Mexican Noodle Soup

Are you ready for some football?? Or maybe just some good commercials?

The Super Bowl is Sunday and as such I have adopted a theme this week on Sew You Think You Can Cook. Soups!

Get it? Super Bowl….SOUP-er bowl… I just couldn’t help it.

I wanted to do this week of soups last year but lack of preparation meant I didn’t have five soups to share. So I did a week of popcorn instead. Honestly, that was probably more fun. But that’s because I’m a junk food junkie and popcorn is my kryptonite. This year, now that we live in Ohio, where it’s actually cold and grey, like all the time, soup makes sense. We’ve enjoyed this collection of soups I’m about to share over the past couple of months.

To kick off the week is a Mexican Monday applicable soup. But wait, it’s not Monday! Yesterday was my Secret Recipe Club reveal day (I will be sharing a soup from Susan’s blog on Friday too!). So let’s just pretend. But don’t pretend too hard, unless you really like Mondays.

I have a funny story to share about this Mexican Noodle Soup. I decided to make this soup during the day, so as to take advantage of some natural lighting. The beauty with soups is that they can be made in advance and instead of tasting like leftovers, they taste better! That was my thought at least. I left the soup on the stove covered over a low heat for a couple of hours, waiting for Stuart to get back from the gym. By the time he finally got home we had a pot of overcooked noodles in a chipotle sauce. These overcooked noodles were delicious! The chipotle tomato soup-turned-sauce was full of zip. A dollop of sour cream helps to mellow the spice from the chipotle. I think we will make this soup again and eat it as a soup, but if you’re wanting a Mexican pasta sauce, simply reduce it – a lot – and serve over properly cooked pasta.

Mexican Noodle Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 large tomatoes, peeled and seeded
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 – 2 chipotles in adobo, seeded (amount depends on your heat preference)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided use
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
  • 3 3/4 C chicken stock
  • 8 oz angel hair pasta
  • sour cream, for serving (optional)
  • avocado, for serving (optional)

Steps:

  1. Put tomatoes, onion, and chipotles in a blender. Puree until smooth. (I suggest starting with one chipotle pepper and tasting the puree before adding the second.)
  2. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken 3 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove and set aside.
  3. Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Toast the noodles until lightly golden.
  4. Add in the tomato puree, chicken stock, and cooked chicken. Return heat to medium-high and cook 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente.
  5. Serve with sour cream and avocado.

*This recipe is adapted from The Illustrated Kitchen Bible*

Mexican Noodle Soup | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. 

Slow Cooker Jalapeno Lime Chicken

My New Year’s Resolution for 2015 is to create at least one original recipe a month. I created three new recipes in December 2014! All three were spurred from a case of the empty fridge. But it gave me the idea to adopt a New Year’s Resolution. If I hope to expand my presence in the food community (ahem, Food Network, are you listening?) then I need to have recipes of my own. I also can’t create a cookbook of “copied” recipes! Everything stems from my ability to be creative in the kitchen. And the only way to test that ability is to give myself a challenge/goal. And with this homework assignment every month I can create my grocery list based off of my idea – not create my idea based on my pantry supply.

Today’s post is one of December’s recipes. In fact, it’s one that I made before leaving town for Thanksgiving and then tweaking into the recipe I post today. The first version of this dish, while tasty didn’t feel Mexican. I added garlic, salsa, and cumin. I reduced the amount of liquid and omitted the corn. As much as I love corn it didn’t quite fit with the shredded chicken and got lost. In the photo below you can see how different the two versions are; version 1 is on the left and the final version is on the right.

Jalapeno Lime Chicken

What I love most about this recipe is its versatility. My favorite way to eat it was as nachos. I put tortilla chips on a plate, topped them with the shredded chicken and shredded cheese. I microwaved the nachos for 30 seconds until the cheese was melted and dipped in salsa. The shredded chicken can also be rolled into a burrito with beans, rice, and cheese. Or use it to top some flavored rice. Create a sandwich with the chicken, salsa, cheese, and lettuce. Even stuff it in a lettuce wrap for a carb-free version.

An Original Recipe

Slow Cooker Jalapeno Lime Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced (for mild heat remove seeds)
  • 1/4 C chicken stock
  • 1/4 C salsa
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 C fresh cilantro

Steps:

  1. Season chicken with S+P. Place in the bottom of a slow cooker. Top with onion, garlic, and jalapeno.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together stock, salsa, lime, taco seasoning, and cumin. Pour over chicken.
  3. Add cilantro to the slow cooker.
  4. Cook on LOW 5 – 7 hours or HIGH  3 – 5 hours.
  5. Shred chicken and return to sauce until ready to serve.

Jalapeno Lime Chicken Nachos

Countdown to 2015: Mexican Monday

countdownto2015Happy New Year! The countdown to 2015 is officially over as 2014 has come to a close. For today’s countdown blogging party, hosted by Sarah at Fantastical Sharing of Recipes, we get to pick our poison.

I have decided to take my favorite food day of the week – Mexican Monday – and give it its own Best of 2014 post!

In 2015 Mexican Monday is going to take a hit as I introduce Stir Fry Day Friday in an effort to increase our veggie input. Don’t worry though, there’s no way I can quit Mexican inspired dishes cold turkey. I have dreams of expanding my Mexican food repertoire to include dessert. And breakfast!

I hope our Mexican Monday theme has inspired you to convert the restrictive Taco Tuesday into the endless Mexican Monday. If not, maybe it’s a trend you can start with your family this year! And here are the top five Mexican recipes of 2014 to get you started!

Mexican Stuffed Shells

Blender Salsa

Turkey Chorizo Burgers

Spicy Taco Cheese Soup

Taco Popcorn

2014 Best Mexican Monday

Tortilla Pie

They say you’re not a true cook until you’ve owned (or at least cooked in) a cast iron skillet. I don’t know who “they” are, but I do know why “they” love the cast iron. Cast iron provides the most even cooking temperature, it’s oven safe, and the more you use it the better your food tastes.

I’ve always dreamed of using a cast iron skillet. I’ve even gotten really close to buying my own – but I chicken out at the price. I’ve seen many recipes that require or heavily suggest the use of a cast iron skillet. I always save these recipes but they’re filed under the “yeah-right-that’ll-never-happen” category. (Like ice cream maker recipes, until my husband gave me an ice cream maker for Christmas!)

These cast iron skillet recipes are no longer only in my dreams because I am now the happy owner of a cast iron skillet. But not just any cast iron skillet! I have Stuart’s grandfather’s skillet! My mother-in-law had two and generously gave me one.

Naturally the first thing I use it for is Mexican Monday!

This tortilla pie tastes better than it looks (now that the sun goes down at 5:30 it’s impossible to get good food photography). If you want to see photos that do this pie justice check out the original recipe. There are a lot of steps but they can easily be done in advance. And let me tell you, it’s completely worth it. This tortilla pie takes the flavors of enchiladas, combines it with the volume of a burrito, and assembles it in pie form. Crispy on the top and creamy on the inside.

The size tortillas you use will depend on the size of your skillet. Because my skillet is a square, my tortillas were smaller than the original, therefore I used less of the filling. What was left of the filling ingredients created a perfect burrito that Stuart took to work for lunch.

Tortilla Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1/2 C beef broth
  • 1 – 2 tbsp canola oil, divided use
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 C milk
  • 3 scallions
  • 1 can (15oz) refried beans
  • 1 C enchilada sauce
  • 5 flour tortillas (size to fit in cast iron skillet)
  • 1 – 2 C shredded Mexican blend cheese

Steps:

  1. In a cast iron skillet, brown ground beef over medium-high heat. Season with taco seasoning and add the beef broth. Cook until reduced. Remove from skillet and place in a bowl.
  2. Add up to 1 tbsp oil to the skillet (if needed) and saute the onion until translucent. Add garlic and cook 60 seconds. Remove and add to the beef.
  3. Create a roux by putting 1 tbsp of oil in the skillet and whisking in 1 tbsp flour. Reduce heat to medium and slowly add the milk to the pan, whisking constantly. When thickened add the beef and onions. Add scallions. Remove from skillet.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Wipe out skillet. (Careful, it’s hot!) Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  6. In a bowl, mix together refried beans and enchilada sauce.
  7. Place 1 tortilla in the cast iron skillet. Top with up-to half of the bean mixture. (This will depend on the size of your tortillas.) Place a tortilla on top of the beans. Top with up-to half of the beef mixture. Repeat. Top pie with last tortilla, cover with shredded cheese.
  8. Bake 30 – 40 minutes, until golden brown.

*This recipe is adapted from Anita at http://www.hungrycouplenyc.com/2014/06/mexican-tortilla-pie.html *

Tortilla Pie

Sweet Potato and Chorizo Quesadillas

I must admit, I haven’t quite gotten into a menu planning rhythm yet. Between the move and becoming a new mom it’s been hard to create some sort of schedule, but now that my husband has started his new job things might evolve into our new normal.

I’m still planning out my blog post ideas a month at a time, and I try and set a date for when I will make which dish. What I haven’t been doing is determining what we’re actually having for dinner in advance and most nights turn into a “what can we throw together?” kind of meal. Honestly though, this method means we’re saving money and wasting less food! I’m going to keep the “use what we have” mentality to plan my weekly menus – when I get back to planning weekly menus.

This Mexican Monday post evolved from just that – four easy ingredients that created a quick Monday dinner.

Sweet Potato and Chorizo Quesadillas

Ingredients:

  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1/2 lb Mexican chorizo
  • 4 flour tortillas
  • 1/2 C shredded cheese

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash potato and poke with a fork. Bake 40-50 minutes until fork tender. Allow to cool before peeling. Mash potato.
  2. In a small skillet over medium high heat, brown the chorizo until fully cooked.
  3. Assemble quesadillas by spreading the mashed sweet potato on two of the quesadillas. Place one plain tortilla in a large skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle with half of the cheese, top with half of the chorizo, and place the tortilla with the mashed sweet potato potato side down on top of the quesadilla. Cook on both sides until cheese is melted and tortillas are golden. Repeat for the second quesadilla.
  4. Serve with your favorite salsa.

Sweet Potato and Chorizo Quesadilla

Cinco de Mayo Recipe Round Up

With it still being my blog’s first year I’ve never been able to do a Recipe Round Up for a holiday before. But thanks to my Mexican Mondays I have plenty of suggestions for your Cinco de Mayo celebration!

Cinco de Mayo

Featured above:

  1. Mexican Stuffed Shells
  2. Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas
  3. Three Bean Nachos
  4. Baby Baked Beef Burritos
  5. Chorizo Carbonara
  6. Protein Packed Southwestern Salad
  7. Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos
  8. Corn Pepper Salsa Chicken Quesadilla

Other favorites:

  1. Turkey Enchilada Meatloaf
  2. Chorizo Mac and Cheese
  3. Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Salad
  4. Spicy Taco Cheese Soup

And my most popular Mexican Monday recipe: Healthy Chicken Tacos

Healthy Tacos

Eating the Bible: The Voice of Wisdom

Tonight’s story comes from the Book of Numbers.  In it, Balaam’s donkey is given the gift of speech to inform him of an an angel along their path. Three times in the story does the donkey obey the angel and stop, and three times Balaam beats the donkey; it is then that God “opened the mouth of the donkey, and it said to Balaam, ‘What have I done to you that you have struck me on these three occasions?'” (Numbers 22:28) God then opens Balaam’s eyes so that he can also see the angel in the road.

The biggest question out of this story is why could the donkey feel the presence of the angel while the sorcerer could not?

It is a question that, reworded, can be applied to your faith. Do I feel the presence of God? Am I obeying Him? This story shows that it isn’t only the powerful who are aware of the Lord. It is a reminder to keep your heart open to His touch.

In Eating the Bible, Rena made Three-Bean Burritos to accompany this story. Using three types of beans signifies the three attempts the donkey made to make Balsaam aware of the angel. And because burro means donkey in Spanish, she thought that burritos would be a good meal choice. I decided to detour from her recipe and create Thee-Bean Nachos instead. (I had a craving for Moe’s nachos…) So for us this week, Mexican Monday happened on Wednesday!

Three Bean Nachos

Three-Bean Nachos

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 C canned light red kidney beans, drained (liquid reserved)
  • 1/2 C canned pinto beans, drained (liquid reserved)
  • 1/2 C canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • tortilla chips
  • 1 C shredded cheese
  • toppings: shredded lettuce, diced tomato, diced red onion, sour cream, queso, etc

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a nonstick skillet saute onion and garlic over medium-high heat. Season with salt and pepper. Once onion is translucent reduce heat to low and add the beans. Gently mash the beans with some of the reserved liquid until you reach a desired consistency. (I opted to keep it pretty chunky)
  3. Place a layer of nachos on an oven proof dish (i.e.: baking sheet, casserole dish, cast iron skillet) top with bean mixture and shredded cheese. Place in oven for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve with desired toppings.

Three Bean Nachos 2

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. 

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Now that the weather is getting cooler I thought it’s time for another soup recipe. And this Chicken Tortilla Soup fits in nicely with Mexican Monday!

I made the chicken stock on Sunday so that my weeknight prep time would be shorter. If you want to shred your chicken instead of cubing it, it’s best to do while it’s hot out of the poaching liquid. Because I cooked the chicken/stock the night before I simply cubed it before adding it to the soup Monday evening. Even though my prep time was much shorter, the soup cook time was longer than the original recipe declared, I left the soup on the stove for about an hour and a half. But with soup, the longer it stews the better!

I also left the heat factor out of the soup because I was making this for childhood taste buds. I provided hot sauce on the table for the adults to flavor our soups.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Ingredients for stock:

  • 3 large chicken breasts
  • 8 C water
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 onion, left whole
  • 1 jalapeno, left whole
  • 1 tsp pepper

Ingredients for soup:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 can diced roasted tomatoes
  • 1/4 C cilantro (I used 2 ice cubes)

Steps:

  1. Make stock by combining all ingredients in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove chicken and shred/cube. Strain and reserve the broth.
  2. In a large pot over medium-high heat saute onion and bell pepper in olive oil. When translucent add in garlic until fragrant. Stir in spices. Pour in the chicken broth. Bring to a gentle simmer and add in the cooked chicken, beans, corn, tomatoes, and cilantro. Allow soup to cook for at least 20 minutes for the flavors to combine and chicken to be warmed through.
  3. Serve with shredded cheese and tortilla chips for garnish.

*This recipe is modified from Patricia at http://www.patriciaspatticakes.com/2013/10/spicy-chicken-tortilla-soup.html*

Chicken Tortilla Soup 2

Chicken Tortilla Soup 1