A can a week: Swanson Chicken & Dumplings

Chef JimA can a week is back! We hope to bring this feature each week, since grocery store shelves are lined with the stuff…canned food, that is. Anyway, this week we tried Swanson Chicken & Dumplings. It’s not soup, but rather chunks of chicken and small dumplings in a rich chicken gravy.

The pros–very tasty and satisfying, especially on a cold day like today; quality chicken meat and nicely made dumplings; perfectly seasoned
The cons–a bit thin, and if I would have known, I could have tried it over noodles or rice; the chicken chunks were small; and I would have liked some carrots, peas or celery in addition to the chicken and the dumplings.

But overall this is a winning can of food, and as I said a very satisfying cold weather lunch.



The weather outside in most of the country is chilly, and in Wisconsin it’s downright cold. I think I might make a giant pot of chili this weekend. We fired up the slow cooker this past week to make one of my favorite meals, beef burgundy. The one we made is from an old cookbook and includes beef, mushrooms, onion soup mix, cream of mushroom soup, cream of celery soup and red wine. That’s about it. But to help you out, check out this Google search for beef burgundy, which basically is a beef stew made with some sort of red wine.

So what about you? What do you like to make when the weather gets cold, football season is in full swing, fires are raging in your living room, and you’re out shoveling snow, cross country skiing or out Christmas shopping, and want something hot to eat. Man, I’m getting hungry.


A can a week: Campbell’s Chunky Grilled Steak Chili with Beans

Chef JimToday as I was scouring the grocery store shelves, I wanted to try a chili that was a bit different. So Campbell’s Chunky Grilled Steak Chili with Beans caught my eye. Sure, Campbell’s isn’t exactly Hormel, but they do soup right, so how much could they mess up chili, right? Plus, the prospect of big chunks of steak sounded intriguing to me.

So I fired this stuff up for lunch and, well, it’s okay. The first thing I noticed was an utter lack of spice. Not only does the tomato flavor dominate the taste of chili powder, but I had to douse it with hot sauce because on a scale of 1 to 10, this chili registered a heat index of about 0.5. No, it didn’t claim to be spicy, but still…it’s freaking chili, not tomato soup with beef. Speaking of beef, the chunks of meat were definitely nice. They were small chunks but nice and meaty and tender. I also liked that there was corn in the chili, giving it a nice Southwest flair.

Assuming you have hot sauce on hand, you might give this a try, but if you’re looking for traditional chili flavor, stick with the guys like Hormel that just do chili.


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