Random recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

I am a fan of tortilla soup. After seeing the movie, Tortilla Soup, I became quickly interested in trying tortilla soup. Can you believe I had never had it before watching that movie? Now I am addicted. It has been a while since we have made some at home. For a long time we made it religiously. Recently I found a crock pot version and thought it might be even easier than the version we made in the past.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup (Cooking Classy)

2 1/2 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth (4 1/2 cups)
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
3/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
4 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic crusher
2 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground coriander
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

For serving:
tortilla strips or tortilla chips
shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese
diced avocado, diced roma tomatoes, sour cream (optional)

Directions:

Pour chicken broth and diced tomatoes into a slow cooker. Add onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, coriander and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken breasts then cover with lid and cook on LOW heat 6 hours, or until chicken is cooked through.

Remove chicken and shred, then return to slow cooker along with black beans, corn, cilantro and lime juice, stir. Allow to cook until heated through.

Serve warm with tortilla strips and cheese and other optional ingredients.

Note: We did not have raw chicken breasts, we had Trader Joes pre-cooked chicken breasts. Near the end of cooking we shredded them up and mixed in. You could probably use rotisserie chicken in the same way.

I will just say that I had two full bowls. Between Chris and I, we ate the entire crock pot. Oops. Probably too much to have in one night, but it was oh so good.

Charcuterie: Mmm and Nom Nom

A few of my co-workers and I were talking about the rise of the term “charcuterie” in restaurants and food carts. Charcuterie: the art of making sausages and other cured, smoked, and preserved meats. I am seeing quite a list of newer places in Portland that have the main focus of charcuterie, bread, and cheese. To name a few: Olympic Provisions, Chop Butchery, Portland Meat Collective, and a new food cart called: Cheese & Crack.

Chris and I have been exploring the world of charcuterie for a while. But, before I tell you about that, can I just tell you for a second that I never announced we were having charcuterie, because I never knew cured and smoked meats with our cheese and crackers was charcuterie! Nor did I not have the slightest idea how to pronounce it. We even had fun (during the work conversation I mentioned above) trying to pronounce it correctly. Maybe I will just call it cheese & crack. Now that I can remember!

last night’s charcuterie with cheese

We often on the weekend relax around plates of different types of cheeses, crackers, charcuterie, and fruit and enjoy the multitude of flavors. What I love about it is that a little actually goes a long way. It is the strong and different flavors that make this meal so amazingly enticing. For me it is also the best of both worlds – salty and sweet. A sliced pear, on top of a slice of smoked gouda on a salty cracker. Mmm and Nom Nom. A perfect way to end a day of exercise, adventures, sun, and play. It is how we often end a full day.

What about you? Do you dabble in charcuterie?