Sunday, January 29, 2012

Senate Bean Soup

1 pound dried navy beans, picked over
1 pound ham (preferably with bone)
1 Large russet potato, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup milk
2 TBSP butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)
pepper and salt to taste

Put beans in large bowl and cover with about 3 times their volume of cold water.  Soak overnight in a cool place.  Or, bring picked over beans to a boil, turn off heat, and let rest for 1 hour.

Drain beans and transfer to a large pot, Dutch oven or Crock Pot.  Add 10 cups of water and the ham.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and cook until the beans are tender, about 1 hour,30minutes or all day on low in the Crock Pot.  Transfer the ham to a plate , remove the bone , and dice the meat.  Return to the pot.

Meanwhile, cook the potato in water until tender, drain, mash with milk, salt and butter.  Add the mashed potato to the bean soup until combined.  You can also use left over mashed potato's.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion, celery and garlic.  Cook until translucent.  Add this mixture to the soup when ready.  You can also add these raw if you are cooking the beans in the crock-pot.

Use up to an additional 2 cups of water to adjust the soup to the thickness you prefer.

Recipe from Food Network Magazine

Comments.  This soup is served in three public Capitol Hill cafeterias currently and has been served on Capitol Hill since the turn of the 20th Century in the Senate Dining Room.  It is absolutely the best bean soup I have ever made.  My son, who does not usually like bean soup because of the texture, loves this soup.  I always make this soon after we have ham, and sometimes have been known to fix the ham in order to have the soup later.  Delicious!

Comments 2: I have made this now in the crock-pot and on the stove and have found the stove version is a bit better.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mom's Chili

2 pounds of ground beef, fried and drained
1 large jug of V-8 Juice
1 large onion, chopped
1 can of Rotel (my addition)
1 can of beans ( I use Bush's Hot Chili Beans, Mom used light red Kidney Beans)
Chili Powder (to taste, I use at least 1/3 of a bottle)

Put ingredients together in a large pot or a crock-pot, heat and serve.  I saute the onions with the beef if I am doing a quick put together and serve but simply cut them up and put them in the crock-pot if I am cooking the Chili all day.

Comments:  Mom was ahead of her time as she always served this over spaghetti noodles, therefore I do too.  It is also good with Frito's and Cheese, or simply by itself.  This is the easiest and quickest Chili ever made.  The last time I saw my friend Alison in Atlanta she said this continued to be her son's favorite.  It could be your favorite too because it is so quick to the table or will simmer all day in the crock-pot.  Other additions could be celery, green pepper, any kind of bean that you have in the pantry and hot sauce.  Enjoy!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Slow Cooker Chicken Stew Recipe

2 potatoes peeled, diced chunky and cooked until tender,  add to crock-pot near the end of cooking time (optional)
2 cups of chunky chopped carrots
1 package of frozen sweet corn
2 stalks of celery, chopped in chunks
1-2 onion, thickly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 (12.5 oz.) jar of salsa
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 bag of frozen Lima's
1 can of Rotel Tomatoes
2 tsp of salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp or more of chili powder
1/2 tsp of black pepper
1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
2-3 chicken breast
2 1/2 cups chicken broth

Place all ingredients in your slow cooker.  Place raw chicken on top of vegetables and seasonings.  Pour chicken broth over chicken and vegetables.  Cover Slow Cooker and cook on high for 4 hours.  Add potatoes near the end of your cooking time. Thicken with some cornstarch and water if you want stew to be a bit thicker consistency.  Take chicken breast out and either shred or cut in chunks and then place them back into the crock-pot and serve.

Comments:  I love this recipe because all of the vegetables are cut a bit chunkier than you might cut them for soup and you get to put the whole chicken breast into the crock-pot raw.  I have even put the chicken breast  in frozen if I choose to cook it on low for 6-8 hours instead of on high for 4.   It does need a bit of cornstarch slurry added if you want it to look like stew.  I have not had luck adding the potatoes directly into the crock pot at the beginning of the recipe, they do not get tender.  I think it has something to do with the tomato juices from the Rotel and Salsa, but not sure.  Alton Brown would know!  I don't always add them because of this.  Lots of flavor, easy and delicious!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tyler's Hot Dog Skillet Casserole

Hot-dog( 1 per person you are feeding)
Hot Chili Sauce (to taste)
Cooked Pasta, any type of short noodle you have on hand ( 1/2 -1 cup noodles/ hot dog)
Left over Cincinnati Chili (See previous post for recipe) (1/2 cup chili/hot dog)
Cheese (to taste)
Onions (1 tbsp/hot dog)
Peas (optional)

Directions:  Slice hot dogs into circles and fry until golden brown in a skillet with the Hot Chili Sauce.  Hot Chili Sauce amount is to taste.  Tyler uses 1 TBSP per 2 hot dogs.  Add cooked pasta to pan, left over Cincinnati Chili, cheese, onions and peas.  Heat together thoroughly and serve.

Comments:  This has become on of my son's favorite throw together leftover meals.  It is quite flavorful and surprisingly delicious! We have not tried it with traditional chili, but I am sure it would be great.

Cincinnati Chili

1 Quart of Water
2 LBS of Lean Hamburger
1 tsp of Cinnamon
1 tsp of Ground Cumin
1-2 Large Chopped Onions
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 toe Garlic
2 TBSP Chili Powder
1 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Red Pepper or Chili Pepper
1 TBSP Salt
1 1/2 tsp Ground Allspice
1 6oz. can of Tomato Paste
1 1/2 TBSP Cider Vinegar
3 Large Bay Leaves
1/2 oz Bakers Chocolate

Directions:  Original recipe states to crumble raw (do not brown) hamburger into water, add rest of ingredients.  Bring to boil, then simmer for 3 hours.  Remove garlic toe and bay leaves.  Add whole red peppers (if desired) for spicier taste.

Prepare Spaghetti noodles per package directions, chop raw onion, shred cheddar cheese, oyster crackers and open a can of beans to complement the chili.

I always brown my meat but I have had it made as the original recipe suggest and the texture is truer to the original Cincinnati Chili you get at Skyline Chili.  I do this because I do not always have the leanest ground beef and want to make every effort to decrease the fat content in my chili.  I use only one onion in my chili as this amount is enough for my family.  I also use pre-minced garlic and put in the equivalent of 1 toe of garlic as I usually have this ingredient in my refrigerator as a staple.  I often put this together in the crock-pot and let it simmer all day.

Note:  Cincinnati Chili is typically served over Spaghetti Noodles and then declared:
 3 Way:  Chili, Spaghetti Noodles and Cheese
 4 Way:  Chili, Spaghetti Noodles, Cheese and Onion
 5 Way:  Chili, Spaghetti Noodles, Cheese, Onion and Beans

Comments:  This recipe was given to me by a dear college friend, Tim.  As with so many things I cook, there is a connection to the person or event associated with the food.  One of my dislikes of computer generated print-outs of recipes is that you loose the original handwriting of the giver of the recipe.  This particular recipe is written in Tim's hand and is considered one of my many treasures.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

White Bean Chicken Chili

2 TBLSP Olive Oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced

1 box chicken broth (allows you to adjust liquid to consistency you like)
1 can Rotel Tomatoes ( can also use a can of Tomalillos drained and chopped or salsa verde)
1 can diced green chiles ( 7 oz)
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 bag of frozen corn
2 large boneless chicken breast, cooked and chopped into small pieces
2 cans of white beans
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil; and cook onion and garlic until soft

Add rest of ingredients.  Simmer until flavors meld and hot. 

Recipe from

Comments:  I have altered this recipe a bit from its original to make it a bit heartier and less soupy.  It is suggested that you can add 2-3 TBLSP of cornstarch mixed in chicken broth or milk if you want it thicker but I opted to just add more beans and corn. Garnish with sour cream, this is a really nice addition to the flavor of the soup.  I make this soup and let it simmer in the crock pot.  However, if you are in a hurry, you could assemble this soup and have it on the table in about 30 minutes total.  I serve with jalapeno/cheese corn muffins.  This recipe is quick and spicy!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Spicy Shredded Beef

2 1/2 pounds boned beef chuck
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) chopped tomatoes
1 can (7 oz.) chipotle sauce or spicy salsa
1 can (4 oz.) diced jalapeno peppers, drained
1 chopped onion
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 TBLSP. chili powder
1 TBLSP. honey
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp ground cumin
2 cups beef broth

Trim off extra fat off beef.  Put in slow cooker ( at least 5 quarts).  Add tomatoes with juice, salsa or chipolte sauce, jalapenos, onion, garlic, chili powder, honey salt and cumin;  pour broth over top.

Cook on low 8-10 hours. 

Remove meat from crock-pot  and shred with 2 forks.  Remove 1/2 of sauce from the crock-pot and then add the meat back to the rest of the sauce.  Serve in sandwiches.

Recipe from

Comments:  This is very spicy, so beware.  My family loves these sandwiches because of all of the flavor but as I said, not for those who like mild tasting food.  Serve on crusty rolls as they are very juicy sandwiches.  Sometimes I will caramelize onions to add to the sandwiches, and sometimes not.  We broil the buns with a piece of provolone or Swiss cheese and then add the meat.  It is suggested that you top the sandwiches with cabbage, red onion, sliced tomato, cilantro and sour cream but I haven't done this yet.  I am sure this would be delicious.  I also use whatever roast is on sale, usually aiming for a lean cut.  YUM!