I don't have a lot of time in the evenings to make dinner - I don't get home till shortly after 5:30. However, it is still important to me, as a Mom, to put a nice home cooked meal on the table.
Yesterday morning, before I left for work, I shoved a beef roast in the crock pot with an entire bottle of my favorite BBQ sauce. When I got home, I pulled the beef out - and set it aside. I cut about 4 medium sized white potatoes, leaving the skins on, and set them to boil in a shallow pan. I then, skimmed the fat off the BBQ sauce, and transferred it to an sauce pot of the stove. I whisked in a couple of spoons fulls of flour and brought it to a boil. While my potatoes simmered, I worked at shredding up the beef and dumped it into the boiling BBQ mixture on the stove.
Once this was done, my potatoes were fork tender, since I had cut them into small pieces, and so I drained them. As they were draining in the sink, I put some bake off biscuits on a cookie sheet and threw them in the oven. I then melted a 1/2 a stick of butter in the pan I just cooked the potatoes in & added the potatoes, in a single layer, back in the pan. I then simply sprinkled them with salt, pepper and some garlic powder. (And, folks, the key to crispy taters - put them in the pan and LEAVE THEM ALONE - I only flipped my taters once, after they had been cooking in the pan for about 7 minutes). The oven timer went off, the biscuits came out of the oven, I plated it all up and we sat down to dinner.
Forever ago, I tweeted about how I needed a recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup. Thankfully, people replied. I got recipes from Jennifer who blogs at Playgroups Are No Place For Children, from LZ who authors My Messy Paradise, and of course, the ever lovely I can always count on Connie of The Young & the Relentless.
I printed off the recipes - and then sat down and made a grocery list. I selected my favorite ingredients from each list. And, what I noticed, is essentially I ended up with chicken, stock, stewed tomatoes, salsa, tortilla chips and shredded Mexican cheese blend on my list.
To get started, I diced up about 2 pounds of chicken breast, sprinkled it with some pan searing flour, salt & pepper, then bowned it up in 2 - 3 tablespoons of butter in my large dutch oven. Oh - before we move on, Let's talk about butter for a moment...shall we?
butter photo credit click here
Yes - I cook with butter - I like the flavor it gives to my food and so to hell with the fat and calorie content. I cook with butter - I *think* I already said that. And, since we are taking this side trip - lets talk about the chicken for a moment. Put it in the pan and LEAVE IT ALONE. Let it BROWN. Let it do its thing. You want all those tasty brown bits on the bottom of the pan. You need them there. They will make you happy. Trust me.
After my chicken cooked, I dumped in the whole carton of chicken stock, 2 14oz cans of stewed tomatoes, a 24oz jar of medium heat salsa and brought the whole pot up to a boil. I then turned down the heat and let it simmer on the stove for about 30 minutes.
Then, viola - SOUP! To serve it, I crushed a handful of tortilla chips into the bottom of a bowl, sprinkled the chips with shredded Mexican cheese blend, and ladled the soup on top. I then took the biggest spoon I have in the drawer, curled up with my favorite blanket in my favorite chair and lost myself in my soup bowl.