I’ll never stop promoting Costco rotisserie chicken. It’s only $5 and not only is it delicious hot off the shelf (I sometimes don’t even bother with a plate or silverware), but the leftovers can be used for myriad dishes such as pesto lasagna roll ups, quick matzo ball soup and homemade chicken stock.
Tonight on the menu is white chili. My friend Danielle introduced me to the notion of non-tomato chili about eight years ago and when I thought of the dish for tonight I was surprised I hadn’t blogged about it yet.
This one-pot wonder has similar flavors to traditional chili. With the addition of salsa verde and sour cream you give chili night a new twist.
White chili with chicken
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
- 1 can diced green chiles
- leftover rotisserie chicken meat, shredded
- 1, 16-oz. jar salsa verde
- 1.5 cups chicken stock
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp. chili powder
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cans great white northern beans, drained
- 1 cup sour cream
Heat oil in a dutch oven. Sauté the onions and peppers till onions are soft, about 7 minutes. Add the chiles, chicken, salsa, stock and spices. Bring to a simmer, turn to low and simmer one hour.
Add the beans and cook another 10 minutes. Add the sour cream just before serving. Top with cilantro sprigs and shredded cheddar cheese.
My family requested lasagna for dinner yesterday, but I didn’t get home till 5 p.m. so it would have been a mad dash to get lasagna on the table by 6:30.
Here’s what I made instead. Although it’s about the same ingredients as lasagna I didn’t have to take the time to layer everything out. I just threw it all together, topped it with cheese and stuck it in the oven. Easy peasy.
- 12 oz. lasagna noodles
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 8 oz. crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 lb. loose Italian sausage
- One bunch of fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 large jar of spaghetti sauce
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When the water boils break up the lasagna noodles into irregular pieces and add to the pot. Cook according to box instructions, about 12 minutes.
In the meantime, heat oil in a large, ovenproof skillet. Add the mushrooms and sauté until some of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and a pinch of salt. Sauté until spinach is wilted, another minute. Set mushrooms and spinach aside.
Without cleaning the pan, add the sausage and brown. Add the sauce, mushrooms and spinach. Combine well. Drain the noodles and add to the skillet. Add half the cheeses and mix well. Top with the remaining cheese, cover and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes.
About nine years ago I had the honor of roasting the turkey for my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. Until that dinner my father was always the main chef during this holiday meal, but that year I had learned a turkey tip from a friend that I really wanted to try, so I took the responsibility from him. I remember his taking a bite of my slaved-over bird and formally announcing he was passing the turkey scepter on to me; he could not make a better turkey.
This was, of course, before Alton Brown made famous the technique of brining a turkey. Now my father claims it’s the only decent way to prepare a Thanksgiving feast. I tried brining once, but it was too much effort for me. I don’t even like turkey!
So this year my parents are arriving home from Mexico on Thanksgiving Day. What with their being old and tired (no offense mom and dad!) I don’t want them to have to cook anything, so I’m taking on the entire meal, fixings and all. I’m even going to try to decorate — but we’ll see how it goes.
I thought I would share my plans for next week in case you are feeling completely uninspired (which I am currently feeling).
Continue reading Our Thanksgiving Plans — A step-by-step guide to avoiding a festive failure
I love easy recipes, especially if I can use leftovers. Shepherd’s pie is no exception. If you have ground meat and leftover mashed potatoes, you are just a few steps away from a delicious, filling dinner the whole family will love.
1 lb. combo of ground beef, pork, veal or lamb
4 cups or so of leftover mashed potatoes (or make some fresh)
1 egg yolk
1 tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
3 Tbs. fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme and rosemary, chopped
Salt and pepper
1 Tbs. tomato paste
1 cup chicken stock
Worcestershire sauce or red wine (optional)
Shepherd’s pie is versatile. Throw in whatever veggies you love. Use whatever meat you prefer.
Season your mashed potatoes to your liking with milk, butter, salt and pepper. Heat up in the microwave if cold. Stir in the egg yolk. This makes the pie have a nice crust. Preheat oven to 375. In a sauté pan, heat some oil and add the meat, onion and carrot. Season with salt and pepper. Cook till meat is browned, about 10 minutes. Drain fat and add stock, tomato paste, herbs and a swig of red wine or Worcestershire sauce. Heck, I bet soy sauce would even make it pretty good. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the peas.
Grease a casserole dish and add the meat filling. Top with dollops of mashed potatoes. Spread the potatoes across the top, trying to create a seal around the edges. I recommend putting a cookie sheet under the dish when you bake it in case anything bubbles over.
Bake for 30 minutes and let cool for a few minutes before serving.