Tag Archives: hominy

Mexican Poblano Burger Soup

16 Oct
Mexican Poblano Burger Soup

Mexican Poblano Burger Soup

After we got back from our trip to the coast for our anniversary, I harvested the last of my chile peppers and the wee tomatillos and poblanos I managed to eke out with our short summer weather. Half the hot peppers had turned red while we were gone, but that’s OK as I like spicy!

Cooking is quite the challenge one-handed, but I’ve figured out some hacks to where I don’t ask for much assistance any more in food prep. Dicing a fresh onion is the hardest I’ve found, but luckily I have a bag of diced onion in the freezer that I brought home from a work potluck, which can be used in soups and stews.

Tips: A mini food processor can be used for a rough dice of carrots, celery, and onion, and a pair of kitchen shears does quick work on green onions. I do have limited use of my left thumb and forefinger, so I place the green onion between those two fingers and snip away!

This soup was the culmination of wanting to use my peppers and tomatillos in something as well as a large leek that needed to be cooked stat. I roasted the poblanos, tomatillos, and a serrano until charred, then had my daughter peel and mince them for me. I then scrounged the freezer and pantry and came up with a half pound of burger, black beans, and golden hominy. Combined with my homemade beef stock, a filling Mexican-style soup was on the horizon!

I’m still limiting my prep photos until I have two hands again but this is a pretty straight-forward soup recipe. Note: I used all my very small poblano peppers and tomatillos in this, but have adjusted the recipe below for standard grocery-sized produce.

Pepper and Tomatillo Harvest

Pepper and Tomatillo Harvest

Mexican Poblano Burger Soup

1 large leek, halved lengthwise and sliced
3 peeled, rinsed and roasted tomatillos
1 large roasted and peeled poblano, minced
1 roasted and peeled serrano pepper, minced
1/2 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Ancho chile powder
4 cups homemade or low sodium beef stock or broth
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can golden hominy, drained and rinsed
2 soft corn tortillas, diced large
Juice squeezed from a large lime wedge
Tortilla chips, sour cream, and cilantro for garnish (optional)

Roast and prep the peppers and tomatillos. In a soup pot or Dutch oven, brown the ground beef and leeks in 1 teaspoon olive oil until burger is browned and leeks have softened. Add the minced garlic in the last minute of cooking them.

Add the rest of the ingredients except the garnishes and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook 15-20 minutes until the tortillas have dissolved and soup thickens, stirring occasionally.

Ladle into bowls and serve with desired garnishes. This soup was even better the next day!

Mexican Poblano Burger Soup

Mexican Poblano Burger Soup

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

 

Turkey Chipotle Posole

30 Apr
Turkey Chipotle Posole

Turkey Chipotle Posole

As a lot of you know, I’m a spicy kind of gal, and I like spicy food. This posole, which is a traditional Mexican soup/stew, makes good use of leftover turkey or even chicken. I bought a deli-roasted turkey breast recently for a quick week-night dinner, but with the daughter not eating at home that night we were left with a bunch of leftover cooked turkey breast.

We had a cold snap, and what better thing to make in a cold snap is a nice spicy, warming stew? This ended up making more than I thought it would, but ate the rest for lunches.  Don’t scrimp on the toppings, as the cabbage, lime, and radishes really complete this. And you can always cut way back on the spices/chiles for a milder version.

After opening a few cans and a little chopping, dicing, and processing, this posole comes together in a snap all in one pot. I always freeze any leftover canned goods, clearly labeled, for future use. I can’t imagine ever using an entire can of chipotle peppers in a recipe unless I am feeding an army. And my local grocer only sells 30-ounce cans of hominy, which, after draining the liquid, yields about 2 cups of hominy. Hominy freezes well too.  Even if it’s already warm in your neck of the woods, do try this flavorful posole, if anything to warm your heart. Plus it also gives you good reason to open a bottle of Mexican beer to wash it down! UPDATE: A kind reader reminded me that Cinco de Mayo is coming up. So hey, why not make it for that day?!

Turkey Chipotle Posole

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 to 1 canned chipotle in adobo sauce (or less), diced fine
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons Ancho or Pasilla chile powder (or other or less)
2 cups cooked and shredded turkey or chicken
4 cups homemade or low sodium turkey or chicken broth
1/2 cup tomato puree
1 corn tortilla, processed fine
1 cup hominy, white or yellow is fine
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Ground black pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash, to taste
Shredded cabbage, sliced radishes, and lime wedges, for garnish

Puree, Peppers, and Hominy

Puree, Peppers, and Hominy

Open up all those cans and chop/slice/dice all the veggies.

In a Dutch oven or soup pot, heat one tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the next 6 ingredients (through the chile powder), and cook for 5 to 7 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Spicy Veggie Base

Spicy Veggie Base

Add the remaining ingredients except the garnishes, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes or until ready to eat.

Posole Ready to Simmer and Cover

Posole Ready to Simmer and Cover

Ladle into bowls, and garnish with fresh sliced cabbage, sliced radishes, and a lime wedge to squeeze into the stew. (Don’t forget the beer to wash it all down!)

Turkey Chipotle Posole

Turkey Chipotle Posole

 

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Chicken Chile Verde Posole

18 Jan
Chicken Chile Verde Posole

Chicken Chile Verde Posole

This is the second pressure-cooker recipe I made in one week, although you can certainly cook this over the stove in a Dutch oven. This was a very satisfying, quick and easy meal on a cold winter’s night! There are a lot of great flavors going on in this. I had an unexpected guest the next night, and he practically inhaled the rest of the leftovers!

Chicken Chile Verde Posole

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and rough-chopped
1 cup rough-chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon dried ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried, crushed Mexican oregano
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast(s)
1 to 2 cups canned hominy, rinsed and drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 7-ounce cans Salsa Verde (I used Herdez)
1 to 1/2 cups homemade or low sodium chicken broth
Ground black pepper, to taste
Handful of chopped cilantro leaves
Avocado, lime slices, and additional cilantro, for garnish

Onions, Garlic, and Spices

Onions, Garlic, and Spices

Sweat the onions and garlic with the oil in the pressure cooker over medium-high heat, then add the spices.

The Rest of the Ingredients

The Rest of the Ingredients

Add the rest of the ingredients, cover with the cooker lid, and bring up to pressure. Cook 5 minutes rocking under pressure, then release naturally. Shred the chicken in the pot with two forks. Serve in a bowl with garnishes.

Cooked Chicken Posole

Cooked Chicken Posole ~ with another handful of chopped cilantro for good measure

Note: If using a Dutch oven, cut the chicken into bite size pieces and brown with the onions and garlic. Then add the rest of ingredients and simmer for 15 to 30 minutes to let the flavors meld.

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Calabacitas (Pork and Zucchini Stew with Tomatillos)

24 Nov

No time for a weekend post so I thought I’d share one of my earlier recipes. This is a great Mexican stew for a cold winter’s meal.

anotherfoodieblogger

My cousin and her son are coming for dinner tonight, and armed with the fact that they like Mexican food I began scouring my recipe books for something to serve other than my stand-by chicken enchiladas. While they are most delicious, I was thinking of something with pork and tomatillos. I adapted this recipe from Lisa Fain’s Homesick Texan Cookbook. It had pork and tomatillos, AND it looked like a good candidate to be cooked in a crock pot instead of over the stove, since I had to prepare it during my lunch break. Calabacitas means zucchini (or little squash) in Spanish, and the traditional stew is cooked with red tomatoes and zucchini. This version uses tomatillos, which are a small green tomato-like fruit. It also has yellow squash along with the zucchini, which coincidentally I had bought last week to take on our trip to the coast but forgot…

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Creamy Chicken Chili and Beans

6 Nov
Creamy Chicken Chili and Beans

Creamy Chicken Chili and Beans

I slammed this dinner together for the crock pot in less than 15 minutes. It was 1:45 pm, my day to cook, but I had a dentist appointment during my lunch break earlier and didn’t get around to thinking about dinner until after my 1 pm meeting. I knew I wanted something Mexican/spicy-ish. I scoured my recipes and found one where I stated about the chicken breasts, “I put them in frozen.” Bingo.

Amazingly I had every single ingredient on hand. The last time I made it I used white beans and this time I used black beans, which I had wanted to use prior, but didn’t have any back then. I also added more cream cheese to make it creamier, as well as some chicken broth and additional tomatoes because I remembered it was slightly too thick last time. I also mixed up the chile powders as my spice cabinet has increased greatly over the past two years. If you only have regular chili powder, then just use a tablespoon of that instead. (Hint: Chile powder is a pure grind of one chile, chili powder is a mixture of chile powders and other spices.)

Each time I make a recipe again, I strive to improve upon it. (Well, unless it was just perfect to begin with — HA!) We did enjoy this chili more this time around (seconds for the daughter!), dinner was on time, and the husband got to watch his Monday Night Football. Mission Accomplished.

Creamy Chicken Chili and Beans

Creamy Chicken Chili and Beans

Creamy Chicken Chili and Beans

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast (can be frozen)
3/4 cup homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
1 10-oz. can Ro-Tel tomatoes or 14-oz. can diced tomatoes and green chiles
1/2 cup additional diced tomatoes if using Ro-Tel
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup canned hominy, rinsed and drained (freeze the rest for future use)
1 teaspoon Ancho (or Pasilla) chile powder
1 teaspoon New Mexico chile powder
1 teaspoon regular chili powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons Ranch dressing from a bottle
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 brick Neufchatel cheese, or regular cream cheese

Add the chicken and broth to a 3-quart crock pot. Dump in the rest of the ingredients on top except the cream cheese, and mix around until combined, leaving the chicken on the bottom as best you can. Last, add the 1/2 brick of cream cheese to the top. Cover and cook on high about 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

Remove lid and shred the chicken breast with two forks right in the crock pot, then mix around thoroughly to incorporate the cream cheese. Turn down to low/warm until ready to serve. Garnish with cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheese, whatever your heart (and tummy) desires!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

An Adventure! ~ Plus Black Bean, Chicken, and Hominy Soup in a Crock Pot

22 Feb
Black Bean, Chicken, and Hominy Soup

Black Bean, Chicken, and Hominy Soup

This crock pot of soup would have been perfect to come home to last Monday after an all-day adventure to Fort Rock, Oregon. My husband had this “great” idea to travel an unmaintained gravel/dirt road to our destination — in the middle of winter! Now granted we’ve had several weeks of mild weather and no snow in town proper for quite a while, but the mountains and surrounding hillsides have plenty. What should have been about an hour drive turned into two and a half-hour white-knuckled, door-grabbing ride through 30-plus miles of snow, deep ruts, and icy potholes. As my daughter put it: “It feels like we are on a Disney ride!” I’m not sure how our dog was reacting as she was all the way in the back on her bed. Well thank goodness for four-wheel drive and we didn’t get stuck or bottom out once,  but I felt we came close to it several times when our 4-wheel drive alarm kept beeping at us. At one point I was taking stock of what we had on us in the event we got stranded: One bag of pretzels, two granola bars, three full water bottles, two blankets, plus winter coats, hats and gloves. Oh and I found three Jolly Ranchers in the glove compartment and some packets of ketchup. We wouldn’t freeze to death or starve but pickings would be slim. The snowy, windy road finally tapered off to just mud and ruts, and then straightened to lead us out of the forested hills into the high desert, where I got my first glimpse of Fort Rock in the distance. Very impressive! After we hiked up to the top and back down, we visited the “Ghost Town” there called Fort Rock Homestead Village. Unfortunately since it was President’s Day Holiday, the museum was closed, but the buildings were fun to look at and photograph. After the recipe I thought I’d share a few photos of our adventure (OK A LOT), if you don’t mind! It was a very gray day, so the lighting is a bit flat, but I think the photos show you what a neat experience we had!

Black Beans and Cilantro in Blender

Black Beans and Cilantro in Blender

Black Bean, Chicken, and Hominy Soup in a Crock Pot

Note: To make this a meatless main or vegetarian, sub the chicken for an extra can of black beans and a can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and use vegetable broth.

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
Handful of fresh cilantro
3 cups homemade or low sodium chicken or turkey broth
1 can undrained Rotel® tomatoes (or can of  tomatoes and green chiles)
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 can white or yellow hominy, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon Pasilla chile powder (also called Ancho)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Dash of cayenne pepper (or more if you like spicy!)
1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb
1 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Cilantro and lime wedges for garnish
Tortilla chips (optional)

Add half the black beans and a handful of cilantro to a blender. Pour in about a cup of the broth, then puree until smooth. Add to a large crock pot with the rest of the broth and black beans. Now add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, hominy, chile powder, cumin, cayenne,  and Mrs. Dash seasoning. Give it a good stir, then add the chicken breasts. Cook on high 4 to 6 hours or low 8 to 10 hours. Before serving, take the chicken out and shred with two forks, then add back to the pot. Serve with additional cilantro and lime wedges, and tortilla chips if you have some.

And now for our adventure photos! Click on them to enlarge to full size. Fort Rock has a fabulous history, like most old West settlements. Here are links to Wikipedia for it if you are interested in more information on this place.

Fort Rock Landmark: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Rock
Fort Rock, Oregon the community and homestead:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Rock,_Oregon

These are White-Tailed Deer we encountered on the road when we first started encountering snow on the road

These are White-Tailed Deer we encountered on the road when we first started seeing snow on the bumpy road

Snow Ruts on China Hat Road ~ These snow ruts are deceptively deep

Snow Ruts on China Hat Road ~ These snow ruts are deceptively deep

Fort Rock, Oregon, Our Destination

Fort Rock, Oregon, Our Destination

Beginning the Hike Up Fort Rock

Beginning the Hike Up Fort Rock

Fort Rock Yellow and Orange Moss

Fort Rock Yellow and Orange Moss ~ Fort Rock is covered in unusual-colored moss

Fort Rock Moonscape

Fort Rock looks like a Moonscape up at the top

One of the many Fort Rock Views

One of the many Fort Rock Views

Fort Rock Homestead Village ~ with Fort Rock in Background

Sign at Fort Rock Homestead Village ~ with Fort Rock in Background

Fort Rock Ghost Town Church

Fort Rock Homestead Town Church

Fort Rock Ghost Town General Store and Post Office

Fort Rock Homestead General Store and Post Office

Fort Rock Ghost Town Windmill

Fort Rock Homestead Windmill

Fort Rock Sunset School

Fort Rock Homestead School

OK, I’m done!

Creamy Poblano Tortilla Soup with Chicken and Hominy

23 Jan
Creamy Poblano Tortilla Soup with Chicken and Hominy

Creamy Poblano Tortilla Soup with Chicken and Hominy

Well I preempted a post about my husband’s amazing spicy beans and rice dish for this crazy good soup I made. As you may already know, I’m on a soup kick lately, which I do in spurts. This soup has such amazing textures and flavors that I felt compelled to share it next instead. Somehow I ended up finding a creamy Poblano soup recipe while surfing the net well over a week ago for who knows what, I don’t even remember now. So on my next grocery trip, I bought a Poblano (also known as a Pasilla) pepper for it, then threw in a Serrano pepper into the bag for good measure that day. Then the week dragged on, we ate a variety of meals, then I discovered the peppers hidden under the lettuce in the veggie drawer almost a week later. GASP! I was so worried they were expired. But the foodie spirits were with me and they were still nice and crisp and fresh and ready to use. I had to go back in my browser history to find the dang recipe, as all the keywords I used in my search to find it again didn’t bring it up. Whew, I found it! The recipe came from a defunct restaurant on a website that hasn’t been updated in several years, but I ended up finding several variations of the recipe on other sites. So now I present you my take on this.

What makes this soup so interesting is the method to achieve the creaminess. You grind up corn tortillas in a food processor or blender with some spices and flour, then use that to make a roux. This roux then makes the creamy base for the soup along with chicken broth, with a tad of sour cream thrown in at the end. So you get an incredibly creamy soup but with the corn tortilla taste instead of the blander all-flour taste. One of the recipes called for adding corn “cobettes,” but I added yellow hominy instead. It’s all corn. I made this twice as difficult to make because I cooked the chicken for the soup from scratch, which then made the chicken broth for the soup. As always, feel free to substitute canned or boxed low-sodium chicken broth and some leftover or rotisserie chicken to save yourself the time in the kitchen. But I really enjoy making chicken broth from scratch (even though I have still have about 6 quarts of turkey and chicken broth in the freezer!).

Poblano, Serrano, Onion, Avocado, and Ground Tortilla Mix

Poblano, Serrano, Onion, Avocado, and Ground Tortilla Mix

As a side note, when I was de-seeding and chopping up the Serrano pepper (with latex gloves, yes!), my eyes started watering and I literally started choking. Yowza! That was one hot pepper, I could tell! So I only used 1/4 of the pepper instead of the whole one I was planning on. Good call, me-thinks. You can omit the Serrano altogether, too, if your family doesn’t like too spicy. In the end, my daughter inhaled the soup (but no it wasn’t a seconds or thirds soup for her) and my hubby said he really liked the flavors, but got confused by the textures. He asked if there were dumplings in it. (That was the hominy.) Sigh. But MY rating is  four-star plus!

Creamy Poblano Tortilla Soup with Chicken and Hominy

3 white or yellow corn tortillas (6-inch)
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon Ancho (aka Dried Pasilla) chili powder or regular
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Lots of ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 Poblano (or Pasilla) pepper, chopped
1/4 to 1 Serrano pepper, finely diced (or omit)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons butter or substitute
4 cups homemade chicken or turkey broth, or low sodium subbed
1 cup yellow or white canned hominy, rinsed and drained (freeze the rest)
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2  to 2 cups cooked chicken, cut bite-sized
Shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
Fresh diced avocado

Start out by slicing up the tortillas into manageable chunks for your food processor or blender. Add those to your device then add in the chili powder, cumin and ground pepper. I only have a blender, so it was a bit trickier. I used the “pulse” mode, and pulsed all that a few times, then had to scrape it down, then kept pulsing and repeating the scraping until it was the texture of a coarse cornmeal, as shown in photo below.

Spicy Ground Tortillas and Flour Mixture

Spicy Ground Tortillas and Flour Mixture

In a deep-dish cast iron skillet (or sturdy dutch oven or soup pot) heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the chopped onion, Poblano, and Serrano peppers. Cook for just a few minutes then turn down to medium heat, add the minced garlic, and stir for a total of about another 8 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Now add the  butter, let it melt, then add that cormeal-ish flour mixture to the pan and stir and mix and smoosh down like crazy for the next 5 minutes or so, to form the “roux.” The main thing is to keep stirring constantly and mixing around so nothing burns in there.

Making Corn Tortilla Roux

Making Corn Tortilla Roux

At this point, verra slowly, and I mean slowly, start drizzling in the chicken broth while you whisk and stir. Just keep adding it slowly until about half of it has been added and totally mixed in smoothly. Once that is done, you can now add the rest of the broth then crank up the heat to bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, turn down to a simmer then add the hominy and cook for about 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.  Last, mix in the sour cream, bring up to a simmer again, then cook for another 10 minutes but don’t let it come to a boil again. Well, that’s it! Ladle into bowls and serve with chopped avocado and shredded cheese. Yowza that was good! I can say Yowza twice in my post, right? OK make that three times. I hope you enjoy this!

p.s. This is my first post using my new camera skills! No flash, no ucky yellow tone from overhead lightbulb. I’m enjoying my camera again!

Calabacitas (Pork and Zucchini Stew with Tomatillos)

28 Mar
Calabacitas

Calabacitas

My cousin and her son are coming for dinner tonight, and armed with the fact that they like Mexican food I began scouring my recipe books for something to serve other than my stand-by chicken enchiladas. While they are most delicious, I was thinking of something with pork and tomatillos. I adapted this recipe from Lisa Fain’s Homesick Texan Cookbook. It had pork and tomatillos, AND it looked like a good candidate to be cooked in a crock pot instead of over the stove, since I had to prepare it during my lunch break. Calabacitas means zucchini (or little squash) in Spanish, and the traditional stew is cooked with red tomatoes and zucchini. This version uses tomatillos, which are a small green tomato-like fruit. It also has yellow squash along with the zucchini, which coincidentally I had bought last week to take on our trip to the coast but forgot them. I checked them over and they still looked fresh enough to use so my mind was set. The only thing I didn’t have readily on hand were the tomatillos, but the grocery up the street has a huge Mexican section with bins of tomatillos, and was able to quickly pick them up at lunch. Oh, and I also used some white hominy instead of corn as called for, as I think hominy gives a more complex depth to stew or chili over corn. My initial taste test after it’s been simmering a few hours confirms I made a good choice. I’ll be serving this  in bowls over rice with black beans and warmed corn tortillas on the side.

Calabacitas

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of fat and cut into bite-sized chunks
Black pepper
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 Serrano chiles
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 pound tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed, and quartered
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1/2 pound zucchini, sliced and halved
1/2 pound yellow squash, sliced and halved
1 15 ounce can hominy (white or gold)
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons lime juice
Corn tortillas for serving
Cooked rice for serving

Browning the Pork

Browning the Pork

Season the pork with black pepper. In a heavy pot or cast iron skillet, heat the oil on medium and brown the pork on all sides until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. I had to do this in batches, as you don’t want to overcrowd the skillet or the pieces won’t brown up properly. Remove the pork and place into a crock pot. Add the onions to the pot and saute for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and cook for about one more minute. Pour this into the crock pot with the pork. Now take about a cup of the chicken broth and deglaze the hot pan, scraping up the crispy bits from the bottom. Pour this into the crock pot along with the rest of the chicken broth and ingredients except the lime juice, tortillas and rice. Mix well, and cook on high for about three hours, then turn to low or warm until ready to serve. Just before serving, stir in the lime juice. Ladle into bowls over rice, and serve with corn tortillas.

Not Your Ordinary Chicken Tortilla Soup

14 Mar
Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is not your ordinary tomato-based tortilla soup found at most Tex-Mex restaurants. Instead, it has a clear chicken broth base, an array of fresh vegetables, with a phenomenal onion-sage relish used for garnish. This recipe comes from my sister, and we had a wonderful time crafting this together yesterday. I parboiled the chicken for the meat and broth earlier in the day, so that when we were ready to cook this the time for the entire process was much shorter. It’s a delight that my sister enjoys cooking as much as I do, and we make a pretty darned good team in the kitchen. While we used squash and zucchini as the main vegetables, any fresh vegetable will work in this soup. Feel free to experiment!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Frying the Tortilla Strips

Frying the Tortilla Strips

4-6 cups chicken broth, preferable homemade
3 small zucchinis
2 small yellow squash
3 carrots
1 large yellow onion
1/2 bell pepper
1/4 cabbage head
1-2 jalapeño peppers
2 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 can hominy
6 fresh sage leaves
Olive oil
2-3 tablespoons white vinegar
Salt
Black pepper
1 or 2 limes
10 corn tortillas
Vegetable oil
1 avocado

Heat the chicken broth in a large soup pot or dutch oven. Slice the zucchini, squash and carrots and add to the broth. Slit the jalapeño down one side and add it whole to the pot. Take half the large onion and bell pepper, coarsely chop and add them too. Thinly slice the cabbage and toss that in too. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, finely dice the other half of the onion and put in a small bowl. Finely chop the sage leaves and mix it with the onion. Fresh sage is a must for this! Pour enough olive oil over the mixture to fully saturate it. Add the vinegar and squeeze a quarter of the lime into the relish, stir in a bunch of black pepper, a tad of salt, then cover and set aside.

Tortilla Soup and Condiments

Ready to Serve!

While the soup is simmering, add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil to a large skillet and preheat until oil is hot. Slice the tortillas into strips and carefully place one layer of them into the skillet and fry them both sides until crisp. Drain them on paper towels, and optionally shake some salt over them. Repeat until all the strips are fried.

About 5-10 minutes before ready to serve, add the cooked chicken and hominy to the soup pot. Peel and dice the avocado and place in a bowl. When the soup is done, set out the relish, tortilla strips, avocado, and lime wedges for garnish. Be sure to add generous amounts of the relish and tortilla strips, as these really finish out this wonderful and satisfying soup. Olé!

White Bean and Chicken Chili

1 Feb

White Bean and Chicken Chili

I may not have written anything yesterday, but I sure did cook! I made a delicious lunch of okra, tomatoes, bacon, and onion (coming soon!) and was then inspired to pull out my faithful crock pot and cook some chili for dinner. I was browsing through a cooking blog site for ideas and found a terrific recipe for a chicken-based chili. The only problem was I didn’t have half the ingredients, but that didn’t stop me! No black beans? Well white beans would work! No corn? Aha, I have a can of golden hominy in the pantry, hominy is corn, isn’t it? Rats, it’s also calling for a packet of dried ranch dressing. Hey, I have some in a bottle, I’ll use that instead. Oh, and what about that package of cream cheese? Let’s see, I have a quarter package of light Neufchatel, close enough for me! Rotel tomatoes? HA! Of course I had a can of those, what Texan wouldn’t?

See, you don’t really need to follow a recipe to the tee to make a great dinner. I’m all about experimenting and basically relying on what I happen to have in the house at the time. Of course I do make a shopping list when there is an ingredient I just have to have for something in mind, but more times than not it is determined by what’s in the fridge, freezer or pantry.

White Bean and Chicken Chili

Two boneless skinless chicken breasts (I put them in frozen!)
1 can drained, rinsed white beans
1 can hominy, liquid included
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes and chiles, liquid included
2 tablespoons Ranch dressing
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Black pepper to taste
1/4 to 1 package light cream or Neufchatel cheese

Put the chicken breasts in the bottom of the crock pot. Add the rest of the ingredients except the cream cheese and stir to combine, making sure the chicken ends up at the bottom again. Put the cream cheese brick on top. Cook on low 6-8 hours, or high 3-4 hours. When done, stir to mix in the cheese. Take two forks and shred the chicken right there in the pot and stir again. Garnish with tortilla chips, cilantro, sour cream or any other condiment of choice.

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