Eat like a dancer

Linda Celeste Sims shares her favorite recipes that she makes during the City Center season.



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Linda Celeste Sims learned to cook from her mother and from watching the Food Network. “I’ve been cooking regularly since I was 16,” she says. Sims, who one day hopes to write a cookbook featuring her recipes (she can work wonders in a hotel room with a hot plate), shares her favorite recipes that she makes during the City Center season—a big pot lasts for a week. Eat like a dancer and enjoy.

Split Pea Soup with Cajun Turkey Breast

2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow or white onion, diced.
4 cloves garlic, diced.
3 carrots, diced
1 lb Cajun turkey breast, diced
4 to 5 cups split peas, rinsed and soaked overnight in cold water
6 cups water

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and carrots, and wait until onions look glossy and carrots have softened a bit. Add turkey, split peas and water. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let it simmer and cook for about 40 minutes.

Butternut, Chicken and Lentil Soup

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
2 cups diced onions
4 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
5 cups chicken broth
1 cup red lentils
2 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp sage
1 tbsp pepper
salt to taste

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook chicken for 10 to 15 minutes. Add onions and carrots; cook for about three minutes. Add celery, broth, lentils, herbs and spices. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook covered for about five minutes. Add the butternut squash and cook for about 30 minutes. Make sure everything is tender. You must taste before you serve; add any salt and pepper if needed. My husband loves this soup!

Indonesian Ginger Chicken

1 cup honey
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup minced garlic (8 to 12 cloves)
1/2 cup peeled and grated ginger root
2 chickens (3 1/2 pounds each, quartered, with back removed.
Substitution: chicken thighs and legs with bone and skin on)

Cook honey, soy sauce, garlic and ginger root in a small saucepan over low heat until honey is melted. Arrange chicken in a large, shallow baking pan. Place the skin side down and pour in the sauce. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350˚F; bake for 30 minutes. Uncover the pan, turn the chicken skin-side up, and raise the temperature to 375˚. Continue baking for 30 minutes.

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