TORTILLA SOUP

 

Does it seem like I’ve been visiting the Pioneer Woman’s site a lot lately? I have made a lot of her recipes in the past couple of weeks. Maybe it’s because she has a lot of good Mexican food and comfort food recipes and that’s what I crave when the weather gets cold. I saw this recipe for tortilla soup the other day and knew I had to try it. It’s really tasty. Matthew, who never eats anything, had two bowls, and Andrew asked to take it to school for lunch the next day. I call that a success. It’s a little bit time consuming, but most of that is hands-off work. It has to simmer for a while. I think you could easily make this in the crock pot and add the tortilla strips a few minutes before you’re ready to serve it. I topped mine with cheese, sour cream, and fresh avocado. Yum!

Tortilla Soup

2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1-½ tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 c. diced onion
¼ c. diced green bell pepper
¼ c. red bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can Rotel tomatoes and green chiles
32 oz., fluid low sodium chicken stock
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
4 c. hot water
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
3 Tbsp. cornmeal
5 whole corn tortillas, cut into 2 to 3 inch strips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cumin, chili pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on chicken breasts, then sprinkle a small amount of spice mix on both sides. Set aside the rest of the spice mix. Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is done. Use two forks to shred chicken. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pot over medium high heat. Add onions, red pepper, green pepper, and minced garlic. Stir and begin cooking, then add the rest of the spice mix. Stir to combine, then add shredded chicken and stir. Pour in Rotel, chicken stock, tomato paste, water, and black beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered.

Mix cornmeal with a small amount of water. Pour into the soup, then simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Check seasonings, adding more if needed—add more chili powder if it needs more spice, and be sure not to undersalt. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Five minutes before serving, gently stir in tortilla strips. Ladle into bowls, then top with sour cream, diced red onion, diced avocado, pico de gallo, and/or grated cheese.

Source: The Pioneer Woman; Photo also courtesy of the Pioneer Woman (I forgot to take a picture again. Doh!)

THE MOST AMAZING ENCHILADAS

I love Mexican food. I make a it a lot at home because my family likes it and I find that most of it is pretty easy to make. The boys are really partial to burritos. Jason would eat anything as long as it was wrapped up in a tortilla, and Andrew is pretty much the same way. I’ve made the Pioneer Woman’s burritos and chicken enchiladas before, and I also noticed the beef enchiladas and have been meaning to make them for a while. I’m so glad I finally did. These are spectacular! They are fantastic left over too. I made one pan of a dozen and had plenty of meat and sauce left over for another pan (I used small white corn tortillas), but I used the leftovers to make my easy burritos the next day instead. I did not use the black olives or green onions in my enchiladas, simply because I didn’t have any, and they were still amazing without them. These enchiladas are a little bit time consuming, but SO worth it. I had to borrow the Pioneer Woman’s photo becaues they didn’t last long enough for me to get a picture. Try them this weekend. You’ll be glad you did.

Beef Enchiladas

Sauce:
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 Tbsp. flour
3 7 3/4 oz. cans El Pato Mexican tomato sauce
2 c. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. finely chopped cilantro1-½ pound Ground Beef

Meat:
1 1/2 to 2 lbs. ground beef
1 onion, finely diced
2 4 oz. cans diced green chiles
1/2 tsp. salt

Tortillas:
12 to 14 white corn tortillas
1/2 c. canola oil

To assemble:
3 c. grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 c. chopped cilantro
1/2 c. chopped black olives, optional
1 c. chopped green onions, optional

To make the sauce:
In a large saucepan over medium heat, add oil and flour and whisk together to make a paste, cooking for one minute. Pour in the red sauce, chicken broth, cilantro, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

To make the meat:
Brown the meat with onions and green chiles in a skillet. Drain off fat. Season with salt and set aside.

To make the tortillas:
Heat canola oil in a small skillet over medium heat. One by one, using tongs, fry tortillas in oil until soft and pliable, but not crisp – about 30 seconds per side. Remove to a paper—towel lined plate. Repeat until all tortillas have been fried.

To assemble:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 baking pan lightly with non-stick spray. Dip each tortilla into red sauce, then remove to work surface. Spoon meat, a little grated cheese, a little black olives and green onions, if using, in the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place, seam down, in baking pan. Repeat until pan is filled. Pour extra red sauce over enchiladas to cover. You may not use all the sauce, but you can use the rest for another pan of enchiladas depending on how much meat you have left over.  Top with remaining cheddar cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle cilantro over enchiladas and top with sour cream, if desired, before serving.

Source: Adapted from The Pioneer Woman. Photo also courtesy of The Pioneer Woman.