Cafe Latte’s Chicken Salsa Chili (with Corn)

Cafe Latte on Grand Avenue is a place all St. Thomas students must visit within the four (or more) years at the University. I felt it would be a requirement, not an option as a Tommie to make my favorite item on Latte’s menu with corn: Chicken Salsa Chili. I substituted hominy (a heavily processed, sort of ground up white corn) for whole yellow corn kernels. You can choose to use whichever corn variety you prefer.

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ready in: 1 hour


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeno chili peppers
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes, undrained and broken up
  • 1 can (29 ounces) tomato puree
  • 1 can (15 ounces each) dark red kidney beans drained
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

I do apologize for containers used, again, think poor college student. I just had to use what was around the house.


Warm 3 tablespoons olive oil in large stock pot over medium heat.

I started with this deep fry pan, and it was a terrible idea. There was hot oil flying everywhere. I had to grab a shield and (a hot pad and a pan cover) to fight off the hot oil. Lesson learned–hot oil requires a deep pan.

This pan was much more appropriate.

After you have warmed the oil, Saute chicken until cooked. I like to cut up the chicken as it cooks. I’d like to think the chicken retains its moisture better this way.

Add 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions and reduce heat. Cook for 3 minutes or until onions are tender. Onions become transparent when they are done cooking, so if you choose not to touch our eat the onions, you can tell by appearance if the onions are done cooking.

Add 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper flakes,

Add 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic,

Add 2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeno chili peppers. The steam was overtaking this picture, but the smell during this photo was mouth-watering. Just wait until you make it!

Add 1 1/2 cups chicken stock

Add 1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes, undrained and broken up.  Just like the chicken, I like to break up the tomatoes as they cook.

Add 2 cans (15 ounces each) dark red kidney beans drained

Add 1 can (29 ounces) tomato puree

Add 1 can (15 ounces) hominy–or in my case whole kernels of yellow corn

Add 3 tablespoons chili powder (which I had to add last since I was borrowing it from a kind neighbor).

Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. While I waited, I practiced my pointillism on a left-over Valentine’s Day cookie.

The final product: Chicken Salsa Chili

To Serve:

Add chopped cilantro and lime-juice just prior to serving. Adjust seasoning to taste. Top with sour cream, chopped red onions, grated cheddar cheese and tortilla chips.

This is yet another meal I believe Chad Greenway would not be able to resist. Chad, I’ll make this corn-based meal for you at any time!



Bailout My Blog

My blogger career has barely launched and yet I seem to be failing at it. In order to save my blogging job in this dreadful recession, I’ve decided to try a new tactic, and will now do a weekly blog on a delectable food item. Everyone wants to read about Ford, right? Save my blog! My bailout plan was inspired by several of my biggest inspirations. My first and most prominent inspiration is agriculture, more specifically, corn farming. For those of you who do not know, I am an agriculture and communications major, so this new angle on blogging will hopefully help me get a job in my field of study after I graduate. The “Corn Field” seems to be the area where I shine. My blog was surely failing because I was not including enough about corn farming.

Nafaka: Ag Superfan!

My second biggest inspiration is Martha Stewart. Martha has been making home life more fabulous as long as I can remember. She makes fabulous things and then puts them on display for the world to enjoy. Martha has been on my list of idols right up there with Mother Theresa since I’ve known the definition of idol. She truly is an inspiration to all females everywhere.

The third inspiration I had for my bailout plan came from an unorthodox source, another blogger. The Pioneer Woman has clearly made her way in the world (at least in recent years) through blogging. The Pioneer Woman photographs each step of a cooking process, and places this step-by-step process on her blog. This is precisely what I am going to do in my new, improved blog. I will make various corn recipes (hopefully I can find most from Martha) and blog about each step of the food making process.

As an added bonus, this will prepare me for being the perfect housewife for Chad Greenway . He might even ask me to be his girlfriend after he reads a few of my posts! If he doesn’t read my blogs, maybe I’ll get big enough and Martha-like enough that she’ll ask me on her daily show! Or maybe—ok, so I might be getting a little ahead of myself, but I have high expectations for this new angle. Stay tuned for corn-inspired recipes.

Chad Greenway, if you’re out there, please please please read my blog, and notice what a great cook I am!

Always keep growing,


New Year’s Resolution

It’s time I make some New Year’s Resolutions. The idea for my 2009 New Year’s Resolution was born at a wedding. One of my closest friends from high school was married on New Year’s Day. Her union started me to thinking I need to find my one true love. My 22 years of careful observation of the opposite sex has brought me to the conclusion that Chad Greenway, a football player for the Minnesota Vikings, is to be my future hubby. These things take time, which is why my New Year’s Resolution is to spend an entire day with Chad Greenway. I feel that one full day is necessary (versus an hour or two) to make Chad fall in love with me.

I know he has a wife, and I’m sure she’s very nice, but Chad and I have a lot in common. We both have a passion for agriculture and renewable fuels, we both grew up in relatively small towns, and we both now live in larger Minnesota cities. Also, there is the overwhelming fact that we are both extremely attractive. All of these reasons of why Chad and I would be perfect for each other are why my New Year’s Resolution is to spend a day with Chad Greenway.