Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A little something for those cold winter nights...

Here it is, as promised! The guys in my family get all dreamy-eyed when I serve this stuff.

White Chicken Chili

4 cups water
4 tsp instant chicken broth
2 cans Great Northern Beans
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
3 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup chopped sweet pepper
3 cloves chopped garlic
1 large onion
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cayenne
1 cup uncooked pasta shells or macaroni
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese

In a large soup pot, saute onions in olive oil until soft. Add remaining ingredients except for sour cream, pasta, and cheese. Put chicken breasts in whole. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to simmer for about an hour until chicken is tender. Remove chicken and shred it using two forks. Return chicken to pot and add pasta. Cook for another fifteen minutes. Add one cup of cheese and stir until it melts. Serve topped with a dollop of sour cream and more grated cheese. Sprinkle with chives to make it look pretty and enjoy!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cold Days and Red Hot Chili Peppers

It's cold and snowy here. My feet are cold and the trip to the barn to feed the horses left my face numb. Sounds like a great day for some nice, hot chili!

Now I know everyone has their own favorite way to make chili, and most people are very firm in their beliefs about what should or should not be included in the recipe. That being said, if you're a non-pasta chili person, I just might convert you.

Cheryl's Tummy-warming Chili

1 lb lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
3 tbsp chili powder of your choice (I use Mexene)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
30 oz can light red kidney beans (undrained)
28 oz can diced tomatoes (pureed)
3 to 4 oz uncooked pasta of your choice

In a big soup pot, saute the onion in the butter, then add garlic and ground beef. Use the leanest beef you can find so you don't have to drain it. When the meat is browned, add remaining ingredients except pasta. My husband doesn't like chunks of tomato in his chili, so I run the tomatoes through the blender first. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce to simmer for 45 min, stirring occasionally. Then add pasta and cover; cook another 15 min, stirring frequently until pasta is done and chili is thick. If you use spaghetti, break it into thirds before you add it. Pasta shells work well, too. Serve with grated Colby Jack cheese on top. If you want it hotter, you can always add the hot sauce of your choice!

Next week I'll post my recipe for White Chicken Chili. In the meantime, keep warm!