white chicken chili

…because the other day got up to 36-ish, it seemed like the best way to celebrate was to make chili at 11pm. it’s a staple recipe I got from lee when I was living in NYC, and it’s worth sharing. probably not in 36-degree weather, but I’ll leave that up to you.

NOTE: if your herbs/spices aren’t fresh, you are missing out.

you’ll need:

  • 2 tbsp butter. yes, butter.
  • 2 tsp diced garlic
  • 1 large white onion, sliced thin (or sweet vidalia)
  • 2 celery stalks, ends trimmed, sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs skinless boneless chicken breast, trimmed of fat and cut into 1/2 to 3/4 inch cubes (can also mix 50/50 with thighs for a richer flavour)
  • 3 cups chicken stock – bonus points for using fresh, but they’re a pain in the ass if you don’t plan in advance
  • 1 can white kidney beans
  • 2-3 fresh jalapeño peppers
  • 1/2 cup fresh, chopped cilantro

Chicken seasoning

  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp (good) chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground thyme
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper

Garnish

  • 1/2 lb old cheddar cheese (aged 2yrs or more)
  • sour cream
  • tortilla chips (we prefer the blue corn chips)
  • sliced baguette, to wipe up the leftover goodness

In a large (4qt) casserole pot (you can use a sautée pan, too, it just means more clean up), melt butter over medium-high heat. Sautée diced garlic for 2-3 minutes; reduce heat to medium, add celery and onion, and sautée until tender (abt 5 min). Reduce heat to low, add white kidney beans (pro-tip, turn can upside-down and shake vigorously for 10s or so before opening to loosen the settled and sticking to the bottom beans) and chicken stock. Stir occasionally, ensuring mixture doesn’t boil strongly (slow boil/simmer is what you’re aiming for). The mixture will look watery. Don’t worry.

In a large mixing bowl (I prefer a large ziploc bag, as it simplifies things), combine chicken seasoning ingredients and mix well. Add cubed chicken to mixture and mix, ensuring chicken is well-coated.

Heat skillet/large fry pan on medium-high (about 300F). Add olive oil to skillet, and allow to heat (but not to smoking). Add coated chicken mixture to skillet and cook until done, turning often and breaking up clumped pieces often. Add cooked chicken to simmering stock mix.

Bring stock and chicken mixture to a slow boil (don’t go above medium heat, you’ve got time), and cook for approximately one hour, stirring often to help reduce the liquid. While the stock is cooking, broil or grill the jalapeño peppers until the skin is well-charred. Remove the charred skin, cut the peppers lengthwise, remove the seeds, and dice (note that you may want to use gloves for this, and you do not want to rub your eyes.) Set aside.

After the hour is up, reduce chili to a simmer, and add diced jalapeños to mixture (this is an optional step). Add the diced chilis to taste in small increments; you can increase the heat pretty quickly, and don’t want to add it all in one shot and potentially ruin things.

Simmer for an additional half-hour, and add diced cilantro to mixture. Simmer for an additional 15-30 minutes, and the mixture should thicken up nicely.

Serve in bowls with a dollop of sour cream and grated white cheddar. Garnish with a sprig of cilantro. Crunchy baguettes on the side are also recommended.

Done. Serves four-six.

quick and tasty dinner

Long day? Hungry? Solo? If you’re female, cute, funny, single, and live in the Ottawa area, I’ll make you dinner! I crack myself up.

slashfood has a great and simple idea for a quick summer meal. It’s essentially a greek salad with the lettuce and dressing replaced with pasta, some olive oil, and seasonings. They call it Greek Pasta, and I’m not going to argue with them. Here’s the recipe.

My recommendations:

  • Chop everything while the pasta’s cooking, because once you start sautéeing, it’s 5min (tops) to plating
  • Cook the pasta al dente… like, almost chewy.
  • Use a really good olive oil – makes a huge difference
  • Be liberal with the oregano and garlic. Sautéeing the garlic will make it sweet and takes the edge off, and the oregano will be a wallflower if you don’t have a healthy “pinch”
  • two olives (four halves) is plenty

Tasty, healthy, yummy stuff in about 10 minutes from throwing the pasta in the water to eating all alone again. I would have included a pic, but forgot to take one. I was hungry, and that’s my excuse.

before I forget (again)

I like finding food sites unexpectedly. I love the bigger ones, like slashfood, ottawa foodies, and even the food network, but running into sites like wasabi cowgirl’s is usually a bigger treat. Normal folks cooking abnormally good eats in their kitchens. Yum.

So, before I forget to mention her, head on over to Jule’s food blog at the stone soup. She claims to have a tiny kitchen, but holy crap does the stuff that comes out of it look amazing. She photographs everything, gives a good overview of the meal and its component dishes, and then gives the recipes and prep tips. I’ll be trying a few of the dishes she shares, for sure.

Well worth the read.

some ideas should stay in people’s heads

Every morning I grab a cup of decaf and troll my favourite websites for news and oddities. Most of the time it’s an informative and entertaining experience, but every so often it’s just nasty. This morning was one of those mornings where a healthy appetite went out the window. Why?

Battered, cheese-filled, bacon-wrapped, and fried hot dogs.

I would like to throw up but, because it’s before breakfast, don’t fancy the taste of bile this early in the day. Those things make The Stonner (without the chips, of course) look healthy. Maybe I’ll try a banana later, but not now.

oh. my. god.

This is, quite possibly, the vilest recipe I have had the misfortune to come across. Ingredients include:

1 large bag of pork rinds
1 brick of Velveeta Cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
6 slices of crispy bacon
1 small onion
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 jalapeno peppers
1/2 bag of chocolate chips (butterscotch chips may be substituted)

I’m nauseous just reading that. Thank god there are no pictures. At least you can supplement the pork rinds and cheese goodness with hints of chocolate or butterscotch. On second thought, I’m tempted to make it and take pictures so I can satisfy your curiousity (and mine) of what something this nasty actually looks like, and to give us all nightmares for a couple months.

Thank you interweeb, for sharing these dark secrets.

Actually, most of Bert Christensen’s Weird & Different Recipes is pretty entertaining. Do check it out.

Also, a variation, from the Low-carb Cooking site. Really, it’s a health food.

cranford

I had the opportunity to take advantage of a work trip and visit some of my favourite people in the world. Despite their skepticism, I did make the journey up the NJ Turnpike from the Philadelphia area to Cranford, NJ to see Les Trottas and break some bread while we were at it.

Zoe was a little shy to begin with, but I talked to her dinsoaur for a little while and all was good. I also met the now-crawling-and-getting-into-trouble-if-he-could Jake, who is very clearly Walt and Lee’s offspring. “Determined” is the best word I can use to describe him, and he is a hella cute little guy.

Some friends from the Globix days joined us for dinner, and it was great to see Ed and Julie again. Despite Julie not drinking, we managed to kill of five (!) bottles of wine, and good portion of Walt’s bottled barley beverage stock. I also got to spend a little time cooking in the kitchen with Lee, which is always a huge plus. All in all, a great evening, and I can’t believe I forgot to take pics (ok, I can believe it, but it still bugs me).

The next morning came way, way, way too quickly – and it wasn’t only because Jake got up before 6 for the first feed of the day – and it was back to Philadelphia to link up with some colleagues and prepare for a course we we’re putting on this week. I’ll be back in a couple weeks, and I’m already looking forward to it.

something to remember

A glass of good red wine added to your tomato-based pasta sauce is an excellent idea.

A glass of good, dry, white wine added to your cheese-based pasta sauce and/or cheese fondue is also an excellent idea.

cheese, please

Urk. There’s a company cook book floating around out there, somewhere, that seems to be built on cheese. It has recipes for breafast through dinner, and a desert or two. The recipes aren’t posted, but someone’s scanned the the lurvley pictures and added brief summaries like this one, for “orange fluff”:

Ok, before you laugh, please know that the chef says, “This recipe was handed down from my grandmother and has been in the family for years.”

The recipe is basically two boxes of orange jello and a carton of Cool Whip.

Now you can laugh.

Qwality entertainment via memepool.

update: the rest of Amy’s blog is definitely worth the visit.