Potato Leek Soup

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I am perpetually cold.  Anyone who knows me knows this. I make it a habit of layering my clothes and bringing a sweater in order to avoid the chance of being cold.  Unfortunately, this week I have a cold, so you can bet that I am all kinds of unpleasant.  Its funny.  Upon its onset, when it was just a pain in my sinus and fatigue setting in my bones, I had no idea what was wrong with me.  I am still getting used to the fact that I have emotions and that my body is capable of illness.  For years I’ve just sort of ran myself in busy circles, thinking too much and feeling too little.  I am very grateful that Sean is so patient and loving because I was not having it this weekend.  I’m trying to be nicer and more loving and making soup is my way of self care that not only cheers me up but will also satisfy Sean.

This mornings recipe on Smitten Kitchen was a welcomed surprise.  For some reason I thought I was reading an entry on Smashed Peas and Carrots, and perked right up when I realized that it was a recipe on Smitten Kitchen.  I love recipes for new delicious foods, and delicious is something that Deb specializes in.  I also love potatoes, so you know, good times. The recipe is ridiculously easy.  She categorizes it as a “winter mix” because its summer  (baked potato-y) mixed with winter (soup).  I live in Los Angeles by way of Seattle, meaning it only took me three hours to get what she meant by winter mix.  The fact that we contemplated having a barbecue the day after thanksgiving and could have barbecued throughout the month of December (minus the week of rain) tells you a great deal about how I experience winter.  Here is the link to the delicious Baked Potato soup, adapted from my favorite recipe writers, Cook’s Illustrated.

Baked Potato Soup, Greek Chicken Fingers, Spinach Salad

Baked Potato Soup, Greek Chicken Fingers, Spinach Salad

I liked this recipe so much that I had to blog about it immediately.  I am really impressed by the whole meal if I must say so myself.   The only modification I made to the recipe was that I used whole yogurt instead of sour cream- its what we had on hand.

The chicken and the salad made for a great addition and really rounded out the meal.  The salad is Sean’s recipe, though I think I kind of inspired him when a long time ago I put bacon on a salad.  The chicken is an adapted recipe for chicken that I found on DedeMed years ago.

Spinach Salad:

  • Fresh spinach (baby spinach if available), washed and spun dry
  • Bacon (either bits from the story or home fried or roasted (we roast to avoid popping grease), cooled and cut into small bits)
  • Aged Cheddar (or any type of your favorite cheese), grated
  • Cherry tomatoes (optional)
  • your favorite dressing (Italian works best to me) or a squeeze of lime juice (Sean’s preference)

Top the spinach with your choice of the above items, the more the merry.  Go light on the dressing to better enjoy the way the flavors of the bacon and cheese come together with the tomatoes and spinach.

Greek Chicken

  • chicken cut into pieces (I used tenders, and about a pound of it. Breast are suitable as well.  Thighs are deliciously moist, so I’ve never tried this with them).
  • Plain yogurt (for 1 lb of tenders, I used about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of yogurt.  I wasn’t very precise.  I just put in enough to coat the chicken.)
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • Paprika (about 1 tbsp)
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil

Mix the yogurt with the lemon juice and the paprika. Put the chicken  in a Ziploc bag (or a large bowl) with the yogurt mixture.  Mix to coat the chicken.  Let sit in the fridge for 45 minutes or more.

Warm the oil in a large skillet.  It really shouldn’t be much oil, just enough to coat the bottom of the pan.  Place the chicken in the warmed pan, shaking off the extra yogurt before you place it in the pan.  Allow the pieces to cook on one side until brown and then flip to the other side until cooked through (165 degrees).  YUMMMY!  The chicken won’t be too lemony or taste too much like yogurt.  The yogurt binds deliciously to the chicken for a distinct taste.

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