Thursday, December 18, 2014

Recipe forTurkey Pozole

It's that time of year again!

Yes, I've been busy baking.  I tried a new holiday cookie recipe, Maple-Spice Cookies.  They're soft and not too sweet.  Actually great with my morning coffee.  But I haven't forgotten to share my recipe for the Pozole!


2 Tblsp olive oil                             1 medium Spanish onion - diced
3 cloves garlic - peeled                   3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3-4 cups shredded turkey               1 cup water
1 tsp chipotle chili powder             1 tsp cumin seeds
salt & pepper to taste
2 10-oz cans canned Marzano whole tomatoes
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro        1 avocado - diced
1 fresh lime - quartered                    2 flour tortillas - cut into strips

1) Begin by spreading tortilla strips in single layer on a cookie sheet.  Drizzle with a little olive oil and season lightly with salt.  Place in pre-heated, 350 degree oven and bake until light golden brown, about 15 minutes.  Set to the side for use as one of the garnishes

2) Using a mortar and pestle, crush peeled garlic, 1 Tblsp olive oil and a good pinch of salt together, until garlic is mashed and you have a kind of paste
3) Heat remaining Tblsp olive oil in large, heavy soup pot or dutch oven - add garlic paste and diced onions to pot - stir together until onions are translucent and mixture is fragrant
4) Using your hands, squish the wholes tomatoes into pot, then add shredded turkey, broth, water and seasonings.
5) Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer about 35-45 minutes - adjusting your seasonings to taste
6) Ladle soup into individual serving bowls - squeeze a bit of fresh lime into each bowl then top with a small amount of the grated cheese, cilantro, avocado and a few strips of the crispy tortilla strips

                                                                                  Serves  8-10

Then you can have some cookies for dessert!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Turkey Soup For The Soul (And Happy Birthday little brother)

The "Hook"
Who didn’t love “Chicken Soup For The Soul” when it first came on the scene in 1993?  Originally rejected by major publishers, co-authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen didn’t give up until they found a small self-help publisher in Florida.   Those inspiring, true life testaments of the innate goodness the story-tellers share with us when everything looked it darkest.  The heart-warming outcomes when synchronicity vibrates at its highest, making for a most unexpected and happy ending.  I admit, my eyes watered while reading a few of the experiences written with such openess, honesty and in a few cases, humor. 
Last I heard there were over 200 titles in this franchise such as; “Chicken Soup For Dogs”, “Chicken Soup For The Cat Lovers Soul”, and that most dear for those of us who’ve worked in it, “Chicken Soup For Retailers."  As a result of all this commercialization I’m not sure the series does as much for me anymore.  But the premise Mr. Canfield and Mr. Hansen built their fortune on was and still is a very good one. 
Consider the fact that so many cultures have their own unique version of that all-healing real deal, Chicken Soup.  Obviously the properties attributed to Mom’s or Grandmother’s cure simmering on the stove stirs up the same feelings and meaning for all of us.  No matter our age, weight, or the colour of our skin.  The balance in our checking accounts, the way we pronounce our vowels, when ladled from the pot to the bowl, Chicken Soup serves as an expression of caring, comfort and healing.   And I love the variations on this medicinal food theme.  To start, there's our good old middle America Chicken Noodle, starting with your basic mire poix, a whole chicken, chicken broth and rich egg noodles.  Seasoned with only salt and pepper then served with crispy saltines on the side.  I'm sure, there are those who probably still enjoy crumbling a couple of the crackers with your hand straight into the bowl, then take your first bite of edible solace topped with a crunch that happily transforms to soft and soggy.   
There’s a Southern Chicken Soup recipe my ex-husband enjoyed preparing.  His soup starts out with the same mire poix, a whole chicken, a home-made broth, rice which replaces the egg noodles, green chilies and of course his beloved okra.  Thai Chicken Soup is a bold and spicy offering, sure to clear your stuffy nose.  This version has coconut milk, fresh lemon grass, limes and fish sauce!  And let’s not forget the Granddaddy of Chicken Soups, also referred to as Amish Penicillin.  This is more of a cauldron filled with home-made chicken stock, a couple of really clean chickens, carrots, onions and celery.  But also a few hard boiled eggs, (I prefer soft boiled) are added for good measure.  At the very end, of this gentle simmer, strands of hand-kneaded dough are gently twisted then dropped into the simmering concoction and allowed to float until they are steamed to perfection.  A kind of modified dumpling. 
But my most favourite of Chicken Soups to prepare is Pozole, which is traditionally made with pork.  During this time of year instead of chicken I use what’s left over from my grilled Thanksgiving turkey.  The roasted herb and butter turkey stays at the home of my co-hostess Erin.  Because the turkey I use has been grilled my soup struts right out the gate with an amazing smokiness you don’t often associate with this Mistress of Home Remedies.  While my broth is a combination of chicken stock and juice from the Marzano tomatoes, the final result is still a thick, rich jubilee of turkey meat, tomatoes, chilies, garlic and hominy.  Pozole has its roots in Mexico and is a recipe that has been prepared as far back as the Aztecs.  The inclusion of hominy is due to the popular use of maize by the Aztecs and other indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica. 
I use ancho and paislla chilies in my recipe, that and the tomatoes make for Pozole Rojo, Red Pozole.  If you enjoy the flavour of jalapeno and poblano chilies as well as tomatillos, you could prepare Pozole Verde, Green Pozole.  Either way, you’ll want to garnish your soup with a squeeze of fresh lime some cilantro, avocados and crema Mexicana, (sour cream).  The end result will be the same, no matter which ethnic or regional version of Chicken Soup you prepare.  Those who share in your lovingly prepared elixir are sure to feel better. 

I'm pretty sure my little brother would love this

No other perscription like it


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Thanksgiving Penne Pasta

Thanksgiving Pasta Set Up


1 lb Penne pasta - cooked according to package directions
6 Tblsp unsalted butter                    4 Tblsp all purpose flour
1 small onion - diced                       1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup half & half                          1 cup re-hydrated shitaki mushrooms
1 cup pumpkin puree                       4 Tblsp Provolone cheese-grated
salt & pepper to taste                       3 cloves fresh garlic - minced   
1 Tblsp fresh sage - minced             pinch ground nutmeg
Grated Parmesan cheese for Garnish

1) In large saucepot prepare a blond roux - by melting the butter over low heat then whisking in the flour, stirring for 5-7 minutes to cook out the starch a bit
2) Stir in diced onion, garlic and nutmeg - cook until onion is soft and translucent
3) Add pumpkin puree along with half & half until until blended
4) Add Provolone cheese and mushrooms - continue cooking another 5-7 minutes
5) Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste
6) Stir in cooked pasta and gently stir to coat pasta
7) Pour into large serving platter or individual dishes - garnish with Parmesan & fresh sage

                                                                                    Serves 8-10