Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Aromatic Chicken Stew

Aromatic Chicken Stew

     This dish is inspired by my older middle brother Greg. For this past Christmas he gave me a cookbook. Not just any cookbook but a true Mexican cuisine cookbook. Mexico The Cookbook written by Margarita Carrillo Arronte is a fantastic book filled with hundreds of recipes. I chose this first recipe because it seemed easy and the availability of the ingredients would be easy to come by here in West Virginia.

      The great thing about this cookbook is that she lists each recipe with not only ingredients needed but the region for which the recipes come from. Aromatic Chicken Stew comes from the Oaxaca region. The area is in the Southwestern region of Mexico close to the bend in the country. This dish was extremely easy to make, took very little time to prep, and filled the kitchen with fantastic aromas that kept me hungry for days. This dish was great. I made some adjustments because her original recipe served 6 and called for a whole chicken. Please enjoy my version of a Mexican dish called; Aromatic Chicken Stew.

  • 2 small boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • ¼ diced red onion
  • 1 clove diced garlic
  • 2 diced tomatoes
  • 1 diced green chile
  • 1 clove
  • 1 small Bay leaf
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 large potato diced
  • White rice.

1.       In a pot place chicken and enough water to cover. Bring to boil and let simmer for 20 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside before cutting up into chunks. Reserve the chicken water.

2.       In a large sauce pan pour the oil and sauté the onion, garlic and tomatoes. Sauté for about 5 minutes.

3.       Place mixture in a food processor and add one cup of chicken stock reserved and puree. Strain through a sieve and sit aside.

4.       In same sauté pan add the potatoes, the chicken, the bay leaf, clove, and white wine. Pour in the pureed mixture and cover and let simmer for 20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through. 

5.       Serve over the white rice.

(Note: my mixture got a bit dried out so I found using some tomato juice helped add more liquid for the dish to be uniform. You could use more chicken stock; however I didn’t want it thinning out too much.)

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 2-4

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Saint Patrick's Day Colcannon Soup

Colcannon Soup
     The inspiration for this dish came because of Saint Patrick’s Day celebration. I have been posting a recipe each year for a traditional Irish dish, but this year I decided to create a completely new dish based on a favorite of many Irish people; Colcannon.  Colcannon is a simple side dish created by combining mashed potatoes with a wonderful sautéed green. The combination of flavors is fantastic and easy to make. I will post the link for the original dish below.

     In my mind I thought, why not create a soup based on this dish. Combine in some saltiness of ground sausage and the distinct taste of leeks and you have a twist on a potato leek soup that has the subtle flavors of Colcannon. Please enjoy my Colcannon Soup.

  • 1 lb ground sausage
  • 3 lg potatoes peeled and chopped
  • 1 leek bulb diced
  • 1 pinch chili flakes
  • 1 small bundle kale chopped
  • 2 2/3 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2-1 cup heavy cream
  • salt/pepper


1.       In a large Dutch oven sauté the ground sausage till browned. Remove and set aside.

2.       In same pot sauté the kale and leek and pinch of chili flakes in the sausage grease or add a little drizzle of olive oil. Sauté till wilted and tender and remove.

3.       Place chopped potatoes into the same pot and cover with just enough water. Boil until fork tender and drain off the water.

4.       In a food processor or blender place 2/3 of the sausage, leek, kale mixture and 2/3 of the cooked potatoes and 1 2/3 cup chicken stock. Process until mixture becomes creamy.

5.       Place mixture back into pot with left over potatoes and sausage kale mixture and pour in 1 cup of chicken stock.  Bring to a simmer.

6.       Pour in ½-1 cup heavy cream and simmer for about 15-20 minutes stirring so mixture does not stick. Salt and pepper to taste and serve.  

     This thick creamy soup is fantastic. It is full of flavors, spice and creaminess. A hearty soup that will fill you up quickly and make you feel satisfied. You will feel like you are sitting in a nice pub in Ireland drinking a pint of your favorite brew and filling up on a wonderful hearty Irish dish. Enjoy.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes.
Serves: 4

Traditional Colcannon: http://recipesiliveby.blogspot.com/2014/03/Beef-Guinness-Pie.html


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Sausage Garden Multitagliati

Sausage Garden Multitagliati
     I came up with this dish while thinking of a great way to combine a wonderful set of ingredients that you will typically find in my family. Everyone within my family always combines the great tastes of sausage, peppers, onions, zucchini squash, and tomatoes. We love this combination. There is just something tasty about them. Whether it is in a sandwich or in a sauce, the flavors just complement each other and create a fantastic dish that everyone loves.

     I’m a sucker when it comes to a creamy pasta dish. Anything that combines a thick delicious sauce with homemade pasta is a win-win in my book. So I decided to combine some of the above ingredients and make a fantastic pasta dish that I could call my own.
     The pasta in this dish is just something I decided to throw in. Most people do not know what Multitagliati are. It is just simple left over cuts from homemade pasta. Typically when trying to cut pasta all into a uniform shape you will be left over with some odd cuts that just don’t go well into the dish or look pretty. You can typically use them in soups and stews where structure and beauty do not matter.  I decided just to make nothing but these odd shape pasta sizes that would hold up well to the chunks of sausage, peppers, and zucchini within the thick sauce. Hope you enjoy my Sausage Garden Multitagliati.

  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage
  • ½ diced orange bell pepper
  • ½ white onion
  • ¼ cup diced mushrooms
  • ½ cup diced zucchini squash
  • 1 clove diced garlic
  • ¼ cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Handful diced basil
  • Pinch of thyme
  • ¼ cup white wine

1.       In a large sauté pan drizzle about a tbs of olive oil and brown your sausage. Remove

2.       In same pan sauté your diced pepper, onion, mushrooms, tomato, zucchini, and garlic until the vegetables have softened and are fragrant.

3.       Pour in the white wine and reduce.

4.       Toss back in your sausage and cream and stir to combine.

5.       Stir in the basil and thyme. Salt and pepper to taste.

6.       Stir in the cheese and serve over your favorite cut of pasta.

     After the first bite of this dish it quickly became one of my all time favorite combinations. I made just enough to have some of my family members taste it and they loved the combination. They began making it just as quickly.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
Serves: 4-5 people.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Beer Cheese Soup

Beer Cheese Soup

     I used to work at this upscale restaurant out on the river. They specialized in some seafood and a wonderful outside deck atmosphere that overlooked the river and the national forest. I loved working there. I made some great friends, had some great times, and discovered some great dishes. One of which was our cooks specialty. She made a fantastic Beer Cheese Soup. What was this? I had never heard of this kind of weird creation. Apparently this soup is pretty popular out in the Midwest where cheese is made famous. My first bite was kind of weary. I was afraid of the combination of beer and cheese in a warming soup. I was in shock. The flavors that were mingling in my mouth were fantastic. It was so creamy, hearty, and had a nice spicy kick to it. It was amazing. Sadly the chef that created this dish left after I had been there for only a year. This was 17 years ago. I never had it again. No one knew what her recipe was either. I decided to do some research and mold and create my own version of this fantastic soup. So here goes, my Beer Cheese Soup.
  • 3-4 slices bacon diced
  • ¼ cup diced celery
  • ½ white onion diced
  • 4 tbs butter
  • 4 tbs flour
  • 1 tbs spicy mustard
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups beer
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup Monterey jack cheese
  • ¼ cup cream
  • Salt/pepper

1.       In a large Dutch oven brown the diced bacon until just beginning to crisp.

2.       Toss in the diced celery and onion and cook until translucent

3.       Stir in the butter until melted.

4.       Mix in the flour and stir around with the bacon and onion/celery mixture until the flour has begun to cook through.

5.       Squirt in the mustard and Worcestershire sauce

6.       Pour in the chicken stock and beer and bring to a boil.

7.       Reduce heat and stir in the cheeses until they begin to melt and the soup has thickened from the cheese and the flour rue.

8.       Salt and pepper to taste and let simmer until ready to serve.

9.       Top each bowl with some homemade croutons.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
Serves: 4-6 people.

      If you like a hearty creamy cheesy soup with a kick of your favorite beer and spice, give this fantastic soup a try. Enjoy.