Archive for the 'Soups & Stews' Category

Feb 15 2010

Pork Ancho Mole

Published by under Recipes,Soups & Stews

This was my first attempt at making a Mexican mole. I was trying to find dried Ancho chillies for a while now and was surprised to find them at our local grocery store in the Mexican foods aisle. I have seen Bobby Flay use it in quite a few recipes on the Food Network and I just had to give them a try.

I cannot say that it was authentic, but it sure tasted good. The Ancho chillies impart a dark red color to the mole. It complemented our Mexican menu for the super bowl party that we had with family. I managed to save some for the picture before it was all gone. If you love Mexican food, you have to give this a try. It tastes better the longer it sits!

You can substitute chicken instead of pork and a dark chocolate for the Mexican chocolate.


Pork Ancho Mole

5 dried Ancho chillies
2 pounds pork, cubed
1 large onion
1 jalapeno
5 cloves of garlic (with peels)
1 quart chicken stock
1 ounce Mexican chocolate
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
4 medium plum tomatoes
1 tsp cayenne
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp canola oil
about 2 cups hot water

Peel and cut the onion into wedges. Place them on a sheet pan along with the tomatoes, jalapeno and garlic. Roast at 425 degrees F for about 30 minutes or until they are charred at the edges. Allow to cool. Peel the garlic and the tomatoes. Blend the onions, tomatoes, jalapeno and garlic with 1 cup of the chicken stock. Season with salt. Meanwhile soak the Ancho chillies in hot water for 30 minutes. Remove the stems and seed the peppers. Blend the peppers with a couple of ladles of the soaking water.

Season the pork with the ground cumin, coriander, cayenne, salt and pepper. Heat a cast iron pot on high heat and add the oil. Add the pork in one layer and brown both sides. You can do this in two batches if the pork does not fit in the pot in a single layer. Lower the heat to medium and return all the pork to the pot. Add the onions and tomato mixture to the pot. Stir, scrapping the bottom of the pan to pick up the drippings. Cover and cook until it starts bubbling. Add the ancho chilli paste, chocolate and the remaining the chicken stock. Season with salt. Cover and let cook for about and hour on low heat or until the pork is cooked and falls apart with a fork.

Garnish with cilantro and lime. Serve with rice or warm corn tortillas.

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Jan 17 2010

Chicken and Tomatillo Stew (Pollo Verde)

Published by under Recipes,Soups & Stews

I had always wanted to try and use tomatillos because I love their tangy, fresh flavor. So when I saw tomatillos at the farmers market last weekend I went ahead and bought some to make some salsa verde (Green Salsa). The week went on and I didn’t get around to making the salsa. When Friday came and I was clearing my refrigerator I saw the tomatillos sitting there and thought I would make a stew using some chicken and the tomatillos. The salsa verde would just have wait until another day, maybe superbowl?

The stew turned out great. I loved the tangy taste the tomatillos impart to the stew. It is the kind of dish that tastes better the longer it sits. It reminded me of the green curry chicken that my mom used to make, using a lot of cilantro. My big B (brother) used to call it the “Military Curry” because of its color :).

Chicken and Tomatillo Stew

1 and 1/2 pound of chicken breast cut into chunks (you could use bone-in chicken as well)
1 pound Tomatillos
1 large onion diced
1 cup cilantro, chopped
3 large cloves of garlic
1 jalapeno
1 and 1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper
1 and 1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp canola oil

Remove the husks from the tomatillos and wash them under cold water. Cover the tomatillos with some water and cook the on medium heat until they change color. The tomatillos will turn from bright green to a khakhi. Seed and chop the jalapeno. In a blender, blend the tomatillos, water, cilantro, jalapeno,salt and garlic.

Heat a cast iron pot on high heat and add the oil. Add the chicken in one layer and season with salt, pepper and 1 teaspoon cumin powder. You can do this in two batches if the chicken does not fit in the pot in a single layer. Brown the chicken on both sides and remove from the pot. Lower the heat to medium low and add the onions to the pot. Season with salt, pepper, the remaining cumin powder and the oregano. Stir, scrapping the bottom of the pan to pick up the chicken drippings. Cook for about 15 minutes until the onions are softened. Add the chicken back to the pot along with the chicken stock. Cover and let cook until the stock comes to a boil. Add the tomatillo sauce and cook covered for another 30 minutes on low heat, stirring ocassionally.

Serve with rice or warm corn tortillas.

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Dec 06 2009

Roasted Vegetable Soup

Published by under Appetizers,Sides,Soups & Stews

The first snow of the season calls for some comforting soup. There is nothing better then curling up with a warm blanket, a good read and some hot soup on a cold snowy day. So when the weather guys predicted snow for Saturday I got the soup pot out and made this wonderful fall soup.

This soup is made with root vegetables, but any leftover vegetables in the fridge would do. I had some leftover parsnips, sweet potatoes and rutabaga from Thanksgiving. Root vegetables have a longer shelf life and can last for days if stored in a dry place.

Ultimate Double Chocolate Cookies
4 slices of center cut bacon (optional and can be replaced with 2 Tbsp of olive oil)
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1 medium onion diced
2 stalks of celery diced
1 large carrot diced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 medium red skinned sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 a medium rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tsp fresh thyme
2 tsp fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 Qt chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Salt & pepper

In a large bowl toss the parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, rutabaga, salt, pepper and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Spread them on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 1 hour.

In a large pot add the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil (leave this out if you are not using bacon and use the 2Tbsp olive oil to replace the bacon) and the bacon(cut into 1/4 inch strips). Cook on medium low heat until the bacon has rendered its fat. Remove the bacon and reserve on some paper towels for garnish later. Add the onions, celery, carrots, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves and cook until the vegetables are tender(about 15 minutes). Add the roasted vegetables and the chicken stock and cook covered for another 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and using an immersion blender, puree the soup to desired consistency. Add more chicken stock if you want the soup to be thinner. You can blend the soup in a regular blender as well, but be sure not to overfill the blender jar and allow the soup to cool a little.

Garnish the soup with the bacon bits and some chives or green onions.

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