Sweet and Spicy Chicken Corn Chowder

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Every once in a while I come across a recipe that contains way too much of the bad stuff to eat on a regular basis, but moderation twists my arm. This is one of those recipes. It’s an adaptation of a soup I made a while back as part of a Mustard Madness event by Uncle Jim’s Mustards. If you haven’t tried them, they are the best. I just finished my last jar, time to reorder. And free delivery is nice because I don’t have a retailer near me that carries it.

This is an adaptation of their Corn Chowder with a Kick! I’ve added smoked chicken, left out some of the butter and cheese and tweaked the ingredients a bit. This is a hearty, rich soup with sweet and spicy and texture, all wrapped up in one. Comfort in a bowl!

1 stick butter
1 large onion
4 strips of bacon, chopped
8 ounces frozen corn
1 small can green chiles
1 cup milk
1 cup half and half
1 32 ounce box chicken broth or stock
1 jar Uncle Jim’s Habanero Pepper Mustard
1 cup flour
12 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon chile oil (I use Fiore Green Baklouti oil)
1 tablespoon fresh cracked pepper
2 large chicken breasts, cooked, diced (I used smoked chicken which was the best!)
red bell pepper, diced, for garnish
In large pot, melt butter, add onions and bacon and sauté over medium high heat for about 10 minutes. Stir in corn and chiles and cook another few minutes. Add flour and stir for 2 minutes. Then add broth, milk and half and half and stir until thickened, about 10 minutes. Lower heat to medium low. Add diced chicken, Uncle Jim’s mustard and cheese, stir and cover until fully melted and soup is hot, another 15 minutes. Garnish with diced red pepper. Enjoy!

A virtual trip to Italy through crusty bread and olive oil? Yes, please!

If there’s one “meal” I prefer not to miss, it’s the late afternoon snack that often accompanies wine. I’ll skip breakfast or lunch in order to not miss this one (true).

crusty bread and olive oil

From the top left, clockwise:

  • olives, roasted peppers, sun dried tomatoes in olive oil
  • grated parmesan between two of my favorite Fiore oils – garlic (left) and chipotle (right) extra virgin olive oils with cracked black pepper
  • creamy ricotta, shaved Parmesan, cracked black pepper, extra virgin olive oil and a drizzle of 18 month aged Balsamic from Fiore
  • sliced hard salami
  • shaved sharp “Alpine” cheddar from Cabot
  • and the crusty Italian bread

Now, what wine to pair with it?

ricotta, parmesan, balsamic vinegar, olive oil

Drizzled and Dressed Up: Swordfish and Shrimp Tacos!

Blackened seasoned shrimp and swordfish bites are dredged in flour and fried crispy! Top tortillas (flour or corn) with the shrimp or swordfish, mango red onion salsa and Sriracha lime aioli and THIS becomes one of my favorite ways to eat seafood! I served mine with fresh avocado and a warm mixture of black beans, corn, sliced red onion and jalapeño with a touch of olive oil.

The salsa ingredients:
diced mango
diced jalapeno
sliced red onion
julienned radish
julienned zucchini
shredded purple cabbage
lime juice
Baklouti Chile oil (from Fiore)

The aioli is just mayo, sriracha, lime juice and honey. Sweet and spicy. Bon Appetit!

shrimp tacos

swordfish tacos

mango salsa

Super Easy Sausage and Eggplant Soup

Sometimes I just want to make soup. And eat soup. And I love to try and work with what I have on hand. Today was a perfect example of that. I had an eggplant I wanted to use which was the inspiration for my soup. So I thought garlic, sausage, onion, mushroom, lemon. Maybe I was thinking Greek. So here’s what I did:


1 large sweet onion
8 ounces sweet Italian sausage
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 medium eggplant
4 celery stalks
4 large garlic cloves
1 can garbanzo beans
32 ounces chicken stock
olive oil
1 teaspoon dried chile flakes
1 teaspoon smoked sea salt (or kosher regular)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
the juice from 1/2 of a lemon
the leaves from 3 fresh thyme sprigs

I cubed the eggplant and soaked in salt water for about 15 minutes, then drained. I sautéed the onions (diced) and celery (sliced) for about 10 minutes in olive oil. Then I added the mushrooms and sausage and cooked on medium for about 10 minutes. Then I added the eggplant and cooked, covered, about 15 minutes. I added the garbanzo beans, stock, chile flakes, salt, vinegar, lemon and thyme and let simmer over medium low heat, covered, for about 45 minutes. Serve with some warm crusty bread. Bon Appetit!

Tomatoes, ricotta, basil, Parmesan…a fresh and easy appetizer!

dana moos recipes

Slice a large ripe tomato. Top the slices with ricotta and fresh torn basil leaves. Shave Parmesan over the top and then drizzle with a good quality olive oil, Balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Worth noting: if you can’t get fresh ricotta, I love Galbani brand or the extra creamy version by Sorrento.

Hot and Sour Soup, at home

This is one of my favorite soups and fairly simple to make. It just takes a few steps and some prep.

Hot and Sour Soup (adapted from Cooks Illustrated)

Hot and Sour Soup

Servings: about 6-8 (and freezes well)
7 ounces extra firm tofu, drained
1/8 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons cornstarch, plus an additional 1 1/2 teaspoons
1 (8 ounce) boneless center cut pork chop, about 1/2 inch thick and sliced in julienne strips (or I’ve used 1lb ground pork)
3 tablespoons cold water, plus 1 additional teaspoon
1 large egg
6 cups low sodium chicken broth or stock
1 small can bamboo shoots, sliced lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick strips (from one 5-ounce can)
8 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced 1/4 inch thick (I also add a can of straw mushrooms)
1/4 cup black vinegar (or 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar – but it’s worth finding black vinegar at an Asian market for the authentic flavor)
2 teaspoons chili oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons raw or turbinado sugar
3 medium scallions, sliced thin


Place tofu on a pie plate and set a heavy plate on top. Weight with 2 heavy cans; let stand at least 15 minutes (tofu should release about 1/2 cup liquid). Whisk 2 tablespoons soy sauce, sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon cornstarch in medium bowl; toss pork with marinade and set aside for at least 10 minutes (but no more than 30 minutes).

Combine 3 tablespoons cornstarch with 3 tablespoons water in small bowl and mix thoroughly; set aside.

Mix remaining 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch with remaining 1 teaspoon water in small bowl; add egg and beat with fork until combined. Set aside.

Bring broth to boil in large saucepan set over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; add bamboo shoots and mushrooms and simmer until mushrooms are just tender, about 5 minutes. While broth simmers, dice tofu into 1/2-inch cubes. Add tofu and pork, including marinade, to soup, stirring to separate any pieces of pork that stick together. Continue to simmer until pork is no longer pink, about 2 minutes. IF using ground pork, I sauté the pork first, then add my mushrooms, bamboo shoots and then add the broth when the pork is cooked. Then I add the tofu.

Stir cornstarch mixture to recombine. Add to soup and increase heat to medium-high; cook, stirring occasionally, until soup thickens and turns translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in vinegar, chili oil, sesame oil, pepper, and remaining soy sauce, sugar; lower heat. At this point, adjust the heat or amount of vinegar and soy to your liking. I usually end up adding more of all of them, the vinegar, soy, sugar and chili oil! More flavor!

Without stirring soup, use soup spoon to slowly drizzle very thin streams of egg mixture into pot in circular motion. Let soup sit 1 minute, then increase to medium-high heat. Bring soup to gentle boil, then immediately remove from heat. Gently stir soup once to evenly distribute egg; ladle into bowls and top with scallions.