If you’re like many metro Detroiters, you stocked up on food items to get through the snow blanketing the region Wednesday and Thursday.
Hunkering down and staying in means time to get cooking. Here are a few cold-weather-related recipes that are easy to put together and don’t use out-of-the-ordinary ingredients.
More:Domino’s will give customers $3 ‘tip’ to pick up their own pizza
More:Michigan winter storm warning has grocery shoppers stocking up: What they’re buying
More:Metro Detroit forecasters scaling back snow accumulation predictions to 8-10 inches
Caramelized Onion Soup
Serves: 6 (main dish servings) / Preparation time: 20 minutes / Total time: 2 hours (not all active time)
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 large onions, peeled, halved, sliced 1/4-inch thick
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
½ cup dry white wine
8 cups low sodium, fat-free beef or chicken broth
1/2 baguette, cut into as many 3/8-inch slices as needed to cover six soup crocks or ramekins
1 ¼ cups shredded Swiss or Gruyère cheese or Muenster cheese
In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook the onions gently, stirring frequently, until they’re very soft and have begun to turn a dark golden color, about 35 to 45 minutes. (The onions will cook down considerably.)
Stir in the butter and allow it to melt. Stir in the flour and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour in the wine and increase the heat to medium high, stirring and scraping to loosen any caramelized juices, until the liquid is mostly reduced, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. You can make the soup up to this point, cool and then refrigerate for 2 days.
To serve: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the baguette slices on a rack and bake until lightly toasted; set aside. Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees.
Bring the soup back to a simmer. Set six ovenproof or ramekins on a heavy baking sheet and ladle the soup into the crocks. Float two toasted baguette slices on top and sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons of the cheese (or more if you like).
Bake until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, about 5-8 minutes. Watch carefully. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
Rotisserie Chicken Soup with Rice
Serves: 8 / Preparation time: 20 minutes / Total time: 1 hour
Use any bell peppers you have on hand for this recipe. Also, also diced canned or stewed tomatoes works can be substituted for the fire-roasted.
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 large cloves garlic, peeled, minced
1 cup chopped onion
3 mini red bell peppers, sliced into thin rounds
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 can (14.5 ounces) fire-roasted tomatoes with chipotle
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
4 cups shredded rotisserie chicken or any other cooked chicken
6 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 cups cooked brown rice
FOR SERVING (optional)
Sliced green onion
In a large pot, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the onion and red pepper slices and sauté about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with brown sugar, stirring to melt the sugar. Add in the tomatoes with their juice, chili powder and cumin. Stir in the chicken and broth. Bring to just a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes to meld all the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper if needed, keeping in mind you may not need to because of the tomatoes and broth. Stir in the cooked rice just before serving. Top with chips, cheese, onion and cilantro if desired.
Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
Serves: 8 / Preparation time: 20 minutes / Total time: 6 to 8 hours on slow cooker low setting
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken thighs, cut into 1 ½-inch pieces
3 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons cumin, divided
3 tablespoons favorite chili powder plus 3 teaspoons, divided
1 medium poblano pepper (or favorite hot pepper), seeded, diced
1 can (15.5 ounces) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15.5 ounces) white beans, drained and rinsed
3 cans (15.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes with green chilis
2 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons instant tapioca, optional
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
½ to ¾ cup lager-style beer, optional
Sour cream, shredded Cheddar or Jack cheese, chopped green onions and chopped pickled jalapenos
In a large skillet, heat the oil. Place the chicken pieces in a bowl and sprinkle with the flour, 1 teaspoon cumin and 1 teaspoon chili powder. Toss to coat the pieces with the flour mixture. Add the chicken to the skillet and brown on each side. Transfer to the slow cooker. Add the diced poblano pepper to the skillet and sauté 3 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker. Add all the remaining ingredients, including 1 teaspoon cumin and 3 tablespoons chili powder, except the beer to the slow cooker and stir. Cover and cook on low setting for 6 to 8 hours or until the chicken is fall-apart tender.
About 30 minutes before serving, stir in the beer if using.
Just before serving, stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons chili powder, taste and adjust seasonings with more salt and pepper to taste.
Divide the chili among warm bowls. Serve with the topping of your choice.
Super Easy Beef Chili
Chili garnished with cheese and scallions and served with a side of cornbread is perfect for a cold winter night. If you don’t have bloody Mary mix, use vegetable juices such as low-sodium V8 and spice it up with additional chili powder or a pinch of red pepper flakes to taste.
Makes: 8 cups / Preparation time: 10 minutes / Total time: 1 hour
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, peeled, chopped
1 1/2 pounds ground or diced beef (such as sirloin)
2 cups favorite Bloody Mary mix (spicy preferred)
2 cans (14 ounces each) diced tomatoes with green chilies (or 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice)
2 cans (14 ounces each) kidney beans, drained and rinsed well
4 tablespoons (or more if you like) favorite chili powder, divided
Sliced green onions
In a medium pot, heat the oil. Add the onion and sauté about 8 minutes until it becomes lightly golden brown. Add the beef and cook until it browns, breaking it up as it cooks. Stir in the Bloody Mary mix and heat on medium-high, stirring and scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
Add the tomatoes, beans and 2 tablespoons of chili powder. Stir well. Bring to just a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover slightly and simmer 30 minutes.
Just before serving, stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of chili powder. Serve with desired toppings.
From and tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.
Analysis based on regular canned diced tomatoes and using lean ground beef:
366 calories (32% from fat), 13 grams fat (4 grams sat. fat), 31 grams carbohydrates, 32 grams protein, 647 mg sodium, 72 mg cholesterol, 9 grams fiber.
Slow-cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
Makes: 10 (1 cup) servings / Preparation time: 20 minutes / Total time: 6 to 8 hours (not all active time)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can (14.5 ounces) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
5 cups water
5 teaspoons reduced-sodium chicken base (such as Better Than Bouillon Reduced-Sodium Chicken Base)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced green pepper
1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed, diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
2 tablespoons favorite chili powder, divided
2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
2 cans (15 ounces each) cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
20 tablespoons tortilla strips topping (such as Fresh Gourmet Lightly Salted Tortilla Strips)
3 to 4 green onions, thinly sliced
Lime wedges for garnish, optional
Place chicken and tomatoes in slow cooker. Heat water and add chicken base, stirring until dissolved and add to slow cooker.
Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, green pepper, jalapeño pepper, garlic, 1 tablespoon chili powder and 1 teaspoon cumin. Sauté 2 to 3 minutes. Add sautéed vegetables to slow cooker along with cannellini beans and corn. Cover and cook on low setting for 6 to 8 hours. After 2 hours of cooking, remove chicken breast, shred and return to slow cooker for the remaining cooking time. One half hour before cooking time has ended, stir in thyme and remaining chili powder and cumin.
When cooking is complete, add vinegar, salt and black pepper. When ready to serve, top each 1 cup portion with 2 tablespoons tortilla strips, sliced green onion, and lime wedge, if desired.
Created by Darlene Zimmerman, MS, RD, and tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.
220 calories (20% from fat), 5 grams fat (1 gram sat. fat, 0 grams trans fat), 26 grams carbohydrates, 18 grams protein, 470 mg sodium, 29 mg cholesterol, 58 mg calcium, 7 grams fiber. Food exchanges: 1 starch, 2 vegetable, 2 lean meat.
Contact Detroit Free Press food writer Susan Selasky and send food and restaurant news to: 313-222-6872 or [email protected]. Follow @SusanMariecooks on Twitter.
Support local journalism and become a digital subscriber to the Free Press.