Saturday, January 28, 2012

Chicken Tortilla Soup

4 Chicken Thighs
4 Qts Water
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 medium white Onion
6 Corn Tortillas
 1 Tbls. Pasilla Chili Powder
1 tsp. Dried Oregano
1 Tbls. Ground Cumin
1 32 oz container Chicken Broth

1 can Stewed Tomatoes, crushed
1 large can Hominy, rinsed and drained
1 can Pinto Beans, rinsed and drained
1 large pinch of fresh Cilantro, chopped
1 Green Onion, sliced

In a large stock pot add water, chicken, onion, garlic, chili powder, oregano and cumin. Bring to a boil on Medium-High heat. Cook until chicken is done, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice the tortillas into thin strips and cut into thirds. Heat 1 inch of oil in a skillet, until hot. Fry tortilla strips until lightly golden in color. Set aside on a plate topped with a paper towel to drain.
Remove the chicken and set aside until cool enough to handle. Then remove the meat from the bones and shred.
Add the meat back to the pot along with the tomatoes and juice, chicken broth, hominy and pinto beans and cook for 10 minutes.
To serve place some of the tortilla strips into the bottom of the serving bowls and ladle the soup on top. Garnish with more tortilla strips, chopped fresh Cilantro and green onions.

Friday, January 27, 2012


18 corn tortillas
Mexican-style tomato sauce (recipe included below)
½ cup chicken broth
1 lb Monterey Jack cheese
1/3 cup Crema

Mexican-style tomato sauce

1    28 oz. can whole tomatoes (home canned if you have them)
1    onion, chopped fine
4    garlic cloves, minced
1    sm can chipotle chilies in Adobo sauce
1    pound ground beef
1    tbls cumin
½    tsp seasoned salt
¼    tsp black pepper

Set oven to 350 degrees to preheat.

Season the ground beef with the cumin, salt and pepper and brown on medium heat until almost done. Add in the onion and garlic and continue cooking until ground beef is completely cooked. Drain off the fat.

Crush tomatoes into small pieces, adding with juices in the can, to the ground beef. I just use my hands and crush them directly into the pan. Chop the chipotle chilies and add with sauce from the can to ground beef mixture. We like it on the spicy side so I use the whole can, but you may cut back on these to suit your taste or just use 2 fresh Jalapeno (seeds and ribs removed) chopped super fine. Simmer on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until tortilla strips are ready.

Heat a ½ inch of vegetable oil in a 10 inch skillet until very hot, but not smoking. I use cast iron because it keeps the heat, especially if you are cooking on an electric stove. Stack and slice 3 tortillas into 6 strips. Place strips into hot oil carefully and cook, stirring often, until just starting to turn a light golden color. Remove with thongs to a plate lined with 2 paper towels to drain. Continue cooking in batches until all the tortillas are finished.

Grate the cheese, if not already grated, and set aside. Add chicken broth to the sauce, stirring to incorporate the broth.

In the bottom of a 9x13 pan place half of the tortilla strips, moving them around till they are laying somewhat flat and covering the bottom of the pan. Spoon half of the sauce mixture over the tortillas, making sure they are completely covered. Top with half of the cheese. Repeat layers.

Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove and let sit for 5 minutes. Top each serving with some crema and enjoy!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Potato Leek Soup

I made this for the first time several years ago and it has become a favorite in my house.

10 medium potatoes
2 leeks
4 qts. vegetable broth
2 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
2 Tbls olive oil
2 Tbls butter
1 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 cup 1/2 & 1/2 or whipping cream(optional)

Slice leeks in half lengthwise. Rinse in cold water to remove any dirt. Slice into 1/4 inch slices, set aside. Mince the garlic, set aside.

Heat oil and butter in a large stock pot on medium heat. Place leeks and garlic into pot. Saute until tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the leeks are cooking, scrub and cube the potatoes. I like to leave the skins on for more fiber and vitamins.

When the leeks are tender, add all the remaining ingredients. Cook on High until the potatoes start to fall apart. About 30 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves and mash with a potatoe masher until creamy. If you would like it to be a smoother consistancy, put into a food processor, in batches. Also if you would like to add the cream, do so at this point. 

We like ours a little on the chunky side. Taste at this point and add more salt and pepper, if you prefer.

Serve with a nice sourdough bread and enjoy!