Mexican Corn Soup

chicken-corn-chowder-4-16-10 If it’s fall, it’s time for soup. And for me, any soup that contains corn is a good one.

The problem can come in when you want a naturally thickened soup. Pureeing the corn can lead to problems if the hulls aren’t pulverized. It leaves a chewy residue if not.

So pay close attention to the directions to avoid the problem.

And then sit back and enjoy the taste!

INGREDIENTS

4 ears fresh or 3 cups frozen, thawed corn kernels
2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
4 slices thick cut bacon
1/2 onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream, optional
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup queso fresco, fresh farmer’s cheese, feta cheese, or sour cream, optional
Tortilla chips or fried tortilla strips, optional

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. If using fresh corn, scrape kernels from cobs using small sharp knife or spoon. Place half of the corn kernels in blender with tomatoes, 2 cups of broth, and oregano.
    Puree until smooth. Set aside.

2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook bacon, turning once until brown and crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Set aside. Add onion to bacon fat in saucepan and cook, stirring frequently until onion is soft and translucent. Add garlic and stir for another minute.

3. Add tomato-corn puree to saucepan with remaining 2 cups of broth. Bring to a low boil and add remaining whole corn kernels. Simmer over medium-low heat until thickened, about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally and remove any foam as it develops with a large flat metal spoon. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Mix in half of the parsley and cream, if desired, and heat through.To serve, garnished with crumbled bacon, remaining parsley, crumbled cheese and tortilla chips or strips.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: The important thing is to use a high speed blender like a Magic Bullet. You need a powerful motor to puree the corn husk of the kernel properly. Do not use an immersion blender, it is not strong enough, and frankly I’d be concerned that even a Cuisinart won’t be enough. If you don’t have a big motored blender, then I would consider skipping the puree step and leave the corn intact.You might also consider roasting/seeding and pureeing with the rest some chiles if you would prefer a more spicy soup.

SOURCE: Simply Delicioso with Ingrid Hoffmann

Advertisements

Chicken Tinga

20130910-265977-chicago-tacos-el-perejil-chicken-tinga Now we are talking down home cookin’! Down home as in Mexico I mean.

Tinga is pretty much a stew. And it’s just dumped in a taco or a tostada or rolled up into a burrito. Add whatever else you like and as always, ya got a meal.

This is no doubt a recipe that can be varied in a number of ways and is authentic comfort food, so the recipes vary from family to family. Still the basics are the same.

Not too much trouble, and worth a lot in flavor.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 cup medium diced white onion
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 2 large tomatillo, husk removed, rinsed, and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • One (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped chipotles plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from one (7-ounce) can
  • 1/2 cup homemade chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add chicken thighs skin-side down and cook until well browned, about 6 minutes. Flip thighs and continue to cook until other side is lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate, leaving fat in pan, and set aside.
  2. Add onions and garlic to Dutch oven and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have browned around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add tomatillo and cook until browned around the edges, about 4 minutes. Add oregano and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, chipotle, and adobo sauce and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
  3. Transfer sauce to the jar of a blender and puree until smooth. Pour sauce back into pan, stir in chicken stock and bay leaf, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Nestle chicken thighs in sauce, reduce to a simmer, and cook until meat registers 165°F in thickest part of thigh on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer chicken to a plate and let sit until cool enough to handle. Remove sauce from heat and discard bay leaf.
  4. Pull chicken meat into strips, discarding skin, any large pieces of fat, and bones. Stir chicken into sauce and cook over medium heat until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt to taste.
  5. Spoon chicken into warm tortillas and top with tomatillo salsa, onion, cilantro, cheese etc.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: Add diced cooked potatoes and maybe some corn and you have a meal you can put over rice or noodles.

SOURCE: Adapted slightly from Serious Eats

Red Chile Gravy Cheese Enchiladas

l200425467 This is categorized as a Tex-Mex dish, though I think the only reason for this is that the chile sauce is “adulterated”, by having ground beef and onions added to it. But it is truly truly a great dish and I think you might like it, if you like real enchiladas.

The making of the dish only gets complicated (read messy) when you get to assembly. The parts are all easy to do.

INGREDIENTS:

  • About 12 dried chile pods (in the mix you prefer) such as New Mexican, Guajillo, Anchos, and Arbol, depending on how hot you like it.
  • 1 lb ground round, leaner rather than fatty
  • 1 c of diced onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, or 1 tsp dried
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • lard, oil, butter (3 tbsp) of any of them
  • corn tortillas
  • 8 oz of cheese, shredded (again use what you like, cheddar, Monterey Jack, Cotija, queso fresco, etc

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Break off the tops of the chiles, and dump out the seeds and discard.
  2. Place in a saucepan with about 2 cups of water and bring to a soft boil, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Take off the heat, and cool down until warm.
  3. In a saute pan, cook the beef, breaking it into small pieces.
  4. Remove from the pan and add the onions and garlic and saute until softened and just beginning to brown.
  5. Remove the chiles from the liquid and put in a blender along with the onions and garlic, spices and salt and pepper. Add as much of the liquid from the chiles as needed to blend the chiles into a puree.
  6. Strain if necessary (depends on the power of your blender to really get the skins pulverized)
  7. In the saute pan, depending on how much oil remains, add some and add flour until you have a roux going, cooking it for a minute or two.
  8. Add the chile sauce, along with the beef back to the pan, stirring and bring to a soft boil until the chile gravy thickens. Add more liquid from the saucepan or chicken stock if it seems too thick.
  9. Cook for about 30 minutes at a low simmer.
  10. To assemble the enchiladas: dip each tortilla in the sauce, turning to get both sides. Lay on a plate, add the cheese, and roll. Place in a baking dish 8 x 10 works well that has been oiled and has a thin covering of chile sauce in the bottom.  Continue until you have filled the baking dish.
  11. Spoon a bit of sauce lightly over the tops of the enchiladas, then sprinkle additional cheese over the top. Bake in a 375° oven until bubbly. Thirty minutes are probably enough if you have constructed your enchiladas with hot ingredients.
  12. Serve with beans and rice and sour cream, avocados, chopped scallions, and pico de gallo or any combination you like.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: Control the heat by controlling the type of dried chiles you use. Some add a bit of sugar to the sauce if they find it too harsh.

SOURCE: Adapted from Serious Eats

Beef Gorditas

beef gorditas Oh this is heavenly food. What’s on the inside is really up to you, but you gotta master the gordita end of it. That’s where the true joy comes from.

It’s sorta like a taco but not really. It’s sorta like a burrito, but not really.

Got that?

It will take a bit of time to make the gorditas but it’s so worth it.

So get out the flour and get busy.

INGREDIENTS:

for the masa:

  • 2 1/2 c masa harina (found in most grocery stores)
  • 1/2 c regular flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c lard (this is best but you can use shortening or even regular oil)
  • 2 + c of warm to hot water

for the innards:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 poblano, Anaheim or hatch chile, blistered, peeled and seeded and chopped
  • 1 -2 jalapenos chopped
  • 1 tbsp Mexican seasoning
  • 2 c of Mexican coleslaw
  • one batch of Pico de gallo
  • cheese any kind you like, but queso fresco is great with this

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix the dry ingredients for the masa dough, and then drizzle over this the melted lard. Mix with fork until its sort of like peas.
  2. Add the water one cup at a time, mixing until it forms a dough (you could do this in a food processor). When it comes together, just knead it a few times to bring it together nicely.
  3. Cover with a towel and leave for 15 minutes or so. (You can put in fridge covered with plastic wrap, but you must bring it to room temp and then warm it in the microwave a bit before proceeding.
  4. When ready to fry, get a fry pan (cast iron works well here), filled with about a 1/4 inch of oil. Heat to around 350°.
  5. Divide the dough into fifteen or so balls about golf ball size (you can halve this recipe).
  6. Wet the left hand, and then place the ball in that palm, and press other palm to it, flattening, turning the disk and patting it out. You’ll get the hang of it. (you could use a tortilla press but I’d advise oiling or using plastic wrap to keep it from sticking).
  7. Place as many as will fit on a griddle or large dry pan and leave for just a minute or so to brown. Flip to other side and do the same.
  8. Place each partially cooked gordita into the hot oil, not crowding. They will puff up and rise to the surface. Flip and do the other side until lightly browned.
  9. Remove to a paper towel. Cool until they can be handled and slice open. Fill as desired.
  10. Brown the meat, chiles, and seasonings until no pink remains.

SERVES: 8

NOTES: You can use any fillings you prefer. Shrimp, chicken, turkey, carnitas, you name it. You can omit the coleslaw and used chopped tomatoes and lettuce. You can add any cheese you prefer or no cheese at all. These are like sandwich pockets and can be filled as you like. Peanut butter and jelly? I don’t see why not.

Queso Fundido Mac & Cheese

fundito Fundido means molten or melted and that certain is the case here. The Internet is besieged with fundido recipes it seems, and so you should consider it molten in more than one way.

In other words, play with it and make it your own.

This plays with the concept of mac and cheese and takes it to an all-time high with chiles and chorizo and tons of cheese and crema.

It should be considered comfort food.

It should be considered in your next meal-planning session.

Trust me.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 ounces Mexican chorizo
  • 2 large poblano pepper
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • 3 C  extra sharp cheese, shredded or a combination of Jack, cheddar, Queso Fresco etc.
  • 1½ cups Mexican crema
  • 8 ounces small pasta shells
  • ½ cup crushed, taco chips
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Canola or olive oil spray

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Blacken your chiles, peel, seed and chop and set aside.
  2. Brown your chorizo and 1/2 diced onion in a skillet and set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, melt the butter, add the flour, stir to a roux and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the milk and cream and heat until it starts to simmer and thicken. Add the mustard and nutmeg.
  5. Add the cheese, and stir until melted. Add a bit of pepper.
  6. Cook the pasta until al dente.
  7. Drain and place in an oiled or buttered 10 x 14 baking dish
  8. Add the cooked chorizo, onions, and chiles.
  9. Pour the cheese sauce over the top and spread evenly.
  10. Cover with the panko/taco chips.
  11. Bake uncovered at 375° for about 30 minutes.
  12. Set to cool for about 15 minutes before serving.

SERVES: 8 generously

NOTES: as always, substitute any peppers or add more. I added one chopped Serrano to the cheese sauce. Also you could use ground pork or ground beef if you don’t like chorizo, but you will lose a lot of flavor. If you do so, add a tbsp of chile powder and a tsp of cumin to the cheese sauce.  If you leave out the pasta, make in a cast iron skillet and put under the broiler to brown and serve with chips.

SOURCE: Hispanic Kitchen

Mexican Crema

cremaIt occurred to me that a lot of folks (basically all who don’t live in the Southwest as I am privileged to) have never heard of crema.

Here is it available commercially, but up North you don’t have to sacrifice authenticity in your recipe because it is simple to make.

Basically it’s just sour cream thinned out with  cream.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 c sour cream
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • pinch of salt.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Stir together and store in the fridge covered.

SERVES: 2 cups

NOTE: as you can see, the ratio is 1:1 so make in any quantity you need. Frankly it’s nicer than sour cream on any of your favorites like tacos because it spreads out more evenly and thus it flavors the dish better.

SOURCE: Everybody

Grilled Green Chile Chicken

greenchilechickenHere in the Southwest, we tend to use chiles of one sort or another in just about everything. And like most people in America at least, we struggle to find new ways to use chicken, our pretty much favorite meat.

Chicken and chiles are a natural pairing, and this is just another nice way to make a okay dinner just a bit brighter and livelier.

You can of course dial the heat up or down as you desire.

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

 

  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Lime Juice
  • 2 whole Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce (more To Taste)
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 6 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 6 whole Hatch, Anaheim, Or Poblano Chiles
  • 1/2 pound Monterey Jack Cheese, Cut Into Slices Or Grated

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Make the marinade: combine the olive oil, lime juice and 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobe, garlic, cumin and salt and pepper in a blender and whirr up  until smooth.
  2. Place the marinade in a large plastic bag and add the breasts. Massage to make sure all are covered well, and refrigerate for 4-12 hours.
  3. Grill your chiles until outside is blackened, remove the skin, open by slicing off the stem end, removing the seeds and membranes (most at least–this is where the heat is) and reserve, one for each breast filet.
  4. Grill the chicken until done, placing one chile on the top of each breast once turned. When both sides are done, add a couple of slices of cheese of your choice. Monterey is fine, but also consider pepper jack, or any other Mexican slicing cheese that melts well. Cover with a pan after shutting down the grill or moving to another location just until the cheese is melted.
  5. Serve with anything that you wish.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: You can serve with salsa or pico de gallo, beans and rice, or tortillas warmed and make tacos. Or you may any sides at all that you wish, such as potatoes and other veggies roasted or grilled.

SOURCE: Pioneer Woman