Dick is great in that he’ll eat, without complaint, whatever I cook. He’s also a bit of a philistine in that he’ll praise tuna noodle casserole as much as crab bisque. (I mean, if I made tuna noodle casserole). (Or could afford real crab).
The worst is when I make something I feel pretty confident about: creamy curry sweet potato soup or bruschetta pizza, and he’ll say “Wow, this is really good,” as if it’s a complete surprise to him after ten years that I know how to boil water. (I know — he really can’t win. I feel hurt if he over-compliments, and underappreciated if he just tucks in).
Then there are days when I learn he doesn’t like something I’ve been cooking forever. I mean, I know he doesn’t like straight spaghetti sauce. When I make my favorite sausage-bell pepper red sauce, I add a bit of heavy cream to his portion to make him think it’s a (very) robust alfredo sauce.
But some things he’ll eat ten times over several months, and then casually mention one day that he doesn’t actually like oatmeal chocolate chip muffins or brownies or . . . white chili. Who doesn’t like white chili?
Maybe I made it too often when I first got the recipe. But Dick said I could make it for the church chili cook-off last Saturday (not that I asked his permission of course, but I allow him some input in the meals around here). My version of Winter White Chili got an Honorable Mention, which Dick has not stopped joking about ever since. Honorable Mention being the Miss Congeniality of food contests. “We’d like to reward you for not threatening our superiority. Thanks. Have a sash.”
Dick pretended indignation on my behalf, saying they probably felt they had to pick a traditional chili as the winner, but would I get the recipe for the barbeque chili? That one was really good.
Honorable Mention Winter White Chili
(Got this recipe from some church function of my sister’s in the first place; can’t find my own copy any more, but I just throw in what looks good anyway. See ChaCha’s White Chicken Chili or . . . Wow, in looking for a recipe similar to mine, I’m beginning to see why I might have a little bit of a weight problem. Who uses fat-free sour cream? — Oh, check out my friend the Compulsive Writer’s White Bean Chili. She won a first place.)
2 cups chicken, cooked and cubed. I buy bulk frozen chicken breast, cook it on low for 4 hours in the crockpot, chop it, and then freeze it in 2-cup portions for this kind of thing. Great with leftover Thanksgiving turkey too.
2 cans of great northern or white kidney (canellini?) beans OR 1 1/2 cups dry beans that you’ve soaked overnight and then cooked on low in the crockpot since breakfast. (Pour off extra water, but leave some for the soup base — you can always add more later, but it takes a long time to simmer off extra liquid.)
Saute 1 onion (chopped) and 3+ cloves garlic (minced) in some butter and oil ’till soft and sweet.
Add the beans to the pot of sauteing onion/garlic, or the onion/garlic to the crockpot. Add chicken and chicken soup base or bullion cubes to taste. (I don’t use chicken stock because it’s more expensive, and also, if you add the water and the seasonings separately, you can adjust the flavor easily).
Add 2 cans of (mild) diced green chili peppers. Add cumin, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste.
Just before serving, add 1/2 cup (or more) heavy cream and 1/2 cup (or more) sour cream. (Don’t boil after adding the dairy). (I don’t know why they always say this. I always accidentally boil mine after adding the dairy, probably because I keep adding other things too, and it’s always fine.)
Toppings I really like include: fresh cilantro, sharp cheddar (or Monterey Jack) cheese, Fritos, and diced tomatoes.
I hope you enjoy it!
Also, if anyone has a recipe for barbeque chili, I’d really appreciate it.
Oh, I wanted to say that if you participated in my HELP WANTED quizzes and gave me your valuable feedback, Thank You! I’m still reading through the comments, and many of them have made my day. If you subscribed during the carnival (which is why you’re reading this now), another Thanks! It means a lot to me. I would probably blog even if no one but my sister read, but it’s more fun/addictive/rewarding to have conversations with you!