Monthly Archives: November 2008

A Mighty Sprout

Brussels sprouts.  Before you click “back” on your browser in disgust, let me tell you that these little things are one of the best vegetables out there.  Seriously.  Most of you have had brussels sprouts long ago (most likely boiled till mushy) and decided that you definitely don’t like them.  I urge you to give them a second try.  This recipe utilizes all of 4 ingredients to make a wonderful sidedish or in my case a hearty, affordable dinner.

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Get out a small, glass baking dish.
  2. Wash and quarter 1 pound of brussels srouts.  If they have long or woody stems, chop those off.
  3. Dice 4 cloves of garlic and 1 large shallot.
  4. Place garlic, sprouts, and shallot in the baking dish.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover with about 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil, and toss all ingredients together.  Place in the oven.
  5. While the brussels sprouts are baking, crisp up one half pound of diced bacon.
  6. The sprouts will be done in 25 minutes.  Toss dish together with the crisped bacon.  Serve with bread or as a side dish.

Mmm.  Don’t those look good.  They taste good too!  And they are good for you!  On an unrelated note, I plan on opening this blog up to friends for posting in order to have more content flowing regularly.  Now that I’m cooking only for myself, I often resort to quick and easy (read: un-blogworthy) meals.  Stay tuned for new posters…

cimg0444

White Bean Chicken Chili

Recently, I was challenged to a chili “throwdown” of sorts.  I, being the person that cannot turn down a culinary challenge, graciously accepted.  Then it dawned on me that I do have a good chili recipe, but I wouldn’t consider it competition worthy.  I then panicked.  What if I go down in flames???  My goal is to avoid defeat at all costs, so I decided to give an alternative to chili con carne a whirl in order to prepare for this chili throw down that is to come.  I went with a white bean chicken chili as an experiment.  I adapted a recipe by Paula Deen that came highly recommended.   Basically,

  1. Soak one pound of dried navy beans in water over night (after picking them over for stones)
  2. The next day when you are ready to eat, drain the beans and put them in a large pot for making soup.
  3. Cover them with 5 cups of chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  4. In the meantime, dice up 1 bell pepper, 3 jalapenos (no seeds), 2 small onions, 2 cloves of garlic, and 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
  5. Cook all of these veggies in a skillet with half a stick of butter until they sweat out some flavor, 5 minutes.
  6. Add the cooked veggies and the raw chicken to the boiling bean mixture.  Stir.
  7. Add 1 tbsp of kosher salt, 1 tsp of black pepper, 1 tbsp of cumin, 1tbsp of dried oregano, and a few generous dashes of red pepper flake to the pot.  Stir again.
  8. Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for 90 minutes.

I topped mine with a touch of shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and a dash of cayenne pepper.  At first I was underwhelmed, but once the sour cream and cheese got mixed in and thickened everything, it all began to taste better with each spoonful.  I’ll definitely cook this again, but still on the fence as to whether this will be my competition chili.  More chili recipes to come I guess…

cimg0434