As we learned during the day, this was indeed a rare phenomenon, one that occurs only when all the perfect meteorological conditions exist at the same time. As I drove into town later that morning, it was absolutely breathtaking to see that the entire area had been sprinkled with these ethereal looking snow masses.
Some people likened them to rolls of toilet paper, or bales of hay. I thought they looked like cannoli, ready to be filled with sweetened ricotta and speckled with chocolate. I read that this has only happened once before in Pennsylvania, and that was 10 years ago. (I must have been sleeping.)
It has been one weird and terribly frigid January -- the coldest in a century, I read -- and I for one will be anxious to hear the groundhog's report this weekend. Spring can't be soon enough.
The good thing about this kind of weather is that it demands comfort food and I had a craving for chicken chili. I've made a version of this several times, but I wanted to hurry things along. So I found a quick version in a back issue of Cooking Light. (I'm in the midst of whittling my "I'm sure I'll use them some day" pile of cooking magazines down. It's a slow but very enjoyable task. This could take a while.)
With a few changes made possible by my pantry contributions, I had this chili ready in less than 20 minutes.
And then I carried my bowl into the living room and sat by the fire. Winter can be good.
adapted from Cooking Light
1 tablespoon grape seed oil
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can creamed corn
1 cup water
2 4-ounce cans chopped green chilies, undrained
1 whole fresh jalapeno, chopped (ribs, seeds, and all!)
1 14-ounce can chicken broth
- Heat a soup pot over medium high heat. Add oil.
- Add chicken and saute about 4 minutes.
- Add onion, garlic, cumin, oregano and red pepper; saute 3 minutes.
- Add 1 can of the beans, the can of creamed corn, the water, 1 can of the chilies, the fresh jalapeno and the broth.
- Bring to a boil.
- Mash the second can of beans with the second can of chilies in a bowl with a fork. (Or puree in a food processor.) Add to the soup and simmer 5 minutes.
Makes about 6 servings