I’m not really sure what to call this. Over the past couple of years it’s morphed from a traditional chicken tortilla soup we’ve had a hundred times into more of a thick chowder . It’s great for cold or chilly days when you’re feeling Tex-Mex and want a robust soup.
2 garlic cloves
1 large carrot
1/2 red pepper
1/2 green pepper
1/2 pablano pepper
1 chicken breast
1/4 cup long-grain rice
1 box of chicken broth
1 can corn (1/2 of corn, all of the juice)
1/2 can black beans
1/2 can of fire roasted tomatoes
salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, cumin
2 small corn tortillas
Start by heating a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Liberally sprinkle your chicken breast with the salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, and cumin. How much? I cover mine with a couple pinches of each spice. You want the olive oil to absorb a lot of these flavors while cooking the chicken. Cook the chicken on each side until browned then remove and set aside.
Add the 1/4 cup of rice to the olive oil and cook for about 2 minutes, or until the rice starts to brown at the edges. Then, add your finely diced onion, garlic, carrots, and peppers and sauté them for about 5 minutes. Strain an entire can of corn’s worth of juice into the pot, then add about half of the can’s corn. Strain and rinse about half a can of black beans and add as well.
Take a wooden spoon and mix the ingredients in the pot well. Dig deep and get all the crusty goodness off the bottom of the pot and mix it in with the ingredients. Once the bottom of the pan has been scraped, take your half-can of fire roasted tomatoes and pour it in along with the entire box of chicken broth.
Pretty traditional tortilla soup so far, right? Here’s where it gets fun: take your 2 small corn tortillas stacked and cut them into 3 strips. Stack the strips and finely cut strips of the tortillas — the finer the better! Add the finely cut strips into the soup and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for at least 1 hour — this’ll completely dissolve the tortilla strips and thicken your soup into a hearty, tasty, chowdery thing. Enjoy!
Stuffed Kale Casserole with Goat Cheese Marinara Sauce
Drawing from this recipe as inspiration, here’s a tasty kale casserole:
I modified the original recipe quite a bit to fit what I had laying around. This is more of an Italian rice + chicken stuffing than the quinoa in the original recipe, but it works well. Here’s what I used:
1 Tbsp olive oil
half a Pablano pepper
half a Red pepper
half a Red Onion
1/2 cup Arborio Rice
1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Dried Thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 1/2 cup water
Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan on medium high heat and add the rice dry. Fry the rice until the edges are brown, then add the rest of the ingredients finely diced. Add the water and cover until the rice is fully cooked.
Blanche the kale according to the recipe above. This turns the kale from a rough, dark green leaf into a malleable beautiful green wrapping:
I love goat cheese in tomato sauce, so instead of a simple marinara, I combined a can of fire roasted tomatoes with a bit of goat cheese and warmed over medium heat.
Roll and Bake
Add a spoonful of the stuffing to each kale leaf and roll. Add to a casserole dish and cover with the sauce. Heat in an oven at 350F for about 45 minutes and then serve immediately. The end result is a great, leafy-green tasting casserole with a deep tomato flavor. Enjoy!
This recipe may not be quite what you’d expect when you think Jambalaya — Wikipedia says they are akin to paellas, and this doesn’t have the same consistency or texture and doesn’t have a strong tomato base. But, it shares a lot of the same flavors so I’m going to run with it.
2 Andouille sausages
1 head of Cauliflower
about 15 pods of Okra
3 Roma tomatoes
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp Chipotle Chile Powder
1/4 tsp Onion Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
Begin by slicing the sausages into slices about a quarter inch thin. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan and fry the sausages on both sides until a dark brown.
While the sausages are frying, chop the okra and cauliflower. (Optional) For a slightly crispier, richer flavor you can toss the okra and cauliflower in a bit of flour. This’ll produce a nice slight crust on them when they are added to the pan. I’ve done it both ways, and I personally like it with the crust.
When the sausages are nice and brown, remove them from the pan and set aside. Add just the cauliflower (as they take longer to cook) to the pan. Also, add the cumin, paprika, chile powder, onion powder, and fault and pepper. Cover the cauliflower and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
Uncover and move the cauliflower to the sides of the pan, leaving a large area in the middle. Add the okra to this area and spread evenly. Leave uncovered and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn the okra to cook on all sides especially if you added flour.
Meanwhile chop the tomatoes coarsely. When the okra’s cooked, add the tomatoes and the sausage and mix everything in the pan together. Continue to let simmer for another 2-3 minutes to let the juices from the tomatoes thicken and meld.