Chicken FRITOS® Soup

ChickenFritoSoup2As the weather starts to cool, soup begins to warm my thoughts. It soothes the soul and makes the cold a little more enjoyable, for those of you winter haters. Soups are so simple, and time is their best friend as the flavors blend meld together all day in your slow cooker. I love walking in the door after work all day and inhaling all the mouth-watering slow-cooked aroma that my crockpot has magically produced all day without me having to touch it.

I actually got this idea from a basic Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe I saw in a weekly ad, however, we happened to not have many of the ingredients, or it involved things Brad wouldn’t go near (big surprise). Per usual, some of my favorite new recipes start off as me trying to follow a recipe, then completely going off-course allow for an accidental new recipe. Oh well, that’s the fun part of cooking, you don’t always have to follow recipes, soup ones especially, you can mix and match anything you want, or just whatever is stocked in your kitchen.

Recently I’ve been trying to incorporate my new darling husband into meal-making. I think of doing this similar to having your kids help you with dinner. If they’re helping put it together, they eat better. Yes, I treat my husband like a child, at least when it comes to food. He would rather polish of an entire bag of Halloween candy for dinner rather than eat a vegetable, but the more I ‘ask for help’ the easier it’s been for me to get him to eat things he normally would pick out and shuffle to the side of the plate.

I really liked this soup, and even though it was in the slow-cooker the entire day, I think it was even better the next day as leftovers. The soup is broth based, with some cream added in at the very end, so it’s like a creamy soup’s….cousin. I was trying to save on some calories, so I used 1/2 and 1/2 instead of cream, and I just topped my bowl with cheese. Brad likes a creamy soup, so I stirred in a tablespoon or two of shredded cheese in his which thickened it up right away. Neither of us are huge fans of tortilla strips, and not their expensive, but it would have been an extra trip to the store, and we pretty big fans of FRITOS® so this was a no-brainer trade!

Added bonus, we had plenty of leftovers, the first day we both brought soup to work, and the following day, we just scooped the soup into mini-Cassoulet dishes lined with biscuits for a quick homemade pot-pie. Hubby had a great time playing with the biscuits making the base and the crust 🙂

Chicken FRITOS® Soup

3 cups of shredded chicken
3 cups of chicken broth
1 can of peeled tomatoes, then pulverized
1 small can of green chilies, undrained
1 can of black beans, rinsed
1 can of corn, rinsed
2 jalapenos
1 tbsp and 1 tsp lime juice (or a whole fresh squeezed lime)
1 tbsp of chili powder
1 tsp of cumin
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp of fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup of 1/2 and 1/2
1 handful of shredded cheese (we use Kraft Mexican Blend)extra cheese for garnishing

1. In a slow cooker combine all of the ingredients except for the 1/2 and 1/2 and cheese, mix well. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

2. Stir in 1/2 and 1/2 and cheese until combined.Let the soup heat up again for another 10 minutes.

3. Ladle soup into bowl, top with your favorite ingredients like cheese, cilantro, or sour cream then top with FRITOS® , or get the FRITOS® Scoops instead of a spoon!

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Handmade Sausage Ravioli

 

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Yay!!! It’s ClairevsKitchen.com’s 100th post!!

100, 100, 100!
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It’s been a fast 2 and a half years. 2 years ago I was solely taking pictures with my Blackberry, and was getting as many hits per month, as I do in a day now. But I’m definitely not slowing down, I have big blogger goals that I can’t wait to fulfill. I would love to have sponsored affiliates, to guest posts for amazing brands, and actually make an income doing what I love. *someday*  Living in an age with the internet completely intertwined in every aspect of our lives, as strange as it sounds, to have so many total strangers become fans, follow, comment, and subscribe to both ClairevsKitchen by email, thru Pinterest, and via Twitter has been the most amazing support system. Strangers supporting strangers all because of the love of food, I find that pretty cool. I want to keep growing in every facet, reaching as many food-lovers as possible.  I can’t wait to explore and only better this blog experience over the course of this oncoming year as January approaches.

This is embarrassing. I basically founded this blog on dough, and it’s been a year now since we moved into the new house, with an expansive kitchen, without having made fresh pasta. SHAME ON ME. In angst for a unique 100th post, I wanted something refreshed without reverting from my mantra of being able to make something attainable using normal ingredients. Walking aimlessly thru the grocery store aisles, one of my new favorite (as well as Brad’s) ingredients began staring back at me. Why hello beautiful Spicy Italian Sausage, you look pretty (and edible).  Homemade pasta and Italian Sausage…that sounds pretty darn awesome. 100th post located!

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Ravioli: I know that most recipes have ricotta in ravioli, don’t get me wrong, y’all know I love my Ricotta, but I’d rather dollop it on my ravioli than use it for filling. I’ve never experience much with other filling besides ricotta, so using a protein and a cheese that wasn’t ricotta was a new thing for me. This post logged hours upon hours of research and recipe ‘messing’ to come up with this specific Italian concoction, and I think I finally nailed it. The precise filling consistency to compliment the perfect amount of doughy pillows, drizzled with White Wine Red Sauce or Red Sauce (recipe below)

Without further ado, post number 100, fresh Ravioli with sausage/cheese filling topped with a simple red sauce.

**Don’t get overwhelmed! This looks like a lot on the surface, but it’s just the three pieces broken down. Start with the sauce because that can simmer, and cook longer if need be. You can also make these ravioli’s up to 7 days in advance, then gently boil them when you’re ready.

Red Sauce

1 (28oz) can of tomatoes
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced 2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh parsley
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp of sugar

1. Measure oil into sauce pan on low-medium heat. Add the tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, and sugar. Simmer for 30-40 minutes.

2. Add your oregano and parsley (and any other herbs you wish)

Sausage Filling

1/2 pound Italian Sausage
1 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. crushed red pepper (or if you prefer just ground regular pepper)
1 cup shredded cheese
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. parsley
1 egg yolk
Pinch of nutmeg

1. Cook the sausage until it’s no longer pink. Place in food processor, pulsing several times, but do NOT puree it.

2. Mix the sausage with the rest of the ingredients. Keep in the refrigerated until ready to use.

Ravioli

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup boiling water

1.  I have a smaller food processor/chopper, just for reference I cut the recipe in half, then made the other half while the first set of ravioli’s were chilling.

2. Put the flour and salt in a food processor.  Add the butter and pulse until blended, texture will be course, so don’t over blend in attempt to make it smooth.

3. Add your boiling water, pulse a few times, once you see it coming together gather the dough on your floured surface and gently knead lightly, just until the dough is smooth. Keep whatever dough you’re not using in a bowl covered up.

4. Use a rolling-pin and shape into a small rectangle until you are comfortable putting the pasta thru hand crank machine. Don’t roll the dough too thin, you just want it thin enough for your pasta machine to be able to roll it effortlessly on the highest number setting.

5. Start on your highest number setting and roll thru the machine about 3 times or until the dough feels pliable and smooth. Take the machine down another setting and roll thru a few more times. My settings start at 8, and I use 8 and 7, if you want thinner pasta use 6, just be careful as this makes the ravioli’s much more delicate.

6. Place about a teaspoon of the sausage mix onto the dough. If you roll your dough wide enough you can fold it over the top, sandwiching the sausage mix, otherwise just place another piece of dough over the top and use your ravioli stamp to crimp the edges.

7. Once edges are crimped, I prefer to line a pan with parchment paper, and place them in the freezer for at least 10-15 minutes to harden a bit. This is not require, but I’ve found the best and most even results doing this.

COOKING

1. Start your sauce.

2. Make your filling

3. Roll your dough

4. Make your ravioli

5. To cook ravioli, with  gentle boil, these need to cook about 8-10 minutes depending on the thickness of your dough. I cooked mine at 8 minutes, then added them into a fresh saute pan with your red sauce to cook another minute or two. If you boil them to rough they can start to come apart. sausagerav2