Saturday, September 25, 2010

Get Well Sooner

In Colorado, September kicked off with a few rough weeks.  The Fourmile fire, that began in the hills just to the west of Boulder, ended up being the costliest and most destructive fire in the state's history.  After a number of smaller-sized flare ups throughout the foothills and high temperatures keeping the landscape a dry tinderbox, the community was beyond ready for fall to come around and begin cooling things off.  

This past week brought us the first official day of fall, a few days of cooler temperatures and a even a couple of desperately needed rain-showers. However, as changing seasons often do, it also brought along an irritating cold. Now, don't get me wrong, I enjoy any excuse to watch SNL marathons on VH1- and believe me, I really do. However, sinus headaches really throw a kink in the plans.

Cue: Tyler's chicken, jalapeno and lime soup. 

2 cloves garlic, ¼-inch dice
2 tbsps olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 jalapenos, chopped and seeded (leave seeds to taste, more seeds mean more spice)
1 qt. chicken broth
4oz chicken breast, cubed
1 tomato, seeded and julienned
1/4 cup lime juice
cilantro to garnish
2 avocados, cubed

  1. Sauté the garlic in about 2 tbsps olive oil (about two swirls around an 6-qt stock pot) until lightly browned and slightly softened.
  2. Add chopped onions and jalapenos and continue sauté until softened.Add chicken, chicken broth, lime juice and the tomato. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce to medium-low heat and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. A few minutes before serving, add chopped cilantro to the soup. Ladle soup into bowls and top with avocado. Salt and pepper, to taste.

The soup is supposed to be super spicy, but you can control the heat by seeding the jalapenos or topping the soup with sour cream. When one of us is feeling a cold come on this soup never lets us down.

We paired the soup with Mesta Temparanillo table wine from Spain.  It is the the September red of the month at The Boulder Wine Merchant- which is always, always, always a great buy. I would love to say that the red wine did something scientific to benefit my cold, but the truth is, I just love this wine with spicy food because the bouquet of flavors stands up to spice really well. Thank you, Spain, for this wine win.

Finally, and this is not a typical addition to a meal for me, I enjoyed a pour of bourbon after dinner.  I attribute this bit of homeopathic knowledge to my Great-Grandmother, who strongly believes the answer to a sore throat or a cough comes in the form of a hot toddy. I am coming around to this logic, as I much prefer a pour of a drinkable alcohol I know the name of to a cherry-flavored alcohol syrup goo that I can barely choke down (I'm looking at you, Vick's). 

Not being a huge fan of whiskey (unlike my bourbon-collecting husband), I have to say that Dead Guy Whiskey, from Rogue Ales out of Newport, Oregon, is delicate enough to sip while powerful enough to, dare I say, give your immune system just the right amount of liquid-courage to knock out a cold. 


Eat, drink and be well!