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Green Chile Chicken

This rich, creamy, spicy dish is one of my husband’s favorites. Add the cooling avocado, and it makes it one of mine.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 – 4 oz can diced green chilies
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4  tsp salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 Tbsp fresh or dried chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup evaporated skimmed milk or half-and-half
  • Splash of dry white wine to deglaze the pan (optional)
  • 6 oz shredded Pepper-Jack cheese
  • 1 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1/2 package spaghetti, cooked and drained (do not rinse)
  • 1 medium avocado, sliced

PREPARATION:

  1. Add olive oil to skillet: 2 turns around the pan, then add the chicken, green chilies and garlic, and sautee until chicken is almost cooked, then add in mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes more
  2. To prepare sauce, deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine (optional — water or stock will do); then add the milk and sour cream and stir to combine. Season with the smoked paprika, then slowly add in the pepper-jack cheese and stir until melted and incorporated. It is often best to combine the cheese with a whisk to avoid clumping. If the sauce is too thick, add a splash more milk or wine.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and add parsley, then serve atop cooked spaghetti and garnish with sliced avocado.

Serves 2-3, depending on how hungry you are!

French-Style Green Bean & Potato Salad

I love green beans, especially the long, thin, French haricot vert. They are tenderer and have a more complex, sweeter flavor than American green beans. And luckily, they are back in season. So here’s an incredibly simple, yet crowd-pleasing recipe to try for your next summer dinner, or as a quick, light, vegan supper. BONUS: GLUTEN FREE!

Salad:
• 18-24 assorted colored fingerling potatoes — sliced in half lengthwise 
(I use a combination of purple peruvian, new red, and yukon gold)
• 2-3 handfuls fresh haricot vert (French green beans), trimmed at the ends

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the potatoes and salt the water liberally (about a half-palm full). Boil potatoes until almost fork-tender, then add the green beans and blanch them for about 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes and beans into a colander and let cool.

Dressing: in a small bowl, combine:
• 2 rounded tsp stone-ground Dijon mustard
• 2 tsp red wine vinegar (or white balsamic vinegar, if you have it)
• 2 tsp dry white wine (then serve the rest of the bottle with dinner!)
• 1 tsp dried thyme or 1 TBSP fresh thyme
• 1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
• 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
• ½ tsp honey
• salt & freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
• whisk ingredients while drizzling in olive oil until dressing is well emulsified

Combine potatoes, green beans, and dressing into a serving bowl and toss to serve.

7 Fishes Christmas Chowder

Christmas Eve in my husband’s family has always been their big night. We have snacks, a light dinner, dessert, then play rummy for several hours before opening presents at the end of the evening. Tradition for them used to be whatever they felt like having that night, but in my family, my aunt’s clam chowder had become synonymous with Christmas Eve, so when I married and started spending the evening with my husband’s family, I adapted the recipe, and brought my in-laws into the tradition. While my aunt’s clam chowder is wonderful, I have a love of Italian cooking and customs, so here’s my adaptation which follows the idea of eating “seven fishes” on the holiday. May you be inspired and possibly start your own tradition with my chowder recipe. Happy holidays!

Sauté together with olive oil:

  • 8 strips bacon, diced
  • 1 lg. yellow or white onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can anchovies, chopped

Then drain 2 cans of crabmeat, reserving liquid, and add to the crab juice, enough chicken or vegetable stock to equal 3 cups. Then add:

  • 12 small yukon gold potatoes or 3 large russets, diced

Cover and simmer until potatoes are done, about 12 minutes. Then add:

  • 2 cans of crabmeat (drained)
  • 1 – 6 oz. salmon fillet, cubed
  • 1 – 6 oz. tilapia or other white fish fillet, cubed
  • 18-20 raw medium shrimp (peeled/deveined/tail-off)
  • 6-8 small scallops
  • 3 cans evaporated milk + enough 1/2 & 1/2 to equal 6 total cups of milk
  • 1 can corn, drained or 8 oz. frozen or fresh corn

Season to taste with salt, white pepper, sweet paprika, Old Bay seasoning, and 1/8 tsp Zataran’s Crab Boil hot pepper liquid (use sparingly — this is very potent!)

In a separate pan, put 12 fresh mussels, half-cover with white wine, cover and simmer until mussels are all open. Add the opened mussels and some of the liquid to the chowder just before serving.

Serves 8-10 people.