Tortilla Soup-Shared by Chef Vero Palli Marger

Soup. It’s comforting yet light–the ultimate weeknight meal. Easy to prepare, and easier to eat, this Tortilla Soup recipe comes from Vero’s husband’s family, the Margers. Thank you for sharing, Vero!

Tortilla soup (prepared and garnished by Chef Vicky)

Tortilla soup (prepared and garnished by Chef Vicky)

What you’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 16 oz. can of stewed tomatoes
  • 15 oz. tomato sauce (can substitute some diced tomatoes and some sauce)
  • 12 oz. can corn
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • cracked pepper
  • two zucchinis
  • Boiled and shredded chicken (for topping)

Garnish options:

  • avocado
  • cilantro
  • tortilla chips
  • sour cream

How to make it:

  1. Brown the oil, onion and garlic.
  2. Add the 4 cups of chicken broth.
  3. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, corn, cumin pepper and zucchini.
  4. Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes

ARROZ CON POLLO a la TATA-Shared by Chef Sasha

And yet another staple in the Cuban kitchen to be featured on Friends Let Friends Share Recipes. Thanks, Chef Sasha, for sharing your Tata’s recipe!
“I like my arroz con pollo “a la chorerra” so the the thing that makes this dish most authentic to me is the fact that you use arroz valencia (but we don’t have that in Manhattan so I had to substitute with risotto rice) and the faint taste of beer. And if it starts drying out, throw in more beer or chicken broth (I’m not one to do things to measurement and just taste things along the way as I had to when I used risotto rice instead). To make this quicker, don’t use an entire chicken, instead use chicken things or pieces because if not it will take you a long time to break it up and to cook the chicken in its’ entirety (but I do think the chicken bones give it good flavor).” -Sasha
What you’ll need:
  • 1 paquete de arroz valencia (instead I had to use 3 cups of risotto)
  • 1 pollo entero (con pellejo y todo)
  • 1 sobre de sopa de cebolla (liptons onion mix)
  • 2 sobresitos de sazon goya con azafran
  • 1-2 cervezas a gusto (no importa el tipo)
  • 1 lata de pitipua con el hugo (sweet peas)
  • 1 lata de pimentos morron (canned goya roasted red peppers)
  • 1/2 taza de pure de tomate
  • 1/2 aji verde
  • 1/2 cebolla
  • 1 cuadrito de pollo (boullion cube)

How to make it:
1. in a large pot with water boil the whole chicken with the sliced up 1/2 onion and 1/2 green pepper and salt to taste. this will take about 1.5 hours.
2. reserve about 3-4 cups of this water that you cooked the chicken in bc you will use it as the water to cook the rice. save the onions and peppers (what i did was use a straner to collect them)
3. break up the chicken with your hands, discard the pellejo
4. ideally you want to make it in one of those special arroz con pollo pots, make the sofrito with olive oil cebolla and aji. once that is done you add in all the other ingredients ( rice, 3 cups of chicken water, goya sazon, onion mix, boullion cube, tomato sauce, sweatpeas with juice from can, and chicken) stir it up bring it to a boil and then reduce it to low/medium and cook it slowly bc if not the rice will stick to the bottom of the pot. cover it.
5. once you see that the rice is almost cooked you add in the beer (i put one and then saw that the rice wasn’t cooking and it wasn’t totally wet so I ended up putting two cans of beer, the water to rice ratio is the only problem with this recipe bc she gave me instructions with the arroz valencia so i had to change things a lil so just eye it and make sure it doenst get too dry)
6. when its all done you cut up the slices of red pepper and decorate the rice.

Sasha recommends: “serve dish with agaucate salad and goya platano maduros (maduros come already made and are really good).”

“I bought all this stuff and it was only like 20 bucks and it feeds a lot of people! Enjoy!” -Sasha

The Meal-Shared by Chef Sasha

“My roommates from college will know this dish plenty well (GO GATORS!). It was brought to our attention via good ole Publix Aprons and it made these college students look like chefs, the familiar aroma of rosemary and sun-dried tomatoes resonating throughout our hidden lake apartment gave this popular dish the name nickname…”The meal.” It’s a great stew for a cold night and a complete meal on its’ own without any need for side dishes, I have made it once for a dinner party and paired it with roasted broccoli (massaged with olive oil, garlic, salt/pep and baked at 350 until browned, sprinkled with Parmesan and lemon once removed from oven). And as Jessica Mendoza would say, it’s “Nutrish and delish.”- Sasha

Photo Credit-

Photo Credit-

THE MEAL, also known as Rosemary Tuscan Chicken
What you’ll need:
  • 3/4 tsp dried rosemary (or 1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely snipped)
  • 1 pound of frozen chicken tenderloins, thawed
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 (19-ounce) can of Cannellini beans, undrained
  • 1 cup of Swanson’s no MSG chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, julienne-cut
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch/flour, something as a thickening agent
  • 1/4 cup water (or 1/4 of broth from the pan)

How to make it:

  1. Preheat a large non-stick skillet on medium high for 2-3 minutes and coat pan with cooking spray.
  2. Add chicken, sprinkle with rosemary, salt, and pepper.
  3. Cook 2 minutes, cooking occasionally. (Note: I cooked the chicken earlier for quicker prep time in the evening.)
  4. Stir in beans, broth, and tomatoes.
  5. Stir cornstarch and water together in a small bowl and slowly add to pan, stirring continuously.
  6. Heat to boiling, reduce to medium and simmer 5 minutes.
  7. Serve.

Curry Carrot Soup-Shared by Chef Sasha

“Now that I’ve told you most of my culinary secrets you know I’m more of a creep on the internet rather than a chef (this one is brought to you via your highness Rachel Ray), but anywho, here goes another one….”- Sasha

Curried Carrot Soup (6 servings)

What you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds packaged baby carrots, from produce section
  • 6 cups chicken stock, available on soup aisle
  • 1 tablespoon mild curry paste or 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder (curry powder is what I have… thank you, Trader Joes)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • Coarse salt

How to make it: (Original)

Preheat medium pot over medium high heat. Add olive oil, butter, onions and carrots and saute 5 minutes. Add 4 cups chicken stock, curry and cayenne, and about 1 teaspoon salt to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover and cook until carrots are very tender, about 15 minutes. Place pot on a trivet next to food processor. Process soup in 2 or 3 small batches until soup is smooth and carrots are fully pureed. Transfer processed soup into a large bowl as you work to make room for more soup in the food processor. Return completed soup to the soup pot and place back over low heat. If the soup is too thick, add remaining stock, up to 2 cups, to achieve desired consistency. Adjust seasonings.

How to make it with ALTERATIONS a la Sashie:

I used whole carrots because they are cheaper and I heard baby carrots are soaked in lye or chlorine as a preservative and whole carrots were on sale for 75 cents but I digress. If you follow the recipe after blending the carrots/onions what you will get resembles mashed potatoes more than soup and you will have to add more chicken broth/water and seasonings to taste. Beware when using chicken bouillons or broth, the first time I made this was with chicken bouillon which was very very salty and I had to dilute it later with water which was OK because it gave the desired soupy consistency. The second time I got chicken bouillon packets that were low sodium and after diluting the carrot/onion mash I had to re-season everything to taste because I felt it was a bit bland. Also, I don’t even have cayenne pepper and I’m cheap so I used chile powder, paprika, and red pepper. It works.

Herb Spinach Chicken Burgers-Shared by Chef Marlena

“These Herb Spinach Chicken Burgers came out oh-so-delicious I just had to share! This is a recipe I found on PaleOMG (Chef Amanda De La Vega, a paleo enthusiast, introduced me to this website) and thought it was easy enough, and certainly delicious enough, to share with friends! You can click here to see the recipe on the website (which includes a photo which I always forget to take because I’m always too hungry to remember) or just scroll down to see my version (basically the same with only one or two tweaks) below.” – Marlena

What you’ll need:
For the chicken burgers
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped (the original recipe calls for parsley but I prefer cilantro)
  • 1.5 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (I used three because garlic and I are friends–great friends)
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • sliced avocado (to garnish)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
For caramelized onions
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced (I used the other 1/2 of the onion for the burger but I would advise you use a whole one because they are tasty indeed and I wished I’d made more!)
  • 2 tablespoons fat of choice (in the original recipe she used coconut oil, as did I)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • pinch of salt

How to make it:

  1. Place a medium saucepan over medium heat along with the fat of choice and sliced onions for your caramelized onions.
  2. Let onions begin to cook down, moving them around at times to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom. When onions begin to brown slightly, pour in a tablespoon of water to help steam and cook the onions perfect.
  3. While onions cook down, in a large bowl, add all the ingredients for your burgers and use your hands to mix well.
  4. Form five balls with your hands.
  5. Place a non-stick large skillet over medium heat. Once skillet is hot, place a couple of your balls of meat onto the skillet then press down with a spatula to flatten out.
  6. Cook on both sides for 6-8 minutes. Flip occasionally to prevent burning.
  7. Once burgers are done cooking, top with onions and avocado.
  8. Instead of bread (which obviously the original recipe doesn’t include), I used large iceberg lettuce leaves for added crunch and texture.

Tacos de Camarón-Shared by Chef Sasha

“Shrimp tacos from Mercadito…so good I don’t crave going there anymore. This little gem of a recipe I found in the Village Voice….”- Sasha

Tacos de Camarón

Yield: 4 tacos

What you’ll need:

For the chipotle puree:

  • 1 can chipotle peppers (In a blender, puree chipotles until smooth)

For the shrimp marinade:

  • 6 ounces diced shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle puree
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

In a bowl, combine shrimp with chipotle puree, garlic, and oil. Set aside.

For the tacos:

  • 2 tablespoons canola/olive oil blend
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons red onion, diced
  • 5 ounces marinated shrimp
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle puree
  • lemon juice, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • salt, to taste
  • 4 homemade corn tortillas
  • 4 slices avocado

How to make it:

In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat up 2 tablespoons of oil, and sauté 1 tablespoon of garlic until brown. Add red onion, and sauté 30 seconds. Add the marinated shrimp, and cook 1 minute. Stir in 2 teaspoons of the chipotle puree, lemon juice, and butter, and season with salt. Cook for another 2-4 minutes.

In a skillet or on a grill, heat up your corn tortillas. Top each one with shrimp and 1 slice of avocado, and serve.

Kitchen Sink Curry-Shared by Chef Amanda De La Vega

Kitchen Sink Curry-Shared by Chef Amanda De La Vega

Kitchen Sink Curry-Shared by Chef Amanda De La Vega

“When I posted this picture on Instagram I had no idea the popularity it would gain (I actually almost didn’t even post it).  This recipe was thrown together tonight when I got home from work and realized I hadn’t prepped anything for dinner.  It’s basically all the vegetables I had in my fridge/freezer thrown together with chicken, coconut milk and some curry spices. I never measure spices when I’m cooking (something I’ll have to start doing if I’m going to be sharing recipes) so start out small and add more to taste.  The great thing about curry is that it really goes well with any vegetable/meat.  So, that said, feel free to adapt the recipe to include whatever you have hanging out in your fridge!” – Amanda

What you’ll need:

  • 1 lb chicken breasts, cubed
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped in thin strips (I used orange and yellow)
  • Handful of mushrooms
  • About 2 cups mixed frozen vegetables (I had broccoli, cauliflower and carrots)
  • 1 can coconut milk (13 oz)
  • Red curry paste
  • Turmeric
  • Yellow curry powder
  • Paprika
  • Butter or cooking oil of your choice

How to make it:

  1. In a large sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add peppers and cook until soft.  Next add in garlic and cook until fragrant.
  2. While the peppers/garlic are cooking, season your chicken breast generously with turmeric, curry and paprika (again, I don’t measure so I’m not really sure the exact amount I used).
  3.  Add chicken to the pan and brown on all sides.
  4. Pour in coconut milk and simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Push the chicken and vegetables aside and mix in about a teaspoon of red curry paste (you can add more of this depending on your taste).
  6. Add in your vegetables and simmer for another 10 minutes (or until vegetables are cooked to your liking).

Due to the bareness of my refrigerator this is how I ate my dish.  However, it would be best served over rice/cauliflower rice.

Momma’s Meatloaf-Shared by Chef Cat

Never underestimate the power of food. It nourishes us, keeps us alive, and just one taste can evoke such fond memories of those we love. Thank you, Cathy, for sharing your Mom’s handwritten meatloaf recipe with all of us.
Chef Cat’s Mom’s Meatloaf (serves 6-8)
What you’ll need:
  • 3 slices of soft bread broken in pieces
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of “catsup” (also known as Ketchup)
How to make it:
  1. Pre-heat oven @ 350
  2. Combine in bowl bread, milk, egg, salt, onion, Worcestershire sauce. Stir together thoroughly. Mix in 1 1/2 pounds ground beef.
  3. Form into loaf and place in 9 inch loaf pan.
  4. Spread 3 tablespoons of “catsup” over top of loaf before baking 5. Bake for 1 hour
Cathy's Mom's handwritten meatloaf recipe

Cathy’s Mom’s handwritten meatloaf recipe

Picadillo (Mom’s Recipe)-Shared by Chef Frances

Picadillo. It’s simple and easy–the superb weeknight dinner. And as Chef Frances claims, her mother’s recipe is so good her kids, “love it and even eat it as leftovers.”

Picadillo with white rice and banana (made by Chef Vicky)

Picadillo with white rice and banana (made by Chef Vicky)

What you’ll need:

  • One potato
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Ground Beef or Turkey
  • 1 Can of Diced Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Onion (medium size)
  • 1/3 Green Pepper
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • Sazon Goya (about a tablespoon)
  • Oregano
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)
  • Green Olives (optional)
  • 1/4 Cup of White Wine

How to make it:

  1. Peel then cut the potato into small ¼-inch cubes
  2. Trim pot with a little vegetable oil and stir the potato until brown
  3. Add the following ingredients to a food processor: 1/2 medium size onion, 1/3 green pepper, 4 garlic cloves. Once done, add ingredients to the already-cooked potatoes.
  4. Next add the ingredients (including potatoes) from the food processor, the can of diced tomatoes to the ground meat. Cook all together for 2 minutes.
  5. Then add all remaining ingredients: tablespoon of Sazon Goya, plenty of oregano to cover pot, salt and pepper (to your liking), olives (optional) and 1/4 cup of white wine.
  6. Stir everything together and cook on medium heat. Stir occasionally.
  7. The dish is done when almost all the liquid is gone.
  8. Serve meat over brown rice (or white but brown is the healthier option)
  9. Enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce – Shared by Amanda De La Vega

It's healthy, really easy to make, and oh-so-delicious.

It’s healthy, really easy to make, and oh-so-delicious.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1.5 lbs ground organic/grass fed beef
  • 4 slices nitrate free/sugar free bacon, diced in small pieces
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 can organic coconut milk
  • ½ – 1 cup organic strained tomatoes (tomato sauce)
  • Nutmeg
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Salt and pepper

How to make it:

  1. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and brush with coconut oil; roast in a 400 degree oven for about an hour.
  2. In a large sauté pan brown the meat.  Remove the meat from the pan and drain the fat.
  3. In the same pan cook the bacon and onion.  When onion is translucent add garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes.  Drain the bacon grease leaving the bacon, onion and garlic in the pan.
  4. Add coconut milk, nutmeg, basil, parsley, salt and pepper – I don’t measure how much of the spices I add so do it to taste— I think I used about 1.5 teaspoons of each, less for the salt and pepper.
  5. Bring the coconut milk to a simmer and add the strained tomatoes.  Cook for another 5 minutes. You can add more tomato sauce depending on how tomato-y you like it.  I wanted more of a white sauce so I put less tomato.
  6. Add meat back into coconut milk/tomato sauce and cook until hot.
  7. Serve over spaghetti squash
  8. Top with a fried egg if you know what’s good for you