When I started the freezer meal group I didn't think I had the staying power to continue to do it for 6 months let alone going on 16 months. Now it is to the point where the group coordinator and I are the only two who have not missed a month. I am probably the only one who has noticed but since I have a slight lack of follow through on so many other things I find this quite the accomplishment. However, this accomplishment creates a slight dilemma for me. Now I feel I can't miss a month because I have a pristine record. No one would care one way or the other. Technically I can't say no one. I would care. Why? Who the hell knows--I am a little crazy that way. Sort of the same realm as why I feel guilty when I don't go volunteer at the co-op. Crazy! I know.
Moving away from my crazy and on to the recipe for the current month. I chose to make Chipotle Chicken & Hominy Chowder. It was listed on one site I frequent as a "no cook the day of prep" meal, that is one of the main reasons I chose it. When I went to read the directions more in-depth, I found I was grossly misled. There was a whole crapload of cooking the day of. So I went to the original recipe and sort of winged it and tried to make it as little cooking as possible. I used canned chicken instead of cooking and shredding it that day. I also chose to go with canned diced tomatoes instead of fresh. I also chose to not include a teaspoon of sauce to be added later because the heat will intensify from the soup being frozen. Some of the other modifications I made were simply for that day due to making six meals not just one.
Everyone at my house enjoyed it. It was a nice change from the usual soups I serve. One thing PE and I found is we really enjoy the smell of the chipotle chiles in adobo sauce. It really has the most amazing smell. If it wouldn't burn my mouth up I would eat it plain. We also had enough leftover that we froze that for another meal.
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Chipotle Chicken & Hominy Chowder
adapted from My Recipes
1 (7 oz) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cups onion, chopped
1 cup carrot, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
6 garlic cloves, crushed
5 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp to 1 Tbsp dried cilantro (to taste)
1 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast, shredded or canned chicken
2 medium red potatoes (about 12 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 (15.5 oz) can white or golden hominy, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 (15.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt
lime wedges, cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips if desired
Remove 1 chile and 1 teaspoon adobo sauce from can; reserve remaining chiles and sauce for another use. Finely chop chile; set chile and sauce aside separately. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chopped chile, onion, and next 6 ingredients (through garlic); cook 7 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring frequently. Stir in broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Remove pan from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree mixture in pan. (OR place one-third of broth mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Pour pureed broth mixture into a large bowl. Repeat procedure in two more batches with remaining broth mixture. Return pureed broth mixture to pan.) Stir in cilantro, potatoes, hominy, and chicken. Simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add tomatoes and whipping cream; simmer for 5 minutes. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, and lime wedges if desired.
OR pour pureed soup mixture, cilantro, potatoes, hominy, and chicken into slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours or until potatoes are tender. Once potatoes are tender.Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup whipping cream and can of diced tomatoes. Cook an additional 30 minutes. Turn off slow cooker and allow soup to cool a bit. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, and lime wedges if desired.
FOR FREEZING: Combine pureed soup mixture, cilantro, potatoes, hominy, and chicken in gallon freezer bag. Freeze mixture. To cook: defrost gallon bag in refrigerator overnight. Pour into slow cooker. Cook on high for 3 hours or until potatoes are cooked. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup whipping cream and can of diced tomatoes. Cook an additional 30 minutes. Turn off slow cooker and allow soup to cool a bit. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, and lime wedges if desired.
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