White Bean and Chicken Chili

Looking for a tasty way to warm up a cold day? Look no further! This chicken chili recipe comes from Giada De Laurentiis of the Food Network. I’ve modified it slightly over time (using chick peas instead of cannelloni and kale instead of Swiss chard, nixing the parsley), but it was a great find and has quickly become one of my favs. Serve it up with some cornbread or fresh rolls on the side and enjoy!

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds ground chicken
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons chili powder
3 tablespoons flour
2 (15-ounce cans) chick peas or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1 bunch (about 1 pound) kale, stems removed, leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces
11/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add the ground chicken, 1 teaspoon salt, cumin, fennel seeds, oregano, and chili powder. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes.
  • Stir the flour into the chicken mixture.
  • Add the beans, kale, corn, and chicken stock.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer, scraping up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
  • Simmer for 55-60 minutes until the liquid has reduced by about half and the chili has thickened.
  • Add the red pepper flakes and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Ladle the chili into serving bowls. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Serve with cornbread or fresh rolls.


Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

Tomatillo Salsa

Tomatillo salsa served with skirt steak fajitas

I’ve had a few requests for this recipe since I made fresh tomatillo salsa over the weekend to go with skirt steak fajitas. It’s an amazingly simple recipe that is packed with flavor. The first time I made it I followed the recipe found in the trusty How to Cook Everything cookbook. Since then, I’ve modified it slightly to become a “throw things into the food processor until it tastes good” recipe, so please forgive the approximate/lack of ingredient measurements. This is delicious served on its own with some tortilla chips or as a topping for tacos or fajitas. Here goes:

  • 8 tomatillos
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • a handful of fresh cilantro
  • juice of one lime
  • onion powder
  • 1-2 jalepenos (mostly seeded. If you like hotter salsa, include some of the seeds)
  • a few shakes of Tapatio or other hot sauce
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  1. Peel the husks from the tomatillos and cut into quarters.
  2. Toss all of the ingredients into a food processor and pulse to desired chunkiness or smoothness.

Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp Scampi
Shrimp scampi served

This recipe comes from Betty Crocker’s Cooking Basics cookbook. I was introduced to this one when my husband and I were dating and he was trying to woo me with his home cooking. It worked! This one is a classic. Prepare to be wooed.

Makes 2-3 servings
Cook time: 12 minutes

  • 3/4 pound uncooked, peeled and cleaned medium shrimp
  • 1 medium green onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 ounces uncooked fettuccine or spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley or 3/4 teaspoon parsley flakes
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • grated parmesan cheese
  1. Fill a 3-quart saucepan about half full of water. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt if desired. Cover and heat over high heat until the water is boiling rapidly. While water is heating, continue with the recipe.
  2. Rinse the shrimp with cool water and pat dry with paper towels. If the shrimp have tails, remove tails with a knife. Peel the green onion and cut into 1/4-inch slices. Peel and finely chop the garlic.
  3. Once the water is boiling, add the fettuccine and stir to prevent sticking. Heat to boiling again. Boil uncovered 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender.
  4. When fettuccine has been cooking for 5 minutes, heat the oil in the skillet over medium heat 1 to 2 minutes. Cook the shrimp, onion, garlic, basil, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper in the oil 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until shrimp are pink and firm. Do not overcook the shrimp or they will become tough. Remove the skillet from heat.
  5. Drain the fettuccine. Toss fettuccine and shrimp mixture in skillet. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Notes: I sometimes add a bit of white wine to the mix.