Spicy vegetarian chili

This soup was made for my Soup & Sandwich Swap event, which you can read about HERE for more recipes and pictures.

Betsy’s spicy vegetarian chili

1 teaspoon olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 medium red pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups black beans, cooked
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup salsa, medium
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup canned corn niblet

Heat oil in a large pot, saute onions, peppers and garilc for 5 minutes on medium heat.
Add remaining ingredients except corn.
Increase heat to high to bring to a boil.
Decrease heat to medium and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in corn, simmer until heated through.
Makes about 10 cups or 6-7 servings of 1 1/2 cups.

Bulgar Salad with Corn & Tomatoes

The follow recipe was shared at my Balsamic Vinegar Tasting Event. You can read and view links to other recipes that were featured HERE.

Bulgar Salad with Corn & Tomatoes
shared at the event by Teresa

recipe from Food Network

4 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 cups bulgar
1 small onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
6 scallions, chopped fine
1 1/2 cups cooked corn (cut from about 2 large ears)
1 pint vine-ripened cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine water and farro in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, partially cover and simmer until farro is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain well. While grains are cooking, in a large bowl stir together onion, garlic paste, vinegar, and oil.

Drain grains well and add to onion mixture. Toss mixture well and cool. Add scallions, corn, tomatoes, chives, and parsley, toss well, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Salad may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring salad to room temperature before serving.

Wild for Wildfire Salad!

One of my favorite salads comes from a regional restaurant chain, Wildfire. It’s a restaurant where I’ve celebrated some memorable occassions such as past birthdays of mine, family members and friends, and even our engagement party. In fact the last time I went to Wildfire was 2 years ago, which was when we had our engagement party. But back to the salad… Wildfire has an amazing chopped salad. The citrus lime vinaigrette is what completes this salad for me and I remember several years ago, I even called the local restaurant requesting to speak to the chef in hopes of getting the recipe for the vinaigrette. But no such luck.

Forwarding to present day, I was reminded of the restaurant by a friend and all the memories of this salad came flooding back. I checked out their website to see if any changes have been made to their menu. Little did I know that since the last time I’ve been to Wildfire, they began bottling the citrus lime vinaigrette. I loved so much!

That same day, I made a stop at Wildfire on the way home and picked up 2 bottles of this prized vinaigrette. Tonight, I used it and recreated the Wildfire Chopped Salad… and boy, it definitely hit the spot.
Here’s the recipe for Wildfire’s Signature Chopped Salad
(which is also printed on the bottled dressing label)

1 bag of mixed greens or chopped romaine lettuce
1 cup chopped roasted chicken
1 avocado diced
1 tomato, seeded & diced
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup cooked bacon, crumbled
1 scallon, sliced thinly
1/2 cup super sweet corn
fried corn tortilla strips, for garnish
1-2 tablespoons Wildfire Citrus Lime Vinaigrette

Toss all ingredients in a large salad bowl.
Serve immediately.

Sweet Corn Casserole

Tonight is focused on my Traditional fare menu and some desserts. Everything is set for the most part… and I approached it as if it were just one of my cooking class events where everything is prepped and ready to assemble. Here are recipes of the traditional Thanksgiving dishes on my menu.

½ cup butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 box corn bread mix
1 can kernel sweet corn
1 can creamed corn
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350.
In a bowl, combine all ingredients.
Bake in oven for 45 min.

Corn Dog Poppers

We made these appetizers during the holiday appetizer cooking class I hosted. You can view pictures, the entire appetizer menu and get links to the other recipes from the class HERE.

Corn Dog Poppers

1 polish kielbasa, sliced in 24 rounds
1 small box of corn muffin mix
Ingredients to prepare corn mufffin mix
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare muffin pan by spraying the inside of each well with cooking spray.
Place one round of kielbasa in each well.
In a bowl, prepare corn muffin mix as directed.
Pour a small amount of corn muffin batter in each well until 3/4 full.
Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.

Cold Fresh Corn Soup/Gazpacho

I made this soup for my Sauvignon Blanc Wine & Dine event. It pairs nicely with this crisp wine, especially in the summer months!

Cold Fresh Corn Soup/Gazpacho

1 bag frozen corn
1 can sweet corn
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup diced onion
3 cloves garlic minced

2 bay leaves
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons butter
2 cans evaporated milk
2 cups water, divided

In a large pan, melt butter and saute onions, garlic, corn, thyme and bay leaves.
Once soft, remove thyme and bay leaves.
Place 1/4 of the mixture in a blender with 1/2 cups of water.
Blend corn & water mixture until smooth.
Strain mixture into a large bowl or another saucepan.
Continue blending and straining corn until done.
Place strained corn soup in a bowl, cover and chill 4-24 hours.

Mojito Mama..

After a slight break in posts, (since I didn’t have anything blog worthy to add with previous meals), tonight I made dinner at home using a Trader Joe’s simmering sauce called “Cuban Mojito.”
A Mojito is a traditional Cuban cocktail which became popular in the United States during the late 1980s, and has recently seen a resurgence in popularity.

It’s traditionally made of five ingredients: mint, rum, powdered sugar or sugar cane juice, line and club soda. Its combination of sweetness and refreshing citrus and mint flavors are intended to mask the potent kick of the rum, and Trader Joe’s captured it in a simmering sauce. I used this sauce as a marinade rather than a sauce for my chicken to simmer in.
Here’s the recipe for my Cuban Mojito Chicken with cilantro black bean & corn rice:

1/4 cup of Cuban Mojito simmering sauce
1 tablespoon chopped green chilies
2 chicken breasts
2 cups hot cooked rice
1/4 frozen corn, thawed
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
juice of 1/2 lemon

– In a ziploc bag, add chicken breast, simmering sauce and chopped green chilies.
– Allow chicken to marinate for overnight.
– Grill chicken in a grill pan, grill, George Foreman or panini grill until cooked through.
– To make rice, combine hot cooked rice, corn, beans, cilantro and lemon juice.
– Toss until fully incorporated.
– Serve chicken over a bed of the rice.