Tag Archives: poblano

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!


Roasted Tomatillo, Poblano, and Serrano Sauce (Over Chicken Enchiladas)

1 Jan
Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo, Poblano, and Serrano Sauce

Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo, Poblano, and Serrano Sauce

Happy New Year! This was one of those OMIGOSH recipes I came across when I decided to make my chicken enchiladas for my cousin that was in town visiting the other day. I happened to have a poblano pepper in the fridge, and wasn’t sure how spicy my cuz could take his food, so scaled down the serrano peppers and added a poblano. Boy howdy, was this tomatillo sauce so good over the enchiladas. The original recipe/method for the sauce came from Rick Bayless. I’ve made my own tomatillo sauce for years ever since my seester in Austin introduced me to cooking those green little gems, but I always boiled them in water or chicken broth. Roasting the peppers bring out an entire new flavor sensation, and then the additional step to “fry” the sauce in a cast iron skillet just put this over the top.

My camera’s battery went dead just as I was about to take a photo of the simmering sauce, dang it! It was so beautiful just bub-bub-bubbling away in the cast iron skillet. But my cousin was expected within the hour and had to get everything assembled and cooked, so you get a before and after shot of the tomatillo sauce. I made my usual chicken enchiladas for this, recipe here. I made and assembled the enchiladas before making the sauce, otherwise I’d be running around the kitchen like mad trying to do everything at once. You can also just make this sauce and chow down on it with tortilla chips as an appetizer. If you don’t have any New Year’s Resolutions for 2013, then add “Make that crazy-good roasted tomatillo sauce” to your list. Trust me.

Tomatillos, Serrano, and Poblano Ready to Roast

Tomatillos, Serrano, and Poblano Ready to Roast

Roasted Tomatillo, Serrano, and Poblano Sauce
(adapted from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen)

1 pound tomatillos (about 10 to 12)
1 serrano chile
1 poblano chile
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
Juice of 1 lime
1 1/2 cups chicken broth, homemade from the chicken for the enchilada
1 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Chicken Enchiladas Assembled

Chicken Enchiladas Assembled

Peel the husks from the tomatillos and scrub the sticky stuff off with a potato scrubber under running water.  On a large baking sheet, add the tomatillos and peppers and broil in the oven for about 20 minutes until the skins are blistered and the tomatillos have turned soft. Flip them over about halfway through. Remove from oven, and place the poblano in a paper bag and let sit for about 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the stem off the serrano pepper, slit it open and remove the seeds. Using tongs, add the tomatillos and serrano to a large blender or food processor. Cut and squeeze the juice from the lime into the blender. Now remove the poblano from the bag, chop off the stem, de-seed, and peel the skin off of it. Add it to the blender and pulse a few times until everything is chunky. Next, heat a large cast iron skillet to medium-high heat, add the tablespoon of oil, and cook the chopped onions until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic to the skillet in the last few minutes of cooking. Now add the cooked onion and garlic to the tomatillo/pepper mixture, and blend until almost smooth. Add a little bit more oil back to the heated skillet turned down to medium heat, then pour the tomatillo sauce into the skillet. “Fry” the sauce for about 10 minutes, stirring often until it starts to thicken and darken. Next, slowly add the chicken broth, stirring occasionally, and cook for at least 10 or 15 more minutes until the sauce has thickened again and starts to bubble up like the hot mud springs at Yellowstone. Really!  Last, add the chopped cilantro and stir to combine. Now your wonderfully yummy roasted sauce awaits your enchiladas or chips. Or heck, just eat some right out of the skillet with a spoon. I did.

Chile Rellenos Soufflé with a Kick!

6 Jan

Chile Rellenos Souffle

My litmus test for Mexican or Tex-Mex restaurants is whether their chile rellenos pass muster with me. I have always been very picky with how chile rellenos are prepared and taste. I have never been fond of deep fried rellenos that arrive soggy, greasy,  and so over-breaded that it’s almost impossible to find the chile pepper in the inside of it.

I began my quest for the “perfect” chile relleno recipe shortly out of college. After many years of trial and error, I think I have come up with the perfect balance of taste and lightness for both the chile and the batter that enfolds it.  Embarrassing to say, but I used to use canned chiles in the recipe. But after finding out how easy it is to roast and prepare fresh chiles, I blanch at the thought that I ever did that.

Although there are many soufflé-type recipes for rellenos, what I found was they lacked the yummy corn taste that came with the cornmeal breaded and fried counterparts. My secret is adding a small amount of cornmeal and flour to the egg yolks before folding it into the fluffy beaten egg whites.

Stuffed Roasted Peppers

Oh! And the “kick” I promised! I also have always dressed up a can of red enchilada sauce with ground beef and other spices to pour over the top. But for Christmas I received from my sister in Austin the cookbook The Homesick Texan, by Lisa Fain. She had a recipe for a chile con carne sauce to go over cheese enchiladas, so I used that recipe tonight to pour over the rellenos after they came out of the oven. It was an absolute perfect pairing!

Here is her website:  http://homesicktexan.blogspot.com/.  I urge you to go check out her musings of Texas food, her writing style is refreshing and poignant. Her book also has many recipes not found on her blog. The sauce makes enough for 4-6, so my recipe has four peppers in it although I only used two this time. I am still awaiting confirmation to publish her recipe, so when I do hear back from her I will update this column to include it too if I get permission.  In the meantime, you can use any enchilada sauce you prefer for the rellenos.

Chile Rellenos Soufflé

4 Poblano or Passilla  peppers
Shredded cheese, any kind, enough to stuff peppers
3 eggs, separated into two bowls
2 teaspoons flour
2 teaspoons cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons water
Dash of salt

1. Broil the peppers in the oven until they are blackened, turning often, about 10-15 minutes.
2. Place them immediately in a tightly sealed bag for 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, begin to prepare chile con carne sauce or enchilada sauce of your preference.
4. Peel the skin off the peppers, and cut a slit in them and remove seeds and rinse.
5. Place them in a lightly oil-sprayed casserole dish, and stuff with shredded cheese.
6. Mix the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and water into the bowl with the egg yolks.
7. With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites in the other bowl until foamy. Sprinkle with a dash of salt and beat until stiff, but not dry.
8. Fold the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites gently, until no more white is visible.
9. Pour the batter evenly over the peppers and sprinkle with paprika
10. Bake at 325 degrees, until puffed and lightly browned, about 40 minutes.

Serve with Chile con Carne or enchilada sauce, cilantro and sour cream, or any other garnishes you prefer, such as sliced avocado.

Bubbling Chile con Carne Sauce

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