Softened vegetables, including onions and bell peppers, amped up with spices like chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne, form the base of this tortilla soup. Chicken broth and tomatoes are added, along with soft corn tortillas that meld into the liquid to make a hearty, thick meal. Finally, shredded chicken is stirred in, and everything is garnished with crunchy tortilla strips, sour cream, shredded cheese, and scallions (avocados, pickled jalapeños, and cilantro would all work too).
Basic Vegetable Soup
This soup is an equally wonderful way to use up all the leftover veggie odds and ends in your fridge, or to celebrate the freshest produce in season by buying it specifically for the dish (and if you get a CSA box, it can serve both purposes). Whatever vegetables you use, this is an easy, nutritious, and delicious meal, and endlessly customizable. Fresh pesto makes a great, vibrant garnish, but you could also simply sprinkle on a bit of grated Parmesan and cracked black pepper.
Best Chicken Quesadilla
Crunchy, gooey, and crazy delicious, these chicken and cheese quesadillas are super simple to make, and even easier to eat. Before you start, prep some pico de gallo (or whatever kind of salsa you like) and guacamole for topping, and don't forget the sour cream.
Easy Pie Crust
Homemade pie crust really elevates your desserts (and savory tarts and quiches too), and isn't as hard as you might think, especially if you use a food processor to make the dough. Even if you don't roll it out exactly evenly or press it in to your pie plate perfectly, the buttery taste and flaky texture will more than make up for any cosmetic imperfections. Give this easy pie crust recipe a try next time you bake -- and if you want to use it for a savory dish, just leave out the sugar in the recipe.
Behind The Business: Richard Blais
Richard Blais talks to Chowhound about being a TV chef, restaurateur, parent, and cookbook author.