Pudgy Peanut Butter Cookies  

Click here to view recipe.

Giant Plush Peanut Butter Cookies

I have been in a baking mood as of late. It is summer in Seattle, but the weather is more like March: high 40’s at night and low 60’s during the day.  Most of what I bake these days is divided and delivered to friends, and to grandkids.  I love to hear the ooos and ahhs and there is never a complaint about my finished products. 

For some odd reason, last night I had a hankering for peanut butter cookies.  Not with oatmeal, not with chocolate chips, not with crushed peanuts…just plain old peanut butter cookies with a fork cross hatch. They remind me of my mom’s peanut butter cookies, although hers were mini cookies and I have a strong preference for huge monster cookies these days.  I start by cutting a large cookie in half then I go back and finish the other half later. 

This recipe is adapted from Sallys Baking Addiction blog*. They are easy.  The dough is peanut butter-centric with less flour than most, and I mix the ingredients the night before, put the raw dough in an airtight container overnight in the refrigerator and scoop then bake them the following day or even two days later.  I only get about a dozen cookies here, but that is perfect for me since I no longer have a huge freezer.  This way I get to bake more often, and everything is fresh as can be.  

* I have put everything in grams since that is my strong preference for consistent baked goods. 

Giant Plush Peanut Butter Cookies 

Yield: ~12 giant cookies or ~30 smaller cookies

pf-icon2

 

Ingredients 
  • 170 grams unbleached all-purpose flour 
  • ½ tsp baking soda 
  • ¼ tsp sea salt 
  • 1 stick salted butter, cut into bits so it softens quickly 
  • 50 grams granulated sugar 
  • 100 grams dark brown sugar 
  • 1 large egg 
  • 185 grams creamy peanut butter, commercial Jif or Skippy works just fine 
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar to roll the cookies before baking 
Instructions 

Combine the flour, soda and salt in a small bowl and whisk together, set aside. 

Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream the butter for a minute, then add the sugars and continue beating for two more minutes.  Add the egg and beat another minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl. 

Add the peanut butter and vanilla and beat until everything is evenly mixed. 

Add the flour/soda/salt mixture on low speed.  The dough is very soft.  Scrape it into a covered container and refrigerate overnight or up to three days.  

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the shelf in the center of the oven.  Take two cookie sheets and line them with parchment paper.    

Place 1/3 cup granulated sugar into a shallow bowl.  Scoop about 60 grams of dough (I use a large ice cream scoop) and then roll the dome part in sugar.  Place six cookies evenly on the cookie sheet and gently press down a teeny bit, then use the tines of a fork to make a cross hatch design. Even up the edges of the cookies so they look like a magazine photo. 

Note: if you want 30 smaller cookies, scoop a little less than a tablespoon per cookie and bake them less, maybe 10-11 minutes.   

FOR THE GIANT COOKIES Bake one sheet at a time for 14-15 minutes so the edges are browned a bit, but the center might look less done.  You want it like this, so the cookies are crunchy on the edges and soft in the middle.  

 Remove the cookie sheet when the cookies are baked enough  and let them rest on the cookie sheet for five minutes, then remove them to a cooling rack.  You can keep them in a tightly covered container for up to a week or freeze them. 

Share
Posted in Cookies | Tagged | Leave a comment

Lentil Vegetable Stew with Lamb Meatballs

Click here to view recipe.

Lentil Vegetable Stew with Lamb Meatballs

My sister Susan wrote to both Kay and me (the third sister) and told us she highly, highly recommended this lentil soup she had tried from the New York Times, adapted by Joan Nathan. Originally this was eaten to break the Ramadan fast.  Susan said it made a ton and was hearty and delish.  She suggested additional carrots since the soup is brown and the color makes it much more appealing. 

So, I picked up supplies I did not already have in my fridge and pantry, then rolled up my sleeves and put everything on the counter.  Surprisingly the soup was very quick to make, start to finish.  We had it for dinner, we had it for lunch the next day, my husband ate it for breakfast (!) and I still had enough to give a large container to Jakey Boy’s family.  Add some crusty bread and a simple salad and you will be in heaven.  This year I made a double batch to eat before the Yom Kippur fast” gallons of soup but I was feeding my grandkids who play football, baseball, and basketball.  They eat like there is no tomorrow!

I changed the original recipe, adding more lamb for the teenagers and more veggies for me.  And I eliminated sauteeing of onions for the stock, putting extra onion instead into the meat mixture. I needed to use up some of my legumes, so I ended up using mostly brown lentils and supplementing them with yellow split peas.  I didn’t have allspice (not my fave) so I added cinnamon to the lamb.  And per Susan’s recommendation, I added more carrots and a diced parsnip as well. If you have a little zucchini, that would be fine to put into the soup along with the carrots.

Lentil Vegetable Stew with Lamb Meatballs

Serves 12 

pf-icon2

 

Ingredients 
  • 1 large onion minced : I chopped both the onion with the parsley in the food processor since I had it out already.
  • 1 1/2 lb ground lamb 
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley (I grow parsley in the front yard) -chop by hand or in the processor)
  • 1 cup soft breadcrumbs (I always make breadcrumbs with leftover bread and have it frozen) 
  • 1 tsp sea salt: this is more than enough.
  • ¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper 
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 10 cups chicken broth -homemade, better than Bouillion or boxed chicken broth.
  • 1-pound brown lentils, picked over to remove stones and rinsed (or substitute up to half with yellow split peas) 
  • 2 oz angel hair pasta, broken into 2-inch segments 
  • 3carrots, peeled and cut 1/3 inch 
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and cut the same size as the carrot 
  • Juice of ½ lemon plus wedges of lemon to serve the soup 
Instructions 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place the minced onion, the ground lamb, parsley, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl and blend with your hands.  Form into balls the size of walnuts and space onto the baking pan. I like larger meatballs so mine were more like small golf balls.

Roast for 10 minutes and remove from the pan onto a paper towel-lined cookie sheet to drain. 

Heat the soup pot and then heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and sauté until golden, then add the broth and bring to a boil.   Add the rinsed lentils and simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are almost tender.  

Break up angel hair pasta and add to the pot along with the diced peeled carrots and parsnip.  Add the drained lamb meatballs.   Simmer slowly for another 5-10 minutes or until lentils and noodles are cooked.  Add more chicken stock or water as needed.  I love thick soups, so I leave mine that way but if you are wanting more of a soup, add more liquid.  Just before serving, add lemon juice, taste to see if you need more salt or pepper and serve with lemon wedges. 

I am sure ground beef would work here too but I love the surprise taste of lamb.  Also, I think if you reduce the amount of lentils a tad, adding some fresh spinach at the end and just letting it wilt would be nice.  I like a thick stew and adding more vegetables helped accomplish that for me.

Share
Posted in Soups | Tagged | Leave a comment

Addictive Crispy Chocolate Chunk Cookies – Redux

This is a repeat post from 2018.  This time around I did away with the pecans and like the recipe better with 1 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate.  I refrigerated the dough for 45 minutes before balling them, then I put them back in the fridge for another 15 min while the oven preheats. I also put just 12 cookies on each sheet while they baked because they spread a lot. These are, IMHO, sensational. Better than Tate’s!

Crispy Chocolate Chunk Cookies

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Originally posted June 13, 2018

Click here to view recipe.

I Just Couldn’t Help Myself!

OK people. In the past, I posted a recipe for salted chocolate chunk cookies that are firm on the edges with a soft interior.  They are the bomb.

But these?  These are, as my husband says, “ the best cookies I’ve had in 74 1/2 years.”  And I wholeheartedly agree, even though I am a year younger and a much more sophisticated cookie taster.

These are a cross between toffee, shortbread, and chocolate chippers.  They are really crispy through and through, not too sweet (I even decreased the sugar suggested in the original recipe) and they have a deep, interesting, nutty flavor.  Again, I think this is in part due to the Lyle’s golden syrup I subbed for the original recipe’s light corn syrup. Lyle’s is my favorite “golden” syrup and I love the flavor when added to batters and doughs.  (The original recipe came from Amanda Hesser of the New York Times.)

Addictive Crispy Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Makes ~32 cookies

pf-icon2

 

Ingredients
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 14 tablespoons (1 ¾ sticks) salted butter, melted
  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Lyle’s golden syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 3/4  cups chopped bittersweet chocolate (pea-size pieces and shavings)I started with Ghirardelli bittersweet chunks and ran a knife through them until they were smaller
  • 2 cups chopped toasted pecans (optional) – chopped the same size as the chocolate
Instructions

Preheat the oven to 300 convection degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the butter, sugars and corn syrup for about three minutes. Stir in the vanilla, then the milk. Add the flour mixture all at once and blend just until a dough forms. Fold in the chocolate and walnuts. Chill the dough for at least an hour.

Roll 1 ½ tablespoon lumps of dough into balls, then place on the baking sheet and flatten to 1/4 inch-thick disks spaced two inches apart. Chill the dough between batches. Bake until the edges are dark golden brown, 17 minutes. Let cool slightly on the baking sheet, then transfer to a baking rack.

I do one cookie sheet, mid-oven at a time.

 

Share
Posted in Cookies | Tagged | Leave a comment

Easy Applesauce

Click here to view recipe.

Easy Applesauce

Easy Applesauce

I previously posted a recipe for cranberry applesauce from a Thanksgiving/Chanukah meal we shared with family at Kal’s cabin in 2014.

That seems like so long ago! Today I have three mature apple trees that drop apples everywhere – all of which are still wonderful to use for cooking.

I thought I would share a formula for apple sauce that I’ve been using of late.  I have committed this to memory and feel it is particularly good to make in the fall and early winter while farmers’ markets have lots of apples available.  I find that less-than-perfect apples work well for sauce.  Oh, and I have a new 6-month-old granddaughter who is just starting to eat solid foods.  You better believe applesauce was one of her first gourmet delights, and I’m happy to report that her batch was not sweetened at all.

Easy Applesauce

Makes about 2+ quarts

pf-icon2

 

Ingredients:
  • 8-10 medium apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 8 pieces each (I peel mine with the potato peeler, then use a metal apple slicer to cut them into 8 pieces)
  • 1 ¼  cup water
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 2-3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • IF you want colorful applesauce, add an unpeeled plum or a peeled peach, diced into ½ inch.  These are abundant in Seattle in the late summer.
Instructions:

Put all these ingredients in the pressure cooker or Instapot. Stir to combine.  Lock the lid in place and bring it to pressure, let it stay at full pressure for four minutes, then turn off the heat.  Allow pressure to drop on its own, which takes up to 15 minutes.

Remove the lid of the pressure cooker and mash the apples (and added plum or peach) with a potato masher. This way, it’s a little chunky, which I prefer.

Store in jars in the fridge for up to 10 days, or freeze and use within six months.

Share
Posted in Sauces | Tagged | Leave a comment

Fresh Summer Uncooked Tomato Sauce With Basil

Click here to view recipe.

Fresh Summer Uncooked Tomato Sauce With Basil

In the summer, I grow and harvest tons of yellow, orange, and red cherry tomatoes.  I put lots of them in salads or eat them right off the vine, but one of my favorite dishes is uncooked tomato sauce. This takes zero skill – other than patience to wait while the tomatoes become juicy and delectable!

This can be used to mix with cooked pasta of any kind, adding a dollop of fresh pesto or including fresh raw sweet corn, or any other type of cooked veggie or white bean.   I always shower the top of the pasta with fresh ribbons of home-grown basil leaves and fresh Parmesan cheese.

Fresh Summer Uncooked Tomato Sauce With Basil

Serves 4

pf-icon2

 

Ingredients
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 3 fresh garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • Sea Salt (probably around 1 teaspoon)
  • Fresh ground black pepper (about 20 grinds)
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp slivered basil, divided (1 Tbsp slivered basil to mix with the raw tomatoes and another 1 Tbsp for serving)
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4-pound dry spaghetti noodles or fusilli
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese (to serve)
Instructions

Combine the tomatoes, garlic, salt, black pepper, vinegar, basil, and oil in a wide bowl. Let sit uncovered at room temperature for at least an hour and up to 3 hours. Stir about once an hour. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

After the sauce has been on the counter for at least an hour and when you are ready for lunch or dinner, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Salt generously and add the dried pasta. Cook until the pasta is firm to the bite, following the directions on the package but checking 1 to 2 minutes before the suggested cooking time. I always reserve about ¼ cup of the pasta cooking water in case the final dish seems too dry.

Drain the pasta and toss with the raw tomato sauce. Add any other cooked leftover vegetables you wish, add some pasta cooking water if you desire, and sprinkle on the cheese.  Top the dish with some ribbons of basil and serve.

PS: This mixture is also good on toasted baguettes, polenta, or even rice.  I have been known to use it on top of white beans or white fish, such as baked halibut or even cod.

Share
Posted in Pasta, Sauces | Tagged | Leave a comment

All Purpose Flavorful Sauce

Click here to view recipe.

Salmon Adorned with All Purpose Flavorful Sauce

I plan out my cooking at the beginning of every week. Typically, I make one or two salad dressings, usually something pickled like red onions or pickled cucumbers, a batch of homemade mayo – sometimes flavored with spicy stuff and sometimes whirled with herbs – and often some kind of sauce to serve with any type of protein.

I happened upon Mark Bittman’s concoction a few weeks ago and quickly made it since I had all the ingredients in my fridge and pantry.  That evening I went to a family dinner and cooked very plain baked salmon, then served this on the side for flavor. I was curious as to how it would be received. I need not have worried because the kids drizzled this on the salmon, on the orzo, on the veggies, on the salad…and my daughter asked me that night to send the recipe.  Let me tell you people – this is a supreme compliment.  She was surprised there was tahini in the sauce – she knew there was something sesame but the tahini is subtle.  

It Might Not Be Much To Look At – But Take My Word For It … DELISH!

This is kind of a mash up of teriyaki and tahini sauce.  Use it everywhere, keep it in the fridge and enjoy!

All Purpose Flavorful Sauce

Makes about 1¼ cups 

pf-icon2

 

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • Red chili flakes (optional, to taste)
Instructions

Combine all the ingredients. Use immediately. Or refrigerate for up to a couple of weeks.(Bring back to room temperature before serving).

 

Share
Posted in Condiment | Tagged | Leave a comment

Bow Tie Pasta with Smoked Salmon and Peas (aka Salmon and Noodles and Peas…Oh My!)

Click here to view recipe.

Bow Tie Pasta with Smoked Salmon & Peas

This is a very, very quick pasta dish that goes from ingredients to the final meal in less than 30 minutes.  I made it recently – mainly because I had leftover smoked fish from a weekend brunch, and it sounded very warming and beautiful to me.  The original recipe called for poached salmon, but I think the smoked fish is much more flavorful and pairs so well with the lemon.  I’ll be making this again!  With a nice green salad and some fresh fruit, it seems like a fancy meal suitable for company.

My husband and I loved this as did my close-by family with three little boys.

Bow Tie Pasta with Smoked Salmon and Peas

Serves 3-4 but I always double it for leftovers

pf-icon2

 

Ingredients
  • 2 rounded cups bowtie pasta (farfalle), uncooked (probably 6-7 ounces) 
  • 1/2-pound cold alder smoked salmon
  • Juice and zest of 1 large lemon (you should have around ¼ cup of juice)
  • 1 ¼  cup frozen peas, no need to defrost
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus about 2 Tbsp to sprinkle on top of the finished dish
  • Cracked black pepper to taste
Instructions

Remove the skin from the smoked salmon and tear the fish into medium sized pieces. Remove any bones you find along the way.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add two teaspoons of table salt.  Cook the pasta to just al dente. Drain, but reserve a half cup of the pasta cooking water.

While the pasta is cooking, gently heat the cream in a large sauté pan. Add the frozen peas, the lemon juice and zest, ¼ cup of grated parmesan and the pepper to taste and stir slightly.  Add the frozen peas and the fish and barely cook until the peas are heated but still green. Add the cooked, drained pasta and mix together.  Taste and add more ground pepper if desired. Add a bit of the reserved pasta water if the sauce seems too thick. Because of the smoked fish, the salted pasta cooking water  and the parmesan cheese I do not add additional salt!

Serve while hot and sprinkle each bowl with extra cheese to garnish.



Share
Posted in Pasta | Tagged | Leave a comment

Hershey’s Best Brownies

Click here to view recipe.

The Best Brownie!

Mr or Mrs or they Hershey happens to have timeless recipes.  Remember Bubbie’s chocolate cake?  So it came as no surprise to find out that these amazing brownies that someone brought to my sister Susan came from the Hershey files as well.  She didn’t know this and asked her friend for the recipe, so when I read it I laughed.  The moral is not to judge a recipe by the origin.  

Truthfully, it doesn’t sound that great but it is deeply chocolatey and easy to whip up in a hurry.  I made a big pan last week to take to my daughter’s house where there were four 14 year old boys, three 12 year old boys and the usual five of us.  Needless to say, the teenaged boys ate like they had never seen food.

I cut the brownies into medium sized pieces.  Even though they were still too filling and rich for me, I topped each brownie with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream.  It looked like a fancy pants dessert, but in reality they were pedestrian brownies.  AND I used Hershey cocoa, not the expensive stuff I hoard these days.

Hershey’s Best Brownies

Makes a 9×13” pan size batch

pf-icon2

 

Ingredients
  • 1 C salted butter
  • 2 C granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ C cocoa (Hersheys is fine, but I do sift it) 
  • 1 C flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 C toasted nuts, either pecans or walnuts cut into ¼ inch pieces
  • Optional:  Sprinkle a handful of chocolate chips on top before baking.  You better believe I did this and used dark chocolate chips!
Instructions

(This is a one bowl or pan mixing situation)

Heat oven to 350, spray or use my pam like mixture,  9 x 13 pan.

Melt butter, stir in sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, hand beat, add cocoa and beat until well blended. Add flour, baking powder, salt and nuts.  Sprinkle about one cup of chocolate chips evenly on top. Bake for 20-25 min. Cool and cut. 

 

Note: you can make this in an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 brownie pan by cutting the recipe in half.



Share
Posted in Cookies, Dessert | Tagged | Leave a comment

Pinto Bean Soup with Salami and Vegetables

Click here to view recipe.

Pinto Bean Soup with Salami & Vegetables

Another soup for you, straight from my imagination.  I began with a formula for navy bean soup, and since I had too many pinto beans, I decided to go forth and use them as a base instead. I did a quick soak of the beans then added some vegetables and a little broth and water.  About an hour in, I sauteed cubes of salami (I don’t eat pork but wanted something salty and meaty, and I had leftover salami) and added them to the pot along with a small russet potato I had hanging out in my pantry.  Oh, and fresh dill went into the soup since it was on its last day and I didn’t want to waste it.

This tasted really great and I’ll make it again this winter since I looooove beans.  It seems flexible too with regard to vegetables you could add or type of bean or fresh herbs.

Pinto Bean Soup with Salami and Vegetables

Serves 4-5—you can easily double this for leftovers

pf-icon2

 

Ingredients
  • ½ pound pinto beans,
  • ½ large white onion, diced 1/3 inch
  • 2 medium carrots, washed-then peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 peeled parsnip, cut the same size as the carrots
  • 1 rib celery, washed and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • Half a bunch of fresh dill
  • 2 cups beef broth (I used Better than bouillon to make this, follow the directions for 2 cups)
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces salami, cut into ½ inch cubes and lightly sauteed
  • 1 small russet potato, peeled and diced 1 inch
Instructions

Sort and rinse the beans  Cover with water by two inches,  bring to a boil for two minutes then cover and remove from the heat and let it sit for at least two hours.  Then drain and proceed.

Begin by sautéing the onion in about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and sauté for 4 minutes until it is soft.  Add the cut carrots, celery and cook another few minutes.  Then add the previously soaked beans, broth, water, tomato paste, bay leaves and pepper.

Bring everything to a boil, then lower the heat to low and cover the pot for about an hour.  I stirred my soup every time I walked by.  After the hour is up, add the slightly cooked salami and the cubes of potato.  Let the soup cook another ½ hour on low with the lid on, checking that the you don’t need to add water.  Taste for seasoning and add what you need.  (I never add more salt since the broth and salami both have salt in them.) The soup thickens as it sits, so add water or broth if you want a soupier soup.

Serve with a nice loaf of bread or crackers and a light lettuce salad. I plan to have leftovers over previously cooked brown rice for lunch tomorrow!

Share
Posted in Soups | Tagged | 3 Comments

Tortilla Soup with Crisp Tortillas and Avocado Relish

Click here to view recipe.

Tortilla Soup with Crisp Tortillas and Avocado Relish

The first time I tasted tortilla soup was at my daughter’s home, and her kids said this was one of their favorite things for dinner.  It was a little spicy but so, so good. And, as it turns out, so, SO easy. The original recipe from Epicurious required frying the corn tortillas rather than buying the chips, using and dicing fresh tomatoes rather than canned, and hunting down and finding all types of peppers.

Rachel is like me.  She cooks fast and mean and comes out with food lickity split that is always delicious.  These are some notes from our texts when I asked for the recipe:

“Here’s the recipe with my changes – bottom line is I make it without requiring complicated grocery runs. It’s hard to find these chilis here, for example, or they only come in large quantities and then sit around in pantry for months after. Onion type has varied depending on what’s on hand as well. First time I made my own tortilla chips as per original recipe. Unnecessary. Didn’t measure chips second time through, just cook and puree with an immersion blender until the texture/thickness I like.”

A note of my own: You will want an immersion blender for this! That way nothing has to be cut small.

Tortilla Soup with Crisp Tortillas and Avocado Relish

Makes about 9-10 cups

pf-icon2

 

Tortilla Soup Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2  white onion (or red or brown if that is all you have)
  • 28 oz can Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes
  • 6 peeled, coarsely chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 fresh jalapeno pepper seeded and coarse diced
  • 2 chipotle chilis in adobo sauce (I always keep these in my refrigerator in a jar and use them when I need them, they keep a looooong time. I didn’t even bother to chop them.)
  • 15-ounce bag white corn tortilla chips with salt. Get cheap ones and save about 3 cups for serving.
  • 4 cups chicken stock (Better Than Bouillon is my go to)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled (if you have it-I did not use it)
  • 1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
Avocado Relish Ingredients
  • 2-3 ripe California avocados
  • 2 small vine-ripened tomato
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped white or red onion (about 1/2 onion)
  • 1 to 2 fresh serrano chilies chili of preference or hot sauce (I used zero extra spice and did not add peppers to the relish since the soup is pretty spicy)
  • Lots of chopped fresh cilantro, at least a half bunch
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Instructions

Chicken:

You can use store bought roasted chicken or roast chicken breasts or roast chicken thighs.  I happened to have a package of raw boneless skinless thighs that I put in the soup to cook along with everything else.  Once cooked, and before pureeing,  I took the pieces of chicken  out and shredded the meat.  Turns out this chicken flavored the soup nicely and the method was easy and quick.  The  dark meat is never dry.

Soup:

Heat oil in a large heavy soup pot. Coarsely chop onion. Sauté salt, garlic & onion until soft. Add can of tomatoes, roughly diced jalapeño and cook a bit and add 4 cups chicken broth. At this point I added the raw chicken thighs and let them simmer for 15 minutes.  Then add the remaining 4 cups of water.  When hot throughout and the thighs are cooked, remove the chicken pieces from the soup and set aside  Add handfuls of tortilla chips – crush them in your fingers as an add in*. When the pieces of tortilla chips have softened turn off the heat. Using an immersion blender, blend everything into a puree. The thickness of soup should be to your preference. The chips serve as a thickening agent. If necessary add more salt or pepper.  It turns out I used most of the 15-ounce bag of chips but reserved  about 3 cups to serve with the soup.  Shred the chicken meat and add it back to the soup pot after you puree everything else.

* Whatever tortilla chips you didn’t use for the soup, crush up and sprinkle on the soup when you serve it!

Make relish while soup is simmering:

Halve avocados, remove pits and cube flesh (recipe says 1/4-inch dice) and finely chop tomato. If using chilis, finely chopped and add to avocados and tomatoes. Also finely chop 1/2 onion (white or red). Finely chop a ton of cilantro. In a bowl gently stir together avocados, tomato, onion, chilies, and remaining relish ingredients until combined well. I added extra lime. Salt to taste. Don’t make the relish until right before serving the soup or it gets too mushy from the lime juice.

Serve:

Pour soup in each bowl,  making sure to include chicken.  Add a scoop of avocado relish, crumple up a small handful of chips on top (hearty!). Serve with lime wedges, a salad and sweet corn as a side.   Also put lime wedges, hot sauce, salt and pepper on the table.

Rachel wrote that this is embarrassingly easy, but I love embarrassingly easy!

Share
Posted in Central America, Soups | Tagged | Leave a comment