Tag Archives: dinner

Adobo Chicken Tacos


All tacos all the time!

I think ours would be happy household if we made this every day. The words, “I don’t think I feel like tacos tonight” have never been uttered under our roof. That is partially due to these awesome Adobo Chicken Tacos.

Veggie tacos used to be our jam. Step 1. Go to the latin grocery store around the corner. Step 2. Buy lots of jalapenos and other veggies for nearly zero dollars. Step 3. Cook with spices and insert in tortilla. Step 4. Enjoy. It was a nearly perfect process. Cheap and easy, fast and delicious. But that process was ruined – RUINED – when we received the  June 2012 Bon Appetit.

The June 2012 Bon Appetit is a very special Bon Appetit. It is the one with the salmon on the cover, but inside the is a huge TACO SECTION. There are pork tacos, beef tacos, chicken tacos, poblano tacos (which will require their own post at a later date) and SHRIMP TACOS!

(If you know me at all, you know that this is all highly suspect. I don’t eat anything that ever lived in the sea… so a Salmon Bon Appetit and Shrimp taco recipe should be an immediate turn off.)

So these Shrimp Tacos were cooked in an Adobo sauce. Obviously, the shrimp had to go, but the sauce looked so fantastic, we had to try it.

Long story short, (too late!) this sauce is awesome. And you should use it on your shrimp tacos, chicken tacos, sparingly on your veggie tacos, or on other non-taco-centric food-related ventures.


The whole process starts with Ancho chiles. I took a special picture of these chiles because sometimes it is hard to identify dried chiles once you’re at the market. Obviously, these are easier to find at your local Latin grocery store. If you don’t have one, you can still check at your regular grocery store, but you’ll probably have better luck at grocery stores with more elaborate “ethnic” sections.

If you have a bunch of dried chiles that aren’t Ancho chiles, or only a few Anchos and a bunch of other chiles, GO FOR IT! It’s fun to see what happens when you mix them. It might turn out very spicy though, so be careful!

Many chile sauces start with this same process, so once you have it down, you can experiment with just about everything. Go crazy! Use chicken stock instead of water! Add some spices! It will probably turn out very yummy.


This also requires a blender and/or food processor. If you don’t have one of these, GET ONE. It’s an awesome investment and your taste buds will thank you. Mmmmm just looking at this awful photo makes me want tacos.


This is just a picture of the shishito peppers I got at the farmer’s market. (Did I mention lately how much I love our CSA??) If you’ve never had them, you should try them. I just put them in here because I was snacking on them while making these tacos. All you have to do is char them and salt them and you have a really yummy snack!

Happy Taco Time!

Adobo Sauce
(adapted from Bon Appetit’s Shrimp in Adobo Sauce from June 2012.)

  • 6 dried ancho chiles, stemmed
  • 4 garlic cloves (peeled and smashed)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

1. Toast the dried chiles in a hot skillet until fragrant and slightly softened, about 1 minute.

For a spicier version: remove the stems but reserve the seeds. Cut the chiles into strips with a scissor
For a less spicy version: remove the stems and seeds. Cut the chiles into strips with a scissor
2. Put the strips of chiles into a bowl and pour 1 cup of hot water over. Let them steep in the hot water (turning and stirring if necessary to get everything wet) for 10 minutes. [The original recipe suggested 1/2 cup water. This makes the sauce more paste-y. This is fine, but if you’ll be cooking it in a skillet, much of the water will eventually evaporate anyways. You can also substitute chicken broth for the water, if desired.]
3. Add chiles, water, garlic, vinegar, salt, oregano, cumin and sugar (along with reserved seeds, if using) to the bowl of a blender or food processor. Process into a thick paste/sauce.
The best way to cook taco chicken in the adobo sauce is to cut the chicken into cubes, marinate the raw chicken in the sauce for half an hour, and then cook it up in a skillet until the chicken is fully cooked. You can use a simliar method for shrimp or other meats. This sauce is powerful, so use sparingly with veggie tacos.
Taco Toppings!
Our favorite taco toppings are:
– Queso Quesadilla
– Sour Cream
– Pickled Red onions (see quick recipe here) or diced raw onions
– Lettuce or whatever greens are in the fridge
– Cilantro
And here’s one more picture of that awesome taco!
p.s. Have you seen this recipe on Spoon Fork Bacon (aka my favorite guilty pleasure food blog and thus my favorite food blog)!?

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Acorn Squash (aka Happy Fall!)


Miles & Mingus (Sorry it’s blurry… the car ride was bumpy!)


It’s that time of year again. Time to take the kittens in to the vet, (obligatory cat picture… check!) time to bust out the boots, time to get ready for fall cooking!

It’s been a busy summer around here and it’s finally drawing to a close. I can’t say I’m unhappy to be able to wear sweaters again, though I’m really celebrating too soon. I think we are expected to jump back into the 80s next week.

What REALLY made it seem like fall was getting a beautiful little acorn squash in our CSA this past weekend. Neither Bill nor I are very fond of squash. We have never cooked it at home and rarely order things with squash components at restaurants so this was really going to be a new challenge. Being the adventurous cooks we are, we decided to tackle this little guy first, and leave the peppers, greens, eggplants, and other CSA goodies we’re more familiar with for later in the week.

Side note: our CSA this year has been INCREDIBLE! There has been such an abundance of great and varied veggies (and some fruits–even though we’re only signed up for the veggie share.) If you’re in the Chicago area, we really recommend Montalbano Farms. Next year I think we’ll sign up for Spring through Fall, instead of just summer. I won’t say it’s the cheapest CSA on the books, but I think you get a lot for what you put into it.

Back to the squash. We decided to start with something familiar — pizza. But we also wanted the squash to be the star.

Karla et all… meet the Squah Pizza 2000…


Cheese, squash, carmelized onions, pine nuts and a little balsamic reduction. We also put arugula on top, but you can see the pizza better without it in the picture. It really was a glorious pizza. But, it wouldn’t have been quite so amazing if we hadn’t used Smitten Kitchen’s awesome roasted acorn squash recipe.  I think that this way of preparing squash would be a great first step for adding bits of it to pizza or pasta, and it’s also pretty great just by itself. Now, this is a big deal because remember, we don’t eat squash!

Roasted Acorn Squash
from Smitten Kitchen’s “Roasted Acorn Squash and Gorgonzola Pizza

1 (1- pound) acorn squash
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (we used 1/2 tsp. and it had plenty of kick)
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus 1/4 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/4 teaspoon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Slice the squash in half from top to bottom. Scoop out the seeds. Slice the squash into 1/2 to 3/4-inch wide half moons and place in a medium bowl. Toss the squash with the syrup, olive oil, red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place the squash on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake the squash until tender and golden, about 20 to 25 minutes.


Oh! And also, don’t forget to pair this with your favorite pumpkin ale for the real taste of fall!

A few other things from around the web:

Oh my god have you seen this post on “How Sweet It Is?”

We also made mashed potato waffles this weekend. Slam Dunk! (Also the funniest recipe I’ve read in a while)



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Anything Goes Indian Stir-fry


Tonight I got home at 9pm, after a long day of checking off all my “t0-do’s” like laundry, grocery shopping, running to target, etc. I even snuck in some time to visit a nearby lake (see pic) to get a nice walk in and watch the sunset. No, this is not my evening routine– I just felt like being alone with the outdoors. Anyway, when I got home I was so hungry, but i really wanted a nice hearty meal so I made this delicious stir-fry with some new spices I got (after reading about their nutritional benefits). There’s nothing more satisfying and comforting than asian food, and Indian is high on that list. I followed it up with some mango sorbet dusted with cinnamon, and chamomile tea. Bliss! And I’m ready for bed.. after a quick blog of course. : )


It’s really important not to follow the recipe too closely here. After all, who has time to go out shopping during the weekday for special ingredients? And even if you do, it’s always so much more satisfying making dinner with what you already have, and using up what won’t be good much longer. The key is to combine at least a few different vegetables, some protein, starch, and tons of delicious and healthy spices/herbs. Whatever you got. To add moistness to this dish, I like to add coconut milk, something I always have on hand. But you can also use cream, clarified butter (ghee), or add a touch more oil to make a nice sauce to accompany the rice (quinoa, barley, potatoes, bread, whatever!).



Weeknight Indian Stir-fry

*I didn’t put measurements here since you may want to make just one or two portions, or enough for lunch (to take to work) the next day

Sweet potato, broccoli, carrots (red peppers and eggplant would be good in this also, remember anything goes)

Chicken (tofu, edamame or shrimp would taste great)

Brown or white rice (quinoa, potatoes, soft bread, or any other grain works too)


Sesame seeds

Sesame oil

Spices: Curry powder (cumin, tumeric, corriander, saffron), paprika, cayenne, dried basil

Coconut milk (remember cream, ghee, or add more oil)

Garnishes: fresh herbs, siracha, soy sauce, chopped green onion

Just boil, blanch, or steam vegetables to desired consistency and cook meat (I simmer it in water or chicken stock, turning occasionally) until just barely cooked through. Prepare rice or grain (I use packs of instant brown rice to it is ready on the stovetop in less than 10 minutes). Add oil to fry pan and add vegetables, protein, and nuts. Add sesame seeds and spices and stir until well incorporated and until nuts are starting to brown. Add coconut milk to give it a nice sauce and let simmer, stirring occasionally for  few minutes on med/low heat to let juices absorb and flavors come together. Plate on top of a bed of rice and add green onions and herbs. Serve with siracha and soy sauce–which will give it a nice kick and add the perfect saltiness). And that was all in less than 30 minutes! Enjoy!!


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Beet Dumplings

Hi K,

I hope you enjoyed my version of Chiles Rellenos. Here’s a recipe I know we’ve both been eying for a while.

Beet dumplings! It’s basically just a recipe for beet dough which you can boil like pasta. They end up tasting like vaguely-beet flavored pierogis. I think you can basically stuff them with anything you want, and I am greatly intrigued by an idea I had last night to make spaetzle out of the dough. Wouldn’t that be beautiful!?

Of course, the main plus of putting beets in your dough is… it’s BRIGHT red. I don’t think you can accurately see in the photos how bright red it is. It’s really awesome.

It’s also…. drumroll… a really cheap (if mildly time consuming) dinner option! I don’t know about you, but where I am, beets are super super cheap and I bet I could make somewhere around 50-60 dumplings out of the two-beet dough I made. Score!

Beet Dumplings
from Pure Vegetarian by Lakshmi

1 3/5 cup flour*
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Beetroot paste (from 2-3 small beets)*
Water if needed

  1. Wash and scrub the beets (without peeling them)
  2. Splash with olive oil
  3. Roast in the oven (200 C / 400 F) until the skins are wrinkled and the beetroots are soft when pricked with a knife – it takes about an hour, depending on the size
  4. Remove from the oven
  5. Cool, peel and place in a blender with enough water to make a silky, smooth paste
  6. Combine the flour and salt
  7. Add the olive oil to the beetroot paste
  8. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the paste gradually while mixing it with the flour (by hand)
  9. Use all the paste
  10. If the dough is not coming together, add a little bit water
  11. The flour should form a ball that is soft but not sticky
  12. If it is sticky add a little bit flour
  13. Knead it well for about 5 minutes
  14. The dough should be seamless, firm but soft (if you press it with a finger, it should bounce back)
  15. Wrap in a plastic or damp cloth
  16. Let the dough rest at least 30 minutes
  17. Take a part of the dough and roll it out as thinly as possible
  18. Cut out circles with a cookie cutter
  19. Place a little bit of filling* in the centre of each circle
  20. Brush the edges of the circles with water (one side is enough)
  21. Take the circles in your hand one by one and seal them tightly with another hand
  22. Keep them separately on a floured surface
  23. You may trim any excess dough around the sealed edges
  24. Boil plenty of water with salt
  25. Carefully drop the dumplings into the pot (avoid overloading)
  26. They will sink at first
  27. When they pop up on the surface, they are cooked (if the dough is thin, it shouldn’t take longer than a couple of minutes)
  28. Take them out with a slotted spoon and place them on a frying pan with a mixture of hot extra virgin olive oil and butter
  29. Coat them with oil-butter and serve immediately

Notes on this preparation:

1. My computer died before I could read out what was in the filling. This ended up being fortuitous since I really liked what I put in. I used equal parts feta and cream cheese (like the recipe) and added fresh basil, cumin and tumeric (since I remembered it being vaguely indian). It was so good!

2. Obviously, the amount of flour is dependent on how much beet paste you have. She must use tiny beets because I needed about double the amount of flour. You really need to just go for consistency. Her comments on that are also a little vague. Dough is always going to be sticky. You just need it to be not-sticky enough to roll it out without the dough completely sticking to your surface/ rolling pin.

3. I didn’t fry them after I boiled them. Still good! (Again, the computer died and I was sans charger, so I didn’t read this step.)

4. I really really really need cookie cutters. Hint hint family hint hint. I cut all of my circles out with a sharp knife. Obviously, they’re not as pretty as the ones in the original blog post.

See you soon!


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More Chiles Rellenos

Hi Karla,

So I haven’t posted in forever! But it’s because this is a crazy time. I had six people staying at our house this weekend, and everything has been nuts. I’ve had very little time for cooking, so I’ll do a little bit of a throwback post.

I saw that you made Chiles Rellenos! This is hilarious because Bill and I totally make Chiles Rellenos all the time. We use a fantastic recipe that I got from Bon Appetit a looong time ago, and I made this chili sauce from scratch with dried chilies that I smoke and then rehydrate. It’s stellar and the flavors are really complex.

Here’s a photo from the first time we made it that I found on my phone. This is from April 4, 2011!

We also made a tomato-mozzarella-caper-olive pasta salad that night. I remember that being very good too!

(I’m going to put all the recipes at the end. So, scroll down for those.)

It’s finally summer in Chicago, which means I’m sitting outside every day to eat my lunch. Right after mom visited a few weeks ago, I took the remainder of our arepas-with-corn-salsa breakfast to work with me and ate it in the park.

One real perk of working in a museum is that everything is so beautiful all the time!

Since I last posted, I also had some fun with veggie tacos, aka the easiest, cheapest meal around. Just toast a few little tortillas, add some veggies sautéed in your favorite taco seasonings, and top with lime soaked tomatoes, queso fresco, avocado and/or sour cream! Luckily at our nearby grocery store, this meal costs about $4, and you can pick everything up fresh on the way home. Bill and I definitely make these a lot. The ones in the picture are straight up portabella mushroom and onion tacos. It was what I had on hand. Yum!

I also went to Chinatown with Golosá. This time we went to a new Restaurant called Lao Yunan, which features the cuisine of the Yunan province. The food was incredible! Among the dishes below are Yunan Mushrooms (so flavorful!), a whole plate of Bitter Melon, the spiciest Ma Po Tofu you’ve ever had (it has that chili-spice in it that Dad talks about from the Szechuan province that makes your tongue numb. It’s phenomenal!) and lots of other stuff. It was really a treat. AND we got to meet the famous Tony Hu in person! If you don’t know him: check it out! (Tony is on the list of 100 most powerful Chicagoans!)

Goat Cheese and Mushroom Chiles Rellenos with Red Chili Sauce

(from Bon Appetit, June 2010)

* 8 large fresh Anaheim chiles
* 2 Tbsp butter
* 1/4 cup minced shallot
* 1 1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme
* 6 cups assorted sliced mushrooms (such as cremini and stemmed shiitake)
* 1/4 cup dry sherry
* 4 oz soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
* 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
* 8 (4×1/4×1/4) inch pieces of Monterey Jack cheese
* vegetable oil
* 3 Tbsp AP flour
* 3 Tbsp cornstarch
* 1 large egg white
* Red Chile Sauce (see recipe below)
* Sour Cream/sliced avocado/crumbled Cojito cheese (optional for on the side)

Char chiles directly over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in plastic bag and let steam for 10 minutes. Using small knife, scrape off blackened skin, taking care not to tear chiles. Carefully cut slit in each chile, from stem end to tip. Remove seeds, keeping chile intact.

Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot and thyme; saute until shallot is translucent, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute until mushrooms are browned, about 7 minutes. Add Sherry; stir until almost dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Refrigerate mixture 10 minutes. Add goat cheese and cilantro; stir to incorporate.

Place 1 piece Monterey Jack cheese lengthwise inside each chile. Divide mushroom mixture among chiles; press openings to seal. (Do ahead: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Generously brush rimmed baking sheet with oil. Whisk flour and cornstarch in shallow bowl. Brush chiles with egg white; roll in flour mixture to coat. Transfer to prepared sheet.

Bake chiles until browned and Jack cheese melts, about 8 minutes per side. Ladle 1/4 cup Red Chile Sauce onto each plate.

Chili Sauce


* 3 large dried ancho chiles
* 2 large dried New Mexico chiles
* 2 large dried Anaheim chiles
* 2 cups water
* 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
* 1 Tbsp olive oil
* 3/4 cup chopped onion
* 2 small garlic cloves, peeled, sliced
* 1 tsp dried oregano
* 1 cup chicken broth, divided
* 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
* 1 Tbsp packed, dark brown sugar

Stem and seed chiles; tear into 1-inch pieces. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add chiles to dry skillet and toast until beginning to smoke, stirring occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes. Add 2 cups water; bring to boil. Remove from heat and let stand 20 minutes to soften. Drain.

Stir cumin seeds in small skillet over medium-high heat until slightly darker and aromatic, 3 to 4 minutes. Cool. Transfer to spice mill; process until finely ground.

Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; saute until golden, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and ground cumin. Add drained chiles and 1/2 cup broth; sprinkle with salt. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Add 1/2 cup broth.

Working in batches, puree sauce in blender until smooth. Add vinegar and sugar. Season with salt and pepper. (Do ahead: Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill.)

View of Chicago from the University of Chicago’s new Logan Arts Center, where Golosá performed a few weeks ago.

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Chiles Rellenos

Hey L,

I was walking the the outdoor emporium yesterday to pick out Dennis’ birthday gift and pick up some supplies (pants, garden gloves, etc) for my internship this summer. We walked through the international district on the way back, which has some of the most amazing little shops selling everything from steamed pork dumplings and sticky almond cakes to herbal remedies and buddhist garden art. My favorite places to wander into, when I have the time, are usually the ones selling miscellaneous stuff like bamboo place mats, pots and dinnerware, and asian artifacts, because I always find cool and unusual things for truly unusual prices. I used to come down here every week for my internship at Community Alliance for Global Justice, who had a hole-in-the-wall office a couple years ago and has now upgraded to a bigger place.. so I know my way around. But anyway, back on track, I stopped in one of my favorite asian markets on the way home and bought a huge bag of fresh bok choy and tofu to make a stir fry, mangoes, some kind of greens (the ones in the picture), basil, and poblano peppers to make these chiles rellenos. And it all cost me less than six bucks! This reminds me of the great deals you get at your little Mexican market. Horayy for inexpensive, healthy produce! 

Chiles rellenos are by far my favorite Mexican entree. They melt in your mouth and have so much flavor! I’ve had many different kinds, probably because I’m always ordering them if they are on the menu, and the ones I like best aren’t overloaded with cheese and have a rice-based filling. Since I had some cooked quinoa on hand, I swapped out the rice for quinoa (which I think is even better because it packs down well) and added refried beans, yellow onion, and an uncooked egg to the filling. I also tried two different cheeses; mexican blend and goat. Both were good. These turned out to be SO tasty!! I didn’t add meat to mine, but I’m guessing some ground meat would be great in these too.. or in the sauce. Allow about an hour to make these.

Chiles Rellenos with Quinoa

(Serves 2)

2-4 Poblano Peppers, depending on size

1 tbsp Olive oil

1/4 cup yellow onion, diced

2 cups Cooked quinoa

3/4 cup refried pinto or black beans, heated

1 egg

Cheese, as much as you want (mexican cheddar blend, goat, mozzarella, or queso fresco are all good choices)

4 cups Rich tomato sauce, low-salt or homemade

Green olives (optional)

Cooked ground meat (optional)


1. Heat oven to 400 degrees

2. Rinse poblanos well and cut close to rim of stem to remove inside seeds and stem. Spoon and rinse out all seeds. Set aside.

3. Heat olive oil in frying pan and saute onions until translucent. Add to a bowl with the cooked quinoa, heated refried beans, and egg. Mix well. The result will look mushy and soggy- that’s good. Lightly stir in cheese. [Meat can also be added at this time or later as part of the sauce]

4. Stuff peppers with quinoa/cheese mixture to rim and place on baking sheet with tin foil and non-stick spray. Bake for about 40 min covered with tin foil or until soft and blackened (see pic).

5. Take peppers out of the oven to peel skins off (they can cause indigestion). Flip them onto their other side in pan. Pour tomato sauce on top with olives, meat, or any other extras. Top with extra cheese. Return to oven for 5 more minutes, uncovered.

6. Take them out of oven and let rest while preparing plates. Mangoes and yogurt/sour cream pair great with this, cutting the richness of the sauce. Spoon sauce onto plate and carefully place poblanos on top. Top with more sauce, step back and take a picture, and dig in— with others of course. : )

These are a great meal all by themselves. Beer or margaritas would go nicely, as would chips and guacamole. Buen provecho!



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Chicken Soup

So I know I haven’t posted in a while, but I’ve been very busy. Today is Golosá’s 15-year anniversary concert in the new UChicago Logan Arts Center, for which I made a mountain of cookies:

(Oatmeal Chocolate Chip—it’s my favorite. This made 60+ cookies.)

Also I’ve been working on my sweater, which I keep forgetting to take photos of. The sleeves are now attached to the body! Very exciting.

Also Bill and I bought a lovely and very expensive vacuum, which we have been using to obsessively clean the house since Mom is coming in this weekend.

Also the GIANT Lichtenstein Retrospective exhibition (click here) just opened at the Art Institute, so work has been a little crazy.

I also made these lovely potstickers for dinner a few nights ago:

They were very yummy—filled with cabbage, pork, veggies… (Of course, the five that we deep fried were even better) Recipe later.

Also, Bill and I had a fun weekend filled with a game that was basically a real-life Zombie Apocalypse (read about it here) and an insanely awesome old timey jazz concert at a lovely BBQ joint called Honky Tonk. Observe the BBQ platter:

Don’t worry. We split that between three people and still had leftovers. It was sort of insanely good.

SO this brings me to last night. Somehow, between cleaning, baking mountains of cookies and getting ready for this concert tonight, I had time to throw a whole chicken in the pressure cooker and make possibly the best chicken soup I’ve ever had.

Karla, I don’t think you have a pressure cooker, but it’s a dream machine. we cooked this chicken to supreme juicy and tenderness in about 25 minutes and the resulting broth was phenomenal. Here’s the recipe, from Bon Appetit:


  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled, halved crosswise
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 3 pieces
  • 2 onions, cut into eighths
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, smashed
  • 1 4-pound chicken
  • 4 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 cup egg noodles
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley


  • Combine salt, peppercorns, carrots, celery, onions, bay leaves, thyme sprigs, parsley sprigs, and ginger in the pressure cooker pot. Place chicken on top; add broth and 3 cups water. (The liquid should not rise above the 2/3 marker.) Lock lid in place, making sure vent is sealed. Press Warm; set timer for 24 minutes and press Start to cook.
  • Let pressure release naturally. Remove lid and transfer chicken to a platter to cool. Strain broth into a large bowl. Remove carrots and let cool completely; discard other solids from strainer. Slice carrots into rounds. Remove skin from chicken and shred meat from the bones. Discard skin and bones.
  • Return broth to the pot. Press Warm; set timer for 20 minutes (add or subtract time as needed) and press Start. Bring to a boil; add shredded chicken, carrot rounds, and noodles and cook until noodles are al dente, about 10 minutes, depending on thickness of noodles. Press Cancel to stop cooking. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with chopped parsley.

Now, I used these noodles that looked like the SUPREME chicken noodle soup noodles, but turned out to be something called “dumpling noodles.” They made the soup a little thicker and ended up cooking into dumpling-like masses, which were actually very good. Nice surprise at the end. That’s why our soup looks so cloudy, but I can assure you that the plain broth was just as heavenly.

We had this with fresh baked bread from our local Latin grocery store (Sunshine Market)—no really it was so hot when I picked it up, I thought it might burn me—and had a lovely dinner on the porch at dusk, right before the spectacular lightning show.

Yes, those are Summer Shandys. Summer has arrived in Chicago.

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Southern Comfort

This week I made something I’ve been wanting to make for a while, southern food! I bought grits at TJ’s and have been trying to think of some different recipes besides the standard gritz n’ cheddar cheese. This grit recipe is so good even non-grits lovers will like it and the collard greens are yummy and a great way to get those greens in. Lauren, grits will always remind me of you- I have no idea why. Maybe because I associate you with anything comfort food (grits, mac n’ cheese, pot pies…). I definitely never considered myself to be a ‘comfort food’ lover, but here I go… into the unknown. 

Parmesan-Perfect Grits

1 tablespoon butter

1 medium shallot, minced

1/2 cup frozen corn 

1/4 tsp salt, to taste

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cups stone ground grits

1/4 cup grated parmesan

Parsley or chives for garnish (optional)

In a large pot melt the butter and add shallots. Cook for a few minutes until soft. Add frozen corn kernels and salt. Add water and bring to a boil. Gradually stir in the grits. Let the water return to a boil. Set burner on lowest possible setting and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, for about 15-20 minutes. Add milk and stir for an additional 10 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in grated parmesan cheese, and cream or butter for a richer taste. 

The collard greens are very easy. I just sauteed a mix of spinach, mustard greens, and kale with some bacon, shallots, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper for 15 minutes (until all greens are wilted and soft- make sure stems are removed) and its ready to serve alongside grits and a protein- whether sausage (like I have here), fried chicken or fish. Gotta love the southern comfort. The sauce was a leftover spicy paprika from my previous spanish patatas recipe. I just added a couple tsp of brown sugar. Enjoy!

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Arroz con Pollo

I came home from work yesterday and before Bill and Andy and I went out for a run in Palmer square (an exactly .5 mile outdoor loop in our neighborhood park) I threw together some Arroz con Pollo.

This is one of those dishes that I make without thinking about it at all. It’s really an adaptation of my friend Simon’s arroz con pollo, but he would probably hate it, since I’ve changed it a bunch since we used to make it together.

Karla, all of your meals look nicely plated and arranged at home, which is awesome, but I usually don’t have the luxury, and I’m almost never cooking during the daytime. This is an easy meal that I instantly pack up into my little watertight, single-serving tupperware and stick in the fridge for my work lunches.

Arroz con Pollo

* 1 tbs olive oil
* 2 half boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into cubes
[* 1 spicy sausage (Spanish Chorizo is best)]
* 1 cup rice (maybe a little more)
* 1.5 cups water (or chicken broth)
* 1 chicken or tomato bouillon cube (omit if using chicken broth)
* 1 packet Goya azafran spice
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 jalapenos, seeded, minced (add a seeds if you want some real heat)
* 1 small yellow onion, minced
* 2 small roma or 1 large tomato, finely chopped
* salt
* pepper
* 1 pinch red pepper, maybe some oregano or other spices
* cilantro to garnish (I often don’t use it. Not my favorite)
* 1 can (la preferida) black beans

Rub chicken with half Goya packet, some salt and pepper. Heat oil in pan until hot, not steaming. Add onion, jalapeños and garlic (you can also add green or red bell peppers, or any other pepper you find at the store.) Cook 1-2 minutes on med-high, until slightly translucent. Add chicken and chorizo and brown. Add rice and saute until translucent around the edges (about 1 minute.) Add boullion cube, both peppers, tomato and rice. When it comes to a boil so Boullion cube is completely dissolved. Cover. Let cook about 20 minutes, or until rice is cooked and water absorbed.

As it cooks, drain the liquid from the black beans and put them in a small saucepan. Heat over low until fully heated. Add some cilantro, if desired.

Of course, this time that I made it, I just put the beans in with the rice and packaged it up. This is totally my go-to comfort food, since it’s filling and hot. I like it really spicy.

Also, update on my sweater: I’ve done the body and one sleeve, so I just have to knit the second sleeve and knit them together, and then get working on the hood. Getting there! I promise to take pictures soon.

Lunch all week!

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Filed under Meats

Involtini di Melanzane

So, this week, MyNewRoots had a post about eggplant… I’m sorry. Aubergine. But it’s an aubergine recipe from Green Kitchen Stories that really got me pumped up about cooking today.

So good, it requires my second post of the day.

Here’s the filling, (quinoa, feta, pistachios, capers, onion, garlic, 1 raw egg):

This then gets rolled up into roasted eggplant slices:

Then top with a spicy tomato sauce:

This may be my new FAVORITE thing.

Here’s the whole recipe!

Go Make It!

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Filed under Vegetarian