New Favorite

Buttternut Squash and Chicken Chowder

Butternut Squash and Chicken Chowder is a wonderful comfort food, especially paired with a nice biscuit or crusty bread.  Squash is plentiful, the weather is cool, and soups are my favorite fall and winter comfort foods.

It’s great fun to experiment with new recipes.  Growing up the standard soups and stews were Chile, vegetable soup, potato soup, bean soup, oyster stew at Christmas (still not a favorite), and an occasional ham and split pea soup.  Now the sky is the limit, trying new combinations and flavors!

Buttternut Squash and Chicken Chowder

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely minced
½ pound carrots peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into small bite sized pieces
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Few grinds black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs (or both), all fat removed and cut into bite sized pieces
2 cups onion, diced
1 cup celery diced (I substituted 1 chopped green pepper and 1/2 teaspoon celery seed)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons flour
2 14.5-ounce cans chicken stock
1 pound all purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
1 14.5-ounce can kernel corn with liquid
¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Few shakes of Tabasco sauce
2 cups half and half cream

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Toss one tablespoon of the oil in a small bowl with the sage and carrots and pour out onto a small sheet pan. Roast for ten minutes.
  • Add squash and another tablespoon of oil along with salt and pepper to the small bowl and pour out onto the carrots and flip with a spatula to mix.
  • Roast for ten more minutes.
  • Remove from oven and set aside.
  • While vegetables are roasting, in a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil with the butter over medium high heat.
  • Once the fat is hot, add about a third the chicken and cook about five minutes to brown and cook through. Remove to a bowl and cook the another third then finally the last third, adding to the bowl after each batch. Set aside. The chicken should be fully cooked through at this step.
  • Turn the heat to medium and add the onions and celery. Cook, stirring often until the onions are translucent, about five to ten minutes. Add garlic and cook for one more minute.
  • Add flour and cook for two more minutes, stirring often.
  • Add stock and stir with a wooden spoon.
  • Bring to a boil and add potatoes along with roasted vegetables and all pan drippings. Cook for 5-10 minutes until vegetables are tender.
  • Add corn with juice along with Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces.
  • Add cooked chicken with any liquid that collected in the bowl, stir and add all of the half and half cream.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning and bring just to serving temperature.
Family Favorites

Peach Raspberry Cobbler

Palisade (Colorado) peaches are divine and something our family looks forward to each year.  Due to an early freeze, we weren’t sure we could purchase peaches.  A local high school band had a fundraiser with peaches and we purchased 3 boxes of the most beautiful peaches.

Palisade Peaches

This recipe for cobbler combines my favorite two fruits, raspberry and peach. My mouth waters just thinking about it.  Fresh fruit is the best but I have also made from frozen peaches with great results.

What will I do with the rest of the peaches?   Oh, wonderful peach salsa!

PEACH RASPBERRY COBBLER

8 medium sized peaches (about 2 lb. or 4 cups), ripe peeled and sliced
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups raspberries, rinsed and drained
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a shallow 1.5 to 2 quart baking dish.
  • Mix together peaches, 1/2 cup sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, and cinnamon. Pour into prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle raspberries over the peaches.
  • In a food processor or a bowl, mix together flour, 3/4 c. sugar, butter and nutmeg until it has the texture of coarse oatmeal.  Crumble over the fruit.
  • Bake until bubbling in the center and golden brown on top, about 45 -60 minutes.
  • Cool for at least 10 minutes.  Best served warm with vanilla ice cream.
New Traditions

Turkey Green Chile

Green Chile was a novel concept to me until I moved from the midwest to Arizona and then to Colorado.  My Iowa roots only knew Chile as red, in Chile Con Carne.  I’ve grown to love green chile but I prefer mine mild.  This Green Chile was a favorite of mine made at a local office building cafeteria many moons ago.  It’s been years since I have made the turkey (vs. pork) green chile and I was happy to experience it once again.  The original recipe made a much heavier roux but I prefer it on the lighter side.

Warm flour tortillas to serve with the chile to warm you on these cold winter nights!

TURKEY GREEN CHILE

3 quarts (96 oz.) chicken stock (remove 1 cup for roux)
1/2 cup olive oil
2/3 cup diced onion
1/2 bunch chopped cilantro
12 ounces diced green chiles
2 pounds ground turkey
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon jalapenos
4 tablespoons flour (or more if you want the chile to be thicker)
16 ounces chopped tomatoes
2 to 3 chopped green onions
salt, cayenne or tabasco to taste

  • Prepare chicken stock. Simmer while preparing other ingredients.
  • Heat olive oil; add onion, cilantro, 8 ounces green chiles, turkey, garlic, oregano and jalapenos until turkey is cooked. Lower heat.
  • Combine flour with the 1 cup of reserved stock to make roux. Mix thoroughly. Add to stock and stir. Add sautéed mixture.
  • Add 4 ounces green chiles, chopped tomatoes and additional green onions. Season to taste.
  • Serve with warm tortillas.
Family Favorites

Cranberry Bread…tart, sweet and warm from the oven!

Cranberry Bread was a favorite of mine back in the day.  I would make several loaves to give as gifts for the holidays when I young, single and fancy-free in St. Joe, MO.  I’m glad to have this recipe back on my radar screen.  The kids loved it.  The tartness of the cranberries complimented by the sweet dough is wonderfully delicious warm from the oven with butter.

The bread freezes well to make ahead for holiday gifts.

CRANBERRY BREAD

2 cups flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon soda
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons margarine, melted
3/4 cup orange juice
1 beaten egg
1 cup raw cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)

  • Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, soda and sugar. Add the orange juice, melted butter, then add beaten egg.
  • Mix well and add the chopped cranberries. Put into greased loaf pan and fill half full of batter.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Cool for 10 minutes and then run knife around the pan to remove loaf.