South Of The Border Chicken Tortilla Soup

South of The Boarder Chicken Tortilla SoupTortillas are used faithfully in Mexican cuisine as bread is used in the United States. There are corn tortillas and flour tortillas, which are mostly consumed in Northern Mexico.

Tortillas are a main food staple eaten daily in all Mexican households. Just as you would walk to the corner store for Tortilleriaa gallon of milk, so do Mexicans walk to the corner and buy tortillas from the “Tortilleria” were machines spit out dozens of corn tortillas hourly. I personally know this, as I lived in Mexico for 5 years, and bought one dozen tortillas about every two days.

Tortillas are also used to make a Mexican inspired South Of The Border Chicken Tortilla Soup, which by the way is our featured recipe.

Here is what you will need.

6 tablespoons avocado oil, divided

6 corn tortillas, cut into 1×1-inch strips

1 small white onion, dice

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 cups of non-gmo natural chicken broth

1 cup water

¾ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon chili powder

1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup frozen non-gmo sweet corn kernels, thawed

2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt (optional)

Diced avocado, and fresh chopped cilantro, for optional garnish

frying tortilla stripsPlace a large ceramic coated frying over medium heat. Next add 3 tablespoons of avocado oil. Once the oil has warmed add the corn tortilla strips and fry until they are crisp.

fried tortilla stripsRemove from heat and using a slotted spoon, remove strips from oil and place onto a plate and set aside.

A ladle of South of The Boarder Chicken Tortilla SoupNext 3 tablespoons of avocado oil to a 4 quart soup pot. When oil is heated, add the diced onions, minced garlic, diced bell peppers, and saute until fragrant. Next pour in the chicken broth, water, cumin, and chili powder. Stir to mix all ingredients. Next add the black beans, sweet corn, and shredded chicken.

South of The Boarder Chicken Tortilla SoupBring the soup to a boil, then turn heat down to a simmer for about 10 minutes. Ladle soup into soup bowls and garnish with the tortilla strips, diced avocado, and chopped fresh cilantro.

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Mexican Squash Pasta with Chorizo Meat Sauce

Mexican Squash Pasta with Chorizo Meat Sauce

All squash varieties are members of the Curcurbita family. They come in varying colors, textures, shapes, sizes, and a range of flavors.

The three main categories of the Curcurbita family are:
Curcurbita pepo– include but not limited too zucchini, summer squashes, acorn, and spaghetti squash
Curcurbita maxima– includes but not limited too: banana squash, and pumpkin
Curcurbita moschata– includes but not limited too: butternut squash, and calabaza

Squash is a low carbohydrate food, including a low glycemic index food, between 0 and 35. The low number indicates no spiking of insulin in the blood stream. Most squash have small amounts of vitamins A, C, E and K, and including the B-vitamins. They also contain trace minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and copper.

Squash is great for heart health and every muscle of the body. Magnesium is great to help the muscles relax, preventing what is called charlie-horse or cramping of the muscles.

As for potassium, one half cup serving of Grey Squash as an example has 603 mg, raw zucchini has 459 mg, cooked has 194 mg, and baked Butternut squash has 289 mg.

Mexican Grey SquashThe squash we are using in our featured recipe is a hybrid of the zucchini squash, and is referred to in Mexico as the Mexican squash or the grey squash.

The grey squash has the same texture and flavor as the zucchini. Unlike the zucchini when harvested at a larger size, the grey squash tends to still have a tender skin.

Now for our featured recipe: Mexican Squash Pasta with Chorizo Meat Sauce. The recipe is simple and easy, as it contains 3 ingredients as follows…

principle ingredients for Mexican Squash Pasta with Chorizo Meat SauceYou can use any type of spaghetti sauce, but we chose to use a tomato base with cream and vodka included, 2 cups.

One pound of organic pork chorizo, which we purchased on sale at the Whole Foods Market, and 3 Mexican squash, which will make about 2 to 3 servings. Here we have a larger harvested Mexican squash given to us from a friends organic home garden.

makng squash pasta with a julienne peelerUsing a julienne peeler, run it from top to bottom all around the squash until you arrive to the seeds in the center. Set the squash pasta aside.

Pork ChorizoHeat a large ceramic coated skillet over medium heat, add a tablespoon of pastured unsalted butter, and when melted add the pork, and cook until done, about 10 minutes. remove from heat, and set aside.

cooking squash pasta in skillet In a large ceramic coated skillet over medium heat, add 4 tablespoons of olive oil. When heated, add the stringed squash and cook for about 5 minutes. You want the oil to cling to the squash strings. If the oil clings then in turn the spaghetti sauce will cling to the squash pasta. Do not over cook the squash, you want a little crunch, and at the same time you want a fork to twirl it, the same as is done with traditional pasta.

sauce and chorizoRemove skillet from heat and transfer squash past to a serving platter. Return the skillet to the heat and add the spaghetti sauce and cooked pork chorizo, and mix together. Allow the heat to warm the meat sauce.

Mexican Squash Pasta with Chorizo Meat Sauce - 2

Remove meat sauce from heat and pour it over the squash pasta arranged on a serving platter. Serve with grated Italian cheese, and enjoy.

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Mexican Chicken Tortilla Pie

Mexican Chicken Tortilla Pie

This really isn’t a Mexican dish, but a recipe invention out of New Mexico. New Mexico uses a lot of traditional Mexican ingredients, but they make their own culinary inventions. Review an article that we posted with a blog guest who explained the difference between Mexican and Tex-Mex food, the information could also apply to Mexican Food verses New Mexico style Mexican Food…link here.

There are other similar recipes of Mexican Chicken Tortilla Pie, but they use ground beef and bake it in a cast iron skillet. For more on cooking with cast iron skillets view our articles here.

Now for our featured recipe Mexican Chicken Tortilla Pie, and here is what you will need.

ingredients for Mexican Chicken Tortilla Pie

2 tablespoons avocado oil

1 medium yellow or white onion, finely diced

5 mini-sweet peppers, different colors, thinly diced

1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained

11 ounces frozen whole kernel corn

2 tablespoons Taco Seasoning

2 cups shredded Rotisserie chicken

1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped

3/4 cup grated Monterrey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

You can also use BBQ chicken breast shredded. I used BBQ seasoning in place of  Taco seasoning as they both use similar herbs.

sauteeing, mixing and simmering vegetable bean mix for Mexican Chicken Tortilla Pie

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and sweet peppers and saute, stirring until they are tender. Then add the diced tomato, black beans, corn, and seasoning and mix together until well incorporated.

simmering vegetable bean mix for Mexican Chicken Tortilla Pie

Let simmer, uncovered for about 10 minutes.

cutting cilantro with kitchen shears

We use kitchen shears to cut the cilantro, making it easy and convenient. It is cut up just before use, never before. The oils that flow from the cut leaves start deteriorating after cutting into the leaves. For maximum flavor, prepare the herb just before you need it.

adding shredded chicken and cilantro to vegetable mix for Mexican Chicken Tortilla Pie

Now that the mixture has simmered for 10 minutes, add the shredded chicken and cut cilantro, and stir in and cook until hot.

lining sprin form pan and layering tortillas and meat mixture for Mexican Chicken Tortilla Pie

Now to prepare the pie, line the bottom and sides of an 8 inch spring-form pan. Position one tortilla on the bottom of the lined pan and spoon on mixture until if spreads even over the surface of the tortilla. Repeat this three more times, using the other three tortillas. After placing the last tortilla on the top, spread the cheese out over it.

Place into the heated oven and bake for 20 minutes or until browned lightly. Remove and let stand 5 minutes.

Mexican Chicken Tortilla Pie

Remove the ring from the spring-form panas well as the paper around the pie, and slide pie onto a platter and serve.

slice of Mexican Chicken Tortilla Pie

It may not be a Mexican original culinary dish, but for the sack of argument, let’s say it is. Enjoy your slice of Mexican Chicken Tortilla Pie.

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Tastes of Mexico with Pico de Gallo and Flour Tortillas

Tastes of Mexico with Pico de Gallo and Flour Tortillas

 

Our post is a day late but here we are. Welcome again to the Tastes of Mexico here at Splendid recipes and More with Norma our guest blog speaker (If you missed any posts with Norma link here and scroll the page to Speaker Norma spoke May. 4-8, 2014 on the Tastes of Mexico).

So lets get started.

SRandM: So Norma tell us what you are doing with those tomatoes?

Norma: I am dicing them up to make some Pico de Gallo.

SRandM: So how is it prepared?

Norma: Will this is what you will need.

8 fresh ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced

½ large onion, diced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely minced

1 bunch fresh cilantro, stems removed and finely minced

Juice from 1 fresh lime

SRandM: What kind color of onion should you use? I am asking as there are a few different colors.

Norma: Yes, the most popular one used in this dish is the yellow onion. Though you ca use the white or red onion if you want to.

You could liven up this dish by adding other ingredients like shrimp, avocado, cucumber, radish or firm fruit like mango.

I just wanted to add, that pico de gallo is much like Kenyan’s kachumbari, or chutneys made in India, but since pico de gallo contains less liquid, apart from dipping tortilla chips into it, you can also use it as a main ingredient in dishes such as tacos and fajitas.

SRandM: Wow that is good to know.

Norma: So once you have prepared the ingredients, place diced tomatoes, and onion, in a glass bowl and stir to combine. Next stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Though I would recommend adding the juice and cilantro a little at a time, tasting it with each addition until you have the flavor you like. You can also add a little salt if you like.

Serve as a side with your favorite Mexican dish, as I mentioned earlier, it could be tacos or fajitas, or by itself with corn tortilla chips.

pico de gallo

SRandM: Wow this is great Norma. Tell use about the flour tortillas that you prepared.

Norma: OK. This is how you make fresh flour tortillas. Here is what you will need.

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1.5 cups hot water

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Then make a whole in the center and pour in the oil and hot water.

preparing Homemade Flour Tortillas

Lightly mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Next place the dough on a lightly floured surface and continue kneading until a smooth ball is formed. Divide dough into 16 equal sized portions and placing each ball into a bowl covered with a cloth.

making flour tortillas

Next place each small dough portion onto a lightly floured surface. With a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a thin, round shape. Preheat a large dry cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add one rolled out dough circle and heat until golden brown, then flip and cook until golden brown on other side. Repeat with remaining dough pieces. Place each finished tortilla onto a plate.

After you have made your tortillas, have a medium sized piece of wax paper cut out and set aside. Now separate each tortilla and while doing so place the first one onto the wax paper and each additional over each other. Place the tortillas into a large zip lock bag. Seal and allow to cool and store in the refrigerator for up to about two weeks.

 

 

Homemade Flour Tortillas

 

SRandM: Thank you Norma for coming on Splendid recipes and More and showing us all of these great Tastes of Mexico. As well as sharing some history with us.

Norma: My pleasure. I hope your readers have enjoyed it and will be able to prepare theses Mexican delights for themselves.

SRandM: For any posts on the Tastes of Mexico with blog speaker guest Norma just link here and scroll down to – Speaker Norma spoke May. 4-8, 2014 on the Tastes of Mexico -.

 

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Wonderful Beverages From Mexico

Wonderful Beverages From Mexico

Splendid Recipes and More (SRandM) present’s another post with Norma our guest blog speaker on the Tastes of Mexico. If you missed the last three conversations with Norma link here and scroll to Speaker Norma spoke May. 4-8, 2014 on the Tastes of Mexico.

Today Norma is going to present some great beverages from Mexico. What are they Norma?

Norma: Classic Margaritas on the Rocks, and Watermelon Aqua Fresca.

SRandM: OK so let’s get started.

Norma: I think the key to making a classic margarita is striking the right balance between your tequila of choice and the orange-flavored liqueur you pair with it. Strong flavored tequila needs a strong-flavored orange liqueur to stand up to it. As a result, the following is a more of a formula than a true recipe. Use your favorite tequila and orange-flavored liqueur, such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier.

SRandM: Can you use any flavor you like other than orange?

Norma: Yes, and actually a true Margarita has no flavoring other than lime. But with the new generation of Mexicans, their changing things up.

So you will need

1.5 oz. tequila

1.5 oz. orange-flavored liqueur

1.25 oz. freshly squeeze lime juice

cocktail shaker full of ice and add the tequila, orange liqueur and lime juice

Fill a cocktail shaker full of ice and add the tequila, orange liqueur and lime juice.

Classic Margarita on the Rocks

Shake vigorously to combine and pour into salt-rimmed margarita glasses filled with ice. Serve with a wedge of lime, if desired.

Note this is a strong drink when first poured. The flavors will mellow a bit as the ice melts.

SRandM: OK Norma, while I enjoy this Margarita you just made…what do you have for us next?

Norma: Will I have a drink that is light and refreshing. It’s a popular drink in Mexico and is perfect for hot summer afternoons. It can be made with any number of fresh fruits, but melons are the most popular. While this beverage is non-alcoholic, rum or tequila and triple sec can be added to create a delicious adults-only beverage.

I am going to prepare a  Watermelon Aqua Fresca. Here is what you will need:

6 cups watermelon, seeded

1¼ cup water

1½ limes, juiced

4 tablespoons honey

½ lime, sliced

Fresh mint leaves

ice

Add the watermelon, water and lime juice to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. If any seeds or large chunks remain, strain through a sieve to remove.

Pour the blended juice into a pitcher and stir in honey until blended, though you can replace the honey sugar. Now crush the mint leaves with your fingers and put them in the bottom of each glass. Fill the glasses with ice and top with watermelon mixture. Garnish each glass with a slice of lime or fresh mint leaves, if desired and enjoy the freshness.

Watermelon Aqua Fresca

SRandM: Norma you have out done yourself today with these wonderful beverages. So what will you present next time?

Norma: How about  Pico de Gallo and Homemade Flour Tortillas?

SRandM: Looing forward to it Norma. To our readers of Splendid Recipes and More, you know were to return for more great Tastes of Mexico from our guest speaker, Norma.

Link Here for: Tastes of Mexico with Pico de Gallo and Flour Tortillas 

What Others are Saying About Beverages and Foods of Mexico:

Chicken Quesadillas

Chicken Quesadillas

Our blog guest is Norma and she is speaking to us on The Tastes of Mexico. This is her third appearance here on Splendid Recipes and More (SRandM). Link here to view the other blog posts with Norma and scroll to bottom of the page.

SRandM: So Norma, what do you have for us today?

Norma: I am going to show you how to make a really great Chicken Quesadilla.

SRandM: Awesome, let’s get started.

Norma: First of all, I would like to mention that wheat flour was brought here to the New World by Spain. From there the flour tortilla was made a new novelty in Mexico. Though, flour tortillas are only popular in Mexican dishes in the state of Sinaloa, Mexico. Also you can see these recipes in Tijuana and Rosarito.

Corn tortillas are commonly prepared with meat to make dishes such as tacos and enchiladas. Burritos on the other hand are made with flour tortillas as well quesadillas. These two latter dishes originated in northern Mexico, as I said before the flour tortilla is most popular there.

So now for the Chicken Quesadilla, here is what we will need.

2 tablespoons avocado oil

1 small or ½ medium onion, finely minced

2 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced

½ cup chicken broth or water

2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning mix*

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons butter

8 10” flour tortillas

2 cups pre-cooked chicken, shredded (rotisserie works great)

2 cup shredded white cheese (Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack)

1 bunch fresh cilantro, stems removed and finely chopped.

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced – optional

 

With these ingredients you will have enough to makes 4 Quesadillas. Also at the end of the post I have included the recipe for the seasoning mix.

 

Add the avocado oil and onion to a  large cold skillet.  Heat over medium-high heat until onion becomes translucent, about 6 – 8 minutes. Add garlic and stir for 1 – 2 minutes or until it starts to turn brown. Add the chicken broth, taco seasoning and stir until dry ingredients are completely dissolved.

combine seasonings

Add shredded chicken to the pan and toss to coat in the seasonings. Turn heat to medium-low and simmer until any excess moisture is absorbed.

seasoning chicken

Remove from heat and keep warm.

 

Place butter in a clean skillet and heat over medium-high heat until melted. Swirl until bottom of pan is thoroughly covered. Place one tortilla in pan. Top with ½ cup seasoned shredded chicken mixture and ½ cup shredded cheese. Add fresh cilantro and diced jalapeno peppers, if desired.

tortilla topped with chicken and cheese

Distribute ingredients evenly and place second tortilla on top. Carefully flip once the bottom tortilla turns golden brown.

Once both sides are browned and cheese is melted, remove from heat and slice into 8 wedges. Serve immediate with fresh salsa, guacamole, sour cream or pico de gallo. You can even have them with a side of refried beans.

Plated Chicken Quesadillas

 

SRandM: Wow this looks delectable Norma. I am really hungry now, should we have some.

Norma: sure, why not.

SRandM: So what do you have for us next time Norma.

Norma: How about Classic Margaritas on the Rocks, and since watermelon seasoning is coming, I will make some Watermelon Aqua Fresca.

SRandM: How do you say Aqua Fresca in English Norma?

Norma: Oh yes, Aqua Fresca is fresh water.

SRandM: Great we look forward to that. To all our readers, we hope you return here tomorrow May. 7,2014  to see how Norma will prepare beverages from the Tastes of Mexico.

Link Here: Wonderful Beverages From Mexico

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

This recipe only takes a couple minutes to put together and costs less than buying pre-packaged taco seasoning. It also has less salt and no artificial additives or preservatives.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in an airtight container and shake well to combine. Use 2 – 3 tablespoons per pound of ground beef (use more or less according to individual taste preferences).

This recipe can also be made in larger batches. Store unused amounts in an air tight container for up to 6 months.

Link Here for next post with Norma: Wonderful Beverages From Mexico

 

What Others are saying About Quesadillas and Mexican Food:

Mexican Huevos Divorciados

Huevos Divorciados

Mexican cuisine is a mix of indigenous Mesoamerican cooking with European, especially Spanish, elements added after the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in the 16th century. The basic food ingredients remain the same, or what is native to the culture, such as corn, beans and chili peppers, but the Europeans introduced a large number of other foods, which were meat from domesticated animals (beef, pork, chicken, goat and sheep), dairy products (especially cheese) and various herbs and spices.

With the introduction of the chicken, came the egg and in turn the modern day breakfast that is called Huevos divorciados, which  is Spanish for divorced eggs. It’s a breakfast mostly found in Mexico City and features two fried eggs separated by a column of refried beans. In some homes of Mexico they will replace the beans with chilaquiles. Typically, one egg is covered in salsa roja or red salsa, while the other is covered in salsa verde or green salsa.

Here is what you will need for the featured recipe:

½ cup avocado oil – smoke point 500 degrees- (you can use vegetable oil, but is high in omega-6 which is inflammation causing to the body, olive oil has a low smoke point -350 degrees-)

2 corn tortillas

2 large eggs

¼ cup green salsa

¼ cup red salsa

½ cup pinto or black beans, cooked

step by step Huevos Devorciados

Place a small frying pan on medium high and heat oil. With a pair of cooking tongs dip tortillas one at a time to fry, but not crisp; about 1 to 1 ½ minutes. Allow oil to drip off and place onto plate. Allow tortillas to overlap each other.

Remove all but a small amount of oil from pan. Return pan to heat and crack both eggs into pan. Place lid over eggs and cook sunny side up style; about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn eggs onto tortillas, making sure egg is lying in center.

Next spoon beans over top of eggs, also centering the beans over the eggs. On one side of the beans, spoon on the red salsa. Next spoon the green salsa on the other side.

Recipe is for 1 swerving. Follow the instructions doubling ingredients to serve 2.

 

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