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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Menu Plan Monday: March 5 Plus a Tales from the Kitchen Classic

Okay, so this is really Tuesday. I was so exhausted, I didn't make it to posting at any point between Sunday night and this morning. I did make my menu plan, though. So, here it is:

Monday: Lamb Meatballs, Rice Pilaf, Salad (we moved this last week, and did a different dinner Saturday, saving the fish for Sunday)

Tuesday: Cream of Poblano Soup for soup supper at home group

Wednesday: Popcorn Shrimp, Peas and Tater Tots (can you tell that frozen food was on sale last week?)

Thursday: Chicken Ottoman, Egg Noodles, Salad

Friday: Corn and Potato Enchiladas, Tomato Rice

Saturday: Black Beans for Potluck

Sunday: Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Green Beans


Cream of Poblano Soup

note: I roast the peppers under the broiler for about 10 minutes on each side. When they are charred, I put them in a bag to steam a bit, then peel them. The garlic I roast in a dry pan on the stove, still in the paper, but separated into cloves. Shake the pan a bit to turn them. I take them off the heat and peel them when they are charred.

1/4 cup butter
6 poblano chile peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced (These are sometimes called “pasilla” peppers in the store. They are dark green and 4-5” long.)
6 cloves of garlic, roasted, peeled, and diced
2 large onions (or 3 medium), thinly sliced
4 carrots, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon oregano
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
9 cups water
1 tablespoon salt
3 cups heavy cream or half and half
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro, optional
fried tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips
2 cups Monterey Jack, shredded (garlic jack or pepper jack are really nice)

Melt butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add poblanos, garlic, onion, carrots and oregano. Sauté an additional 5-10 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Sprinkle with flour. Cook, stirring, an additional 5 minutes.

Whisk in water until blended. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Using stick blender, puree soup or transfer soup in batches to a blender or food processor. Process until smooth and return to saucepan. Add cream and salt. Heat to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

Ladle soup into individual bowls. Pass tortilla strips, cheese and cilantro.

Serves 12 - can be halved or doubled easily.

Originally posted December 7, 2005 to Tales from the Kitchen

Last night I made Chicken Divan for the family, this is something we all like, and it goes together quickly, even if I don't have leftover chicken and need to cook it up from raw. I got the recipe from someone online, who I think got it from his wife, and I have changed it a bit, like I change every recipe that comes into my hands. However, we were a bit broccoli-ed out for a while, so I have used green beans or cauliflower instead, which really isn't Chicken Divan, so if you make it like this, call it Chicken Ottoman and the food police won't get you.

I have since discovered that baking this dish is completely unnecessary, so I have changed the instructions here. Here is the recipe with my changes.

Chicken Divan (or Ottoman)

1/4 cup butter
1/2 onion, peeled and diced
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 cup grated parmesan (or romano, we like it either way)
1 lb broccoli, peeled and chopped (or any other vegetable you like, we've made it with cauliflower, green beans, among others)
2 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite sized pieces (this is about 2 chicken breast halves)

note: if you use the frozen chicken that has the sodium solution in it, you will not need to salt anything, but if not, taste for salt and salt as necessary. Also, if I am not using leftover chicken, I cook the chicken in olive oil after sprinkling it with black pepper in the same saucepan I use for the sauce, after steaming the broccoli, and remove it to rest while I make the sauce.

In a large saucepan, steam the broccoli for about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside. Using the same pot, over medium heat, melt the butter and saute the onions lightly. When they start to soften, add the flour and cook, stirring, to make a light roux. Add the chicken broth and cream, and cook, stirring, to thicken, about three to five minutes, then add the mustard, sherry and worcestershire sauce. Stir to blend and add the chicken pieces (along with any juices from the chicken if it was cooked for the dish). Add the steamed broccoli and the parmesan, and stir to heat and melt. Take off the heat. Serve with rice or pasta, a salad and fruit.

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