Paulette combines her love of food, sexy alpha heroes, a lucky heroine, and an ornery grandmother with four of her favorite recipes in A Tango Trinity.
Irena Traraso, a petite, dark-haired Russian, was a rising competitive American Tango dancer. She and her partner, Vladimir Markrava, were tearing up the opposition at the World Tango dance contest. Until Vladimir’s jealous girlfriend, Anna, had Irena attacked moments before stepping onto the stage. Irena's dreams, confidence, and body were shattered.
Josh Sarchet, a Quarter horse rancher, had two left feet, but he could appreciate the ballroom dancing class from the wings. Watching a dancer practicing in the banquet room of his favorite eatery became one of his favorite past times. And the attraction began to burn. When Irena is injured, he takes her home to his ranch in Ohio to heal more than just her body but her soul as well.
Neyen Delgado loved dance but became disillusioned by the backstabbing and petty politics ramped in the professional Argentine dance world. He relocated to a small Ohio town to teach eager students and perhaps reclaim his passion for the art.
Irena wants to hide from life; Josh wants Irena to live life again, and he knows Neyen is the connection for all three of them to become whole again.
BaBa Traraso’s (okay, really Paulette’s) Chicken Stew
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 or 2 stalks celery, cut into bite-size pieces
2 carrots, peeled, cut into bite-size pieces
1 small onion, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper (see note about salt below)
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans chopped tomatoes
2 (14-ounce) cans low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces (or ¼ cup or less of dried)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
4 chicken breast with ribs (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
1 (15-ounce) can organic kidney beans, drained (rinsed if not organic)
2 (15-ounce) cans of diced potatoes
1 (15-ounce) can of corn
Serving suggestion: Honey Wheat Crusty Bread or Lemon Rosemary Zucchini Bread (recipes in A Tango Trinity
Heat the oil in a heavy 5 1/2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot, potatoes, and onion. Sauté the vegetables until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, chicken broth, basil, tomato paste, bay leaf, and thyme. Add the chicken breasts; press to submerge.
Bring the cooking liquid to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently uncovered until the chicken is almost cooked through, turning the chicken breasts over and stirring the mixture occasionally, about 25 minutes. Using tongs transfer the chicken breasts to a work surface and cool for 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Add the kidney beans to the pot and simmer until the liquid has reduced into a stew consistency, about 10 minutes.
Discard the skin and bones from the chicken breasts. Shred or cut the chicken into bite- size pieces. Return the chicken meat to the stew. Bring the stew just to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. (We don’t add any salt, for us the ingredients provide that.)
Ladle the stew into serving bowls and serve with the bread. Grated cheese can be added as a garnish before placing on table (Hickory Smoked is our favorite).
Makes six or more servings, depending on the bowl size. Great frozen and reheated later, too!
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