Monday, October 24, 2011

Lori's White Chicken Chili

                                                                            
I have to admit I am not a fan of this chili as I do not care for hominy, but Bob loves this soup as it is his favorite chili. I took an existing recipe I'd made from Taste of Home magazine and modified it to the way I wanted to make it. Bob liked it the way the original version was, but he loved the modifications I'd made. It is easy to put together, so don't let the list of ingredients scare you off. And you can have chili made within an hour or less with this recipe. Many people have had this and like it a lot. I hope you enjoy it, too. There are many variations you can make with this recipe to make it your own just by modifying this to fit your family's tastes. I have added one modification below that I sometimes make. This is a very thick and hearty soup. Enjoy!

Lori's White Chicken Chili

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
1 can (15-1/2 ounces) white hominy, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 ounces) white kidney (cannellini beans), rinsed and drained
1 can (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies
1-4 Tbls. jalapeno peppers, minced (depending on how hot you want it)
1 Tbls. real butter
1 tsp. real sea salt (pink kind)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon white or black pepper
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup (4 ounces) Co-Jack cheese, grated
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1/3 cup half-and-half cream or milk
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbls. dried parsley

In pot place olive oil , onion, and chicken; cook until chicken is no longer pink. Stir occasionally to get all sides of chicken cooked. Add garlic and cook about two minutes. Add chicken broth, hominy, beans, green chilies, jalapenos, and spices. Bring soup to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add cheese, stir to blend and melt. Stir in sour cream; blend well. Stir in cream or milk. Stir in herbs and serve. You can garnish with a dollop of sour cream and cheese.

Variation: Cut up in small pieces and fry 1/2 pound smoky peppered bacon. With slotted spoon, remove bacon to paper towels to drain. Add onions and chicken to bacon grease in pan and cook as above. Add half the bacon to the soup as it is cooking. Add some chopped scallions to the soup (1-2 onions, chopped) five minutes before it is done. Garnish with dollop of sour cream, cheese, bacon, and scallions. This soup will have a smoky flavor from the bacon.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Macaroni and Cheese

                                                                       

There is nothing that says 'comfort' quite like homemade mac and cheese. I've been making this for at least 28 years and my kids always loved it. This is the basic recipe I was given, but I add extra cheese and milk to make it rich and creamy. I never measure this out so I cannot give you the exact recipe I make as I add as I want to as I am making it. This is delicious. Enjoy!

Macaroni and Cheese

8 ounces elbow macaroni*
2 1/2 cups milk
5 Tbls. unbleached flour
3 Tbls. butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 1/4 cups grated American cheese
1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
3/4 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce (optional)*

Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain.
In 2 quart sauce pan, melt the butter and blend in the flour; cook 1-2 minutes. Stir in milk and heat to almost boiling. Add salt and pepper. Cook milk till thickened, then add cheeses to melt.Stir till smooth. Add Worcestershire Sauce, if used. Pour over macaroni. Pour into a large baking dish and bake at 350F degrees for 20-25 minutes. If you like, you can add extra grated cheese to the top and put in oven till cheese is melted.
*I sometimes use Rotini noodles in place of the elbow macaroni.
*I do not use the Worcestershire Sauce as I don't like it, but many do.




Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Texas Sheet Cake

                                                                                     
Who does not like Texas Sheet Cake? It is rich and delicious. This recipe came from a step-aunt of mine who used to bring this to family gatherings. I am so glad I was able to get this recipe from her as she died earlier this year from Cancer. Sandy made some very tasty foods that our entire family enjoyed. Her recipe has now become mine as I've made it several times over the past few years.

Texas Sheet Cake

Cake:
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 sticks butter (half pound)*
4 Tbls. baking cocoa
1 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk*
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Icing:
1 stick butter
1 Tbls. baking cocoa
6 Tbls. milk 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts

Cake:
Sift together the flour and sugar; set aside.
In saucepan, add 2 sticks butter, cocoa, and water; bring to a rapid boil, then pour over the sugar mixture; mix well. Add buttermilk, eggs, baking soda and vanilla. Blend well. Pour into a greased 17" x 11 3/4" cookie sheet (1" lip). Bake at 400F degrees for 20 minutes. About 5 minutes before done make icing.

Icing:
In a 2 qart sauce pan, melt the butter. Add the cocoa and milk and bring to a boil.. Remove from heat. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla; mix well. Stir in chopped nuts. Spread over hot cake. Allow to set up.

*Use only real butter.
*Either walnuts or pecans can be used.