Chicken and Cheese Poutine

Chicken and Cheese Poutine on Whisk Together

Please don’t let the word “poutine” scare you away from this dish.  It’s really easy and delicious.  Poutine originates from Canada and is simply of dish of potato fries covered in gravy and cheese curds.  There are no cheese curds!  No worries.  Here is why I love this dish:

1.  It’s fast
2.  It’s cheap especially if you cook the whole chicken yourself.
3.  It’s delicious.
4.  The leftovers still tasted great.
5.  I had everything sitting in my pantry except the green onions.  I don’t think the green onions were totally necessary either.
6.  It’s under 500 calories.  Yup!  Great on the waistline… except for me.  Because I ate two helpings.

So go and cook Canadian for the day.

Chicken and Cheese Poutine
serves 4
calories: 485  protein: 42 g

2 large egg whites*
2 tsp. paprika
salt and pepper
2 lbs. gold Yukon potatoes, cut into 1/4″ pieces
4 scallions, chopped (I left off for the kids)
2-3 cups chicken broth (low-sodium of course)
1/4 cup AP flour
1 Tb. Worcestershire sauce
1 and 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (I used the whole chicken, hey why not)
3/4 cup frozen peas
4 oz. sliced, shredded or diced mozzarella cheese

*  To make the fries, I also use this recipe.  Both work well.  Just grease your pan or you get stuck-on fries.

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2.  Start the fries:  In a great big bowl: whisk the egg whites together.  Add the paprika, salt and pepper to combine.  Then, toss in the potatoes.  Put the potatoes on some WELL greased cookie sheets.  Lots of cooking spray, parchment or silicone.  Otherwise, they stick easily.
3.  In a large non-stick skillet:  spray with cooking spray.  Add half the scallions.  Cook over medium heat.  After about 2 minutes, add 1/2 cup of broth.  Whisk in the flour (or stir a LOT with your spoon because I don’t own a silicone or plastic whisk for nonstick!).  Let this cook 1-2 minutes.  It will be lumpy.
4.  Slowly add 1 and 1/2 cups of broth.  You can use the rest of thin the gravy.  We like ours thick.  Whisk the broth and Worcestershire sauce in and simmer until thick:  6-8 minutes.  Yes, it will be a little lumpy.  It’s okay.
5.  Throw in the chicken and peas.  Cook that another 5 minutes or so.  The peas will cook quickly.  Everything should be hot and heated through.  Finally, add the cheese on top.  Allow to melt and serve with the rest of the scallions on top.

Chicken and Cheese Poutine_2 on Whisk Together

Recipe from “Food Network Magazine” Jan/Feb 2014

There’s a Leek in the Bowl! – Potato and Leek Soup

Potato Leek Soup on Whisk Together

Recipe:  As I may have mentioned before, I purchase my produce from a co-op here in St. Louis.  I do not get to choose what goes in the produce box that I purchase twice a month, but of course the trade off is that you get tons of food for $22.  This month I was given russet potatoes and leeks.  I’ve used leeks before in Broccoli Cheddar Soup, but you know, I’ve already made THAT.  It’s so last year.  Okay, no not really.  I just didn’t have any cheddar cheese which is pretty much essential to making Broccoli Cheddar Soup.

We all liked this soup and ate it right up.  Very simple ingredients made into something delicious and easy.  My kind of dish.

Potato Leek Soup_3 on Whisk Together

Potato and Leek Soup
yield 6-8 servings

1 pound leeks, clean and do not use dark sections (4-5 medium or 3 large)
2 tablespoons butter
kosher salt
14 ounces Russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peel and dice small
32 ounces (1 qt.) vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup cream
1 cup buttermilk (or sub 1 tablespoon lemon juice mixed with 1 cup milk)
1/2 teaspoon pepper – black or white

1.  To prep leeks:  Fill the sink with clean water.  Trim off the roots from the leek.  Trim off the dark green section.  Now, run the knife longways along the leek and divide into two long sections.  Put one section down flat onto the cutting board and cut finely – about 1/8″ to 1/4″ pieces.  Do this for each leek.  Put the cut pieces into the sink and swish them around a bit to clean them.  Take a colander or fine mesh  strainer to catch the leeks. Allow the water to drain off a bit.
2.  Put a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat on the stove.  Melt the butter.  Add leeks.  Cook with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes.  Stir.  Reduce heat to medium low and cook another 25 minutes.  Stir once in a while.
3.  Increase the heat up to medium-high.  Dump in your cut up potatoes and broth.  Boil.  Cover the pot, turn the heat down to low and simmer about 45 minutes.
4.  Remove from heat.  Make the soup smooth by adding it to a blender, using an immersion blender (my favorite), or working in batches in the food processor.
5.  Add cream, buttermilk and pepper.  Stir together.  Serve.

Recipe from Alton Brown’s “Good Eats”

Lightened and Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Loaded Potato Soup_1 on Whisk Together

Book Update:  I finished “Divergent” and “Insurgent” by Veronica Roth this weekend.  Yes, 1000 pages. But they are young adult books… so it’s more like 500 pages, right?  Well anyway, if you liked “Hunger Games”, then you will probably love these books, too.  Or if you can hold off, the third book in the trilogy comes out in October and then you can read all 3 books in a row without waiting!  I think I would end up in the Erudite society.  But the good society, not the corrupt version.

Positive Psych this week is discussing Spiritual Evolution and how religion has changed over the centuries.  Some really interesting quotes:
-“Over the last two thousands years literate humans ‘forgot’ how to think with the brain with which they were born.”
-“If the universe were just about humans, it would be a terrible waste of space.”
and I learned that all of our organs mature by age 20… except for the brain.  It matures around age 60.  Well, I’m halfway there at least. 🙂

Recipe Update: Here is another hit from the America’s Test Kitchen book “Comfort Food Makeovers”.  This is one of my favorite soups to get at a restaurant.  Though the loaded potato soup at O’Charleys is much thicker… I still liked this one a lot and loved the trick on using the potato skins in the bacon grease.  Hey, it’s there, so you might as well use it!

Loaded Baked Potato Soup (Light)
serves 6

3 slices bacon, chopped (I cut mine into bits with kitchen shears – easy peasy)
1 and 1/2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled but keep the peelings for 2 of the potatoes and chop them
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 Tb. flour
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 tsp. mustard powder
1 sprig fresh thyme (this is out of season for me, so I used 1/8 tsp. dried thyme)
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup 0% Greek Yogurt (I used Fage!)
2 oz. light cheddar cheese, shredded (1/2 cup)
salt and pepper
2 scallions, sliced thin

1.  In a great big pot:  cook the bacon.   Remove bacon and keep the grease!
2.  Put the potato skins that you kept into the bacon grease and cook those about 8 minutes.  Take them out and put them with the bacon.
3.  Put your chopped onion in the same pot with the bacon fat.  Cook around medium heat until soft – 5-7 minutes.  Add garlic- cook 30 seconds.  Add flour – cook 1 minute.  Add broth and stir that in little by little.
4.  Add potatoes, mustard and thyme.  Simmer and put the heat on medium low.  Put the lid on it and cook about 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are done.  (The book said 7 minutes, but mine took longer.)
5.  Take out the thyme sprig if you used fresh stuff.  Take out half of your soup and put that in a blender and blend that until smooth.  Or if you don’t want any chunks…. you could puree all of it.  I liked the chunks though.  So, I pureed half.  Add that back into the pot.
6.  Add in your half and half.  Temper the yogurt:  add a little hot soup to the yogurt to bring up the temperature.  Then, add all that into the soup.  Stir!
7.  Add your cheese and salt and pepper.  Stir!
8.  And your done!  It isn’t as complicated as the steps read.  The bacon, fried potato skins and scallions go on top of the individual bowls of soup.

Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen

The Only Potato Salad I Like

(Photo is from my iPod Touch because my Nikon was at home and we made this at mom’s house.  Okay, my mom made this at her house.)

Okay, I’ll admit I’ll try almost anything once.  I’ve tried and never liked potato salad.  I can be pretty picky when it comes to food that contains sour cream or mayonnaise.  We never grew up eating a lot of that, so I think I just developed a taste away from it.  I’m not sure.  Or, just blame it on the fact I’m weird.  But this is the ONLY potato salad I have ever liked… Ever.  Some of my cousins will say the same thing.  I may actually get into trouble revealing Grandma’s recipe!  But as most older recipes go – it uses more taste than teaspoons to determine the amounts.  I tried to quantify them here.

I believe this recipe also further proves that bacon makes everything taste good.  🙂

Grandma’s Potato Salad
yield 8-10 servings

5 lb. bag of red potatoes
1/2 pound bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 onion, chopped
1 Tb. white vinegar
2 Tb. sugar (to taste)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
pepper and salt to taste
2 stalks of celery, chopped fine (my mom likes chunks, do as you see fit)

1.  Wash and cut the potatoes in half.  Boil until they are tender and can pierce them easily with a fork.  Drain and cool.  Peel potatoes and cut into 1″ pieces.
2.  In a skillet, saute the bacon until crispy.  Remove the bacon and pour out the drippings, but leave about 1-2 tsp. of bacon drippings to saute the onion.  Saute onion until it gets soft, about 7 minutes.  Cool.
3.  Make the dressing:  in a small bowl combine the vinegar, sugar and mayonnaise.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
4.  Toss the cooled potatoes, bacon and onion in a large bowl with the dressing.  Add celery.  Toss.
5.  Cover and chill until ready to serve.  I actually like this warm and not cold.  But everyone who likes normal potato salad and this potato salad likes it cold.  The flavors do stand out better when it is cold.

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