Tango Sur and Chimichurri Avocado Bruschetta

This week, my dinner club and I went out to Chicago’s favorite spot for Argentinian food, Tango Sur. Before I went, I spent a while stalking the menu as I usually do, but  this one was particularly hard to narrow down my choices. I had more than 12 things I wanted to try! The one thing I KNEW I had to try were their empanadas. Thankfully, I got to try a few different ones: Spinach and cheese, ham and cheese and beef. For me, the ham and cheese topped the charts. Dipping it in the accompanying chimichurri sauce, the whole empanada was gone in about 30 seconds!

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While everyone at the table went with the the filet served with spinach mashed potatoes, I went a different route and got a chicken dish. It was HUGE but so delicious that I ended up eating the whole thing. The chicken was called Suprema a la Napolitana and was served breaded and fried and topped with ham, mozzarella and tomato sauce. 

El Filet:

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Suprema a la Napolitana:

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While I literally had nothing left on my plate at the end of dinner, I did get to bring something home with me. The delicious chimichurri! We asked for extra to dip our potatoes in and WOW, that stuff is delicious. The next night I decided to make an appetizer with the amazing sauce: Chimichurri Avocado Bruschetta. This is a super easy recipe to make if you already have pre-made chimichurri like I did. If you want to go all out and make your own, I certainly encourage it! You can find a great recipe for homemade chimichurri: here.

Basically all you do with this appetizer is toast some sliced baguettes, chop some avocados, toss those with the chimichurri and top on the sliced baguettes. It’s simple, elegant and delicious!

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Enjoy!

Greek Chicken Skewers and Tzatziki Sauce

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When I studied abroad in 2009, my favorite place that I got to visit was Greece. I never thought I’d love any kind of food more than Italian, but the food in Greece really rivaled it! I ate my heart out from everything from the gyros to the fish to the flaming cheese. Now I have a bunch of favorite Greek restaurants that I frequent in Chicago (my favorite is Avli in Winnetka), and love cooking with Mediterranean flavors since its always healthy and flavorful. Here is a really easy dish that’s low in calories but high in deliciousness!

Greek Chicken Skewers and Tzatziki Sauce

For the chicken…

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3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, grainy

1 red onion, cut into 2-inch pieces

Directions: Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, herbs and mustard until well combined. Cut chicken into 2 inch cubes and let marinade in lemon/garlic/herb mixture for 1-2 hours in the refrigerator.  Once marinaded, Preheat oven to 350 degrees and  begin to skewer chicken and onions, alternating between one chicken cube to two onion slices. Place in greased baking dish and bake in oven for about 15 minutes and turn to other side. Bake for another 15 minutes or until cooked through.

For the Tzatziki…

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2 cups of fat free Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon vinegar

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and minced

2 tablespoons fresh dill

Directions: Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve the meal with warmed pita bread and enjoy!!

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Individual Chicken Pot Pies

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The first thing that comes to mind when I think Chicken Pot Pie is season 8 of Top Chef, when Carla Hall literally almost had a joyful heart attack upon learning that she’d be cooking chicken pot pie in that episode. She was going on and on about how she was going to cook that pie with so much love packed inside. Needless to say it bordered on the edges of hilarious and crazy…but she won!  And in a way she was right, chicken pot pie is one of those home-goodie kind of dishes that definitely makes a difference when its cooked with care. I went off of Ina Garten’s recipe in this post but used the store bought pie crust to cut down on the time. I liked the fact that each person got their own mini pot pie. It turned out delish and was certainly satisfying!

Individual Chicken Pot Pies

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

5 cups chicken stock

2 chicken bouillon cubes

1 stick unsalted butter

2 cups yellow onions, chopped

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 cups carrots,chopped

1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas (2 cups)

1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

1 package of prepared pie crust

1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Boil the chicken breasts until cooked through, a little more than a half an hour. In a saucepan heat the chicken broth and add the chicken bouillon cubes until dissolved. In a large, deep skillet melt 1 stick of butter then cook over medium-low heat until onions are translucent, about 10-15 minutes. Add the flour and cook over low heat for two minutes, stirring constantly. Next, add the chicken stock and stir until smooth. Add carrots, peas, cooked chicken and parsley. Mix well.

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Spoon mixture into oven safe bowls. Place on cookie sheet.

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Cover with pie crusts and slit 2-3 small holes at the top for venting. Whisk one egg and white are combined. Brush the top of the pie crust with egg wash. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

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Dig in and ENJOY!

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

What better way to celebrate Fall than by cooking a warm, comforting soup? Soup is one of my all time favorite things to cook and one of the top reasons I look forward to the season of Fall. It fills your home with such a welcoming, home made smell. Every time I dive into my homemade soup I couldn’t be more satisfied. This soup is spicy and broth-y and filling and healthy. Make it in a crock pot or on the stove!

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

1.5 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 jalepeno pepper, minced

1 poblano pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 can diced tomatoes

3 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized cubes and cooked in 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper

1 can black beans

1.5 cups frozen, fresh corn

1 lime

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon oregano

Splash of hot sauce

5 cups reduced fat chicken broth

Handful of cilantro, chopped

Toppings of choice,  I used: Avocado, reduced fat cheddar, low fat sour cream, multi-grain tortilla chips

  • Your first step is to chop all your veggies and heat up your big soup pot with the 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil.

  • Saute your onions until translucent then add in the garlic until fragrant.

  • Next, add your jalapeno, poblano, red bell pepper and can of diced tomatoes and saute for 2-4 minutes.

  • Add your cooked chicken breast, beans and corn. Saute for 3 minutes on medium then add your lime, spices and hot sauce. Mix until well combined.

  • Your last step is to add your broth and cilantro and simmer on medium low for 30-45 minutes, stirring every so often

  • Don’t forget to set up your toppings! Light sour cream goes really well with these Mexican flavors and avocado adds a nice, creamy freshness to the dish. And of course some crushed tortilla chips; it is tortilla soup after all! Keep it healthy by using multi-grain or whole wheat tortilla chips.

  • Your final, final step before assembling is to taste your soup before you serve and add any needed salt and pepper

 

  • Pour your soup and assemble your toppings and ENJOY this flavorful fall dish!