Posts Tagged 'cumin'

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup copy

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken tortilla soup is the Southwestern cousin of mom’s chicken noodle soup, just with a little more kick and a crunchy topping. And, like it’s relative, it warms the soul and makes you feel good all over.

This quick, no-fuss soup has loads of flavor and uses ingredients that are typically on hand. The soup doesn’t take long to make. In fact, it can be on your table in less than 30 minutes. It’s also an ideal way to transform leftover chicken into a tasty and satisfying dish.  It has become a favorite in my house since my good friend Melissa Petersen of Edible Memphis shared this recipe with me.

Much healthier than it tastes, this broth based soup is loaded with tomatoes, lean chicken, and heart healthy avocado. The cumin and oregano add a richness and depth to the dish without any fat. If you want a little extra kick, add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce.

I like to top mine with a few homemade corn tortilla strips, which are surprisingly easy to make. Just cut corn tortillas into thin strips and fry for about 1 minute in a skillet with vegetable oil. If short on time, use crushed tortilla chips instead. Baked tortilla chips would be a heart-healthy alternative.

Serve with a side salad or a slice of cornbread and you have a satisfying meal.

Enjoy!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Vegetable oil, for frying the tortillas
4 small (4-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch strips
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion (1 small onion)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 can (28-oz.) diced tomatoes with juice
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and cut in 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

To prepare the tortilla strips, pour enough oil into a large stockpot so that you have a quarter-inch layer of oil. Warm the oil on medium-high heat until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pot. In batches, fry the tortilla strips until golden brown on both sides, about 30 seconds to 1 minute per side. Use metal tongs or a slotted spoon to lift the tortilla strips out of the pan, draining the excess oil as you do so. (The tortilla strips should be fairly stiff and crisp. If not, the oil is not hot enough.) Transfer the tortilla strips to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb the excess oil. Lightly season with salt and pepper while they are still warm.

In another large stockpot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pot. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, and shredded chicken. Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the flavors have melded, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the fried tortilla strips, cheese, avocado, and fresh cilantro. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Do-Ahead: The soup can be made the night before or frozen in advance. Just be sure to add the garnishes (tortilla strips, cheese, and avocado) just before serving.

Freezes well.

 

Recipe from Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler

Story excerpted from Jennifer Chandler’s bi-weeky Commercial Appeal newspaper column Dinner Tonight.

Photo and Food Styling by Jennifer Chandler.

 

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Dried Cranberries & Pine Nuts

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Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Dried Cranberries & Pine Nuts

Oh my!  You are gonna love this sweet potato salad. Colorful, tasty, and filling.

I created it from memory based on a dish my friend Lucia had made a couple of years ago as a side.  I served it over a bed over lettuce to give it a little more dimension.  For variations, I think you could sub chopped pecans for the pine nuts or scallions for the red onions.  To add more protein, I think drained black beans would be a tasty addition too!

Enjoy!

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Dried Cranberries & Pine Nuts

2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 or 4 medium), peeled and cut into small 3/4-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
Juice of one lime
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the potatoes with the olive oil and cumin. Season with salt and pepper to taste. On a baking sheet, even spread the potatoes in a single layer. Bake until the potatoes are cooked but still firm, about 30 to 35 minutes. Refrigerate to cool.

Place the cooled sweet potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Add the red onion, cranberries, and pine nuts and toss to combine. Add the lime juice and fresh cilantro and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over a bed of lettuce as a main or as a side salad.

Serves 4.

Cooking Tip: I like to line my baking sheets with parchment paper. The paper liner prevents sticking and helps make clean-up easier.

Variation: Chopped pecans would be a tasty substitute for the pine nuts.

Vegetarian & Vegan

Black Bean Burgers

Black Bean Burger _7698

Black Bean Burgers

Forget the veggie burgers in the frozen food section of your supermarket! Homemade black beans burgers are so much tastier and better for you.

I featured this Black Bean Burger in my cookbook Simply Grilling.  It originated in the kitchen of  Nevada Presley (my dear friend and chef/owner of Get Fresh Memphis).  I so appreciate her always sharing flavorful vegetarian dishes with me.

This version is made with black beans and oats. A dash of cumin gives it a southwest spin.  Sometimes I serve it as a burger and others I serve it bun-less and topped with a spoonful of guacamole.

When making this recipe, do not be tempted to skip the step of draining the pureed vegetables. That extra moisture makes the black bean burgers too sticky to be grilled.

Also, the black bean burgers are refrigerated for an hour before cooking to help them keep their shape. To get ahead of the game, the burgers can be assembled as long as 24 hours in advance. Just be sure to cover and refrigerate until ready to grill.

Lastly, Nevada added the egg to help the burger stay together better. But for a vegan version, just omit the egg and add a tablespoon of veganaise.

Black Bean Burgers

1 can (15-ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup finely diced green bell pepper (about 1/2 green pepper)
1/4 cup finely diced yellow onion (about 1/2 small onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 cup rolled oats
Vegetable oil, for the grates
4 hamburger buns, split
2 ripe avocados, pits removed and sliced

In a medium bowl mash the black beans with a fork until thick and pasty.

Place the green bell pepper, onion, and garlic in food processor and process until pureed. Place the mixture into a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and press to strain the liquid. Add to the beans and stir to combine.

In a small bowl stir together the egg, chili powder, cumin, and hot sauce. Add the egg mixture and the oats to the beans and stir until the mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide into four patties, each about 3/4-inch thick. Cover, place in the refrigerator, and chill for at least an hour and as long as overnight.

Preheat a clean grill to medium high for 8 to 10 minutes with the lid closed. Lightly brush the grates with oil.

Place the burgers on the grill. Close the lid and cook, turning once, until golden brown and warmed through, about 5 to 6 minutes on each side. About 1 minute before the burgers are done, place the buns, cut-side down, on the grill and cook until lightly toasted.

To serve, place each burger inside a bun and garnish with avocado slices. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Grill Pan: These burgers can easily be made indoors on a grill pan.

Photo by the talented Justin Fox Burks.

Southwest Pinto Bean Burgers with Chipotle Mayonnaise

SW Pinto burger

Southwest Pinto Bean Burgers with Chipotle Mayonnaise

When I was doing my 30-day vegetarian challenge back last Fall, my friend Ellen shared a bunch of her favorite recipes.

While one of Ellen’s daughters has been vegetarian for several years, the rest of her family still eats meat.  She explained that it can be hard preparing meals that everyone at her table will eat.  Since I was in the same situation trying to feed my non-vegetarian family too, she kindly shared several dishes that consistently pleased everyone at her table.

This bean burger was a huge hit when I made it.  No one complained … and in fact, everyone asked for seconds! The chipotle mayonnaise really makes the burger stand out.

Most of the ingredients I already had in my pantry.  The only thing I needed to pick up was the cilantro and canned chipotle peppers.  You might be just as lucky.

A helpful hint (or two!) when cooking these burgers. They tend to be a little moist, so be sure to take the time to let them refrigerate for 10 minutes before cooking.  This little step really helps them stay together better. I also recommend using a non-stick skillet to cook them in for easy flipping.

Enjoy!

Southwest Pinto Bean Burgers with Chipotle Mayonnaise

Recipe from Cooking Light Magazine. Click here for the original recipe.

For the burger:
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño pepper
2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained
1 (8 3/4-ounce) can no salt-added whole-kernel corn, drained

For the Chipotle Mayonnaise:
1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 teaspoon canned minced chipotle chile in adobo sauce

Remaining ingredients:
1 tablespoon canola oil
4 (1 1/2-ounce) whole wheat hamburger buns, toasted
4 romaine lettuce leaves

To prepare burgers, combine the first 10 ingredients in a large bowl. Add pinto beans and corn; partially mash with a fork. Divide bean mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each portion into a 3 1/2-inch patty, and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

To prepare chipotle mayonnaise, combine mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon chipotle in a small bowl; set aside.

Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties to pan, and cook 4 minutes on each side or until thoroughly heated. Place patties on bottom halves of buns; top each patty with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, 1 lettuce leaf, and top half of bun.

Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

Now that the weather has gotten cooler, I am starting to make hearty soups for supper.

Fuel Café in Memphis has had a vegetarian chili that I have loved for years.  Now that I am going meatless one day a week, I figured it was time to experiment in the kitchen and try to replicate this favorite.

Fuel adds quinoa to a traditional vegetarian bean quinoa … so I did the same.  The quinoa resembles the texture of ground beef in the dish … something that is good if your family is used to having meat in their chili.  And … the combo of the quinoa with the beans makes this dish a complete protein. Something that is an added nutritional bonus.

For ease, I used canned beans and tomatoes in my version.  I opted to use fire-roasted tomatoes instead of the regular variety because I like the added flavor they give a dish.  That said, regular diced tomatoes will work just as well.

Garnish your chili as you like … with a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheese, sliced jalapenos, or fresh cilantro.  We enjoyed ours with cornbread.  Next time, I’m making it with my Broccoli Corn Bread (click for the recipe) … I think it will be the perfect combo!

My recipe didn’t turn out exactly like Fuel Café’s … but I did come up with a chili that my whole family loved and that I will definitely be making often. It’s fun to take an idea from a dish you have had out or at a friend’s house and invent your own original!

Enjoy!

Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh jalapeño
1/2 green bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
2 cans (15-ounce) black beans, drained & rinsed
1 can (15-ounce) red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 can (28-ounce) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed and cooked per package directions
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, warm the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pot. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno, green bell pepper, and red bell pepper, and cook, stirring, until the onions are soft, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the black beans, kidney beans, diced tomatoes, and water. Stir in the cooked quinoa. Season with the chili powder, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 30 to 35 minutes. Adjust seasonings as needed.

Serve hot. Garnish as desired.

Serves 6.

Cooking Tip: For a stronger chili flavor, you can add another tablespoon of chili powder.

Freezes well.

White Bean Chicken Chili

With most of the country in a deep freeze, we all need something warm and satisfying when we sit down to the dinner table.  This easy-to-make Chili fits that tall order.

This hearty soup was a favorite at my restaurant Cheffie’s Market and More.  We sold out of it every time we put it on the menu.

Most people think that dishes served at a restaurant are too complicated to make it home.  Well, the truth be told, many dishes are easier than you think.  And this one is no exception.  Other than chopping up the onion and poblano pepper…the only other prep-work involves opening a few cans and shredding that rotisserie chicken the grocery so nicely cooked for you.

You can serve this tasty chili on its own or garnish it with your favorite Tex-Mex toppings. I like to add sour cream, cilantro, and diced jalapenos. For a little more kick, add a few dashes of hot sauce.  For a vegetarian chili, just omit the chicken and substitute vegetable stock.

Stay warm! Enjoy!

White Bean Chicken Chili

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup small-diced yellow onion (1 small onion)
1/3 cup seeded and small-diced poblano pepper (1/2 pepper)
1 can (4.5-ounce) diced green chilies
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
4 cans (15-ounce) cannellini beans (do not drain or rinse)
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 cups chicken stock
Sour cream, sliced jalapenos and fresh cilantro, optional garnishes

In a large stockpot over medium–high heat, warm the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle in the pot. Add the onion and poblano pepper and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the green chilies and sauté for 1 minute more. Stir in the chicken and the beans. Season with the thyme, cumin, salt, and pepper.

Cover the mixture with the chicken stock, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes. (Stir frequently to keep the solids from burning on the bottom.) Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve hot, garnished with a dollop of sour cream, diced jalapenos, and fresh cilantro if desired.

Serves 6.

Cooking Tip: A flavorful staple of Mexican cuisine, poblano peppers are chile peppers that are spicy but not extremely fiery. They look similar to bell peppers in shape but they are much darker green. Most markets now carry fresh poblanos but if you cannot find them at your neighborhood store, just substitute bell peppers if you prefer a milder chili or jalapenos if your prefer more heat.

Freezes well.

Chili Con Carne

The cowboys of the Old West knew just what they were doing when they concocted chili. Nothing satisfies on a chilly winter night like this spicy one-dish meal.

I am what you may consider a chili “purist”… a simple yet spicy Chili Con Carne being my favorite.  The heat in my recipe comes from chili powder.  But I also add cumin and oregano to give the flavor more depth. 

I don’t normally add beans to mine, but if you like beans in your chili, no problem. Just add a drained can (15-ounce) of red kidney beans. 

This simple, old West dish is also an ideal dinner party option.  Chili is easy to make (the cowboys did it over a simple campfire), can be made ahead of time, and even freezes well.

Set out colorful bowls, encourage guests to serve themselves straight from the pot and then garnish their chili with their favorite toppings from your “chili bar.”  Sour cream, fresh cilantro, jalapenos, minced onion, shredded cheese, diced mild green chilies, and hot sauce all make great garnishes to any bowl of chili.  Plus your guests will have a ball concocting their own signature dish.

Enjoy!

Chili Con Carne

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup small-diced yellow onion (1 small onion)
1/2 cup seeded and small-diced green bell pepper (1 pepper)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 dash paprika
1 bay leaf
1 can (15-ounce) whole tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups water

In a large stockpot over medium–high heat, warm the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle in the pot. Add the meat and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, green bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, salt, cumin, oregano, cayenne, paprika, and bay leaf and cook, stirring, until vegetables are softened, about 4 minutes.

Add the whole tomatoes to the pot, breaking them up with a spoon or fork. Add the tomato paste, sugar, and water to the pot. Stir well and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the chili from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve hot.

Serves 6.


Jennifer Chandler

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