Q. What should you do if your soup is too hot?
A. Add a chilly pepper
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This morning I woke up, extra grateful for a day off. It's a cloudy day here. (December, Iowa, 'tis the season) The first day in recent memory that I don't have a deadline, a place to be, a day of meetings, or anything pinning me to the calendar.
If you stopped by for a cup of coffee, I’d apologize and say that I've never been much of a fan. Tea? I’d offer, and reach for an herbal blend. You’d find me wearing my favorite flannel pajamas, my husband's sweater, an attempted fluff of yesterday’s hair.
I’d probably put on mascara, though, let’s be honest.
— — —
We would talk about a number of things. I’d share that it's been a good week, although truth be told, I've been fighting off a case of the winter blues. You’d share you’re doing your best to be a good human, trying not to compare your efforts to other people, and we’d toast to that.
Refill? I’d ask.
— — —
A small smattering of loveliness we might also share:
Wishing – for everyone to see the Mr. Roger's movie. You'll feel like you're wrapped in the coziest blanket of kindness.
Related – the article the movie is based upon [via Esquire]
Wondering – Friends, do you happen to have a good recipe for ramen? I'm wanting to perfect a brothy noodly bowl of goodness and am hoping for a place to start
Reading (slowly, because I never want it to end) – Driftless by David Rhodes – One of the best books I've read in a very long time. Whatever you do, find a place for it on your nightstand. I can't say enough good things
Avoiding – our building's package room(!) 150+ apartments + Christmas? Finding anything has become a boy job.
The hustle, the bustle – I can accurately claim neither, although we did buy a giant wreath for our front door. It makes my heart happy every time I round the corner
Happiness is – warm bathrobes from the dryer, vitamin D on the tongue
Today's philosophy to remember – for marriage and anything else: “Life is sad. Here is someone” ~ Lorrie Moore
Hoping – to find a holiday cookie exchange. I've been watching church billboards as I drive around town, but so far, no luck. Lots of cute sayings, but no cookie announcements. There's nothing merrier than a church basement filled with sugary goodness and cheer
Cooking short-list – includes Steamed Sweet Potatoes with Tahini, Marinated Lentils, crunchy veggies, and some marinated beets, which I plan on turning into various salad-y lunch bowls. For quick dinners, Soy-Ginger Scrambled Eggs, Greek Salad with Shrimp, and a big pot of Freaky Greens.
Cookbooks on the kitchen counter – Melissa Clark's Dinner – her recipes are simultaneously simple enough to make on weeknights and interesting enough to make for guests. A few favorites: Tofu with Ginger and Spicy Greens, Parmesan Dutch Baby, Pizza with Broccoli Rabe, and Tortilla Soup
More cookbooks on the kitchen counter – Amy Chaplin's Whole Food Cooking Every Day – all of her base recipes are captivating, and I'm excited to try her seasonal variations. A few favorites: Almond-Coconut Milk is yummy on morning oatmeal, fermented veggies of all sorts, and the wonderfully satisfying Cacao-Pear Hazelnut Cake
All else – cold walks, woolen feet, thumb-printing the cream cheese cookies for a Maraschino cherry
I think its safe to say; we're long overdue for a really good chicken chili recipe around here. I'm not entirely sure what has taken me so long – I guess I needed a gentle nudge from my husband who still talks about the bowls of Chicken Chili Verde he used to eat at an old haunt.
It's not that I wasn't cooking chili, I just wasn't sharing. I kept waiting until the pot in front of me was one that I was extra happy about. The kind of chili that finds you leaning over the pot spoon in hand, saying, “Oh my, now this is good!” And believe me, I would never have dreamed the best pot of chili I've made in a long time would be inspired by a bunch of green chiles. But sure enough, that's what happened.
Any great chili should be richly spiced, with layers of deep, savory flavor and this one fits the bill. Here, that big flavor comes from plenty of green chiles, fresh and canned; their kick offset with creamy white beans to mellow it all out. Depending on your tolerance for heat, remove the seeds from the jalapeño before mincing.
While cilantro isn't everyone's favorite, a handful added at the end lends an unexpected freshness.
Lately, I've been making so many of our meals in the slow-cooker, especially meals like chili who's flavor improves with a long, slow simmer. But no worries, I can also be prepared on the stovetop, adding an extra cup of stock because the liquid is more likely to evaporate.
This makes a big batch, is so nice for a cold-weather get-together, but if you're making it for a smaller group, the leftovers freeze well.
~ Adapted from The New York Times
Slow-Cooker Chicken Chili Verde
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- salt + pepper
- 10 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeño, minced
- 3 (4 oz) cans chopped green chilies (hot, mild, or a combination, depending on your tolerance for heat)
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp ground cayenne
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 3 cups chicken stock (homemade is best)
- 2 (14 oz) cans great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 ½ cups frozen corn
- 1 small bunch cilantro, finely chopped (optional)
- 2 Tbsp lime juice (or the juice from ~ 1 lime)
- jalapeno slices, sliced scallions, cubed avocado, sour cream
- In a large Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the onion, season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and translucent (~ 8 minutes)
- Add the garlic and jalapeño and cook until fragrant (~ 1 minute)
- Add the chopped green chiles, cumin, onion powder, oregano, and cayenne and stir until fragrant (~ 1 to 2 minutes). Transfer the mixture into a 5 to 8-quart slow cooker.
- Generously season the chicken thighs with salt and add them to the pot. Stir in 3 cups chicken stock and the beans. Cover and cook on low until the chicken is tender (~ 4 to 6 hours)
- Shred the chicken using two forks. (You can do this directly in the pot, or remove the chicken to a bowl, shred it, then return it to the pot)
- Stir in the frozen corn, cover and cook until warmed through (~ 10 minutes)
- Stir in the cilantro, if using, and lime juice. Season to taste with salt. Serve in bowls and pass the toppings at the table.