Cooking With Metachat!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Chicken and yam (or sweet potato) soup

This is great soup for cold weather, it's nice and spicy and really yummy. It's just a basic recipe, so mess with it a lot, but these are tried and true ingredients. I always make the soup the day after I roast a chicken, so I save about a breast's worth of chicken and make the stock out of the bones.

Serves 4 (big bowls of soup)

1 onion, finely chopped
6 or 7 cloves of garlic (plus or minus to taste), finely chopped
2 or 3 tablespoons ginger, minced
2 medium sized yams or sweet potatoes (or other tubers, carrots, whatever) cut into half inch or so squares
32 oz chicken stock
about a breast worth of chicken chopped
4 or so tablespoons thai-style sweet chili sauce

Saute onion, garlic, ginger until flavor comes out and onion is translucent
Add yams, saute for a few minutes
Add stock, bring to boil then cover and reduce heat
Simmer for 20 -30 minutes, until yams are soft
Cool off a bit if you want to throw it in the blender (depending on how smooth you like your soup, I generally just run a hand masher through it at this stage)
Warm soup again (if needed)
Add chicken and sweet chili sauce, heat through

It's very filling, but is really good with chewy bread.

1. A slug of heavy cream at the end turns it into "cream of.... soup" and is yummy
2. Chopped scallions are nice in it
3. Add chopped lemongrass when you put in the yams. Instead of heavy cream use coconut cream and add cilantro at the end
4. Ramp up the heat with chili peppers at the start.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Hoppin' John - a New Years Thing

But good enough to eat anytime. Hoppin' John is basically just black eyed peas and rice and so it has infinite variations; this is mine. Eat it for luck on New Years Day with collard greens (represent the dollar bills you'll be getting, hoo yeah) and cornbread. Caveat: I eat this every year and I am neither wealthy nor particularly successful in other ways. However. I have a roof over my head & enough to eat, who's to say that isn't because of my New Years Day menu?

You will need:
a bag of frozen black eyed peas
a cup or so of basmati rice
a bell pepper
2 hot peppers, I used one jalapeno, a big one, and one of those long skinny light green ones.
Pick a Peppa sauce - a tablespoonful or maybe 2.
a sweet onion
some celery
2 big slices country ham, cut into chunks, or about 5 slices bacon, ditto the chunks
2 cups chicken broth
a little olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375. Chop up the onion, peppers and celery; saute in the olive oil. Dump the peas & the rice & the meat (if you're using regular bacon you may want to cook it first) into a big casserole dish. Add the sauteed veggies & some pick a peppa & maybe some other herbs, whatever you've got on hand, stir well, add the chicken broth, cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for about half an hour. Take off the foil and finish it for another half hour or until the liquid is all gone. Serve with more pick a peppa. Yum!!