Chicken tortilla soup

March 22, 2010

We traveled.  We came back.  We  experienced the same blizzard twice: once out west, for an entire day, and then again flying back into Chicago.  It was  really just one of those March snowstorms that only thinks it’s scary but can’t even make the snow stick for more than a couple of hours.  It did, however, provide us with some very turbulent moments over Nebraska (“I’m never-ever-ever flying again; you will just have to tell me what Spain is like!” was actually uttered, I’m afraid), along with a rather dicey landing at O’Hare.  We were ever so glad to touch down–but then, aren’t we, Mr. and Ms. Homebody, always speechlessly ecstatic to come home?  And what better way to celebrate than with a lazy day of coffee and naps and  movies and books and wine and soup?

Chicken tortilla soup

  • 1 large onion
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 28oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 lb frozen corn
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • tortilla chips, avocados, cheese (I can’t possibly tell you how much you’re going to want)
  • oregano, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, pepper
  1. Saute the chicken and onion–with generous dashes of of paprika, oregano, chili powder, salt, pepper–for 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add water and tomatoes; bring to a boil; simmer on low for 30 minutes.
  3. Toss in the corn, beans, and scallions (along with more spices, if needed).
  4. Serve with tortillas, cilantro, cheese, and chopped avocados.
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Roasted vegetable lasagna

January 25, 2010


Here’s the recipe I was originally going to share:

Wretched January

  • 1 earthquake
  • 1 removal of limits on corporate campaign financing
  • 1 healthcare reform bill at risk of deflating like a botched soufflé
  • 1 f#@%ing roof leak
  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. Season with endless hours of darkness.
  3. Serve cold.

But, I actually have a cheery addendum.  Mr. Onepot informed me earlier that a lasagna would make him feel better–this from a man who never makes food requests!  I mean, he’s equally happy regardless of whether he’s eating a decadent multi-course meal or some strange whole grain/mystery fungus experiment of mine.  So how was I to say no?

Roasted vegetable lasagna

  • 3 red bell peppers
  • 2 zucchini

(What’s that?  You’re about to tell me that those are not in season?   You know what’s in season in Chicago right now?  Icicles.  So let’s move on, shall we?)

  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 lb frozen spinach
  • 1 lb cottage cheese
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 8oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 box no-boil lasagna noodles
  • a fistful of shredded cheddar, a bit of parmesan, and some gorgonzola crumbles
  • capers
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. I seasoned the first 3 ingredients and roasted them at 400F for 25 minutes.
  2. Then I combined them with spinach, cottage cheese, and diced tomatoes.  Yup–all together just like that.
  3. Then it was time to layer, and there’s really nothing to tell.  I used 1 little can of tomato sauce under the bottom noodle layer and the other on the very top.  In between: a layer of vegetable+cottage cheese mixture, a sprinkling of other cheeses, a layer of noodles, and so on and so forth until I ran out of ingredients…
  4. …and heaved the overflowing dish, cursing a little, into the 380-degree oven.  It spent the first 45 minutes in there bashfully covered with aluminum foil, and the final 10 minutes naked, under a sprinkling of cheese and capers.

Ah, it was good.  And, as we patted our full bellies, we started to feel just a tad hopeful again.

For starters: the roofer comes tomorrow.

What was that, reader?  Not enough animal flesh chez Onepot?  Well, does a bird’s breast count?  If so, this one is for you: a dish inspired by two chicken breasts in desperate search of a recipe following their eviction from out of our soon-to-be defrosted freezer.  (Hello, obscenely expensive refrigerator repairs!)

Baked chicken with pesto + yellow peppers + olives + tomatoes

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small yellow pepper
  • 3 tablespoons pesto
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • a handful of black olives
  1. Cut the first three ingredients into strips and toss with pesto.
  2. Bake at 400F (if your oven is puny like mine… but perhaps yours would tackle this even at 375F?) for approximately 20 minutes.
  3. Cover with olives and tomatoes and bake for another 10 minutes.
  4. Admire the prettiness!  (Accompanying couscous and green salad highly recommended, but certainly not required.)

That blissful holiday weekend of near-hibernation made me realize that my attitude toward the Dark Season has been totally misguided.  Instead of putting up a fight, I should just succumb to it!

Between now and March, then, I will answer the call of the me-shaped dent in the sofa as soon as each day’s duties are over, getting up only occasionally to knead some dough, and stir a pot, and get more wine.

So, to kick off this Dark Season Management project, how about a dish that involves kneading and stirring and wine?…

Yam gnocchi

  • 2 roasted yams
  • 1 egg
  • 2.5 cups whole wheat flour
  1. Combine everything in a mixing bowl.
  2. Knead!
  3. Shape the dough into two long logs on a flat surface.
  4. Cut it into bite-sized gnocchi.
  5. Cook gnocchi in boiling water for 5 minutes; drain and serve.

+

Chunky roasted tomato sauce with kale and carrots

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 14.5 oz cans roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 bunch kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 carrots, shaved into strips (use a vegetable peeler)
  • 1 glug of red wine (+ 1 glug for the cook, while you’re at it)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Saute the onion and garlic for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add a splash of wine and let it deglaze for another minute or so.
  3. Add the tomato sauce, kale, carrots.
  4. Cook on low for ~20 minutes.
  5. Serve over the gnocchi–with some feta crumbles, perhaps?