Saturday, February 28, 2009

White Chicken Chili

  • I was talking to a coworker a few weeks ago about chili, and he told me his wife makes an excellent white chili. I love white chili, but I have never attempted it, so I decided to try this one.

It. Is. Amazing. 


I'm not even going to talk anymore. Go make this. Now. 

White Chicken Chili
  • 1 lb chicken breast, raw, cut into small pieces
  • Olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped small
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 small red pepper, diced
  • 1 can (7oz) green chilis
  • 1 to 2 T diced jalapeno, or more if you're brave
  • 1 1/2 c chicken broth (canned, boulion, whichever you prefer)
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or more if you like it
  • 2 cans great northern beans, white kidney beans (cannelini beans) or another white bean, drained
  • 1 c sour cream
  • 1 1/2 c shredded colby/jack cheese (you can use just one or both, but I recommend the mix)
I highly recommend gathering the ingredients together before you even turn the stove on. Cut everything up, measure the spices. The cooking itself moves fast, so it is nice to prepare everything.

In a large saucepan or dutch oven, heat a small amount of olive oil. Once heated, add the onions and garlic. Cook until the onions are softer, transparent. Add the chicken and diced red pepper to the mix and cook until the chicken is thoroughly cooked through. 

Add the can of chilis, jalapenos, spices, and chicken broth to the pan. Bring to a hard boil and keep it boiling for 10 minutes. Then add the beans, heating for another 5 minutes. Most of the liquid will be boiled off by this point. You don't want it to be dry, but it should not be like soup. 

Turn off the burner and add the sour cream, mix until blended. Then, add the cheese and mix until the entire thing is smooth.

I served mine with cresent rolls and a dallop of sour cream on the top. It was amazing. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Thank you to my coworker's wife!

Homemade pizza

Donald's family has been making pizza for years. In fact, it wasn't until his early teens that Donald knew that you could call a store and order a pizza and have it delivered in a box. I am not kiding. To this day, every single time we see Donald's parents, pizza is one of our dinners. Its a long process, especially if you are cooking for a lot of people. We like to make it for guests that don't mind hanging out in the kitchen/dining room while we cook at chat. 

This pizza specifically is veggies, but I'll post a few tips for some fun toppings you can use and how to best use them on homemade pizza.

A note on dough. The best dough comes from the Bronx, NYC. Too far away? Fortunately for you, most grocery stores have a dough sold in a ball shape in a bag that will do just fine (freezer bins section, usually). I do not recommend the ones in the cans that you peal and then pop open with a spoon and then roll out onto a baking pan. That stuff is gross. Be a real woman/man and get a dough ball and learn to spread it yourself. 

Homemade pizza

Ingredients (for 1 pizza):
  • Ball of pizza dough
  • handfull of flour
  • spoonful of polenta/corn meal 
  • 1/2 - 3/4 c pizza sauce (I recommend Dom Pepino's sauce, you can find it in small cans at fancy pants grocery stores like Hillers, but otherwise, any will do really)
  • 3/4 c mozzerella cheese
  • Toppings (see notes Re: toppings)
Other things you need:
  • Pizza stone
  • Pizza pan
  • Pizza cutter
  • Beer, coat the bottle in flour for ease of use while cooking

Unlike my normal directions, these will be more in paragraph form. 

First, about 30 minutes before you will start, put the pizza stone in the oven and turn it on to 375. You need the stone to heat through. Place the dough on the counter during this time to let it warm up a little, but do not leave it too long or it will start to rise again. 

Spreading the dough: Flour your counter really well, flour your hands, and pull the dough out. You will probably need to reform the dough into a good ball shape. To do this, toss it between your two hands for a few minutes. It will become more spherical over time. Once this is done, put it on the counter and with the heal of your hand, start to press the dough out into a flat circle. Yes, using a rolling pin is cheating.  Pressing out the dough will take a while, so be patient. If you're feeling confident, you can spread the dough with your fists in the air. To do this, make a fist with your hand, and with your other hand, pick up the dough and lay it over your fist. Make the second hand into a fist and slowly pass the dough around in a circle between your two hands. This will make it thin out very fast, so make sure you're pulling evenly. 

Spead the dough to the desired thickness. We tend to make it very thing, somewhere between your typical hand-tossed and thin crust pizza. Be careful to make your dough only as big as your pizza stone!

Once the dough is spread, take your spoonful of corn meal and put it on your pizza pan. Shake the pan so the corn meal spreads out. This is basically acting as a lubricant for the dough, you will soon see why. Pick up the dough and place it onto the pizza pan. Then, using a spoon, scoop sauce onto the dough. You will want to use the bottom of the spoon to spread it out. Spread it all the way to the edge of the pizza. You want to be able to see dough through the sauce, but have a good even layer across the pizza.

Now, don't put the cheese on.  You're going to bake the dough with only the sauce for 15 minutes on the pizza stone.  Very carefully, pull out the rack in the oven the stone is on. Shake the pizza pan back and forth to make sure the dough can move and is not stuck. Then, transfer the pizza to the stone. I recomend starting at the back of the stone, letting the dough slide off, then pulling the pizza pan out from underneith the dough so it lays onto the pizza stone. I won't lie, this is hard. But you'll get the hang of it!

After 15 minutes, check the dough. The dough itself should be cooked so that it will not bend if you pick up a corner of it. To take the pizza out of the oven, slide the pizza pan underneith it. 
Now you add cheese. And toppings. You will want to sprinkle the cheese cross the entire crust, evenly. Remember that the cheese will spread out as it melts, so you don't need to cover the entire thing. Cheese goes further than you think! Then put the toppings on. For this pizza, we did onions and mushrooms. The peppers shown below also went on other pizzas that night. 

Put the pizza back in the oven, it will be so much easier to transfer to the stone this time!  Let it cook until the cheese is melted into an orange color, see in the picture below!  This will take about 10-15 minutes. 

Now, BE CAREFUL! The pizza at this point is 375 degrees. The cheese is 375 degrees. When you order a pizza, it is cooler than that. If you take a bite too quick, your mouth will hate you forever. Give the pizza 5 min or so to cool down a little. 

Toppings notes:

- If you want sausage or ground beef, you do not need to cook it first. In the first baking cycle, place bits of raw sausage or beef onto the sauce layer and allow to cook. Through both cooking cycles, it will cook through thoroughly. 
- Pineapples are excellent on pizza, but you don't want them to cook more than 10 minutes. I usually put the cheese on, bake for 5 min, then pull it out, toss on pineapple really fast, then close the oven again. 
- Minced garlic is amazing on pizza

Now I want pizza.

Chicken Sausage Pasta

Another quick dinner for those nights you don't have time to make something extensive. I was craving green beans (weird, I know), and we had some of the Trader Joe's roasted garlic chicken sausage.  This stuff is a lifesaver, seriously.  I threw it into a quick dinner and voila, food!

Easy Chicken Sausage Pasta


  • 1 package chicken sausage, fully cooked (any flavor will do here, I used roasted garlic, but I think next time I'll try the spinach and apple chardonnay flavor!)
  • Angel hair pasta
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • Side of your choice (veggies!)

  1. Boil water for the pasta. 
  2. In a non-stick frying pan, heat a small amout of olive oil. Cut sausage into 1/4 in thick "coins". Heat in the olive oil until they turn slightly brown.  They are pre-cooked, really all you are doing here is heating them up and giving them a good texture.
  3. Cook the pasta and strain, then add immediately to the pot where you were cooking the sausage. Add 2 tsp olive oil and stir together. Add basil. Serve immediately!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Chicken Tacos

Molly requested I blog this recipe, and I have no picture because my camera was dead and I was too lazy to bother to charge it. I'm about 3 months behind in entries, perhaps I will work on that this weekend. 

So without further ado, Chicken Tacos!

Chicken Tacos (picture from Smitten Kitchen, my absolute favorite food blog)


  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped small
  • 2-3 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder (no, I am not kiding)
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Diced tomato
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa
  • Soft taco shells or hard taco shells
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

  1. Boil the chicken with a little salt and olive oil. Once it is cooked through, pull out and shred. Then set it aside to cool. DO NOT THROW AWAY THE WATER YET. You need some of it. 
  2. In a fying pan, heat a little olive oil and cook the onions until they are soft, but not mushy. Add the garlic. 
  3. Add the chicken and cumin, chili powder, red pepper, salt, and pepper to the frying pan. Stir to mix together, then add 1c of the water you boiled the chicken in. 
  4. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes and then taste. Adjust the spices at this time, if you want more spice, add it now!
  5. Serve with your favorite taco toppings. I highly recommend a spoonful or 2 of spicy salsa on top of these with a drop of sour cream. So good. 

Pancake Bunny

Pancake Bunny
Sometimes, I don't know what I'm doing.