March 21, 2010

Sopa de Tortilla



This recipe is so easy it's ridiculous. But who cares about easy if it doesn't taste good? Don't worry, this soup--with its medley of textures and flavors--won't disappoint.

Sopa de Tortilla is mainly a soup of garnishes. The soup itself is quite simple, and each guest can customize their portion. I would say onion, cilantro, avocado and lime are not optional, but do as you'd like!

Tortilla Soup

Soup:
4 skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 lbs)
1 can (14.5 oz) reduced sodium chicken broth
1 jalapeño, diced (with seeds for more heat, don't worry--the broth will be strained)
6 corn tortillas (not flour)
2 T canola oil
salt

Garnish:
1 c shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
4 large scallions
1 green bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, diced
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
1/2 cilantro sprigs
1 lime cut in wedges

Preheat oven to 400.

In a large pot, bring chicken, broth, jalapeño and 8 cups water to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate to cool. Reserve broth.

Brush both sides of tortillas with oil, stacking them as you work. Cut the stack in half and then slice cross wise in half-inch strips. Spread the strips evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown, tossing occasionally.

Using a large spoon, skim the fat from the surface of the broth. Strain the liquid through a sieve into a clean pot. Shred the chicken with your fingers (removing any fatty bits). Return the chicken to the broth. Stir in about a teaspoon of salt or to your taste. Gently heat if needed.

To serve: Divide soup among bowls. Place garnish out in small dishes and allow each person to top their soup according to their own taste.

Serves 4. Chicken can be cooked up to a day ahead; store chicken and cooking liquid separately and shred the chicken just before serving.

March 09, 2010

One Lucky Lemon


These mini cakes deliver big lemon flavor with only one lemon! If you are a lemon lover, you have to try this recipe.

Lucky Lemon Cakes
adapted from Everyday Food

1/2 c unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 c low fat buttermilk or low fat plain yogurt (I used yogurt)
1 t vanilla extract
finely grated zest and juice of one lemon, plus approximately 1 T for glaze (I used only 1 lemon)
1 c sugar
2 eggs
approximately 3/4 c powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Grease the mini muffin tin or use baking cups.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, vanilla and lemon zest and juice.

With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light. Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of the buttermilk mixture.

Divide evenly among the muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes in the tin and then transfer to wire rack.

Mix powdered sugar with up to 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. It can be a thin glaze or a thick icing--up to you! Once the cupcakes are completely cool, add glaze and let set for 30 minutes.

You can also make these as regular sized cupcakes or jumbo cupcakes--just adjust the baking time.
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