomatoes, and avocado among individual bowls. ladle the broth over each bowl and sprinkle with cilantro leaves. I like to add a dollop of sour cream and shredded cheese also.

It's really flavorful but not too spicy for kids. Mine love it. (Chip soup, what's not to love!)

NOW, I have a hard time eating soup, without a tasty bread to dunk in it....just the way I was raised. However, with a mexican type soup, it's a little trickier! I found this quick and easy recipe today for biscuits with several variations...one of which, cumin and cheddar...PERFECT for mexi flavored soups! And, it's whole wheat to boot, which I'm a big fan of. Darn good biscuits! And, be sure to check out this blog. I found it yesterday, and have already fallen in love with 3 recipes from it. Tasty, Healthy recipes! It's great! She has been on food network competitions and is an award winning cook...good stuff.

Whole Grain Buttermilk Biscuits (with Variations) from EnlightenedCooking.blogspot.com

3 cups white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 and 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda and salt. Cut in the butter with fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles fresh breadcrumbs. Add buttermilk, stirring with a fork until just until moistened.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly 4 times. Roll dough to a 3/4-inch thickness and cut with a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter. Place on a baking sheet. Bake 12-13 minutes or until golden. Makes 12 biscuits.

Nutrition per Serving (1 biscuit):
Calories 173; Fat 5.2g (poly 0.3g, mono 1.4g, sat 3.1g); Protein 4.9g; Cholesterol 14mg; Carbohydrate 28.6g; Fiber 1.8; Sodium 382mg)
(Note: I did the nutrition analysis using Diet Analysis Plus 7.0.1)

The All-in-One: (pictured above--perfect for lunch!) Prepare as directed, stiring in 2/3 cup finely chopped ham, 1/2 cup shredded sharp Parmesan cheese, and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves along with the buttermilk.

Chive Biscuits: Prepare as directed, stirring in 1/2 cup minced chives along with the buttermilk.

Cheddar-Cumin: Prepare as directed, adding 2 teaspoons ground cumin to the dry ingredients and stirring in 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese along with the buttermilk.

Rosemary-Olive Oil: Prepare as directed, adding 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves to the dry ingredients. Lightly brush tops of the cut biscuits with olive oil just before baking.

Feta-Dill: Prepare as directed, adding 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (or 2 teaspoons dried), 3/4 cup crumbled feta along with the buttermilk, and (optional) 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The best turkey chili ever

This chili is sooo good. It's healthy, but taste like comfort food - my husband loves it! I made this for Super Bowl yesterday, it's always a hit at any gathering.

3 Tbs. Olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbs salt
2 Tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 TBS tomato paste
1 chipotle chili en adobo, coarsely chopped, with 1 TBS sauce
1 Lb ground turkey
1 12oz. Mexican lager-style beer
1 14 1/2 oz. can whole peeled tomato with their juices
1 15 1/2 oz. can kidney or pinto beans ( I like pinto beans)
Sour cream, jack cheese, scallions, cilantro, tortilla chips for garnish

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt, chili powder, and oregano and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 min. Stir in the tomato paste and the chipotle chile and sauce; cook 1 minute more. Add the turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook until the meat loses its raw color, about 3 minutes. Add the beer and simmer until reduced by about half, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes - crushing them through your fingers into the skillet - along with their juices and the beans; bring to a boil. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls and serve with garnish of your choice. Enjoy!