Cooking with Katie


Salsa salsa salsa! Salsa salsa salsa! I’m sorry, but for some reason, I just love that word!

I’m weird like that. 🙂

Not only do I love the word salsa, though, I also love the actual salsa! Mine is sweet and spicy, tangy and refreshing, and crunchy and smooth. I love that you can get so much complexity from just one little appetizer!

Salsa (adapted from Paula Dean)

  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 yellow peppers
  • 1 onion
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 can diced green chilies
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 avocado, diced

I know that the recipe says 2 red peppers and 2 yellow peppers, but I found these cute little sweet bell peppers and used them instead.

Just dice them up and throw them in a bowl.

Then grab an onion and cut it in half. Our Safeway has really good Vidalia onions right now, so that’s what I used, but you can use whatever type of onion you like.

Dice it up and throw it in the bowl along with the diced jalapeno.

Then, add the diced tomatoes…

…and the lime juice. How cool is this old-fashioned juicer? It’s so fun to use! And look….

…total lime demolition! :0

Ok, back to the salsa. Throw in a can of green chilies… 

..the balsamic vinegar, the olive oil, and the salt and pepper.

Now this is a very important step, take a tortilla chip, scoop up some salsa, and taste it. For seasoning, of course! Adjust it as needed and set in the fridge for atleast an hour. The flavor will intensify as it sits, so don’t over-season it! When you’re ready to serve it, add the diced avocado and dig in!


Chipotle Lime Chicken Tacos with Red Cabbage Slaw

Tacos are a big crowd pleaser in my family. We whip up a ton and everyone eats about 7. Ok, maybe not 7, but it’s close to that number! After a while, though, everyone gets tired of the same old beef tacos with all the traditional fixin’s. So I decided to jazz things up a bit and try these new Chipotle-Lime Chicken Tacos with Red Cabbage Slaw! They were a HIT!

These tacos really pack a huge flavor punch! The tangy lime, spicy peppers, and sweet corn make them irresistible! I grilled the corn to give it that smoky taste, but you could also just boil it and cut it off the cob. Try these tacos on a busy weeknight, I’m sure it’ll impress even the most prestigious taco eater! 🙂

Chipotle Lime Chicken Tacos (Claire Robinson)

  • 1 whole chicken, rinsed and dried
  • 2 limes, juiced and zested
  • 1 c crema
  • 2 chipotle peppers, diced (or 5 Serrano peppers, diced)
  • salt and pepper
  • corn tortillas

Red Cabbage Slaw (Claire Robinson)

  • 5 corn on the cobs, shucked and grilled
  • 1/4 head of red cabbage (if it’s a small head of cabbage, use 1/2 a head)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 c crumbled queso fresco cheese
  • handful of cilantro
  • salt and pepper

This is my chicken. Her name is Shelly. She’s not an organic chicken, but she is farm-fresh!

If you want to buy an organic Shelly, go right ahead.

This is my lime zest. It doesn’t have a name, but it is about to meet up with Shelly, and they are going to do wonderful flavor things together!

Poke your finger under Shelly’s skin and make a little pocket. Don’t get chicken fingers on your camera, either! Very important reminder.

Then, stick the lime zest in the little pocket you just made! Do this on both sides of the breast. See?!?!?!? I told you they were doing wonderful flavor things together!

Sprinkle some lime zest on top of Shelly, too, and squeeze the lime juice as well. Put the lime halves in the cavity of the chicken and sprinkle salt and pepper all over Shelly. Put 1/4 c water in the bottom of the pan (this will help steam Shelly), and tuck her wings under her breast. Then, take some kitchen twine and tie her legs together (this makes sure she cooks more evenly). Then put her in a 400 degree oven and cook her until she reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees. Let her cool completely, then shred her up. Keep her warm in an oven that’s about 170 degrees until you’re ready to make your tacos.

For the red cabbage slaw, just slice the cabbage thinly and squeeze the lime juice over top of it. Let that sit for atleast 20 minutes. The acid in the lime juice starts to break down the cabbage and “cook” it.

Then crumble up some queso fresco cheese. You could use goat cheese or feta instead.

Chop up some cilantro. For all you cilantro haters: You can use parsley.

And cut the corn off the cob. Then dump everything in with the cabbage.

Now for the cream sauce. Crema is basically just Mexican sour cream, except it’s a little bit thinner and saltier. Combine the crema, the peppers, the lime juice, the left over lime zest from Shelly, and salt and pepper in a bowl.

To assemble these tacos, start by heating the corn tortillas in the microwave for about 15 seconds each.

Put some chicken on…

..some crema sauce…

…and some slaw. Wah-la! You’ve got yourself a chipotle lime chicken taco! Enjoy!!

Ancho Chicken Tortilla Soup

Now, with four kids and a father with a bottomless stomach, it was pretty hard coming up with hearty, fulfilling dinners. But then, I met this soup…this wonderful, absolutely incredible soup!  This chicken soup is full of corn, tomatoes, and chicken, and it couldn’t be simpler! Literally, all you have to do is chop some vegetables and throw everything in a big pot! The best part about it is that it tastes so complex, but only uses a few complex ingredients. It’s a great dish to serve to company or just to have a simple, family dinner. A great way to make this a vegetarian soup would be to replace the chicken with black beans. That way you get all the protein you need, without having to eat the chicken! 

Now there is one thing you need to know…you’re probably only going to find dried ancho chilies, (if you find them at all), which is totally fine, in fact, I recommend them! But, if you can’t find ancho chilies, pablano peppers work great, too, which will be easier to find than anchos. Anchos aren’t very spicy, so if you find yourself wanting more heat, just put a few of the seeds in the chicken stock with them. But other than that, you’re all set to go! (We were so excited to eat the soup that I forgot to take a picture of it with all the garnishes. I apologize, but just try to imagine it with all the toppings!)

Ancho Chicken Tortilla Soup (Rachel Ray)

  • 6 flour tortillas
  • cooking spray
  • two large ancho chilies
  • 3 c chicken stock
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 c frozen corn
  • 1 lg red onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1 red chili pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp. smoked sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 28 oz. can of fire-roasted crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 rotisserie chicken
  • salt and pepper
  • 1-2 c water
  • 2 limes
  • 2 ripe hass avocados
  • sour cream
  • cilantro

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the tortillas in half, then slice into strips and put on a cookie tray. Spray them with the cooking spray and bake until golden and crisp, about 20 minutes. Remove and reserve for later. They should look like this:

Put the anchos in a saucepan with the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and saute the corn until slightly charred. Add the onion, jalapeno, red chili, and garlic. Season with cumin, paprika, and cinnamon. Saute for five minutes and then add the tomatoes. Puree the anchos in a food processor with a little bit of the chicken stock. Pour the rest of the stock into the pot and add the pureed anchos. Stir in the honey and shredded chicken and season with salt and pepper to taste. Thin the soup with the water and let simmer for five minutes. Zest and juice 1 lime and add to the soup.

Put the soup in a bowl and add the avocados, sour cream, tortilla chips, cheddar cheese, and garnish with the cilantro. You could also add another squeeze of lime if you like.