Pam Anderson, author of Perfect Recipes for Having People Over, is a proponent of entertaining in a relaxed way. She shared some low stress recipes with us.
Quick Red Chicken Chili
This may seem like a lot of chili powder, but the chocolate rounds out the flavor, resulting in a rich, full-bodied stew. You can make it in a large pot instead of a roasting pan, but allow extra time for the onions to saute and the chili to simmer.
- 2 store-bought roast chickens, meat picked from bones and pulled into bite size pieces, bones and skin reserved
- 2 qts chicken broth
- 6 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 large onions, cut into medium dice
- 2/3 cup chili powder
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 Tablespoonds dried oregano
- 2 cans (28 ozs each) crushed tomatoes
- 2 cans (16 ozs each) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 6 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 ozs bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 3 Tablespoons cornmeal
- Combine chicken bones and skin, chicken broth, and 4 cups water in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low, partially cover, and simmer until bones release their flavor, about 30 minutes. Strain broth into a large bowl; discard bones and skin.
- Heat oil in a large roasting pan set over two burners on medium high heat. Add onions and saute until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, and oregano, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring until spices are fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in chicken, tomatoes, and broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, to blend flavors, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Stir in beans, garlic, and chocolate and simmer to blend flavors, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle cornmeal over chili, stir in, and simmer to thicken chili, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Turn off heat, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Ladle into bowls and serve with accompaniments of your choice.
Moist, Savory Corn Muffins
Makes 1 dozen muffins
- 1 can (14.75 ozs) creamed corn
- 2 cups yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/2 tsps salt
- 2 tsps baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Set a 12-cup muffin tin (with 1/2 cup capacity cups) in oven to heat while you make batter.
- Put creamed corn in a covered 1 quart pyrex measuring cup or small microwave-safe bowl and microwave until it comes to a full boil (or heat in a medium saucepan over medium heat). Stir in 1 cup cornmeal to make a very thick, pasty mush. (If mush is not stiff, microwave or heat for another 30 seconds or so.) Whisk in buttermilk, then eggs, and finally butter.
- Mix remaining 1 cup cornmeal with flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir until just combined.
- Remove muffin tin from oven and spray lightly with vegetable cooking spray. Divide batter evenly among cups (a spring-action ice cream scoop works well). Bake until muffins are golden brown, more noticeably on sides and bottom, about 15 minutes.
- Turn muffins out onto a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm.
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