Posts Tagged ‘Bell pepper’

English: Green, yellow and red bell peppers fr...

English: Green, yellow and red bell peppers from the capsicum annuum plant. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Everyone knows that chicken soup is good for a cold.  I don’t really know why although I’m sure if I Google it, I could find out what qualities it contains that help alleviate some cold symptoms.  Maybe it’s just because it’s hot and warming, maybe it’s because we believe it will help or maybe…

  • Chicken soup. Chicken soup might help relieve cold and flu symptoms in two ways. First, it acts as an anti-inflammatory by inhibiting the movement of neutrophils — immune system cells that participate in the body’s inflammatory response. Second, it temporarily speeds up the movement of mucus, possibly helping relieve congestion and limiting the amount of time viruses are in contact with the nose lining.

Ok so I did do the Google thing and now we know why Chicken Soup is just what mother and the doctor ordered.  Therefore let me do you one better;  I have a recipe for Red Hot Chicken Soup, a guaranteed cold buster.

1 head of garlic

2 TBS olive oil

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 green bell  peppers ( I used orange and yellow – I hate green peppers), chopped

2 red bell peppers, chopped

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced

3 TBS grated fresh ginger

8 cups of chicken broth

1 whole poached chicken breast ( poach breast, remove skin and pull meat from bones)

1 bunch of cilantro, chopped

Salt, Pepper

4 TBS lemon juice

Preheat toaster oven to 350 degrees, separate unpeeled cloves spread on baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes.  Cool, then press garlic out of skins and mash.  Put aside.

In 4 Qt heavy sauce pan , heat olive oil, Add chopped onion and cook over low heat, stirring for 10 minutes.  Add green, red and jalapeno peppers, mashed garlic, grated ginger root and cook stirring for a couple of minutes.  

Add chicken broth, simmer for 3-5 minutes.  Add chicken pieces and cilantro and cook a couple of minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add lemon juice just before serving.

I can’t remember where I got this recipe otherwise I would give credit where credit is due!

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A whole and halved red bell pepper

A whole and halved red bell pepper (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well this is a first for me.  I am in the process of cooking and posting simultaneously.  This could be interesting or disastrous.  I have to keep jumping up to stir the vegetables in the braising pan.  I spent some time prepping, sort of creating my own                  mise en place.  I thought it would be prudent to chop each of the vegetables ahead of time so I could add them to the pan in order of the time it would take for that vegetable to soften.  

So I started with some olive oil in the pan and tossed in the celery. I chopped two stalks.   Originally I was going to start with the sliced garlic, however, I somehow never quite soften garlic without browning several;  I let them sauté a while and then added the Vidalia onion.  I had cut up about 1/2 of a largish medium onion.  I didn’t chop it or dice it, it was somewhere in between.

The idea here is to  put in those veggies that take longer to soften and also add some of their own liquid.  Next came Red Bell Pepper. I used a whole pepper and sliced and cut it up in about 1″ pieces.  I  tossed in the garlic slices a few moments ago.  Probably the vegetables are supposed to be crisp but I think my husband is not going to like this dish if everything is a little chewy.  I just tested a piece off celery and clearly that should have been on its own in the pot for longer before I started adding other ingredients.  And what does a good cook do?  I put the lid on the braising pan which should quicken some of softening and also add some more liquid because basically what juices and oil in the pan are supposed to be my sauce!   Oh boy, we’ll have to see how this plays out.

ALERT! I should have turned the gas down lower when I put the lid on – it was only a few minutes but the onions turned brown.  

I removed the lid and added zucchini and yellow squash.  I used 3/4 of the yellow and about 2/3 of the zucchini.  I put the lid back on and lowered the gas and I see that I don’t have much liquid in the pan.  I think I’ll be adding pasta water to this thin sauce but I still have the tomatoes to add and they’re juicy – I am loving me those Jersey Tomatoes.  This vegetable sauce is really a work in progress and I am up and down and up and down, stirring everything.  

I just put the pot of water on to boil – I will be cooking linguine which is Peter’s favorite.  The water is boiling but I turned it off because since I have never made this dish before I don’t really know how long it’s going to take and the veggies can sit in the pan while I cook the pasta.  I added the tomatoes and the mushrooms.  I had chopped up two fairly large tomatoes and sliced about 20 white mushrooms.  I also put the lid back on.  The lid is going on and off about as often as I jump up to stir or check the pan.

The linguine is in the pot and I checked the vegetables – the tomatoes are doing their job and juicing things up.  Of course mushrooms are mostly liquid and they’re helping.  Gotta go in kitchen and stir the pasta.

NOTE: When I added the tomatoes (which I had salted right after I cut them up so they would juice more) I added some salt and pepper to the mixture.  I’m going to sprinkle some Romano cheese into it also.

The pasta is almost done, I have scooped up a measuring cup of pasta water and turned off the sauce. It looks juicy and everything looks soft.  I’ve decided to serve it all in the braising pan.  I drained the linguine and put in the pan with the vegetables – It looks good!  I sprinkled some of the cheese all over the top and voila Dinner is served!


By writing a blog and cooking at the same time, I was really distracted and it was only when I opened up the refrigerator to get a beer, I saw the arugula.  Oh dear, that was supposed to be salad tonight-oh wellllllllll.

AND it was absolutely delicious!  I mean really delicious and we ate most of the pound of linguine I cooked.

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Gosh, I don’t know what to celebrate first!
I guess I could wear a sombrero to the races or eat quesadillas while placing a bet. Or wear a fabulous floral creation like the ones in one of my previous http://wp.me/pNyWj-2SH, which featured Kentucky Derby hats by Dee, to a Cinco de Mayo celebration.
As it turns out, I’m opting to cook a Cinco de Mayo meal tonight and invited some friends over.

The menu for tonight is Mexican beer ( they all opted out for Magaritas) with chips and salsa and quesadillas.
I’m serving Arroz con pollo et frijoles, steamed asparagus and dessert from a Mexican bakery.

Well I started this post Saturday afternoon, then in the midst of prepping, I had to stop and watch the Derby.  I love watching that race!  I didn’t have any favorites and apparently the favorite to win, Urban Rags, didn’t even place.  It was so exciting to see “I’ll Have Another” come from behind.  There really is something thrilling about horse racing.

So onto the meal….

I had never made Arroz con Pollo so I researched a few recipes online and came up with three that I liked or at least part of each so I did what any good cook does, I combined them and created my own.  AND I will be the first to admit, that I don’t often do that.  If you read this blog regularly then you know that I find a recipe I like, make it and if I post it, I always credit the source.

Cinco de Mayo, Kentucky Derby, saffron, Viga rice, chicken dinner, one-pot meal, arroz con pollo, black beans,

Arroz con Pollo*

* This is NOT a photo of my dish. Note there are no black beans! But it is similar and gives you an idea of what it should look like when done.

Arroz con Pollo con Frijoles Negros

2 1/2 -3 lb. chicken; I used skinless boneless thighs

1/2 cup flour for dredging

Salt, ground pepper, paprika and chili powder (optional)

2 cups long grain rice (I used a package of Viga yellow rice)**

1 medium onion chopped

3 -4 garlic cloves minced

1 green bell pepper chopped ( I used an orange pepper)

1 14.5 oz can diced  or stewed tomatoes.  I used a can of Del Monte petite cut tomatoes with jalapeno – was not too  hot.

4 cups chicken broth* The Viga rice called for 4 cups water – substitute broth

black olives (handful – I used what was leftover from making quesadillas

1 cup frozen peas (optional) ( I had a half pkg in the freezer)

** Follow directions for whatever rice you are using and substitute broth for the water.

Heat 3 TBS olive oil in large skillet ( I used a braising pan). Rinse chicken, pat dry and dredge through flour.  Season chicken with salt, pepper, paprika  and chili powder. Brown the chicken about 3-4 minutes per side.  Remove and set aside.

Add the onions, pepper and garlic to the pan, scraping up brown bits. Cook about 5 minutes till onion and pepper are softened.

Add the rice and cook till rice becomes slightly opaque and browns. Stir a bit, then let it brown  and then stir some more.  If you use the Viga rice, you won’t see it turn opaque, just lightly browned. Lower heat if rice begins to stick to pan.  Add the broth and bring to boil.  Lower to simmer, cover pot, cook for about 10 minutes.

Layer the chicken on top of the rice mixture, pour tomatoes over the chicken, add the black beans.  Cover pot and cook till chicken and rice are done.  About 15 minutes before done, toss in olives and peas.

Recipe by Lori-adapted from Simplyrecipes.com, allrecipes.com, weheartfood.com

One of the best parts of this dish for me was that I made it slightly ahead of time and just before serving , I heated it up.  It’s not so often that I actually sit with my dinner guests for drinks and hors d’ouevres  and Saturday night I did!

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Slow-Cooked Chicken Cacciatore a/k/a Chicken Hunter Style

Tomorrow morning I’m taking the crock pot and gonna cook up a storm.  I need to make a couple of meals and freeze some of them.  If I don’t, I find myself coming home late and too tired to cook and that leads to ordering in or eating junk.  Either way it’s no good, one costs too much money and the other ends up being empty calories.  So tomorrow morning I’ll make the Chicken Cacciatore and give my husband a real meal and freeze the rest.

3 lbs cut up chicken (split chicken breasts and thighs)

Flour for searing

2 TBS olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

8 oz of baby bella  mushrooms sliced

2 cups diced green peppers and onions

1 cup dry red wine

2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 pkg (24 oz) of seasoned tomato sauce.

Salt and pepper to taste

Dust chicken with searing flour

Heat oil on MEDIUM in large braising pan; add chicken.  Brown lightly on all sides, 8-10 minutes.  Transfer chicken to slow cooker.  Discard all but 1 TBS oil.

Add garlic, mushrooms, peppers and onions to pan.  Cook, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes, until vegetables soften slightly.  Add wine; cook 1-2 minutes.  Add Italian seasoning and tomato sauce; stir.  Bring to simmer and remove from heat.

Add sauce mixture carefully to slow cooker.  Cover;  cook 3-4 hours on HIGH or 6-7 hours on LOW.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  I’m going to add some red pepper flakes too.  Serve over pasta or rice.

And omg, this house is going to smell DEE-LICIOUS tomorrow!

Recipe from Wegman’s Menu Magazine Fall 2009

Cooking Lab: Italian - Pollo alla Cacciatora (...

Chicken Hunter Style

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Luscious Jersey Tomato

I think I have to do a blog post to pay homage to the Jersey Tomato, one of God‘s blessings on the Garden State.  But not tonight because I’m too tired to think creatively and clearly.  However, I made Gazpacho Sunday night, a dish that is truly a celebration of the fruits of the summer. Tomatoes are the main ingredient and I used some of the best beefsteak tomatoes Jersey has to offer.

And there’s a back story to the Gazpacho recipe.  A few years ago there was a health food store on Third Avenue that made the BEST Gazpacho ever! I would call them from work and ask that they put aside some for me. Once I even served it as a first course at a dinner party! And I would also bring some to New Jersey to give to my friend, Jane.  I never made Gazpacho before so I did some serious research and read several recipes until I found one I that sounded like what I remembered the store’s version to be.  I was RIGHT!!  I’m happy to share it with all of you.  It is easy to make;  the only real work is the prepping of the veggies.

6 tomatoes, cored, peeled and chopped

1 red or green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 purple onion, diced

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks of celery, chopped

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

2 TBS fresh parsley, chopped

2 TBS chopped chives

2 TBS lemon juice

2 tsp sugar

4 cups of tomato juice

1 tsp Worceshire sauce

6 drops of Tabasco sauce

Combine all ingredients in food processor.  Refrigerate overnight so flavors can meld.

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A breakfast.

Breakfast for a Crowd

Weekend guests?  Here’s a great way to simplify breakfast and let everyone make their own choices.  Have your guests write their names on quart-size plastic freezer bags with permanent magic marker.

Crack two eggs into the bag (not more than two); shake to combine them.  Put out a variety of ingredients such as cheeses, ham, onion, green pepper, tomato, hash browns, salsa, etc.  Each guest adds prepared ingredients of choice to his or her bag and shakes.  Make sure to get the air out and close it.  Place the bags in rolling boiling water for exactly 13 minutes.  You usually cook six to eight bags in a large pot.

Open the bags, and the mixture will roll out easily.  Be prepared for everyone to be amazed.  Nice to serve with fresh fruit and coffee cake;  everyone gets involved in the process, and it’s a great conversation piece.

These bags can be prepared the night before and really speed up breakfast preparation.

Source: Heloise Hints

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