Posts tagged ‘comfort food’

October 27, 2011

Hearty Curry Squash Soup

 

 

Hearty Curry Squash Soup

As Fall peaks, I can’t help but adjust to the cold weather the best way I know how, eating hearty food. Squash is one of the classic fall ingredients that I can’t seem to stop craving. There are so many varieties, and the options are endless, not to mention the great aesthetic qualities of squash. In the past, butternut squash has been my go to for soups, but with such a great selection of squash out there, I wanted to experiment. This recipe is hearty, spicy, and sweet. I know I’m adding this recipe to my winter staples, and you should too!

What you’ll need:

2 Acorn Squash

1 Delicata Squash

1 sweet onion, chopped

1 yam, chopped

3 carrots, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 box organic low-sodium chicken stalk

2 tbs. butter

1 1/2 tbs. curry powder

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tbs. brown sugar

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Cut squash in half, spoon out seeds, and place facing down in a baking dish in about a 1/2 inch of water. Bake at 385 for about 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

   

Cooked Squash

While squash is baking, prep all other veggie ingredients. On the stove, heat a large pot with a drizzle of olive oil and butter. Once hot, add all chopped veggies. Let simmer for 20 minutes or so.

Simmerin' Veggies

Once the veggies have cooked down a little, add the chicken stalk, spices and squash meat. Let simmer for 40 minutes to an hour. When it comes to soup, I always like the veggies to simmer for a long period of time, as it seems like the flavor develop best. Once simmered, remove from heat and blend. I use an immersion blender but you could also use a standard blender. Finally, stir in the brown sugar and any extra salt and pepper needed.

Garnish with Cheddar, Salt and Pepper

 AND don’t forget to freeze some of the leftovers for a rainy day!

Advertisements
September 22, 2011

Rick Bayless’s Pollo Pulquero (Slow- Cooked Chicken with Tomatillos, Potatoes, and Jalapenos) with Corn Salsa

As a chicagoan, anthropologist, and foodie, I have mad respect for Rick Bayless.  With his educational background in Anthropology, Rick Bayless really gets the importance of connecting ingredients with culture, incorporating new ideas, and making home-style Mexican cooking accessible. I got this recipe from Rick Bayless’s “Mexican Everyday”. This recipe for Pollo Pulquero stood out to me for a few reasons: Slow cooked meat is one of my favorite ways to have meat, the flavors sounded simple and delicious, and it was a recipe that I could easily make around my schedule. This is a great recipe to make before you leave for work, or prep the night before. And let me tell you, the aromatics from this will make your home smell amazing. Of course I had to add my own personality to the recipe, and decided to add some lime to the slow-cooker to bring a citrus flavor. I also decided to serve this with some corn salsa, as it adds a nice sweetness and texture to the meal. I promise if you give this a try, you will not be disappointed!

Pollo Pulquero:

1 medium white onion, cut into 1/4 inch think rounds

2 medium baking potatoes (Bayless calls for red skin, or yukon gold potatoes but I had some baking potatoes and they worked great, you could even use something like purple potatoes, which would work great as well)

4 (or around one pound) skinned chicken thighs*

1 cup cilantro leaves

8-12 Medium Tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and slices 1/4 inch thick

2 tablespoons jalapeno pickling juice

2 diced pickled jalapenos

Half of a lime

Sea salt

This slow-cooker recipe is all about layering. I started with the potatoes on the bottom, then chicken (skin down), cilantro, onions, and tomatillos. Once layered, I poured the pickling juice on top, squeezed lime juice and added the diced jalapenos on top. Be sure to salt between each layer, as this is the only salt in the dish. I set my slow-cooker on low for 8 hours, but Bayless calls for 6 hours on high. Once cooked, I spooned out the extra juice and decided to put it in a small pot and simmer it down a little. The juice is mostly the fat from the chicken skin, but adds some more flavor. Utilizing this juice is purely optional.

Ingredients layered in Slow Cooker

*Bayless’s recipe calls for skinless thighs but my store only had skinned and I thought it would add some great flavor. You can also use pork shoulder  or beef chuck, but Bayless suggests staying away from leaner cuts as they’ll dry out.

Cooked Pollo Pulquero (before excess juice has been removed)

Quick Corn Salsa:

3 ears fresh corn

1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced

7 grape tomatoes, quartered

Fresh cilantro.

Fresh lime juice.

Sea salt.

Boil corn ears until tender but not too soft. While corn is boiling, chop jalapeno, tomatoes, and cilantro and place in bowl.  Once corn is cooked and cooled, cut corn off of the ear and add to bowl. Add lime juice and salt. Toss mixture.

Plate a chicken thigh and scoop of potato, onion, tomatillo. Add sauce reduction (optional). Top with fresh corn salsa.

Pollo Pulquero with Corn Salsa

The great thing about this recipe is that it’s flexible. If you only have sweet potatoes and chicken legs, you can still give this a try and it’d come out great! There is no easy way to fail at this. If you’re looking for more easy, delicious, flexible Mexican recipes, I encourage you to get some of Rick Bayless’s books and start testing things out.

Gnash On! 🙂