The Gourmet Touch: ‘New toy’ turns so-so chili into spectacular soup
by Prudence Hilburn
Special to The Star
Mar 20, 2013 | 2295 views |  0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
“Like a kid with a new toy” — this is probably a good description of me with a new food product.

When I see one on the grocery shelf or on television, I get excited. It reminds me my great-grandchildren, Madeline and Mitchell. When they see a new toy or a new cereal, their response is “I want that.”

Recently Tissie McDaniel, who regularly attends my cooking classes, brought me a new product. She wanted to see what I could do with Land O’ Lakes Sauté Express. Little did I know I’d use it before the class was over.

The class menu included a recipe for creamy white chili from the Gooseberry Patch “Family Favorite Recipes” cookbook. I have made white chili for years but had never added sour cream and whipping cream in my version.

I taste a lot when I’m cooking. When I tasted the creamy white chili, it was good, but I told the class that I thought it needed “something.” The addition of sour cream and whipping cream seemed to minimize the “chili” flavor. I added just a little more cumin. Then I noticed the new food product on the table. How would it taste if I added a little Garlic & Herb Sauté Express? I put a cube of the new product into the pot. After it melted, I gave the chili another taste. Wonderful!

However, it was no longer chili. I guess I have now made my own version of creamy chicken and bean soup with herbs.

Recently, I noticed a small piece of beef roast that I had leftover and decided to see what I could do with it. I had cooked the roast in the Crock-Pot with a can of mushroom soup, an envelope of beefy onion dry soup mix and a little water. About an hour before the roast was done, I added some carrots and potatoes.

After enjoying the roast and vegetables for a couple of meals, I cut up the veggies and shredded the beef roast. That, along with the gravy, was a good start. Now the search was on. I wanted to add tomatoes, but couldn’t find any canned ones in the kitchen pantry. Then I remembered the fresh tomatoes that I had frozen during the summer. I also found about a cup of frozen green peas and some frozen whole kernel corn.

I added a little water, and then it seemed too thin so I opted for a can of cream of potato soup. Looked good, but how did it taste? Needed a little salt. Better, but when I decided to add a cube of the Garlic & Herb Sauté Express, it was great!

Creamy Chicken and Bean Soup with Herbs

1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, chopped
1 can chicken broth
2 cups cooked, chopped (or shredded) chicken breasts
2 cans cannellini beans
2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chiles, not drained
1½ teaspoons garlic powder
Salt (to taste)
2 teaspoons (or to taste) ground cumin
8 ounces sour cream
1 cup whipping cream
1 cube (2 ounces) Land O’ Lakes Garlic & Herb Sauté Express
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack (or pepper jack) cheese

Heat oil and butter in soup pot. Sauté onions until tender. Add broth, chicken, beans, chiles and garlic powder. Taste and add salt, if needed. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Simmer about 20 minutes. Add sour cream, whipping cream, Sauté Express and cheese. Cook until cheese melts. Good with a crusty bread. (Southerners will probably prefer cornbread.)
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