Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Chicken and Broccoli Cheese Soup


It's Christmas time here and "Baby, It's Cold Outside".  So if you have no place to go, make some soup and "Let it Snow".   Yes, I have been listening to too many Christmas songs while I cook in the kitchen. 

Soup is one of my favorite parts of winter.  Well to tell you the truth, I can eat a big bowl of soup even in the middle of a scorching hot summer.  But when it's cold and miserable outside... Soup Rules!

I like to buy a big bag of broccoli florets from Costco almost every week.  Broccoli doesn't last too long in the fridge so I'm always finding ways to use it up.  This soup was a winning idea because I used one pound of broccoli and the kids couldn't tell and asked for second helpings. 

I also decided to poach some chicken breast to start the process.  Poaching the chicken breast first really gives a nice texture to the chicken.  It also gave me some great stock to combine with box stock.  I love being able to stretch a buck. 

The final touches are sliced American cheese and some milk to make this soup nice and creamy.  Yes, I said sliced American cheese.  Hey, there are places for fancy cheese, but if you want a easy and quick melting cheese... it's the best. 

So, if you are experiencing some chill in the air... grab a bowl and ladle up some soup today.  You will be warm from the inside out in no time.


2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breast poached (see instructions below how to poach)
1 lb broccoli florets (divided)
1 medium onion chopped
2-3 red and yellow sweet peppers (can substitute 1 small red bell pepper chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
salt and black pepper to taste
red chili powder or red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
4 cups strained poaching liquid (substitute chicken stock if you don't have 4 cups remaining)
4 cups chicken stock
7-8 slices American cheese
11/2 cups milk or half and half

Directions with Step by Step Photos: 

Step 1: Poach chicken breast.  To poach place chicken breast with water (1 inch above chicken),  some sliced onion, salt and black pepper.  Bring water to a boil then lower to medium heat and simmer until chicken is fully cooked through and tender.  Remove chicken and cut into large chunks/cubes when cool enough to handle.  Strain poaching liquid for soup. 

Step 2:  Chop onion, peppers and 1 cup of the broccoli and set aside.  

Step 3:  In a large soup pot place the remaining broccoli with the strained poaching liquid and chicken stock.  Season with thyme, poultry seasoning, red chili powder, black pepper and garlic powder.   

Step 4: When broccoli is tender puree until creamy.

Step 5: Then add the chopped broccoli, onion and peppers into the creamed broccoli soup.  

Step 6:Simmer Until broccoli, onion and peppers become tender.   Then add the cubed chicken, sliced American cheese. 

 Step 7: Finally add 11/2 cup milk and simmer on low for 2-3 minutes.  Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.  Serve hot.  Enjoy.

Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Kitchen Simmer formerly known as Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Green Bean Casserole with Fried Onions

There are a few dishes that are almost always on the Thanksgiving table.  My favorite is STUFFING!  Then there are dishes that I can totally do without like the dreaded green bean casserole.   I love green beans, but I do not like the mushy green bean casserole made with canned mushroom soup.  There is really no flavor and I find it boring and bland.
Boring and bland are two words that should not be apart of the Thanksgiving menu.  So I set out to make my own version of a green bean casserole from scratch.  I even attempted the fried onions- the only part of the dish that anyone ever likes from the traditional recipe.    My fried onion version only cost pennies to make compared to the expensive prepared fried onions that most people use. 

I also spiced my casserole up with flavors I love like cumin seeds and chilies.  This green bean casserole is definitely not boring or bland.  I really knew I had a hit on my hands when my son who claims to "hate" green beans ask for a portion of it and raved on how good it tasted.  So now that I know it's good,  it needs to be on the table a lot more often than just Thanksgiving.

Green Bean Casserole with Fried Onions

by Curry and Comfort
Green Bean Casserole
  • 1lb fresh green beans
  • 1lb sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1-2 chilies (jalapenos, serrano or fresno) sliced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 4-5 Tbs canola oil as needed
  • 2 Tbs flour (see tip in instructions)
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • red chili flakes to taste
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 3/4 tsp granulated garlic (divided)
  • 1 Tbs soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 up to 2 cups milk or half and half (as needed)
  • 1/2 cup Monterrey jack or mozzarella cheese
Fried Onions:
  • 1 large onion sliced very thin (mandolin slicer recommended)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • salt to season flour
  • paprika to season flour
  • Oil to deep fry onions
For Casserole
1. Clean beans then blanch in hot water until tender crisp, drain and set aside.
2. Heat 2 Tbs canola oil in large saute pan and add chopped onions and chilies. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
3. Next add cumin seeds, a little salt to season and turmeric powder. Saute for another minute.
4. Add blanched beans to pan and saute with 1/4 tsp garlic powder and red chili flakes for 2 minutes .
5. Place cooked beans into casserole dish. Set aside until later.
6. In same pan, add 2-3 Tbs more canola oil. Add clean and dry sliced mushrooms. Saute for several minutes until mushroom get deep brown.
7. Then add salt, black pepper, red chili flakes, 1/2 tsp garlic powder and thyme. Saute for 2 more minutes.
8. Add flour to pan and cook with beans. Once flour has cooked for a minute, add soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Stir well.
9. Then add milk and allow sauce to thicken. If sauce is too thick, add more milk as needed. Taste for seasoning.
10. Top green beans in casserole dish with mushroom and sauce. Then top with shredded cheese and bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes or cheese is bubbly.
For Fried Onions:
1. Slice onions and place on a paper towel in a single layer to dry our for 30 minutes.
2. Prepare seasoned flour and dredge onions in flour. Shake off excess flour and fry in hot oil (360 degrees) until golden brown. Drain on paper towel or newspaper. Season with a little more salt once onions are fried.
TIP: Use the leftover seasoned flour in your green bean casserole.
Powered by Recipage

Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Kitchen Simmer formerly known as Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.