Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chicken Pozole

A few weeks ago, I took one of my beloved cooking classes, and the focus was on Latin American soups. Now we all know that I'm a sucker for Latin American foods, so that was right up my alley. We made pozole, as well as a black bean soup that I plan to make in the next couple of weeks. But the pozole had to be made quickly! I couldn't stop thinking about it. Good stuff.

Chicken Pozole
recipe courtesy of Zach Meloy and Buford Highway Farmers' Market

2 bone-in chicken breasts
water to cover
1 onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2-28 oz cans tomatoes, pureed in a blender until almost smooth
1-28 oz can hominy

toppings: chips, sour cream, cilantro, lime wedges, onions, radishes, diced jalapenos, avocado. Whatever you've got is good here. This night, we went with chips, cilantro, onions, sour cream, and lime.

Boil chicken breasts in salted water, just until done, about 35-40 minutes. Take chicken out, allow to cool, and shred or chop. Reserve the light broth.

In a large soup pot, saute onion and garlic until done. Add tomatoes, hominy, and chicken broth. Season to taste with salt. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer at a very low heat for about 45 minutes. Add chicken to soup. Serve with toppings.

Don't be jealous of the world map placemat. All the cool kids have them.

Today, I'm linked to Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Menu Plan January 30

Last week, we amazingly stuck to our plans all week! And we were thrilled to eat Moe's at the end of it, so it was both a great treat, and a mini lesson for my boys on how money only stretches so far, and some of the ways we can help it do so. I will say, though, that the pantry was mighty thin by the end of the week, and I definitely missed the extra $20 I usually spend. So, this week, back to all our meals at home, and hopefully, I can squeeze in a few more treats.

This week is also subject to change, because hopefully, our colds will be gone by the end of the week, and we'll head over to see my mom for a couple of days. I hate winter colds and staying home to keep them to ourselves! Ugh. So, we hit the vitamin C hard and hope for a quick recovery.

Tuesday: chicken pozole (recipe coming tomorrow!)
Wednesday: red clam spaghetti, salad, bread
Thursday: taco soup, brownies
Friday: Thai curry over rice
Saturday: bean and rice burritos (lunch), pot sticker dumplings (supper)
Sunday: quesadillas with spinach, mushrooms, and peppers (lunch), carbonara (supper)
Monday: red beans and rice, salad

As always, I'm linked to meal plan Monday over at orgjunkie.

Friday, January 27, 2012


We love Mexican food here. And one of the fun things about taquerias is the salsa bar that they have. Our favorite has about 6 salsas to choose from, as well as pickled jalapenos, radishes, onions, and pico de gallo. So, so good. And so much fun to add to a meal. So for this night, I decided to play around with some of our favorites and try out a couple of new ones, too.

This is chipotle salsa. A surprising hit. It's The Tomato King's new favorite.

Roasted tomatillo salsa. This is the favorite of my kids. It's a Rick Bayless recipe, which is written in a very wordy way. Don't let that turn you off--it's very easy.

My favorite. Tomatillo avocado salsa. Add an avocado to the tomatillo salsa and blend. Easy peasy.

And the old faithful. Roasted tomato salsa .

We're already making a list for the next salsa night. It's a fun, cheap way to bring some new-ness into our meals and make us feel like we're eating something different. Even if it is rice and beans. Again. (are my kids ever going to tire of this????) Good for the budget. Good for the bored mama. Good all around.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I love greens. Greens in every form, in every way. Almost everything is done in the garden right now, but the collards carry on. A little promise of spring to come and a reminder that even when it looks like nothing is happening, growth still continues. (as an aside...man, I love that garden and its glimpse into life. not so much the work involved...but I can really appreciate the beauty and lessons that I find there)

So, anyway.. This is my favorite way to cook collards. It will work for almost anything else you get your hands on, too. Chard, bok choy, spinach, escarole, you name it. The only thing I don't like this way are turnips and mustard. But collards are definitely my favorite.

Heat olive oil in a large shallow skillet. Add whole garlic cloves and crushed red pepper flakes to taste (I usually do 4-5 cloves and 2 tsp red pepper flakes). Add chopped collard greens until the skillet is overflowing. Then just quickly stir-fry until they are done. If you like them more done, add 3 T water and cover the skillet for a few minutes. But they are good just stir-fried.

We eat this as a side dish, as a filler for burritos, as a main dish underneath a piece of meat (like a steak or chicken breast). You name it--you'll find a use for these collards.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chinese Chicken Salad

In honor of Chinese New Year this week, I thought I'd post one of our favorite not-really-Chinese-at-all recipes.

Chinese Chicken Salad
inspired by an old recipe from Southern Living June 2003

1/3 cup light olive oil
2 T sesame oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 tsp pepper (white if you have it)
leftover chicken...we eat about 1/2 roasted chicken for this, but whatever your family likes..shredded
1 head romaine lettuce
1/2-1 head napa cabbage (depends on size; you want about half and half with lettuce)
1 can mandarin oranges
1/2 bunch scallions, sliced into 1 inch pieces, smaller towards the white
1 package ramen noodles, seasoning packet discarded, and crumbled into small pieces
1/2 cup sliced almonds

To make the dressing, whisk together the oils, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings (salt, sugar, pepper) if needed.

To make the salad, add lettuce, cabbage, chicken, oranges, scallions, almonds, and ramen to a large bowl. Toss with dressing and serve immediately.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Indian Mexican Fusion

I checked out a great cookbook from the library last week, 660 Curries. I love, love, love some good Indian food. I also love, love, love some good Mexican food. So, when I saw the recipe for Mexican Indian fusion, using flavors from both, I knew that I had to have it. This recipe takes some time. It requires making the sauce, preparing the peppers, making the batter, then frying. But it's so. worth. it. One of the best new recipes I've tried in a long time.

Potato-Stuffed Peppers in a guajillo chile sauce
For the sauce:
12 dried guajillo chiles
3 cups boiling water
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 t toasted cumin-coriander blend (I used 1 t of each, but you can buy this as dhania-jeera masala)
1 t salt

For the peppers:
1 pound potatoes, boiled and mashed
1 t salt
1/4 cup cilantro
4 cloves garlic
4 fresh green chiles
6 large poblanos or anaheims (but tailor this for your crowd; count on 1-2 per person)

For the batter:
1 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1 t salt
1/2 t turmeric
3/4 cup warm water (I needed a little more)

Canola oil for frying
2 T cilantro for garnish

To make the sauce, soak the guajillos in the water until soft (about 20 minutes). Take them out and blend until smooth (in a blender), adding most of the 3 cups of water. Strain into a saucepan, then add the salt, cilantro, and spices. Simmer until it's thick enough for a sauce (I just left mine simmering slowly on a back burner while I made the rest of the recipe).

To make the peppers, roast, peel, and then remove the seeds of the peppers. The original recipe called for them raw, but we just prefer roasted and peeled. It's all good. In a food processor, grind the cilantro, garlic, and peppers until very finely chopped. Mix that into the potatoes along with the salt. Then, stuff the peppers with the potato mixture and set aside.

Mix the batter, adding the water slowly, until you get sort of a thick pancake batter. You want it to cling to the peppers.

Heat the oil, and when ready to fry, dip a pepper into the batter, then place into the hot oil. My skillet holds two poblanos at a time, so that's how many I did. Fry until golden brown (cause everything is already cooked; you're just frying the batter). Drain on paper towels.

To serve, top each pepper with the sauce and some cilantro. Enjoy!

Today, I'm linked to Tasty Tuesday over at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam. Check it out!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Meal Plan 1/23

Another week, another meal plan.

Tuesday: red chili

Wednesday: potluck (we're taking salad)

Thursday: black bean burgers, chips, salad

Friday: potato stuffed peppers in a guajillo chile sauce (recipe coming tomorrow!), rice, beans

Saturday: bean and rice burritos with green chiles (lunch), ribeye, chard, salad, baked potatoes (supper)

Monday: Moe's Monday (I promised my kids that if they'd eat cheap stuff all week, I'd save out enough money for this, which they adore. Lots of beans this week, only to eat more beans at a restaurant. Go figure. )