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Lemony Artichoke Chicken Salad with Carrots | Relishing It

As usual around this time of year, I find myself in a bit of a food rut.  It feels like we should be eating local fresh asparagus and ripe sweet strawberries, but our finicky Minnesota climate just can’t decide if it wants to launch into full-on Spring or not. So, I wait patiently for these beautiful gems to show up at the Farmers Market– because, nothing comes even close to tasting as good.  In the meantime, lighter fare is slowly creeping into my subconscious and I find myself using my Dutch oven less and less.

Lemony Artichoke Chicken Salad with Carrots | Relishing It

Back in my college days (many years ago), I worked as a caterer.  I really enjoyed working the events and learning about different foods.  One of my favorite dishes we did was one that is similar to the salad I’m sharing today commonly known to us then as the “President’s Salad”, because it was the President of the University’s favorite salad and he always requested it for his catered functions.  It was delicious.

Lemony Artichoke Chicken Salad with Carrots | Relishing It

This is my version of that salad.  I like to keep things simple and light and pack it full of robust lemon flavor.  It is definitely customizable, adding pasta stretches it a bit for larger crowds (just double the amount of sauce), which is nice for summer gatherings.  Some people may prefer the sauce in more abundance, so adding a bit more mayonnaise is completely do-able.  Surprisingly, the combination of lemon, artichokes, and carrots are a fantastic match and can make it feel like you’re eating Spring, even if you are still waiting for it to fully arrive.  Finishing it with creamy cashews add a nice crunch that this salad definitely needs.   I hope you are all enjoying a lovely Spring in your parts!

Lemony Artichoke Chicken Salad with Carrots | Relishing It

The Recipe: Lemony Artichoke Chicken Salad with Carrots

(serves 4)

2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, roasted and shredded or about 2 1/2 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded

4 large carrots, peeled and julienned (or coarse grated)

1 small celery stalk, chopped

1 14-ounce can of quartered artichoke hearts, rinsed

handful of cashews and extra cilantro, for garnish

The Sauce:

1/4 cup mayonnaise (or more, if desired)

juice of 1 medium lemon

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 garlic clove, minced

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil on both sides of the chicken breasts.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast for about 40 minutes (the time will vary depending upon the size of the breasts) or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reads 165°F.  Remove from oven.  Cover with foil and let rest for about 10  minutes.  Shred with forks or your hands, when cool.

In a small bowl, whisk the sauce ingredients together and set aside.

Combine the shredded chicken, artichoke hearts, carrots, and celery in a large bowl.  Pour the sauce over the contents and use tongs to gently fold everything together (so the chicken doesn’t fall apart too much).  Taste and re-season with salt and pepper, if necessary. This salad is best if it spends a little time in the refrigerator for the flavors to meld.  Serve with cashews and additional cilantro sprinkled on top.  Enjoy!

As always, thanks so much for stopping by Relishing It!  Take care.

Laurie

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Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup) | Relishing It

When we moved to the Twin Cities from North Dakota in 1999, we were stunned by all of the wonderful restaurants.  More specifically, the ethnic food choices were mind boggling.  We simply did not have access to these types of food where we grew up. One of the very first places we tried was a small Vietnamese restaurant on the Midway in St. Paul.  It had recently been in the paper for having one of the best bowls of pho in town and the photograph that accompanied the article made my mouth water.  I didn’t know what pho was, but I knew I had to try it– and it. was. wonderful.   We still go to that restaurant occasionally during the Winter months, though now it’s more likely that you’ll find me making this dish at home.

Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup) | Relishing It

It’s quite simple to make a delicious bowl of pho ga that can come together quickly so long as you have the homemade chicken broth ready.  And again, here you’ll want to use the homemade broth– it’ll make the difference.  I generally pull a couple of jars of broth and some shredded, cooked chicken from the freezer just a little while before we want to sit down for dinner.  Pho is all about a simple, flavorful base– some chicken, some rice noodles, and then load the top with fresh ingredients.  No two bowls of pho are identical, at least not in our house, because we all add our own little additions.  I love fish sauce and sriracha mixed into my broth– my kids, not so much.  I also load mine up with jalapeños, basil, sprouts, and a healthy squeeze of lime.  It’s sublime.

Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup) | Relishing It

This soup will warm your body and if it were possible to do– I believe that it may actually warm your soul.  Think of a snowy, cold night tucked in at home.  Light a candle or two and nuzzle in.  Slurp on a bowl of this soup with your family or friends.  It makes the Winter months that much more enjoyable.

Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup) | Relishing It

The Recipe:  Pho Ga | Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup

(Serves 4)

2 quarts homemade chicken broth (imperative for this recipe)

3- inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled

5 whole cloves

2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds

2 whole star anise

5 whole allspice berries

1 package (about 14 ounces) thin dried rice noodles

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced

1 bunch fresh cilantro, stems removed

1/2 medium white onion, thinly sliced

About 4 cups shredded chicken,  (save from when making broth OR boil or bake chicken breasts/thighs)

1 bunch of fresh basil, regular or Thai, for garnish

fresh bean sprouts, for garnish

2 fresh jalapeños, for garnish

1-2 fresh limes, quartered, for garnish

Serve with the following condiments: fish sauce, sriracha sauce, hoisin sauce, red chili paste, and soy sauce

For this recipe, I’m assuming you have homemade chicken broth at the ready.  If you don’t– make some immediately.  If you don’t have time to wait the full 24 hours for it to simmer, that’s fine.  Three hours or so,  will work.  Follow these instructions and add the pho ga broth spices (fresh ginger, cloves, allspice berries, coriander seeds, and star anise) right into the pot.  Note:  You will have much more broth than the recipe calls for, but that’s not entirely a bad thing.  You may want to up the amount of spices, as well. 

Begin by adding two quarts of homemade chicken broth to a large saucepan or kettle.  Place the ginger into the pot along with a spice sachet or cheesecloth tied with string filled with the cloves, allspice berries, coriander seeds, and star anise.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a medium simmer and let cook for about 45 minutes, so that the flavors can infuse.

Meanwhile, when the broth is nearly finished,  cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions (I generally cook them for less time than suggested)– they don’t take very long to cook, so keep a watchful eye.  You do not want the noodles to become mush.  Fill your individual bowls with the rice noodles,  shredded chicken, some sliced white onion, a bit of cilantro, and sliced scallions.

Remove the ginger and spice sachet from the broth.  Ladle the hot broth into the noodle filled bowls.  Serve with accompaniments– fresh basil, bean sprouts, fresh jalapeño, and lime.  Along with the condiments– fish sauce, sriracha sauce, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and red chili paste.  Enjoy!

I hope you are all having a wonderful week so far.  Take Care!

Laurie

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I’m sitting here at my desk on this blustery Minnesota morning, reading about blizzard warnings and drinking a hot coffee.  I’m also thinking about this wonderful, warming soup.  I really wish I had a bowl waiting for me downstairs.  Last week I shared with you how to make your own homemade chicken broth and I promised  that a few delicious soup recipes would follow, so here’s number one.  This Sopa De Lima (Mexican Chicken Lime Soup) has become one of our family favorites.  I love it because I’m partial to broth soups– they warm me up in such a perfect way.  I’m also a huge fan of citrus in my soups– I love to finish them with lemon, or in this case with lime.  It really brightens them up.  This soup comes together in no time at all if you’ve done a bit of prep work– i.e., made your broth ahead of time.

Sopa De Lima (Mexican Chicken Lime Soup) | Relishing It

Assuming you’ve made the broth ahead of time, make sure you reserved your chicken meat for this recipe.  This soup is so simple and doesn’t contain a lot of other major ingredients, so the broth really shines.  Honestly, the soup is basically just seasoned broth with chicken, a bit of tomato, puréed charred onion and a lot of fresh toppings.  And it’s amazing.  Traditionally, tortillas are deep-fried for the top of the soup, but even I take shortcuts sometimes.  I generally forego the deep-frying of the tortillas and instead opt to use good quality tortilla chips.  Having a large pot of hot oil on my stove is just a bit too much effort for me, with not enough reward– but, you can certainly choose to give it a go.

Sopa De Lima (Mexican Chicken Lime Soup) | Relishing It

I’ve found that I love the flavor of broiling the onions and garlic until they have a bit of char on them– not too much.  It really emphasizes the smokey flavor.  You’ll want to watch the garlic and most likely remove it from the oven before the onion is done.  Otherwise it may burn.  The toppings at the end are a personal choice, make it as spicy (with jalapeños and cayenne pepper) as you want.  Load it up with tortilla chips, aged white cheddar cheese, cilantro, more lime, and avocados.  I’m kicking myself for forgetting to put the avocados on the soup before I snapped the photos.  Rest assured I plopped some on it before I devoured the bowl.  They’re perfect here, so don’t forget the avocados.  Enjoy!

Sopa De Lima (Mexican Chicken Lime Soup)| Relishing It

The Recipe:  Sopa De Lima (Mexican Chicken Lime Soup)

(Serves 4)

2 quarts chicken broth (preferably homemade using this recipe)

About 4 cups shredded cooked chicken (use chicken from stock that you previously made OR boil or bake some bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts and thighs– then shred)

1 medium white onion, sliced

about 1 1/2 garlic bulbs, peeled (not just the cloves– the entire bulb!)

1 cup puréed or crushed canned tomatoes

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1 4-inch cinnamon stick

1 dried bay leaf

freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt, to taste

zest from two organic limes

1/4 – 1/3 cup fresh lime juice

Toppings: tortilla chips, cilantro, jalapeños, ground cayenne pepper, lime slices, aged white cheddar cheese (or monterey jack), and avocados

Place the sliced onion and peeled garlic cloves on a baking sheet.  Place in the oven and broil until color begins to develop, flipping once.  You may need to remove the garlic before the onion is done, so it does not burn.  Keep a watchful eye while broiling.

Begin the broth.  In a large Dutch oven or kettle, add the chicken broth, tomatoes, oregano, thyme, cumin, cloves, allspice, cinnamon, bay leaf, lime zest, and salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium and let cook for about 20-25  minutes.

Meanwhile, place the charred onion and garlic in a blender and add a bit of broth.  Blend until somewhat smooth.  Add the mixture to the soup.  Continue to cook the soup until you reach the 20-25 minute mark.  Remove the bay leaf and cinnamon.   Add the lime juice and taste.  Season with more salt and pepper, if necessary.

You can choose to add the chicken directly into the soup, but I generally heat in up in the microwave and portion it out among the bowls and ladle the hot soup over it.  Then add the final toppings– the tortilla chips, cheese, cilantro, jalapeños, lime slice, cayenne, and avocados.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing it!

xo

Laurie

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White Chili via Relishing It

If you’ve spent much time with me here on Relishing It, you already know that I love spending time in the kitchen, working my way through an intricate recipe.  Not much makes me happier than pouring through ingredients in the afternoon sun, with the sound of my little ones playing in the next room.  Yes, that’s my heaven.  But of course, the sun doesn’t stream through the windows much here in January, and– let’s be honest– kids generally have a way of needing something every 15 minutes.  So I often have to be more realistic, and for that I love turning to one-pot meals.  This white chili is a great meal that doesn’t require much attention.  It’s hot, healthy, delicious, and best of all, mostly tends to itself.  Perfect for a cold Sunday afternoon when you’re busy playing inside, or (lucky you) when you get a chance to just settle into the couch with a good book.

Dried Beans via Relishing It

We eat more than our fair share of chili here in the cold months.  I like that it’s relatively healthy, and that I get a chance to experiment with different ingredients and flavor combinations.  Last weekend I made a batch with cubed beef, dark chocolate, toasted cumin seed, an oyster stout beer, and dried ancho chiles that I toasted and ground myself.  Loved it!  But enough about that (for now).  Today’s recipe is for my favorite version of white chili.  I prefer this style to not be too heavy.  If you’ve ordered it in a restaurant, you probably know what I’m talking about.  To get the right consistency, I smash a few of the beans as a thickener, and then use evaporated milk to give it a nice creaminess.  The chickpeas have a wonderful, firm texture that holds up well, while the white cannellini beans add a nice silkiness.  The combination is sublime.  A generous squeeze of lime into the pot for the finish gives it vibrancy and freshness.

White Chili via Relishing It

White Chili via Relishing It

The Recipe: White Chili

(serves at least 4)

1 pound chicken breast, cubed OR about 2 cups shredded roasted chicken (see note 1)

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 large white onion, chopped

1 jalapeño, finely chopped

1 large poblano pepper, chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 1/3 cups dried chickpeas, soaked OR two 15 ounce cans (see note 2)

1 1/3 cups cannellini beans, soaked OR two 15 ounce cans (see note 2)

1 quart chicken broth

3 tablespoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 can evaporated milk

juice of 1/2 – 1 lime, to taste

kosher salt and cracked black pepper

cilantro, lime, green onions, and white cheddar cheese for garnishes

Note 1:  If you choose to use shredded roasted chicken, do not add it to the chili immediately or it will fall apart.  Add it after you purée some of the beans near the end of the cooking time.  Make sure it has enough time to warm through.

Note 2:  Soaking the beans overnight in the refrigerator is one way to prepare the beans ahead of time.  However, if that isn’t possible, place the dried chickpeas and cannellini beans in a large pot and cover with a few inches of water and a couple teaspoons of salt.  Bring the water to a boil.  Cover and remove from heat and let sit for at least two hours.  At this point, check the beans for doneness.  If they are not quite done, you may want to bring them back to a boil once again for a few minutes to soften up a bit more (I find that the chickpeas take a little longer). If you add them to the chili and they are not fully tender, they will soak up a bit more of the liquid.  When they are your preferred texture, drain and set aside.

In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. When it is hot, add the chicken and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Brown for a few minutes until cooked through.  Remove the chicken from pan.  To the same pan add a bit more olive oil, if necessary, and the poblano pepper, jalapeño, onions, and garlic.  Sauté for a few minutes until somewhat tender.  Return the chicken to the pan, along with the cumin and coriander.  Cook for 1 minute and then add the chicken stock, chickpeas and cannellini beans.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low-medium and cook for about 30 minutes – 1 hour.  More if the beans need extra time to soften, less if they don’t.

When the texture of the chili seems right to you, remove about 1 1/2 cups of beans from the pot and place in a shallow bowl.  Use a fork to smash the beans and make smooth.    This will help thicken the chili naturally.  Return the smashed beans to the pot.  Add the evaporated milk and cook uncovered  for a few minutes longer.   Add the juice of 1/2 of a lime to start, and more if you choose.  Taste and re-season with salt and pepper, if necessary.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping in today! xo
Laurie

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Pad Thai via Relishing It

Let’s all give a big cheer for the fact that the weekend has arrived!  It is going to be a cold one here in Minnesota with highs below zero farenheit, and I am seriously excited!  Why am I looking forward to the coldest temperatures of the last four years?  Not surprisingly, because I  start thinking of what meals to make while we’re nuzzled in at home.  I’ve eyeballed a few of my favorites, but haven’t quite decided on which to make.  This Paprikash is the perfect cold-weather comfort food.  And this African Peanut Soup would certainly warm us up.  Then again, a hot sandwich made from this Cheddar and Stout Meatloaf is also tempting, or maybe these Roasted Root Vegetables .  Since we’ll likely be house-bound the whole weekend, I may even make this Ragu alla Bolognese on Sunday night, as Aria has been begging for pasta.  Bring on that frigid north wind!

Pad Thai via Relishing It

Then again, this pad thai is also a perfect cold-weather meal.  While it may sound odd, there’s just something about a piping-hot Asian noodle dish that reminds me of Winter in St. Paul.  I suppose it’s because we often trek to our favorite Thai restaurant for bowls of spicy coconut curry or pad thai once the season turns.  My kids– like most, I suppose– can be frustratingly picky eaters at times.  But they love ethnic food, and for that I am so thankful.  I never really had the opportunity to try ethnic foods while growing up in western North Dakota, but once we moved to a large city, I was hooked.  And Thai cuisine is one of my favorites.  While we still love to eat pad thai at our fantastic local hole-in-the-wall restaurant, I decided to look for a recipe to make this amazing dish at home.  It was surprisingly difficult to find one that perfectly captured the sweet richness of the peanut sauce, as well as the ‘tang’ I was looking for.  I tried several from various cookbooks, but was always disappointed.  In the end, I tried my own hand at it, and it turned out to be exactly what I was after.

Green onions for Pad Thai via Relishing It

Chopped Peanuts for Pad Thai via Relishing It

I also love that I can make pad thai healthier at home.  I like to use brown rice noodles, rather than the white; and I buy good locally-sourced free-range chicken that has been properly raised.  You can also make it with shrimp, or leave the meat out and go vegetarian.  This version has just the right amount of sweetness, perfectly balanced by vinegar.  Feel free to customize it a bit to fit your exact taste.  The one bit of advice I’ll give about making this dish, is to be prepared and work quickly.  This dish doesn’t take much time to get on the table, but, once it’s done you’re going to want to sit down and eat it right away.  If there’s one rule about eating pad thai, it’s that it doesn’t have a long table life.  Eat it while the noodles are steaming hot, or they’ll cool and begin to clump together.  Give it a try, and enjoy your weekend!

Pad Thai via Relishing It

The Recipe: Pad Thai

(Serves 4)

1/3 cup hoisin sauce

1/3 cup tamarind concentrate

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 bunch green onions

8 ounces of bean sprouts

8 ounces Pad Thai brown rice noodles

1 pound chicken breasts, thinly sliced

2 eggs

reserved pasta water

Olive oil

1/2 cup chopped peanuts, or more to taste

1/4 cup chopped cilantro, or more to taste

Thai chiles, thinly sliced (optional)

1 lemon, cut into wedges

Sriracha sauce

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

In a small bowl, mix the hoisin sauce, tamarind concentrate, rice vinegar, and fish sauce together.  Set aside.  In another small bowl, add the two eggs and mix with a fork.  Set aside.

Prepare the green onions by cutting them in half, and then slicing them thinly or at a diagonal — however you prefer.  In a 12-14 inch skillet add a bit of olive oil and begin the cook the chicken over medium heat.  This will not take very long, as it should be sliced a bit thinly.  Meanwhile, add the rice noodles to the boiling water.  Cook for about 8-10 minutes, or until the noodles are al dente.  Make sure not to over-cook them, as they will turn to mush rather quickly.

While the noodles are cooking, push the chicken to the outside of the pan.  Add a bit of olive oil to the center and scramble the eggs.  When they are scrambled, and about 2-3 minutes before the noodles are done, add the green onion.  Then a minute later, the sprouts (you’ll want these to remain crisp, but still get warm).  Pour the sauce into the pan, as well.  Stir.  Make sure to reserve some pasta water.  Drain the noodles when they are done.  And quickly add them to the pan.  Using tongs, begin folding all of the ingredients together.   Add a medium ladle of pasta water to loosen the mixture up.  Add more if needed.  When everything is combined, mound onto a plate and garnish with peanuts, cilantro, lemon, and Thai chiles and serve with sriracha sauce, if you can handle the heat.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It.  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  xo

Laurie

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Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m all about soups.  Just take a look at the soup section here for proof.  It’s not just that they’re generally hard to mess up, and that they come together quickly, but there’s just something so satisfying about a good soup.   To be honest, soup is one of my favorite things about living so far north.  It’s one of the reasons I have a hard time saying goodbye to Winter.  I love sitting down with my family to a big kettle of hot soup loaded with vegetables, grains, or legumes.  And I love to try different spices– to see how they meld together in the broth.   

Since we eat soup so often during Winter (several times per week), I try to keep it healthy.  These are our everyday meals, after all.  You likely know that I splurge on occasion and make a meal that isn’t exactly low in the calorie count.  But for the food that nourishes us every day, I try to be a bit more moderate.  My version of wild rice and mushroom soup is light, yet still packed with flavor and nutrients.  It’s far removed from those thick, goopy versions– laden with flour– that you often find in restaurants.  As an aside, it took me years to convince my husband that the stick-to-your-spoon soups are overrated.  He’s finally come around.

To keep the soup lighter, I like to use evaporated milk.  It makes it creamy, without the heaviness of actual cream.  And ‘yes’, you can always use real cream instead.  If you do so, just make sure to add it at the end so it doesn’t curdle.  And if you really prefer a little more thickness, I recommend making a roux from cornstarch and water.  Again, add it near the end of your cooking time.  This is the perfect soup for making a few things ahead of time.  Both the chicken and the wild rice can be prepared in advance and refrigerated.  If you do it this way, the soup really comes together in a cinch.

One last thing to keep in mind here– and I guess I mean to generalize this to all of my recipes– but pay attention to the salt.  If you look back through my other recipes, you’ll see I usually don’t give precise measurements for how much salt to add.  Salt can make or break a dish.  A quote by chef Thomas Keller has stuck with me– and I’ll paraphrase– if you can taste the salt, you’ve added to much.  Salt should enhance the other flavors, but you shouldn’t taste the salt.  My point is, since every broth and roasted chicken contains different levels of salt, you’ll have to decide how much you want to add.  Taste, taste, taste!

The Recipe: Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup 

(Serves 4 comfortably)

3/4 cup dry wild rice, cooked

7-8 medium carrots, chopped (about 1 1/4 cup)

1/2 medium white onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

4 celery stalks with leaves, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

8 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced thick (between 2 – 2 1/4 cups)

1 large leek, white and green parts only, chopped

3 tablespoons dry sherry

2 quarts organic chicken broth

1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk

2 cups roasted chicken, thickly shredded or cubed

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper

 

Cook the wild rice according to directions on package.  Make sure not to overcook it; it will cook a bit longer in the soup.  Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onions, carrots, leeks, celery,  and a pinch of salt and pepper.   Sauté for a few minutes until vegetables start to soften, making sure to stir a few times.  When the vegetables are somewhat soft, add the chicken broth, mushrooms, and rice.  Raise the heat and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until all of the vegetables are tender.  Add the evaporated milk, chicken, and sherry.  Let simmer until the chicken has warmed through and the flavors have melded.  Season with salt, pepper, and stir in the chopped parsley.  Enjoy with a piece of crusty bread!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Laurie

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While we’re a few days closer to the holidays– and you’re probably expecting a sinfully decadent recipe– I’ve decided to shake things up a bit with this simple, wonderfully savory soup.  This winter warmer is one of my family’s favorites.  It’s modest, yet combines enough interesting flavors and textures to stand out.  For starters, can we talk about how fabulous smoked paprika is?!  I love the stuff.  And paired with the cumin in this soup, you get a real flavor explosion.  Add a little lime and cilantro, and you end up with a perfect, fresh complement to the spices.

The other key ingredient is hominy.  While I’ve been making this soup for a long time, I only recently switched from using the canned variety to dried hominy.  You’ve seen in previous posts that I always advocate using dried, rather than canned beans.  Well, I wondered if the same texture and flavor differences applied to hominy, so I had to give it a try.  Wow!  It really makes the soup that much better.  Dried hominy added a more ‘tooth-some’ (am I making up words again?) quality to the soup.  It’s firm (though not hard), and helps make the dish more substantial.  I won’t be going back to buying the canned version.

You may have to work to track down dried hominy.  I eventually found it in a local Mexican foods market.  The point is this– if you can find it, use it.  If not, the soup is still brilliant using canned hominy.  If you go the canned route, use about 3-4 cans, drained.  One thing to keep in mind, this soup will thicken more the day after it is made.  The hominy continues to soak up liquid, so you may want to add more broth on the following days if you have leftovers.  Make it– you’ll love it.  And as for those sweet recipes, I have a few up my sleeve for next week.  Have a great weekend!

The Recipe: Mexican Chicken and Hominy Soup

Serves about 6

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1/2 white onion, chopped

1 jalapeño, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 quart canned crushed tomatoes

2 cups shredded roasted chicken

2 cups dried hominy, soaked overnight in cold water and drained

1  1/2 quarts chicken broth

2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 teaspoon smoked paprika

kosher salt and black pepper to taste

juice of one lime

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, sauté the green bell pepper, onion, garlic, and jalapeño in the olive oil until tender, about 4-5 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, hominy, chicken broth, cumin, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Cook until the hominy becomes tender, about 30-40 minutes.  In the last 10 minutes of cooking time, add the roasted chicken.  Doing so too early will cause the chicken to fall apart.  When the soup is done, stir in the lime juice and cilantro.  Adjust seasonings, if necessary.  Serve with tortilla chips and queso fresco, if desired.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by today.

Laurie

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