White Chili

Source: Simply in Season
Date tried:May 24, 2017
Yield: 4 servings
Time needed: 30 minutes max.

Prior preparation
Both beans and chicken need to be cooked in advance.
Great way to use leftovers of these ingredients. Plan previous weeks menus with this in mind.

The name comes from substitutions made to a standard chili recipe:
-white navy beans replace red kidney beans
-chicken replaces ground beef
-white sauce replaces tomato sauce

I enjoyed this dish very much.

White Chili

White Chili
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup/125 m; green pepper, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 cup/60 ml mild green chilis
2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
2 cups/500 ml chicken broth
1/2 cup/125 ml milk

2 cups/500 ml cooked navy beans
2 ups/500 ml corn
1 cup/250 ml cooked chicken or turkey, chopped
1/4 cup/60 ml sour cream
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. ground cumin

In a large frypan sauté the chopped vegetables in 1 Tbsp. oil until just tender.
Set aside.

Make a white sauce in the soup pot:
Melt butter
Add flour and stir it in cooking briefly until it is bubbly
Stir in broth and milk
Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until thickened.

Add sautéed vegetables to white sauce along with all remaining ingredients and heat through.
Season to taste with chopped fresh cilantro, salt and pepper.
Garnish with shredded cheese if you like.

Creamed Asparagus or Spinach (with Popovers)

Source: Simply in Season
Date tried: January 4, 2017
Yield: Serves 2 as a main dish or 3-4 as a side dish
Time needed: 30-40 minutes for popover version. 20 minutes for omelet version

This is actually three recipes in one. First you make the creamed vegetable (asparagus or spinach) which you can serve as a side dish on its own, or on toast. Or you can try the omelet or popover versions below.

The quantities given for the cream sauce make a thin sauce. My preference is for a medium sauce. That would call for either 1/2 the milk or double the butter and flour.

Creamed Asparagus or Spinach
1 lb./500 g asparagus(cut in 3/4”/2 cm. pieces) or 3 cups/750 ml fresh spinach
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp flour
1 cup milk.

Cook the vegetable of your choice until tender. Drain and set aside.

Melt butter in frypan over medium heat.
Stir in flour until smooth and bubbly.
Gradually add milk, stirring constantly until smooth.
Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens.
Stir in asparagus or spinach.
Season to taste and serve over buttered toast, in omelet or popovers.

Omelet version.(for one person)
Whisk together 2 eggs and 1 Tbsp. milk.
Place a non-stick frypan over medium heat.
Pour in beaten eggs.
As eggs set, lift edges to let uncooked portion flow underneath.
When eggs are set, cover one-half with creamed vegetable.
Fold and serve.

Popover version (6 popovers)
1/2 cup/125 ml whole wheat flour
1/2 cup/125 ml milk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. salt.

Combine all ingredients and beat with an electric mixer or blender until smooth.
Set aside for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400oF/200oC

While oven heats dab a little butter into six muffin cups.
Place in the oven to melt.
Brush melted butter over sides and bottoms of muffin cups.
Stir batter and divide among muffin cups.
Bake without opening oven door until puffed, firm and starting to brown. (about 25 minutes)
Immediately pierce with a knife to release steam.
Fill with creamed spinach or asparagus and serve.

White Sauce Casserole

Source: Whole Foods for the Whole Family
Date tried: December 29, 2012
Yield:4 servings
Time needed: 1 hour

Prior preparation needed
Cook soybeans the day before or starting early in the morning

This is a really nice vegetarian casserole based on a white sauce. Just a little vegetable chopping to do and it’s in the oven till dinner is served.

White Sauce Casserole

White Sauce Casserole

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Being Creative with White Sauce

Like the author of this site I learned how to make a basic white sauce in a home economics class more years ago than I care to count.  Can’t say I was much impressed then.

But when I began to realize how variable this simple recipe can be and what a scope for creativity it offers, it became very interesting indeed.

Every part of the recipe can be modified for different uses.

The fat component can be melted butter, lard, shortening, margarine or any sort of oil. Gravies are a “white sauce” in which the drippings from the roast form the fat component.

The starch component is usually wheat flour, but can be potato, soy, barley or rice flour.  Corn starch and amaranth flour are the choices for making a clear sauce.  They have more thickening power than other flours, so use half as much per cup of liquid.

The liquid component is usually milk, but can just as well be water, broth, tomato juice, or fruit juice or a blend of several of these.  A touch of white wine is great in a sauce for seafood.  A clear sauce using fruit juice as the liquid makes a nice pancake topping. A clear sauce made with chicken broth and soy sauce often completes an Asian stir-fry dish.

Then there are all sorts of things one can add to a white sauce: vegetables, meats, cheese, tomato paste, peanut butter, a whole assortment of herbs and spices, and ,for sweet sauces, fruit, chocolate, sugar, honey or other sweeteners.

So, where do you use white sauce?  Virtually everywhere.

  • Cream soups (celery, mushroom, potato, squash, broccoli, whatever takes your fancy)
  • Cheese sauces for macaroni and cheese, to pour over vegetables.  Include beer in the liquid and you have Welsh rabbit.  (Which most people now know as Welsh rarebit.)
  • Curries (basically a curry sauce is a white sauce with the appropriate spices added)
  • Creamed chicken, tuna, etc. to be served over toast, polenta, or rice
  • Casseroles (substitute your own white sauce for canned soup)

Whatever the additions and modifications, a white sauce is basically a combination of fat, starch and liquid cooked to get a thick sauce. With that in mind, many apparently daunting recipes, like Bean & Noodle Casserole, resolve themselves into “Make a white sauce and ….”
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