Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Mike's mother and sister sent us a honey baked bone in ham for Christmas. It was delicious. We shared some with friends on Christmas Day and Mike froze the bone and some slices. I decided I wanted to make white bean soup with so I pulled the bone and the leftover slices out of the refrigerator. It's a great combo and here's what I did.

White Bean Soup with Ham

1/2 pound dried white beans
26 ounces chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 red onion, diced
2 large garlic cloves, pressed
4 carrots, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
1 teaspoon thyme
1 ham bone
26 ounces chicken stock
1-2 cups ham, chopped
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
small piece of Parmesan rind
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste

Start this 1-2 days in advance. Soak the beans overnight in water. Drain and rinse the beans and place in pot. Cover beans with chicken stock and add bay leaf. Bring to boil and reduce the heat until it is barely bubbling. Cook for about 40 minutes or until tender. Let cool and refrigerate overnight.

Add olive oil to pot and heat to medium high. Add the onion and cook until it begins to soften. Add the garlic and cook until onions and garlic are soft and fragrant.

Add the carrots and celery and cook about 3 minutes. Put ham bone and the beans in the pot along with the stock. Add water to cover the bone. Bring to a boil then turn down the heat until it is barely bubbling. Let simmer for about 30 minutes.

Add the thyme and ham. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the Parmesan rind and anchovy paste. These last two add depth of flavor. You will not taste anything fishy. Stir the soup and let the flavors come together.

We had hot, crusty rolls and butter with the soup. It was delicious and we look forward to the leftovers. Enjoy!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Jamie Oliver's Tray Baked Chicken

I love one pot meals and chicken so when I saw this recipe in Parade magazine on Sunday I knew it was for me. Apparently Jamie Oliver does too because this is his recipe.

I cut it down for Mike and I since Abigail has gone back to school. I started brining the chicken on Sunday night since I was going to work Monday morning and would get back too late to start it. This made it easy to do the rest today when I got home from work.

Jamie Oliver's chicken my way

The brine:
1 quart water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/3 cup honey
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 sprigs fresh sage, leaves only
1/4 cup white vinegar

The bake:
2 chicken breasts, bone in
2 slices smoked bacon, finely chopped
1 sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 medium red potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced
1/2 medium red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
2 sprigs fresh sage, leaves shredded
Olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup half & half

Mix brine in a large zip lock bag; add chicken. Refrigerate overnight or 2 to 8 hours. Place bag in a bowl if there is any doubt it will hold the brine and chicken.

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a glass baking dish, toss the bacon, veggies, garlic, and sage with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour in broth. Cook 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove chicken from refrigerator; let come to room temperature. Drain chicken, discarding brine, and pat dry with paper towels.

Remove veggie pan from oven; pour in cream and sprinkle with pepper. Add chicken. Cook 35 minutes, or until chicken is golden.

Mike could not stop raving about this dish-a huge hit. Thank you Jamie Oliver!


Friday, January 21, 2011

Foods to Avoid

I've been blogging about using Pomi tomaotes in the box and it's articles like this that got me started. If you're interested take a look.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chicken Tinga With Tostadas

Well, it's about 4 weeks since I had my knees replaced and I am finally feeling like cooking. I decided to try these tostadas from the San Francisco Chronicle by Tara Duggan.

I did my usual thing of changing a few things. I partially picked this recipe because I knew Abigail would like it and she goes back to NYC on Saturday. We all loved it. We had lots of leftovers which should be really good over the next few days.

Chicken Tinga With Tostadas my way

8 chicken thighs, skin and extra fat removed
1 large onion, sliced
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crumbled
1 bay leaf
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon kosher salt and more to taste
1 box of Pomi chopped tomatoes (26-ounce)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely chopped + 1 teaspoon adobo sauce (or to taste)
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
15 to 20 small corn tortillas (I like the hand made style by La Tortilla Factory)
Optional garnishes: sour cream, chopped red cabbage, finely chopped green onions, crumbled queso fresco, sliced avocado, brown rice, Tabasco or hot sauce

Place the chicken thighs in a large saute pan and cover with water to almost fill the pot. Bring to a low simmer, reduce to low (the water should be barely bubbling) and skim off the scum and yellow fat that gathers on top.
Add 1/2 onion, half of the oregano, the bay leaf, garlic and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Continue to poach the chicken until very tender, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from the pot and let cool, then shred the meat. Reserve the broth.

While the chicken is cooking, drain the tomatoes in a colander.

In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the remaining 1/2 onion and oregano and saute, stirring often, until browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and the chipotle chile and adobo sauce (if you prefer a milder flavor, add the chipotle and adobo to taste). Simmer, stirring, for a few minutes to combine flavors, then season with salt and pepper.

Add the shredded chicken to the pan. Stir in just enough of the reserved chicken broth (about 1/2 cup) to make it a little saucy, and stir over medium heat for a few minutes to season and rewarm the chicken. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Warm the tortillas and serve immediately with the garnishes. Enjoy!