Tag Archives: chicken broth

Site Updates and Risotto Style Spaghetti

2 Nov

Like the revamp?  It looks totally different right?!

I kid.  Making the domain name work with the new host takes a few days.  Buttttt…here’s a sneak peak at the new site! (Hopefully the link works, cause it’s looking good!!)

And a belated Halloween post for you, since I seriously worked on the new look of the site all day yesterday and didn’t get around to posting this:

I was always very shy as a child, so I never much enjoyed trick-or-treating.  The idea of going up to all of your neighbors houses, ringing the doorbell and asking for candy?  Not my idea of a good time.

Especially when people dress up as scarecrows or grim reapers, and sit on their porch perfectly still and jump out at unsuspecting children.

Trick-or-treating wasn’t my thing, but I do love Halloween.  I handed out candy. Overall, it was a lot of fun.  Decent costumes and the cutest kid gave me a high five instead of saying ‘thank you’ after her mom asked her ‘what do you say?’.  It was adorable.

Anyway, after the ghosts and goblins and princesses all disappeared, I made an incredibly easy pasta dinner…because I know you all are sick of all the talk of candy and goodies.

Spaghetti?  Oh no, my friends.  I’m quite confident you could make that on your own.  This is risotto-style broken spaghetti!  It takes just as long to make, but is a much needed update of the usual spaghetti dinner.

I saw the idea for risotto style pasta on 30 minute meals with Rachel Ray.  She is creative, but sometimes I just have to wonder what she was thinking. I once saw her cut up hot-dogs, mix them with ground beef, and make hamburgers out of them with like 5 cloves of garlic (she puts garlic in everything).  Enough said.

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This dish is all about infusing flavors into your otherwise pretty ordinary spaghetti noodles.  The risotto method of cooking also concentrates the starches released by the pasta, creating a creamy ‘sauce’, which is pretty cool

Anyway…begin by heating chicken broth in a small saucepan.  Once it simmers, cut the heat.  It just needs to be warm and in an easily accessible vessel…I suppose you could also microwave it in a bowl or Tupperware dish.

While that warms, dice up your onions and break your pasta into small pieces.  Mine were about two inches long.

Also warm a large sautee pan over medium heat.  Then add in a bit of butter and olive oil to maximize flavor, and cook your onions with garlic powder, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper until translucent.

Once your onions are cooked, stir in the pasta matchsticks

The bits tangled up with each other making it very difficult to toast every piece.  You may be able to see in the picture some of my pieces burned while some never toasted.  It still tasted good in the end, but I recommend breaking your pasta up into 1 inch or smaller pieces.

Ideally  your broken pasta will become all light brown and toasty.  It won’t take more than a few minutes.

Then pour in your white wine, stir, and let the remaining liquid evaporate. It will sizzle violently and steam when you first pour it in, so be careful.

You don’t really need white wine, but you do need acid for the flavor.  You can also pour a tsp or two of white vinegar or lemon juice into a quarter cup measure, fill the rest with water, and use that instead (I went with vinegar).

Next, start ladling in the chicken broth.  Pour in a half cup or so first, stir, and allow your mixture to simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, then repeat, with smaller (1/4 cup) increments of stock, stirring frequently until your pasta is cooked.  This takes much less time than risotto with rice, only 6-8 minutes or so.

I always seem to run out of warm chicken broth when making any sort of risotto.  If this happens, just use any extra broth, or switch to water.  At this point, using room temperature (as opposed to warm) liquid won’t make much difference.

Once your pasta is cooked, remove from heat, and stir in the parmesan cheese.  This will really make your sauce creamy.

Serve immediately, with your favorite pasta sauce.

For a simple meal, these noodles pack some flavor…the onions, the subtle acid, and the chicken broth, plus buttery and nutty notes from toasting.  And the creaminess from the cooking style is a plus too.

Definitely an upgrade from your average spaghetti dinner, and nearly as easy to make.

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Risotto Style Broken Spaghetti
Serves 2-3

2 cups chicken broth (may need more, and/or extra water)
Butter and olive oil
¼ cup diced onions
½ tsp garlic powder
4 oz spaghetti-type noodles (I used vermicelli)
¼ cup dry white wine*
3 T shredded parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

  • Begin by warming chicken stock in a small saucepan.  Cut heat when stock begins to simmer.
  • While chicken stock is warming, dice onions, and break spaghetti noodles into 1 inch sized pieces.  Also begin warming a large sautee pan to medium-high heat.
  • When satuee pan is hot, cook onions with garlic powder in 1 tsp butter + 1 tsp olive oil (add more if needed).  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Stir and allow to cook until onions are translucent.
  • Once the onions are cooked, add dry noodles.  Stir frequently and cook until pasta becomes toasty and golden brown, 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in white wine (it will spatter a bit), and cook until evaporated, about a minute.
  • Once wine has evaporated, begin adding chicken stock to pasta like cooking a risotto.  Ladle in ¼- ½ cup of broth at a time, stir, and allow to cook until the majority of the liquid is absorbed, then repeat until the pasta is cooked.  The timing will depend on your pasta, but about 6-8 minutes.  If you run out of warm chicken stock, you can ladle in water or non-warmed stock to complete the pasta cooking.
  • Once pasta is cooked, remove pan from heat, and stir in parmesan cheese.
  • Best served warm, with your favorite pasta sauce.

*You can also pour a tsp or two of white vinegar or lemon juice into a quarter cup measure, fill the rest with water, and use that instead

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14 Oct

Woah, sorry guys, it’s been what? Three days since I’ve updated?  That’s the problem with being a relatively new blogger…I don’t have a huge stash of back-logged dinners to share with you when a few don’t turn out so well.  So here’s what I’ve been up to…

I made a panini that the boyfriend hated but I loved to go with a French Onion soup that he also hated and I thought was good but too sweet (good enough to eat for the past few days, but not good enough to post here for you guys).  Don’t worry, I love French Onion soup, so you’ll see a modified recipe along with that sandwich in a future post (it’s apple butter, white cheese, bacon, turkey and apple).

I also experimented with candy corn, and I’m really excited about the properties of that particular candy.  I don’t want to give too much away, but this homemade ‘butterfingers’ idea totally works.

That’s not my picture.  It’s AverieCooks…follow the link above.

Also, did you watch that guy skydive from space today?  (well practically space).  The view to Earth was incredible…and terrifying.  I just don’t understand at what point you decide ‘yeah, that seems like a good idea to fall to Earth from 128,000 feet…I’ll totally survive this one.’  I was a little scared for him, but he (miraculously) survived totally fine.

Did anyone else notice that the first people on the site was a news team?  I mean, even if I’m a photographer I think in that circumstance I would ask the guy if he was alright before I started taking pictures.

This is a cool article about the guy and the jump.  He was claustrophobic!

Finally:

I promise I have some non-soup dinners coming soon…I’m planning a light alfredo for dinner tomorrow.  The boyfriend just took the Physics GRE exam though (needed for graduate school, and it is a long, brutal test), and I wanted to replicate one of his favorites, the enchilada soup from Chili’s.

This is definitely a lightened up version of Chili’s, but I think when I make this again, I will do it in a stock pot, not the crock pot just so the soup will have a chance to reduce and get a bit thicker.  The crock pot is so easy though, and the flavors are definitely here, so it’s really a matter of preference.

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I’m going to tell you how I made this soup…the link to the original recipe shows the method of how to do it in a stock pot.

My chicken were frozen, so I let them cook in the crock pot for about 2 hours on medium heat with 1 cup of chicken broth and 1 cup water until they were cooked through.  Remove from the crock pot and shred with two forks in a smaller bowl.

I stirred the seasonings into my chicken, but I’m sure the soup would taste the same if you just stir everything in at the beginning and let it cook all day…this is a basic taco seasoning (ancho chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic, salt, and pepper)

Next, I added chopped onion, the juice and zest of half a lime, and a tablespoon of fresh cilantro.  Then just let it cook on low heat until you’re ready to eat it.

I also added a can of pinto beans (juices and all to help thicken the soup) right before serving…I didn’t know if the beans would fall apart sitting in the slow cooker all day…it’s not a very photogenic soup, but it is pretty tasty.

Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, tortilla chips, salsa, and avocado or guacamole.

The cilantro isn’t nearly as overpowering as I was expecting it would be, but if I were making it for myself I would still leave it out.  The boyfriend really liked the soup as it is though, so I was pleased.  The seasonings are super flavorful, and the tortilla chips (especially when crumbled into the soup) are a great crunch.  Cheese and avocado for creamy richness, and you’ve got yourself a well rounded, incredibly simple (and relatively light) soup that tastes just like it came out of a restaurant!

Oh, PS, guys, how excited are you that The Walking Dead premieres tonight??  This show is terrifying.  I used to talk about how illogical that whole zombie apocalypse idea was and whatnot…now I have a plan for survival.  And own a machete.  Don’t watch it alone in a dark house or while eating anything, but otherwise it’s a great show.

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Chicken Tortilla Soup
Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats
Serves 4

2 chicken breasts
1 cup water
1 cup chicken broth, low sodium preferably (may need more if you like a larger liquid/broth ratio)
1 1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
3/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup chopped onion
Juice and zest of 1/2 a lime
1 T finely chopped fresh cilantro (you may want to use more if you like it more than I do)
1 can pinto beans (I poured in the whole can to help thicken the soup)

Toppings
shredded cheddar cheese
avacado slices
tortilla chips
salsa or pico de gallo (I used the same recipe from here)

  • Combine all ingredients (except beans) in a slow cooker and cook for at least 4 hours on low-medium heat until the chicken is cooked through
  • When ready to eat, remove chicken from slow cooker and shred in a separate bowl, then return chicken and juices to soup.  Also add in the can of pinto beans
  • Top with shredded cheddar cheese, avacado slices or guacamole, salsa or pico de gallo, crushed tortilla chips…whatever you like!  This soup would probably be awesome with rice or cornbread too!