By: Debbie Dance Uhrig
It is hard to believe that this is my last column for 2014. The year has been so
busy that I’ve hardly had a chance to catch my breath. I’m looking forward to
2015, I don’t know what’s on the horizon, but it’s going to be good. As we ring in
the year Wednesday night it’s in with the new and out with the old. I’m not really
ready for it to wrap, but a new beginning is always good.
Usually I feature my age-old black-eyed pea gumbo in this final week of
December. I thought I needed a new soup for New Year’s Eve so I’ve chosen
Tortilla Soup from my cookbook, ‘Simply Yours’. With one minor modification we
can add rinsed black-eyed peas in lieu of the can of corn! Or, if you’re feeling like
a heavier soup use both! After all the heavy meals of the season this dish sounds
like a good approach. You could go with an entire Mexican fare for New Year’s
Eve or New Year’s Day. Do a ‘fresh’ queso dip, the soup and enchiladas. Wait, if
I’m coming you’ll need fresh guacamole too.
I’m looking forward to the next few weeks with much anticipation. I want to work
on my new cookbook, ‘Everyday Comfort Foods’, during most of January and
February. Like many of you I also want to dedicate myself to daily exercise and
lighter menus on the home front. Some of you will want to kick me for this next
one, I’m ready for some good snow in the Branson area, while the beach bums
are probably contemplating warm ocean waters. I’ll take the sleigh over the
surfboards any day.
Probably I’m most anxious to work on are things at home. Tidying closets, writing
new recipes and finding time to enjoy my family. Not to mention I can resume a
little bird watching in our back ‘forest’. I was going to say backyard, but we don’t
really have a back yard as we’re in the National Forest.
All righty, let’s get to the recipe and bring in 2015 with a huge toast. Happy New
Year! Simply yours, The Covered Dish.
3-4 pounds cooked chicken breasts, chopped and diced
1 (14 1/2 ounce can) Rotel tomatoes
1 small zucchini, diced and chopped fine, do not peel
1 green or red pepper, diced fine
3 tablespoons oil
1 medium onion, diced finely
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons chili powder
1-2 teaspoons cumin
3-4 (13 1/2 ounce) cans chicken broth
Lemon Zest from (1) lemon or lime
1 can, drained corn
1 teaspoon marjoram
Cilantro to taste
Shredded Monterey jack cheese
Sauté the onion and pepper in oil until softened, stir in the garlic. Place this and
all remaining ingredients down to but not including the cilantro in a large
stockpot. Simmer for 1-2 hours. Add the cilantro just before serving and reserve
extra for those who desire additional amounts. Ladle into bowls and top with
Monterey jack and crumbled tortilla chips.
Sour cream and avocado are also nice additional toppers.