From Our Kitchen . . . and Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018
I'm not feeling the Halloween spirit this year, and since my almost 14-year old is going to a house party with some 9th-graders, and my girls are meeting up with friends, I'm going to spend the evening at home for the first time since Sam's first Halloween back in 2005.

A few chopped ingredients, including the rub for the chicken, for Asopao de Pollo.
I made Asopao de Pollo from Joy of Cooking for dinner last night--it was sooo good (pg. 135).  I substituted fresh corn for peas, and we actually spooned this over rice, as well as added rice to it as the recipe calls for.  Even the kids liked it, though the girls are not too keen on peppers and onions.  Here is the recipe:

Chicken Rice Soup (Asopao de Pollo)
About 9 cups

Combine in a small bowl:
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper

Rub the spices into the skin of:
3 pounds chicken parts

Heat in a soup pot over medium-low heat:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Add and cook, stirring until tender but not browned, 5 to 10 minutes:
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1/2 cup diced ham
1 Scotch bonnet pepper or 2 jalapeƱo peppers, seeded and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced

Stir in the chicken, along with:
6 cups water
One 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
(2 teaspoons ground annatto seeds)

Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, partially covered, for 25 minutes.  Stir in:
1/2 cup long-grain white rice

Simmer until the chicken and rice are cooked, about 20 minutes.  Turn off the heat, remove the chicken, and let cool slightly.  Discard the skin and bones, and dice or shred the meat.  Return it to the soup and stir in:
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen peas
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup pimiento strips or sliced pimiento-stuffed green olives

Salt to taste

Simmer gently 2 to 3 minutes.

Tonight I made the Johnny Marzetti Spaghetti Pie (x 2 so we have one for the freezer) from Joy of Cooking (pg. 95).  It was really good, and I served it with fresh sourdough bread.  I tripled the bay leaves, and loosely doubled everything.  It was soooo good.  Lots of leftovers for my work shifts this weekend that can be easily reheated.

And now the house is quiet, this wolf and cat are off to trick-or-treat in Sellwood, and Sam has safely arrived at his Halloween Party.  I planted several ferns today, and I'm a little tired.  Going to take it easy tonight, pack lunches for the kids and myself for the morning, and get to bed early.  I, for one, am going to try to stay away from the Halloween candy.  I'm treating myself to a glass of Iced Hibiscus Tea--my new favorite!  Also, from Joy of Cooking (pg. 35).

Iced Hibiscus Tea
1 1/2 quarts

Bring to a boil in a large saucepan:
3 cups water

Add and stir until dissolved:
7 tea bags (I used black tea + loose leaf Nettles)
1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers (I am also placing these around the house--they are beautiful!)
1/2 cup sugar (I used raw, organic sugar)

Let stand 10 minutes, then strain into a pitcher.  Stir in:
3 cups ice water (I used filtered water)

Pour over ice in tall glasses.  Garnish with:
Orange slices or raspberries (or orange triple sec  . . . shhh!)


Work cited:
Rombauer, I. S., Becker, M. R., & Becker, E. (2006). Joy of cooking. New York: Scribner.


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