By taking a simple cup of olive oil and infusing it with your favorite herbs and spices, or in this case chipotle peppers and garlic, you create a cooking base that explodes with aroma and flavor.
This chili burrito recipe is one I concocted when I first became interested in Southwestern/Mexican food over thirty years ago. Soft flour tortillas filled with smashed cheesy beans and topped with beef and bean chili. Simple, yet hardly authentic. Everyone used to rave over the dish so I made it a lot. Winning a batch of Larry’s very own homemade Chili Seasoning (see below) was a perfect excuse to drag out this recipe. It probably hadn’t seen the light of day for twenty years.
Chile Cheese Cake, a great Southwestern appetizer recipe. It’s prepared in a spring form pan like a cheese cake, it looks like a cheese cake, but loaded up with southwestern ingredients, this appetizer served with tortilla chips is a unique and wonderful crowd pleasing recipe.
This South of the Border cocktail, with it’s “usual suspect” lineup of fresh and spicy Southwestern ingredients, results in an intoxicating dish. It’s similar to ceviche, however, the seafood is cooked, not brined. We loved it, and it’ll have a permanent spot in my recipe database.
If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know that I’m crazy about food that’s Southwestern, Tex-Mex, or Mexican. As long as there’s a flour or corn tortilla, fresh ingredients and those happy spices involved, I’m eating it. However, one thing I don’t usually like are fried Mexican things. Chimichangas come to mind…flour tortilla that’s been filled with everything wonderful and then deep fat fried, then smothered in melted cheese and green chili. Most of the time they end up, well…can you spell g-r-e-a-s-y? Taquitos are not so bad as it seems that corn tortillas don’t sop us the grease like flour, and if either flour or corn tortillas are used, I think they’re mostly skillet fried as opposed to deep fried. Not quite as g-r-e-a-s-y.
Before we get to the soup, I must tell you that my husband drug home a can of Spam the other day. I was pretty sure I had never…ever…not once eaten Spam.
So, just as one would call their mother to ask about the occurence of a childhood disease, I phoned home to ask if I had ever had Spam when I was a kid. She confirmed that I had not. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t come from a family of food snobs, lord knows I’ve eaten my share of cold Franco American Spaghetti-O’s out of the can…but it appears I’ve never eaten Spam.
Got me thinking, besides Spam…I’ve never eaten eel…and in spite of my geographical location, I’ve never had Rocky Mountain Oysters…
In your comments, I’d love to hear a couple of things that you’ve never eaten. I’ll let you know what we do with the Spam.
So with that out of the way, let’s talk about something I’ve eaten a lot of…Tortilla Soup.
I know, it’s Summer, but I don’t need to be sitting around in front of the fireplace wrapped up in my hot pink Snuggie with two feet of snow on the ground to enjoy a delicious bowl of soup. Especially when it’s one of my favorites like Tortilla Soup.
About the photo…I promise there’s a big bowl of wonderfully seasoned brothy goodness underneath all those hearty chunky toppings…and lots of it.
A couple of weeks ago, Heather over at Girlichef threw out a Tortilla Soup Challenge. Since it’s one of my all-time favorite soups and a great movie, I was “IN”. I combined some things I liked from a couple of recipes, added a couple of my own ideas. Here’s my end result:
(Highlands) Ranch Style Tortilla Soup
- 2 fresh Poblano peppers, large diced
- 1 medium Vidalia onion, large diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 28 ounces of chicken stock (I used homemade, or two cans)
- 1 can undrained diced tomatoes
- 1/3 cup Rotel tomatoes, undrained
- 1 cup fresh sweet corn kernels
- 2 chicken breasts without skin, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tablespoon Goya Bitter Orange-flavored Adobo Seasoning (optional as it can be hard to find)
- Salt/pepper to taste
- Corn tortilla chips, slightly crushed by hand
- Fresh chopped cilantro
- Sour cream
- Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Diced avocado
- Lime Wedges
1. In a Dutch oven over medium to medium high heat, cook peppers and onions for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Add cumin seeds, garlic and continue cooking until fragrant, about two minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, corn and simmer for about 5 minutes.
2. In the meantime, in a fry pan, heat olive oil to medium high. Add bite sized pieces of chicken breast and cook stirring almost constantly, until browned and cooked almost through. While cooking, sprinkle the chicken with the orange-flavored Goya Adobo Seasoning.
3. Add chicken to soup pot and simmer a couple of minutes to finish cooking the chicken.
4. To serve, ladle soup into soup bowls, top with broken up corn chips, Monterey Jack cheese, a dollop of sour cream, diced avocado and sprinkle with cilantro. Take one of those wedges of lime and squeeze over the whole bowl. Take a big soup spoon, swirl and enjoy.
It’s What’s For Dinner.
Also shipping this across the Pacific for Deb’s Souper Super.