Archive for the ‘Lunches’ Category

White Chicken Chili

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

I love me some chili. Would eat it most every day, winter or summer, white or red, I don’t care. Love it. But my most favorite, I think, is white chili. It could have something to do with the secret love affair I’m having with pepper jack cheese. Or the one I’m having with cannellini beans. I really get around.

Anyway, this one is relatively easy since I start with a cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. If you’re extra ambitious, you could certainly cook your own chicken. I prefer to take short cuts and then go watch Forensic Files or type up blog posts, or whatever.

Onward!

What to gather: Rotisserie chicken (it’s there! it’s in the back!), olive oil, onion, jalapeño, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, cannellini beans, chicken broth, cilantro, pepper jack cheese, sour cream (ok that’s not there, but it’s coming later).

The first step is to shred the chicken. You can use a couple forks and pull it off and shred it that way. Or you can go all inner savage beast on it and pull it off and then apart with your hands. I won’t tell you which one I did, but it wasn’t the fork one.

Now we cut up our vegetables. Lets start with the jalapeño. Incidentally, if you’re feeling risky, you could certainly use more than 1 jalapeño. I, however, am a big wimp, and one is quite enough for me.

Start by slicing it in half down the middle and removing the white (that’s the extra hot part, so if you want it, you can leave it!) and the seeds.

Then chop ‘er up. I like to cut them pretty small, lest I get a big bite of pepper and literally die. Like I said, I’m a big wimp.

If you weren’t wearing gloves when you chopped the jalapeño, go right now and wash your hands 2 dozen times. Then promise me you won’t touch your eye for at least 9 days.

Next, the garlic. I know I say in the recipe to use 4 cloves, but these were wimpy and I love garlic, so I used 5. Sue me. And the onions. I don’t get too hung up on the onions being diced perfectly uniform or anything, it’s chili, it’s supposed to be chunky and funky. Just like me, I think.

Now we’re ready to put it all together! Easy so far, RIGHT? You might want to wash your hands again, they smell like garlic. Unless you’re into that sort of thing.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the onions, peppers and garlic.

Cook until the onions are translucent, stirring frequently. Don’t burn it! We’ve come so far! Mine aren’t QUITE there in this picture, but it’s dark by my stove and I wasn’t having a good time trying to take these photos, so pretend they are. I appreciate it.

Add the chicken to the skillet.

Once you have all that incorporated, add the spices. If you are trying to hold a reflector while standing on a chair and taking a picture while you measure and add the spices, there’s a chance your stuff will start to get a little brown on the bottom. If not, don’t worry! Add the salt, pepper, cumin and oregano.

Stir that around until it’s combined, and then transfer it to your slow cooker (or you can do it on the stove, either way works).

Open your beans, and drain and rinse them. Sometimes I include the… er… juice? But not this time. Get them nice and rinsed! Yay for rinsed beans!

Now take a small amount of the beans, maybe a cup or so (measure, schmeasure), and mash them in a small bowl. You can use a masher, a food processor, blender, whatever. But, I’m all about what dishes I don’t want to do, so I use a fork. Forks are so under appreciated.

There, all mashy. The word invention never ends here on How 2 Stay Fat.

Now add a bit of the chicken broth to the mashed beans, just to make them a bit easier to incorporate. Again, no need to measure here. We’re not building a rocket, after all! /corny jokes off

Start adding everything to the slow cooker (or pot, I haven’t forgotten about you stove top people!). First, the chicken broth.

Then the beans.

Finally, the mashed beans.

Or whatever order you want. I’m not the boss of you.

Stir to combine. Get excited.

…and then cook on low for 2-3 hours (or 30-60 min on the stove). It doesn’t take long, since you really aren’t cooking it (the reasons for using that rotisserie chicken just never end!), just heating it and getting all the flavors to meld together.

If you get bored while you’re waiting, you can clean your kitchen. Or start getting your toppings ready.

Chop some cilantro. Or parsley, if cilantro is not your thing. Cilantro is my thing, so that’s what I went with. Shred some pepper jack cheese, or just regular jack, or even cheddar, I won’t tell!

Sit at the table and bang your spoon on the table for 20 minutes until you remember that you’re the only one home and go check your email and harvest your Farmville crops or whatever it is you do while you’re home alone.

Ahh, finally….

White Chicken Chili

2 cups shredded cooked rotisserie chicken
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 cups chicken broth
3 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onions, garlic and jalapeno, cook until onions are translucent. Add cooked chicken, sprinkle with cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir to combine, transfer to slow cooker.

In a small bowl, mash a small amount of the beans with a small amount of the broth. Add to the slow cooker.

Add remaining beans and broth to the slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 2 hours. Stir before serving.

Top with shredded pepper jack cheese, sour cream, and cilantro.

KISS: Grilled Pastrami Sandwich – AKA: YUM!

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Introducing my favorite category here, right after anything that involves sweets or baking: Keep it Simple Saturday! (And I’m posting this on a Friday. My organizational skills are top notch. OR! Perhaps I’m posting it on Friday so that you can gather your ingredients in time to make it on Saturday. Yeah! Lets run with that!) This category will be full of things you can throw together in a hurry without having to resort to canned chili. (Which I had for dinner last night, so I suppose I’m not above that, either!) Anyway, on with the show!

I wanted to call this a panini, but I wasn’t sure exactly what it means to BE a panini and I didn’t want the Panini police to show up and take me to panini prison or anything. Besides that, panini is italian and I’m sure they wouldn’t approve of their name being on this sandwich. I actually think panini is the plural form of panino or something, but lets not get sidetracked here. Lets make a sandwich.

I got this handy Cuisinart Griddler for Christmas. Which is to say, I had it on my Christmas list and then saw it at Costco for much cheaper and bought it and left it in the car until Christmas. If you don’t have one, do not fret! You can fry this baby up in a pan just like any other grilled sandwich, and it will still rock your world.

Lets begin.

What to gather: Italian bread (you could use rye, but my husband doesn’t like rye so I don’t buy it because I can’t shouldn’t eat an entire loaf of it), butter (note to self: buy more butter), pastrami, pepper jack cheese (look! it’s low fat! I’m very health conscious today.), sauerkraut, pickles, mustard.

The first thing I did was to put the sauerkraut I was going to use into the microwave for a minute just to warm it up, since it had been in the fridge. I’ve made these without doing that, and didn’t notice it being cold, but I’m paranoid and stuff.

Preheat your pan/grill/griddle/panini press and get ready for the fun.

First, butter both slices of bread. On the outside. You could certainly use the margarine in a tub, I won’t judge you.

Lay one slice onto the preheated surface, butter side down. And get ready to move fast, you don’t want it to brown before you get the top on. That is, if you’re using a device that cooks both sides at the same time. I guess if you’re going to flip it, it doesn’t matter. But anyway, butter side down.

Pile on the pastrami. Or corned beef would be good, too.

Now the sauerkraut. I can’t be bothered with little bits that don’t make it. We’re on a mission here. A mission called Delicious.

Add some pickles. These are the handy sandwich slices that I got in the deli case because I like some crunch to my pickles. You can use whatever pickles you like.

Slather on some mustard. Just the plain ole yellow stuff. My husband puts his mustard on after, so that it doesn’t get warm, but I can’t be bothered with that, either. I just slap it on there all at once and then eat.

Now add my sweet sweet love… pepperjack cheese. You can even add 2 slices if you’re feeling lucky.

Now the other slice of bread, butter side UP.

Let the magic happen. Peek inside if you are using a griddler. If you’re using a griddler on your kitchen table to be closer to the light, like I am here, this might require you to actually climb on the table to get this angle. Just sayin’.

Eventually, this will happen:

Oh, mercy.

Baked chips. Again, very health conscious around here.

Grilled Pastrami Sandwich

2 slices italian bread
butter
pastrami
pepperjack cheese
pickles
mustard
sauerkraut

Butter both sides of bread, and place one slice in preheated pan, butter side down. Layer with pastrami, sauerkraut, pickles, mustard and pepper jack cheese. Top with other slice of bread, this time butter side up. Cook until both sides are golden brown.

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