Saturday, October 28, 2017

Almost "No Cook" Chili

Everyone has a white chili recipe. This is the one to make!
Okay, maybe we should call this a no-precook chili!  It's one of my favorite,  go to recipes when I need to bring something awesome to a gathering. White Chicken Chili!

Now, I first tasted this at an open house where the person who brought it also placed copies of the printed recipe next to her bowl. I initially thought, "how presumptuous!". Then I tasted it. "I get so tired of people asking me to email them the recipe, that I just bring it with me," she explained. I can understand why! Everyone took a copy home with them. It is a different spin on traditional chili with a spicy cheesy sauce that is almost addictive. Again, this couldn't be easier to make, so no excuses.

You may notice that it is the second chili  recipe this week that features salsa as an ingredient. That is not accidental. It is an tasteful element that eliminates a lot of prep work.  Also, you might want to make extra copies of this recipe if you decide to take it to a Super Bowl Party! That way, you won't have to send a bunch of emails. Enjoy!!

White Chicken Chili
  • 1 32-ounce box chicken stock
  • 3 cans white beans, left undrained
  • 5 cups cooked chicken (rotisserie or boiled)
  • 1 16-ounce jar salsa
  • 1 8-ounce block pepper jack cheese, grated
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Black or white pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup finely crushed corn chips (optional, if you like your chili thicker)
  • Sour cream, for garnish


Place all ingredients except the corn chips in a crockpot. Cook on high until the cheese is melted. 
Chili may also be cooked on the stovetop over medium-high heat until cheese is melted. 
When the chili is ready, add the crushed corn chips, if using, and simmer for 10 minutes to thicken. Garnish with more chips, cheese and/or sour cream and serve. 

Now, for this recipe, I buy boneless skinless breast, put them in a shallow pan, cover them with water and add spices like, garlic powder, pepper, red pepper flakes, whatever you like, then cook them about 15-20 mins. Then I cool them down and shred them with a fork.
I have never used the rotisserie chicken so I don’t know how that is.
I also use a bigger jar of salsa because we really like the flavor.
The block of pepper jack cheese, grated and added at the end of the recipe is what puts this chili over the top! Great make ahead dish so you can enjoy the game too!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Deviled Eggs...Thinking Outside The Shell

It's Easter and it's time to make the eggs! This is a repost of a heavily downloaded blog. And, I will be making my version of a deviled egg!

This may seem like an odd food subject for someone who is allergic to egg yolks. But, deviled eggs seem to be a staple on the Easter dinner table (at least in my family), and were truly one of my favorite things, And until this morning, I could only eat a deviled egg if I wanted it with a side of anaphylatic shock. But we'll get to that later.

Everyone has their way of making great deviled eggs with most recipes family specific and past down through generations. The classic way of boiling eggs, scooping out the yolks and mashing then with mayo, mustard and sweet relish, is pretty much the standard in most households. But if you really think about it, the classic mixture is a wide open canvas to which so many other wonderful ingredients can be added.

Now, I don't remember my late ex mother in-law as being a great cook, (she was a working woman who was great at ordering out - had that down to a science) but she did devil her own eggs, and always added horseradish to her egg mixture, and her family raved about them. At the time, I was not very adventurous when it came to adding heat to a recipe, so I never tried them. Now, my aging pallet cries out for a little kick to wake it up, and I gladly would sample one...if she were still here, if I were still married and if it didn't kill me.

That being said, I explored several options on the deviled egg front and found some wonderful ideas! But first let me tell you why I can now join the party when it comes to eating an item where the major flavor component is an egg yolk. At first, as much as I tried, I could not think of anything that matched the rich creaminess of that deep yellow yolk.

According to my allergist, 97% of people who have egg allergies are allergic to the whites. That is a tough one. I, being in the other 3%, can a least eat egg white omelets, or even Egg Beaters. Therefore, no complaints here! So there are really not a lot of suggestions out there for someone in my predicament who is just aching for a deviled egg. There was one site that suggested mashing up some hard boiled egg whites with the mayo, mustard and relish, and I did. But to be honest, it lacked the creaminess and taste that yolks provide.

No yolks...No joke!!
So, as I usually do on a Sunday morning, I started to make a Bloody Mary, which I believe always helps my thought process. And as I was reaching into the refrigerator for a jar of olives...there was my answer!!! Hiding behind the olives was a bar of cream cheese!!!! If I blended cream cheese into the boiled white egg mixture, I would have the rich creamy texture that is mandatory in making great deviled eggs! I just knew a Bloody Mary would help!

It worked perfectly! In a food processor, I blended about 3 ounces of cream cheese, four cooked egg whites, relish, both wet and dry mustard, and the mayonnaise, until it looked about right! Sprinkled in a little sea salt and tasted. It was as close to a regular deviled egg as I've had in 15 years. It was so good, I was actually a little afraid to eat it! After boiling the eggs, I very carefully scooped and discarded the yolk, then washed and lightly dried the remaining egg white. Maybe my excitement made my slightly delusional, but I was pretty sure I liked this version better!

So if you don't care for deviled eggs, but love cream cheese, try making them this way! Okay, now that we've mastered the egg, let's get to some of the variations I discovered in my search. First, is the one I am going to make this Easter!

(I am going to use the term "yolk" since most of you can eat it, but just know that I will be using my new egg white-cream cheese mixture in its place! Blending in a food processor works best for both versions. Also, the ingredient measurements are based on using a full dozen eggs.)

Crab Eggs!
Blend the cooked yolks with 1/4 cup of mayo, 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley, 1 teaspoon of mustard (whole grain if you have it), and the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Add about 8 ounces of lump crabmeat and a couple shakes of hot sauce. Place the mixture in fridge for about 15 minutes to set, then fill the egg whites. Top with a generous sprinkle of Old Bay

Horseradish Eggs! (An ode to my former mother in-law!)
Blend the cooked yolks with 1/2 cup of mayo, 1 tablespoon (or more according to taste) of creamy horseradish. Then add 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard. Mix in 2 tablespoons of chopped chive. Season to taste then fill the egg whites.

Hummus Eggs! (A friend made this and they went quickly. I obviously couldn't eat them but will definitely try it now!) Blend the cooked yolks with 1/2 cup of hummus, 1/4 cup of plain yogurt and juice of half a lemon. Season to taste and fill into egg whites. ( You can stop here and sprinkle with crushed pita bread, or...) Heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and a 1 tablespoon of chopped of Kalamata olives and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Drizzle this mixture of the deviled eggs. I can only imagine how good this will taste with cream cheese!

Wasabi Eggs! (For the adventurous...a.k.a. my sons!)
Blend the cooked egg yolks with 1/2 cup mayo, 4 teaspoons of Wasabi paste. Spoon into egg shells and top with pickled ginger.

Sausage Cheddar Eggs (A great one for kids of all ages!)
Blend the cooked yolks with 1/4 of mayo and a 1/4 cup of shredded cheese. Season with a little salt and hot sauce! Brown, drain and crumble sausage and sprinkle on top! Great version for a slightly different breakfast entree!

As you can see, the basic mixture of 12 egg yolks, 1/2 cup of mayo, 1 tablespoon of sweet relish and 2 teaspoons of Dijon style mustard, is just the beginning. What could be better than adding some cooked chopped bacon or ham? And since we are now mixing in cream cheese, how good would it be to add some smoked chopped salmon?

I love Easter Dinner. There is nothing better than the waft of a roasting ham filling the house. And now, thanks to a desire, curiosity, and the need to add olives to my Sunday morning ritual, I can also enjoy another one of this holiday's favorites! Let me know how adventurous you can get!

Photos by ImageGoogle and Jo Ann Phelps

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Winter Staples...Soup and Salad!

I love won ton soup, actually, I love won ton broth! A perfect combination of standard chicken soup broth, garlic and soy sauce. I have been know to browse the Asian bar at the local supermarket and walk away with a pint of won ton broth loaded with scallions. I believe it cures the common cold. And since I'm about to loose my health insurance due to the election results, I'm looking for natural alternatives to prescribed medications. Seriously. Stocking up on ginger and cinnamon.

Anyway, since I'm a fan of the broth and not so much the thick ravioli-style won ton, I have adapted many other variations including adding fresh lemons or, my absolute favorite, fresh seafood. Within walking distance to my home, (literally, if there wasn't a fence I could walk 70 yards and be in its back door) there is a Japanese restaurant that features a seafood soup that blows me away every time I order it, which is often. It also comes with a small vial of a very hot spice mixture which I add sparingly. I don't know what is in it-and they are not talking (well, they are talking but I didn't understand). But whatever it is, will clear your sinuses like nothing else I know of.

 What I like about Asian style soups is that their broths are not thick, creamy and loaded with starch. I love clean, sometimes clear, broth which the Asian culture has mastered making amazingly flavorful.
As a matter of choice, when I make the standard, American style chicken noodle soup, I cook the noodles separately so they don't thicken my broth as they cook. I'm that serious about a clean broth. My favorite adaptation of that Japanese restaurant's famous soup, is listed below. It is a quick meal on a cold night, and when served over cooked noodles, can easily be made into a healthy, tasteful entree.

ASIAN seafood soup
  • ·         1 teaspoon canola or olive oil
  • ·         3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ·         3 cups thinly sliced Napa (Chinese) cabbage
  • ·         4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • ·         6 ounces small shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ·         6 ounces bay or sea scallops
  • ·         3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • ·         2 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar, or distilled white vinegar
  • ·         8 ounces Chinese wheat noodles, or linguine
  • ·         2 scallions, trimmed and chopped

1.  Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and stir until golden, about 1 minute. Add cabbage and 1/4 cup of the broth. Bring to a simmer and cook until the cabbage is wilted, about 1 minute. Add the remaining broth, shrimp, scallops, soy sauce and vinegar. Return to a simmer and cook until the shrimp and scallops are opaque in the center, about 1 minute.
2.  Meanwhile, cook noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water just until tender, 2 to 5 minutes. If using linguine, cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and divide among 4 large soup bowls. Ladle the soup over the noodles and sprinkle with scallions.

n   And nothing pairs better with a light soup than a salad with citrus dressing. I have been using lemon and olive oil as my dressing base for years, the recipe below just kicks it up a notch. So mix up your favorite greens and whip up the ingredients listed and dinner is served. 

Citrus Dressing


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Dash of salt