Red, White and Green

July 4, 2012

A friend served this delicious chilled avocado soup at her summer party and my husband insisted I recreate it at home.  Boy, am I glad she shared this recipe with me (thanks Kathryn!)!  Not only is it extremely flavorful and refreshing, but it’s quite versatile.  When I made this batch originally, I served it alongside Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas for a #MeatlessMonday dish, and then used it again later in the week as a dressing on a Taco Salad.  It would also be delicious as a layer in a Mexican dip, a sauce over a taco or served atop grilled shrimp or chicken.  This recipe has definitely made into my list of summer staples!

avocado soup

Chilled Avocado Soup with Chile Lime Pepitas

 Ingredients

  • 1 medium poblano chile
  • 1 small white onion, sliced into 1/4 -inch-thick rings
  • 2-1/2 cups lower-salt chicken broth; more as needed
  • 2 medium firm-ripe avocados, pitted, peeled, and cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh marjoram or oregano (optional)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 medium limes)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt
  • 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/8 tsp. chile powder; more for serving

Instructions

On a gas stove, turn a burner to high and set the poblano directly over the flame, turning it with tongs, until completely charred, 5 to 8 minutes. Alternatively, on an electric stove, heat the broiler on high and char the poblano on all sides on a baking sheet placed directly under the broiler. Put the poblano in a bowl, cover, and set aside to steam and loosen the skin. When cool enough to handle, peel, seed, and cut the poblano into 1/4 -inch dice.

Heat an 11- to 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, add the onion and cook, turning a few times, until soft and browned in places, about 5 minutes.

In a blender, purée until smooth all but 1 Tbs. of the poblano, the onion, broth, avocado, cilantro, parsley, marjoram or oregano (if using), 2 Tbs. of the lime juice, cumin, coriander, and 1 tsp. salt. Blend in the yogurt. Season to taste with more salt. Chill well.

Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the pepitas and cook until they begin to pop and color a bit, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining 2 Tbs. lime juice, the chile powder, and 1/8 tsp. salt and stir until the juice has evaporated, leaving a film on the pan.

Season the soup to taste with salt and thin with broth if necessary. Divide among 6 cups or small bowls and garnish with the pepitas, the remaining poblano, and a few pinches of chile powder.

Cinco de Junio

June 5, 2011

Who doesn’t love Mexican food?  Personally, I am obsessed with it.  Especially in the summertime. 

This fresh soup is the perfect start to any Mexican meal The only thing that might make it better is a Margarita.

Green Chicken Stew

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans white beans
  • 1 tablespoon evoo
  • 1 medium jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 2 medium poblano peppers, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 4 cups home-made chicken broth
  • 2 limes, juiced, plus lime wedges, for serving
  • Four cooked chicken breasts, shredded
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • Greek yogurt, for topping
  • Tortilla chips, coarsely crushed, for topping

Directions

Drain and rinse the canned white beans. Reserve the beans until needed.

Add the canola oil to a large Dutch oven and heat it over medium-high heat. Add the peppers, onions, and garlic and saute until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Season the vegetables with salt, and pepper, to taste. Add the cumin, coriander, and chili powder and continue to saute for 1 more minute to toast the spices. Stir in the chicken stock, and lime juice and bring to a simmer. Add the beans and continue to simmer for 20 more minutes.

After 20 minutes of simmering, taste for seasoning, and adjust if necessary. Stir in the shredded chicken and cilantro and simmer until heated through, about 5 more minutes. Serve the chili in individual bowls topped with a dollop of greek yougurt, crushed tortilla chips, and lime wedges.

Recipe adapted from The Neelys.

Green Chicken Stew

Green Chicken Stew

This recipe from Cooking Light is divine.  I served it alongside Long-Grain & Wild Rice and Roasted Veggies.

Dinner is served!

Fennel-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Shallot-Onion Agrodolce

Agrodolce is an Italian sweet and sour sauce that combines sugar and vinegar. In this version, acidic wine and vinegar harmonize with the sweetness from the onions and raisins.

 Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 ounces pork and about 1/2 cup agrodolce)

 Ingredients

Agrodolce:

  • 1 tablespoon  olive oil
  • 2 cups  vertically sliced onion
  • 1 cup  sliced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon  sugar
  • 3/4  cup  dry white wine
  • 1/3  cup  golden raisins
  • 1/4  cup  red wine vinegar
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/8  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper

 Pork tenderloin:

  • 2 teaspoons  fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground coriander
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • Cooking spray

 Preparation

1. To prepare agrodolce, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, shallots, and sugar to pan; sauté 12 minutes or until golden. Stir in wine, raisins, and vinegar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 9 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Remove from heat; stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

 2. Prepare grill.

 3. To prepare pork tenderloin, combine fennel seeds, 1/2 teaspoon salt, coriander, cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle pork with fennel seed mixture. Place pork on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill for 20 minutes or until a thermometer registers 155° (slightly pink), turning pork occasionally. Let stand for 10 minutes. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Serve with agrodolce.

Perfection.

Okay, so I took the day off to get some things done around the house.  I planted my flower pots and around the mailbox, organized my kitchen cabinets, did major grocery and farmer’s market shopping and some heavy duty cooking for dinner.  Did I mention I threw together this soup in the midst of this?  This is so easy and delicious — wow anyone.

Mexican Lentil Soup (with Jim's fave, purple tulips, in the background)

Mexican Lentil Soup

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 chicken bullion cubes
  • 2 chipotle seasoning cubes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup brown lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • ½ tablespoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 purple potato, cubes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • ½ cup shredded cheese, your fave (I used pizza cheese, b/c that’s what I ha in the fridge)

 Add water through potatoes to pot, bring to a boil and simmer on low for about an hour TOTAL time.  Garnish each bowl with cilantro, avocado and cheese.  Enjoy.

(Warning: the chipotle bouillon packs a little heat.  Subtract it, or add more water to taste.)

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