Chicken Soup with Rice (Caldo de Pollo con Arroz). This is a soup that I prepare typically with all that leftover turkey I find myself with after the holidays. But I have also been known to pick up a rotiserrie chicken from my local market for a quick semi-homemade version of this recipe. But my favorite way to enjoy this recipe is preparing it with homemade chicken stock from chicken I cooked low and slow on the stove top. Either way you decide to prepare this recipe, it’s delicious with all of it’s simple and fresh ingredients. If rice is not your favorite, try adding some cooked pasta noodles or shells. One of the only reasons to enjoy the cold weather months is a big bowl of homemade soup!
Ingredients 6 to 8 cups chicken broth,store bought or homemade recipe below (I like mine with alot of broth, so I add 8 cups) 4 cups diced cooked chicken or turkey (I used both white and dark meat from roasted chicken) 1/2 cup diced sweet onions 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 to 2 serrano or jalapeño pepper, minced 2 large roma tomatoes or tomatillos, diced 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced 2 stalks celery, diced 2 carrots, diced 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish Juice of 1 lemon, plus more for garnish 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 2 bay leaves 1 teaspoon cumin 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika 1/2 teaspoon pepper Salt to taste
Tips~ Preparing Homemade Stock/Broth by cooking about 2 to 3 pounds of chicken thighs or breast with the skins on. Cover with water 2 inches over chicken, season to taste with salt. Add chopped onion, bulb of garlic,2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, handful of cilantro, 1 teaspoon peppercorns and 1 to 2 chile peppers of your choice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, skimming off the top, and cook for 45 to 60 minutes. Strain and discard solids, shred or dice chicken when cooled. Chill stock overnight before using it. This will make it easier to remove the fat (top layer) before adding it to your favorite recipes.
For Rice 2 cups long grain rice (I use jasmine rice) 1 teaspooon salt 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon onion powder 1/2 teaspoon white pepper 1/2 teaspoon turmeric 3 cups water
1. Add the broth to a large pot and bring to a boil. Add all of the ingredients as listed, allowing the soup to come up to a boil before adding the seasonings.
2. Reduce heat, cover and continue cooking for 35 to 40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Taste for salt and other spices. Season to taste.
3. While soup is simmering, prepare the rice. Add 2 cups long grain rice, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and 3 cups water in a pot. Stir gently, cover and bring to a rapid boil. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking for 18 to 20 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Remove from heat and let stand for 20 minutes. Fluff with fork before serving. Serve soup with rice, garnish with cilantro and lemon wedges. Yields up to 8 servings.
Tips~ you can prepare this soup in the slow cooker as well. Add all the ingredients, minus the cooked rice and cook on on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 hours. This is a great recipe using any leftover chicken, turkey, pork or beef roast. Or just add more veggie varieties for a meatless option.
Adobo Chicken Arepas are very similar to Mexican gorditas. A corn cake prepared with fine white corn flour and warm water on a hot comal until light golden brown in color. For a quick weeknight meal, I like to enjoy them stuffed with cheese and served witha warm salsa over top. Add a fresh green salad with some avocado for a complete, meatless meal. I wish I had some better pictures to share with you, but I pulled this from some of my older recipes. I thought it was good enough to share as is. As I sit here typing up this blog, I am thinking of a warm arepa with a nice poached egg on top…warm salsa…oh my! I do have a picture of that! LOl! Heading to the kitchen!
For Chicken 3 boneless chicken breast or thighs, about 1 1/2 pounds Salt and pepper Olive oil 2 cups seasoned adobo sauce(chile paste) link below or a chile ancho based salsa 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
For Arepas 2 cups white corn flour for arepas “PAN” brand 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking powder 2 cups warm water Olive oil
For Veggie Saute 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 red bell pepper, sliced into small strips 1 poblano pepper, sliced into small strips 1 jalapeño, sliced into small strips 1 small red onion, sliced into small strips 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon oregano 1/4 teaspoon pepper 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and brown for 4 minutes per side in a preheated skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir together the adobo sauce andbroth, add it to the skillet with chicken. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove chicken from sauce, shred all the meat and return it to the sauce. Continue cooking for 25 to 30 minutes until the sauce reduces and becomes thick. Taste for salt as it cooks down.
2. While the chicken is cooking, in a bowl, combine the corn flour, salt and baking powder. gradually add in the water and use your hands to work in to a dough. Work the shortening into the dough until smooth. You can make 6 large arepas or 12 small ones. Roll the dough into balls, transfer to a plate, cover with plastic and set aside.
3. To finish the arepas, preheat a large nonstick skillet or comal to medium heat for 5 minutes. Using your hands, form the dough balls into patties. If making small arepas, they will only be about 3 inches wide. Cook on hot pan, brushing both sides with olive oil for about 5 minutes per side. If possible, cover the arepas while they cook, the steam created will help with the cooking process. Transfer to a plate lined with wax or parchment paper, keep covered.
4. For peppers, add two tablespoons of olive oil to a skillet, preheat to medium for 5 minutes. Add all of the peppers and onion. Season with salt, oregano and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add in the vinegar and continue cooking for another few minutes. Cover and set aside.
5. To serve, carefully slice the arepas open, fill with chicken, garnish with avocado and cilantro. Serve the sauteed veggies on the side or you can add to the inside of arepa. Yields up to 6 servings.
Thought I would start this blog post with a few things that I don’t cook often. Don’t you dislike when you finally splurge on your favorite restaurant and are not only gasping at the prices, then only to be disappointed by that starter salad that taste like it came straight out of a plastic bag?? I believe that many of us ovelook the fact on how simple it is to prepare some great tasting salads at home without caving to that salad bar at the super center. I am going to share a few of my recent salads and maybe dig up some oldies, but goodies from my archives, lol!
Black Beans and Rice Salad~ August 8, 2014
2 cups steamed rice 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed 1 cup corn
3 green onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, diced
1 red fresno pepper, diced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon crushed oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all of the ingredients, taste for salt. Cover and chill for 1 hour. Stir before serving. Best when left to marinate overnight. Yields 6 servings.
Grilled Mushrooms over a Zesty Quinoa Salad! Cooking quinoa is something new I just tried a few months back. It’s all the rage right now for a healthier alternative as a side dish. I had only prepared it as a warm side dish a couple of times, but for this quinoa recipe, I decided to treat it like a pasta salad. Spring is here, even though I still see snow outside, lol!! My mind is set on spring and summer cooking with grilled recipes and chilled salads, tall drinks! I am ready!
I have really tried to make the effort to prepare a few meatless meals a week. This meal is great for meatless Monday and is also Lent friendly. I am happy to say, that my husband Richard does not miss the meat like I thought he would. I will say though, that he has become quite the food critic, ha, ha, ha!! I still cannot get over how he loves the spicy food now, just like me. Makes cooking our meals alot easier for me these days….confessions of a diehard chilihead…loving every moment!
Grilled Mushrooms over Zesty Qiunoa Salad
For Quinoa Salad
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/3 cup diced red onions 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced 1 red fresno pepper, finely diced 1 jalapeño, finely diced 2 stalks of celery, just top halves with the leaves, chopped fine 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped 1/4 cup red wine vinegar Juice of half a lemon juice 1/4 cup olive oil 1 teaspoon crushed oregano Salt and pepper to taste
For Grilled Mushrooms 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for grilling 2 tablespoons of hot sauce 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika 1/2 teaspoon pepper Salt to taste 8 to 10 ounces baby bellas, sliced in half *wooden skewers is optional, they are not always easy to skewer because they are delicate.
1. Cook the quinoa according to package directions. I like to cook mine in chicken broth instead of just water. I add a drizzle of olive oil as well. Set the quinoa aside while you prep the other ingredients.
2. In a large bowl, combine the quinoa with all of the vegetables. Whisk the vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper. Pour over salad, stir well to combine, cover and set aside. Stir before serving and taste for salt.
3. In a large bowl, combine the ingredients to make the marinade for mushrooms. Toss in the mushrooms and stir gently to coat evenly. Preheat stove top grill pan to medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil. You can use 8 inch wooden skewers and skewer 3 to 4 mushrooms. Or you could just grill the mushrooms directly if that is easier for you. Grill for a few minutes per side or until they start to soften and caramelize slightly. Serve over quinoa salad. Yields 4 servings.
Tips~I served mine with warm flour tortillas, avocado slices and pickled red jalapeño slices. They were some of the tastiest meatless tacos I have had.
Jicama Corn Salad
1 1/2 cups jicama 1 large carrot 1 small red bell 1/2 red onion *Julienne all of the above vegetables 1 1/2 cups corn I serrano or jalapeño pepper, minced 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped Juice of 1 lemon 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon chile limon powder 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper Salt to taste
Combine all of the ingredients, taste for salt. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes before serving or cover and chill until ready to serve. Stir before serving. Yields 6 servings.
Tips~ I used 3 ears of fresh corn. Remove kernals and transfer onto plate. Season lightly with salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and steam in the microwave for 3 minutes. Cool completely before adding to salad.
Tomato, Red Onion, Cilantro and Serrano Slaw
1 medium red onion, julienned
2 to 3 large, firm roma tomatoes, seeded and julienned
2 serrano peppers, sliced into thin rings
1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
Juice of 4 to 5 key limes or 2 regular limes
3 tabblespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon Mexican oregano, crushed
Fresh cracked pepper to taste
Salt to taste
Combine all ingredients, taste for salt, cover and let sit for 30 minutes before servings. Yields 4 to 6 servings.
Grilled Vegetable and Black Bean Salad with Cilantro Dressing
For the Cilantro Dressing: 2 cups Greek yogurt (nonfat plain) or light sour cream Juice of 1 lime 1 jalapeño or serrano pepper (seeds removed) 1 clove garlic, minced 1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped Salt to taste
For the Salad: 1 large ear of corn, cleaned 1 medium zucchini 1 red bell pepper 1 poblano pepper 1 small red onion 1 tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning ½ teaspoon salt 1½ tablespoons olive oil 1½ cups black beans, rinsed and drained 6 ounces corn tortilla chips, slightly crushed 1 avocado, diced 1 head of romaine lettuce, washed and torn into pieces
1. Combine all of the ingredients to make the dressing into the blender. Blend on high until smooth, taste for salt. Keep chilled until ready to use. Chop all the veggies, except for corn and red onion, into 1-inch pieces. Slice the onion into thin strips and lay the corn whole onto the hot grill. In a large bowl, toss the vegetables with lemon pepper seasoning, salt and 1½ tablespoons of olive oil.
2. Preheat a large indoor grill pan to medium/high heat for 5 to 6 minutes. Line the pan with “easy release” foil paper. This will make cleanup a lot easier, believe me. Spread all of the vegetables out onto hot grill. Grill for a few minutes on each side, turning as needed.
3. Remove veggies from grill and let cool slightly. With a sharp knife, cut the kernels off from the cob. Divide the romaine onto 4 large salad plates, add grilled vegetables, corn, black beans, avocado, crushed chips, and dressing. Toss lightly to combine, serve right away. Yields 4 large salads or 6 smaller salads. For a complete meal, add some grilled chicken or shrimp!
Notes: The vegetables can most certainly be grilled on an outdoor grill as well. If you have a hard time getting the dressing to blend, you could drizzle in a little water.
Chickpea and Cucumber Salad
2 cups chickpeas 2 roma tomatoes, seeded and sliced into thin strips 1 cup chayote or jicama, julienned 1/2 cup red onion, julienned 3 baby cucumbers, sliced 1 jalapeño, diced or sliced 1 red fresno, diced or sliced
For Dressing 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar Zest and juice of 1 lemon 1 tablespoon dijon mustard 1/2 tablespooon dried Italian herb mix 2 cloves of garlic, grated alt and pepper to taste 1/4 cup olive oil
1. Toss all of the ingredients for salad in a bowl or serving dish. If using canned chickpeas, drain and rinse well before using.
2. In a separate bowl whisk all of the ingredients for dressing in the order listed. Taste for salt and pepper. Add to salad 20 minutes before serving, toss to combine. Yields up to 6 servings.
Tips~ I removed the pulp from tomato to avoid salad from being watered down, but I think I should have removed seeds from cucumbers as well…lol! Next time.
4 cups jicama, sliced into thin strips 3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and sliced into thin strips 2 jalapeños, seeded, sliced into thin strips
1 small white onion, sliced into thin strips
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Juice of 3 keylimes or 1 large lime
1/2 tablespoon chlie limon powder
* if not available add 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
Combine all of the ingredients listed 30 minutes before serving. Stir well to combine, taste for salt. Yields up to 4 servings.
Frutas Frescas Con Chile y Limon~Freh Fruit Cups with Chile Limon!
A Refreshing Cauliflower Tabouli Salad is adapted from the lastest issue of Food Network magazine. Love tabouli, love cauliflower!
1 head of cauliflower, grated 6 green onions, sliced thin 2 cloves garlic, minced
2 red cherry peppers, seeded and diced finely
3 firm roma tomatoes, seeded and diced finely
1 small bunch of parsley, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ried Greek basil or 2 teaspoons of fresh mint
Juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
Salt to taste
Combine all of the ingredients listed. Stir well to combine, cover and chill for a few hours before serving. The flavors will get better the longer in marinates. Great as is or serve with flat bread or pita chips. Yields up to 8 servings.
Corn, Black Bean and Chayote Succotash. I was never crazy about lima beans when my mom would serve up a side of succotash. So I decided to change it up a little, adding some of my favorites, like black beans, chayote squash and tomatillos! Great warm or at room temperature.
2 ears of corn olive oil 1/2 white onion, diced 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 jalapeño or serrano, mnced 2 chile de abol, optional 1 poblano, diced 1 cup red or orange bell pepper, diced (I had a mix of both) 1 chayote, diced 2 stalks celery, diced 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds 1/2 teaspoon mexican oregano Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste 4 tomatillos, diced 1 cup black beans, drained an rinsed 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 1/2 cup chicken broth
1. Remove corn kernals from the cob and set aside.
2. Preheat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat for a few minutes. Add the onions, garlic, chiles, bell pepper, chayote, celery, cumin seeds and oregano. Season with salt and pepper and saute for 6 to 8 minutes.
3. Add all of the remaining ingredients. Stir well to combine. Reduce heat and continue cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated. Taste for salt and pepper. Yields up to 8 servings. Great warm or at room temperature.
Caprese Salad~Tomato Basil Mozzarella. The fresh herbs are in full bloom and I am loving all the fresh basil! June 20, 2014
8 thick tomato slices Balsamic vinegar Olive oil Kosher salt
fresh cracked pepper
6 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced into 8
1/3 cup fresh basil, sliced into ribbons
Chile pepper flakes
Layer the salad in the order listed. Season to taste. I like to top the salad with a little more balsamic and olive oil to finish. Yields 4 servings
Caprese Salad, a quick and tasty salad that can be served as an appetizer or light meal with some crostini bread. A trick I learned a while back is when dressing your salads directly, drizzle on the vinegar first before the olive oil. If you drizzle the olive oil first, it may not take to the vinegar as well.
Fresh Herb Tomato Cucumber Pasta Salad . The fresh herbs in my garden are in full bloom and I can’t get enough of them. Fresh basil, oregano, parsley and cilantro are all added to this zesty pasta salad. It’s great on it’s own or as a side for your favorite grilled recipes like chicken or shrimp. Light and full of flavor! June 30, 2014
5 cups cooked pasta 1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced 2 roma tomatoes, sliced into strips * I like to seed both my tomatoes and cucumber when preparing salads 2 tablespoons fresh basil 2 tablespoons fresh parsley 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro 1/2 tablespoon fresh oregano *finely chop all of your fresh herbs 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar Zest of 1 lemon Juice of 1/2 lemon 6 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon dijon mustard Fresh cracked pepper, to taste Kosher salt, to taste
Combine all of the ingredients, stir well to combine. Cover and chill for 30 minutes before serving. Stir well before serving. Yields 6 servings.
Embracing my Mexican heritage and sharing all the wonderful flavors, colors and foods I grew up with. Join me on this journey as I also learn new foods and cooking techniques. Dedicated to my parents Ramiro and Blanca.