Chipotle Chicken Soup

Chipotle Chicken Soup
The first snow of the season fell in Chicago last weekend. I felt giddy as I watched the flakes under a blanket from the comfort of my sofa with a mug of soup in hand. The view from our front window was beautiful, but when I had to get suited up in winter gear and attempt the same for a toddler, that excitement melted away.

I am already over the production it is to go outside during these cold temperatures, but I can’t get enough warmth in the form of food like this chipotle chicken soup. It was spicy and everything I needed to for this first taste of winter weather. Black beans and rice made it a hearty, stick to your ribs kind of bowl of soup.
Chipotle Chicken Soup
Chipotle Chicken Soup
Adapted from Flour, Too by Joanne Chang

Serves 6 to 8

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
1 canned chipotle chile, seeded and minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1-28 ounce can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
2 quarts water
2-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
2-15 ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lime

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes until they start to soften. Stir in the carrots and garlic and continue cooking for an additional 3 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the chicken breasts, chipotle chile and cumin. Brown the chicken turning once, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer on medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Remove the chicken, set aside and simmer for another 50 minutes.

Stir in the rice and continue simmering for 15 minutes.

When the chicken has cooled slightly, use a fork to shred the meat from the bones. Discard the skin. Add the chicken, black beans, zucchini and oregano and simmer for 10 minutes until the rice is cooked and the zucchini is tender.

While simmering, if the soup seems too thick, add up to 1 cup of water. Before serving, add the cilantro and the lime juice.

Store the soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer up to 1 month.

Malted Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Treats

Malted Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Treats
Why is it that whenever there is a potluck, people always volunteer first to bring dessert? I was part of that group last weekend, but my excuse was good. I wanted to work on a few baking recipes for the blog, and I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to share goodies with friends rather than ending up with a pie, cake or another large confection that our family of 2 adults and 1 tot would never be able to finish  ourselves.

A sheet pan had been in the oven for less than a minute when I realized I forgot baking soda and baking powder. Even though I knew better, I tried to mix them into the batter. No surprise, it didn’t work. That left me hunting in my pantry to come up with a no-bake dessert. With a bag of marshmallows and a box of cereal, I made malted peanut butter rice krispies treats finished with a generous drizzle of bittersweet chocolate.
Malted Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Treats
Malted Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Treats
Adapted from The Kitchn

Makes 16 squares

Non-stick cooking spray
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 package (10 ounces) mini marshmallows
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup malted milk powder
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
5-1/2 cups puffed rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)
1/4 cup peanuts
1-1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped

Grease a 13-inch by 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Add the marshmallows stirring until melted, about 3 minutes.

Quickly whisk in the malted milk powder and salt. Then stir in the peanut butter.

Take the saucepan off the heat, Using a wooden spoon, fold the cereal and peanuts into the marshmallow-peanut butter mixture. Transfer to the prepared baking pan. Use buttered hands or wax paper to press into an even layer.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate in 30-second blasts stirring to distribute the heat. Drizzle the chocolate on top.

Once the chocolate has hardened and the bars have cooled, cut into 16 squares.

Beet Kalettes Salad

 Beet Kalettes Salad
I usually do my meal planning and grocery list at the end of the workweek, so I can gear up for weekend cooking. My routine has been a bit thrown off since my fall CSA started. Beyond the fact that I am overwhelmed with the number of veggies in my box every Wednesday, there are always things that I have heard of but never cooked or even produce that is totally new to me.

The other week I had a bag of kalettes, a cross between brussels sprouts and kale. I didn’t know they existed, which is why I love the challenge of a CSA subscription. First I roasted a handful of them, but then I turned off the oven. I made a beet kalettes salad with goat cheese and toasted walnuts. Satsumas added a bright citrusy flavor to the hearty yet sweet kalettes.
Beet Kalettes Salad
Beet Kalettes Salad
Serves 2-4

For roasted beets
2 medium beets
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For salad
1 garlic clove, minced
2-1/2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
5 ounces kalettes, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise, if large
1 satsuma, peeled and separated into segments
1/2 small red onion, sliced thinly
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup toasted walnuts

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Wash the beets and place them on individual sheets of aluminum foil. Drizzle the beets with 1 teaspoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Fold into loose packets and transfer to a sheet pan. Roast the beets for 50-60 minutes until they are easily pierced with a knife. Once the beets have cooled, use a paper towel to rub off the skin and slice into wedges.

For the vinaigrette, combine the garlic, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.

Toss the kalettes, with the vinaigrette and let sit for 1 hour at room temperature. Add the beets, satsumas and red onions. Sprinkle with goat cheese and walnuts before serving.

Slow Cooker Applesauce

Slow Cooker Applesauce
It’s week 2 of my fall CSA subscription, and I am a combination of overwhelmed and stressed-out. I debated whether to do a weekly fruit and veg box especially because I shared the last one with a friend, and I was concerned about the quantity. Going solo I have a surplus of hearty mustard greens, squash and potatoes, and I am struggling to keep up.

Soup is my go-to to use lots of veggies in one recipe. With a sack of apples, I used the same strategy and made spiced slow cooker applesauce. I ignored the different varieties by peeling, coring and chopping them all before throwing everything into the crock-pot. Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves gave the applesauce a very autumnal, chai-like flavor.
Slow Cooker Applesauce
Spiced Slow-Cooker Applesauce

Makes about 4 cups

3 pounds apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
2 cinnamon sticks
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Juice of half a lemon
1/2 cup water

Place all the ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on high heat for 4 to 5 hours. Use a potato masher to break up the apples for a chunky consistency. If you want smooth applesauce, transfer the mixture to a blender to puree in batches.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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