Tag Archive for White beans

White Bean Chicken Chili

Happy New Year!!! It’s hard to believe that 2016 is already upon us. We know that we were a bit off the grid in 2015, but one of our resolutions is to get back in the kitchen and bring you more fantastic recipes and cooking tips. It’s not that we haven’t been cooking, we have just too busy to blog about it!! Anyway, here is the first recipe of the New Year: White Bean Chicken Chili! I had a few people over on New Year’s Day and made three different types of chili…a) Traditional Chili b) White Bean Chicken Chili 3) Vegetarian Chili. They were all great, but the overall consensus was that this was the favorite because it was so different and not too spicy.  Don’t worry, the others will be posted in the days ahead!!! 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 30min; Cook Time – 3-4 hours


6 lbs. chicken, poached and shredded

4 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced

2 onions, finely chopped

2-4 oz. cans green chiles

6-15 oz. cans small white beans, rinsed, drained, & divided

12 cups chicken broth, divided

4 T. olive oil

1 T. dried oregano

1 T. cumin

Garnishes, if desired:

Shredded Cheddar Cheese


Sour Cream

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Large pot

Crock pot

Immersion Blender

Preparing White Bean Chicken Chili:

In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté jalapeños and onions in oil for 3-4 minutes or until they start to soften. Add shredded chicken, oregano, cumin and chiles. Mix well. Set aside. In a medium bowl, add three cans of beans and 4 cups of broth. Using an immersion blender, mix well.  Add to chicken mixture and stir. Transfer to crock pot. Add remaining beans and broth. Put on low for 3-4 hours. Serve hot with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and cilantro, if desired. 

White Bean Chicken Chili

Important Tips:

You can easily make the entire dish the day before and then just pour it into a crock pot  about 4 hours before you want to serve it. If you do this, put the crock pot on high instead of low since you are starting out with the ingredients being cold instead of at room temperature or warm.  

Meal Ideas:

I had made a bunch of traditional cornbread to serve with all of the chili. I had so much that I decided to turn some of it into jalapeño cheddar cornbread to go with the white bean chicken chili. It was a pretty great pairing if I do say so myself. 

Got Leftovers?:

Any leftovers can easily be frozen into individual sized portions with resealable freezer safe bags. 

White Bean and Tarragon Soup

My friend Kayla is one my guinea pigs when it comes to trying out new recipes. Since we have very similar taste in soup, she usually gets half of what I prepare due to the large quantity that a single soup recipe typically makes.  After last week’s Southern Italian Chicken Soup, we were trying to brainstorm what kind of soup I haven’t tackled yet…and still keep it healthy. We found this White Bean and Tarragon Soup from Serious Eats (February 5, 2009). It doesn’t look like there is much to it, but I will tell it is delicious and filling! 

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Prep Time – 10 min; Cook Time – 30 min.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

3 14 oz. cans white beans, drained and rinsed

3 bay leaves

2 T. butter

1 T. olive oil

5 scallions, chopped

1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

4 cups vegetable broth

1/4 fresh tarragon, chopped and divided in half

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Potato Masher

Preparing White Bean and Tarragon Soup:

In a large heavy soup pot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat until the butter begins to foam. Add the scallions and stew for 2-3 minutes, then add the carrots and garlic. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the beans and stock and bring to a boil. Add the bay leaves and half the tarragon leaves, turn down to a simmer, and cook for 15-20 minutes until the beans are falling apart. Remove the bay leaves. Blend with potato masher until you have reached your desired consistency. If you like your soup smoother, use an emmersion blender.

Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Serve with the remaining chopped tarragon, a drizzle of olive oil, and fresh black pepper, if desired. 

White Bean and Tarragon Soup


Next time I might throw in some fresh kale or spinach. How can that possibly be bad, unless you don’t like leafy greens??!!!


Pasta, Power Greens and Bean Soup

Pasta, Power Greens and White Bean Soup

Pasta, power greens and bean soup sounds incredibly healthy doesn’t it? Well, it kind of is. I like to think that the health benefits of the power greens cancel out the bacon that is in there. I have never cooked with bacon in my soup since I tend to prefer the “healthier” varieties. However, the bacon really does make this soup a complete bowl full of deliciousness.  

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 15 min; Cook Time – 30-40 minutes

Ingredients (enough for several meals and to share):

6 slices of bacon, chopped

1/2 white onion, chopped

6 baby carrots, diced

5 cloves of garlic, minced

2 T. tomato paste

2 tsp. fresh thyme

Kosher salt and pepper

12 c. chicken broth 

1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese (divided)

2 1/2 c. small pasta

2 15 oz. cans of white beans, drained and rinsed

3 c. fresh power greens, chopped

Preparing Pasta, Power Greens and Bean Soup:

Cook the bacon pieces in a large pot over medium heat, stirring often, until crisp (about 4-6 minutes). Add the onions and cook about 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add carrots, garlic, tomato paste and thyme. Stir well. Add 1/4 tsp. each of salt and pepper and cook for 4 minutes, or until carrots soften. Add chicken broth and turn the temperature up to high. Cover and bring to a boil. 

Add the pasta and beans and cook for about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the power greens. Simmer, uncovered until the soup thickens slightly, about 7-10 minutes. Stir in half of the parmesan cheese. Ladle soup in the bowls and sprinkle with remaining cheese. 

Got Leftovers?:

This soup heats up nicely for leftovers. If it’s too thick for your liking, just add some more chicken broth or water. 


White Bean Ragout with Chorizo

White Bean Ragout

I originally came up with this one night to provide a nice base to a wonderful piece of black grouper I made for my husband and me. I love the acid of tomatoes with fish and after I made it, I thought it would go well with lots of other dishes too. I decided it would stand up nicely next to the pork tenderloin for the Valentine’s Luncheon at my church.

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 15 min; Cook Time – 30 min


Quantities in parentheses are for when I made this for 70
2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1/3 cup)
1 medium sweet onion, diced (15)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can Cannelini Beans, drained and rinsed (20 cans)
1 -28oz can of quality whole, canned tomatoes (~300oz, I bought 3-106oz cans from Costco)
2 T tomato paste (4 small cans)
1 link chorizo sausage, casing removed (18 links)
1 cup white white
1 T Oregano
1 T Thyme
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and Pepper to taste
Parsley for garnish

Preparing White Bean Ragout with Chorizo:

Saute onion over medium heat in olive oil until translucent. Add minced garlic and saute for another 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir to incorporate and cook until the red becomes a deeper color. Remove the chorizo from its casing and add to onion mixture. Break it apart and cook until done. Remove any excess grease from the chorizo.

Add wine (if over gas, take it off the flame so you don’t burn the place up) and scrape up any bits from the bottom of the skillet. Bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes to reduce. Add the whole tomatoes while crushing them with your fingers into smaller pieces. Bring back to a simmer and let reduce for about 5 minutes. Add the beans, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Taste. Adjust salt and pepper to your liking.


Important Tips:

Cooking the tomato paste really helps bring out a deeper flavor.
Draining and rinsing the beans removes excess sodium and flavors that won’t mix well in this dish.


When I made this to go with the fish, I added 1/4 cup of capers to it and a bit more lemon. Then, while it was simmering at the very end, I just set the fish (seasoned with salt and pepper) on top and covered the pan. It took about 8 -10 minutes for the fish to be done.

Special Occasion Luncheon for 70 People (pt 3 of 3)

What a day! I’d love to say everything went off without a hitch, but that would not be 100% accurate….However, it was pretty darn close. Thanks so much to Denise for being with me step for step. It actually worked out so well that we had several moments of twiddling our thumbs in the kitchen.

I arrived at the church at 8:30 after dropping the kids at school. After unloading everything from the car, it was time to get organized. I turned on the ovens to preheat, started simmering the Red-Eye Glaze again (after simmering for 4 hrs the night before, it still was not reduced enough to a glaze yet). I then started with the white bean ragout. The largest pot I had at home did not have enough room for the beans too, so I transferred about 3/4 of the ragout to a new pot, turned on the heat and started opening can after can after can of cannellini beans. After opening 20 cans of beans manually and rinsing them, I was happy when Denise arrived. With the beans added and the pot warming up, they were done other than final tasting and tweaking for best flavors. But that will come later.

Next was the vinaigrette to both marinate the vegetables on the salad and for the dressing. Denise chopped up the artichokes, hearts of palm and roasted red peppers. I made the vinaigrette with red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano and olive oil. Done and in the fridge!

We moved on to the bread. We wanted something with some crunch and to help sop up the yummy ragout, so we decided on crostinis. I had bought some good crusty bread from the Costco bakery, we sliced thin rounds, brushed moderately with olive oil, dusted with garlic powder, sprinkled with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and popped them in the oven. We made 3 1/2 large trays (well, technically 4 but I burned some and had to toss them out). We made these early as the zucchini was going to take the oven space for the last-minute preparation.
Luncheon for 70

Next up, the pork tenderloins. I brought my All-Clad Double Burner Griddle (gotta get one if you don’t have one. Perfect for pancakes, quesidillas, grilled sandwiches, etc).
We used this to quickly sear the meat on all sides to provide color, texture and flavor to the meat. Doing this for 20 individual loins took about 30-40 minutes. Denise chopped the parsley for the garnish, washed and trimmed the zucchini, and topped the loins with their first coating of the glaze. Did I mention that it was fantastic to have Denise with me this year!!
Luncheon for 70

Quick check of the clock and we are ahead of schedule! So, on to the zucchini. A lot of people don’t like zucchini and I really have no idea why. When you ask them, they generally say it is mushy, has no flavor, or it is watery. Once again, this is in the preparation. Yes, zucchini (like most vegetables) is probably 90% water. So, why would you boil it in water and expect it to taste like something other than water? For this preparation, we opted on roasting (best way to bring out a veggies true flavors). We sliced them thin lengthwise, coated them with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and oregano. Then laid them out on three large sheet trays ready to pop in the oven 10 minutes prior to service.
Roasted Zucchini

Time to look at the list again and the clock. It’s only about 10:30! Bread-done;Salad-prep’d;zucchini-prep’d; beans-simmering;pork-prep’d. Wow! Way ahead of schedule. We took a breath, I showed Denise how pretty the Fellowship Hall was decorated, talked through the service aspect and returned to the kitchen.

Meat in the oven at 11:00, glazed 2 times while cooking and again when we took them out. They completed in about 30 minutes which gave us 30 minutes to let them rest before cutting them, always key with any meat!!
Pork Tenderloins

We decided to go ahead and toss the salad, plate it and let the servers put them on the tables for all the guests for when they sat down.

Once that was done, it was time to cut the pork and get ready for the craziness of plating about 65 plates as quickly and cleanly as possible. We recruited a couple of volunteers for the service line and we were off. Time to eat and take a breath!! Everything was really well received and very much appreciated. We received so many wonderful comments about the meal but my personal favorite was the deep and sincere gratitude for the love that was put into each dish.

Thanks to Bruce Dick for most of these great pictures.
Missed part 1 or part 2? Click on the links.

Special Occasion Luncheon for 70 People (pt 2 of 3)

Pile of cans with no electric can opener

Well, what it is about step 8 of our 10 step plan? Yes, step 8 is “Expect the Unexpected” (see Entertaining with Ease) and today has been a case study on expecting the unexpected.

The morning started off with the usual routine but quickly my ‘day job’ required most of my attention. That’s ok because it is what pays the bills. However, I got started with the preparation a lot later than I planned. Then, more unexpected. My usually responsible daughter let me know she had a science experiment to do tonight and it is due tomorrow (can we say pro-cras-tin-a-tion!). Then, I under estimated how much time it takes to reduce sauces when you are multiplying recipes by 10. Fun, fun, fun.

Oh well. Suffice it to say, it was a long night and I changed some of the original plans on what I was doing the day before versus the day of. After “texting it through” with Denise, we decided we can get more things done the day of since she will be playing the role of super woman! Thank goodness for that!

Today’s activities included, (1) Completing all the shopping (ended up way under budget, yea!) (2) Making the base for the white bean ragout (3) Making the Red-eye Glaze (4) Seasoning all the pork tenderloins (5) Cutting herbs from my garden (6) Packing everything to go in the morning (7) Finalizing the updated timeline list for the modified “day of” list.

Here are some of the highlights of the day.

1. Mountain of onions / shallots that made me cry my eyes out for at least an hour. Thank goodness for food processors!pile of onions to cry over

2. Wondering why I have this weird aversion to electric can openers on a day like today!Pile of cans with no electric can opener

3. Ham browning for Red-Eye GlazeBrowning Ham for Red Eye Gravy

4. Shallots galore for the glaze

Valentine Shallots
Valentine Shallots Chopped

5. Adding the coffee to the Red-Eye Glaze and wishing I’d made a cup for myself. I guess wine will have to do!
Red Eye Gravy

6. Red-Eye Glaze after 2 hours and after 4 hours
Red-Eye Gravy

Red-Eye Gravy

7. Beginnings of the White Bean, Tomato and Chorizo Ragout – for you Words with Friends fans, this is called a sofrito.

8. Finished White Bean Ragout minus the White Beans. I started cutting onions and garlic for this at 2:30 and turned it off at 10:30pm!! When I made this in a normal size portion it took me 30 minutes. It takes a lot longer to reduce 3 liters of wine than 1 cup of wine! Duh! I opted to not add the beans tonight primarily because they would not fit in my pot. I’ll add them first thing in the morning when I arrive at church so they can absorb all this yumminess (tons of garlic Mr. Gaile!).
White Bean Ragout

9. The pork tenderloin with its dry rub of kosher salt, ground pepper, cayenne and brown sugar. Now, that is a lot of meat!
Prepared Pork Tenderloin with Dry Rub

If you missed Part 1 of this series, you can find it here.

Anxious to know how it all turned out? On to Part 3