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Chicken Tortilla Soup “Mariana Style”

Chicken-Tortilla-Soup-'mariana-style'`Yes,-more-please!

In this global world we are living, what is authentic anyway?…

I think as I get to know more people from different backgrounds, cities, expatriates, cultures, beliefs, culinary eccentrics, purist, creators; the more I conclude that authenticity is not a place, a language, a heritage, a culture, or a belief.
I think authenticity comes from within. Who you are at this right moment, in this place and at this time; and the one that you want to become…. that’s authenticity for me.

It reminds me of a monolog phrase in the movie “All about my mother” from Almodovar’s
and one of the characters in the movie quotes the following:
“… because you are more authentic the more you resemble what you’ve dreamed of being” – “La Agrado’s” monologue (All About My Mother) Almodovar.

And you are wondering what does this has to do with tortilla soup?,
In the culinary world, I’ve always questioned myself about  what is considered an authentic dish? Perhaps it is the dish that resembles more to the people who created it?
For example, If you are from Mexico; is the soup that your grandma prepares more authentic, than my grandma’s soup?.. No, I really don’t think so.
I believe you embrace the flavors that make you happy and satisfy, that make you re- create a memory a flavor, an aroma and you create the soup you want to eat and share with your loved ones… It will be hard to imagine Mexican grandmas cooking for the authenticity sake! I believe you can cook along the way with tradition and make it your own with a few touches.

In this Chicken Tortilla Soup, I wanted to evoke the aromas, textures, flavors, freshness, from the cooking style in Guadalajara, Jalisco the city I’m originally from. This soup re-creates a little memory of my home city, easy on the condiments and full of flavor…
I hope you like the soup as much as I do. So let’s cook!. Enjoy.

Chicken-Tortilla-Soup-'mariana-style'ingredients

Chicken Tortilla Soup “Mariana Style”

Serves 4-6

For the chicken stock:

1 whole chicken 3.5-4 lbs. I’m in love with the chickens from Smith & Smith Farms
1 medium size with onion
2 carrots
2 celery stalks
1 roma tomato
1 head of garlic
3-4 sprigs of thyme
2-3 sprigs of fresh oregano
1 teaspoon dry epazote or mint
1 tablespoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 ears of corn- cut the corn of the cob
(my preference is white corn if I can find it, but yellow is ok too)

For the sauce:

2-3 dry Pasilla chiles slightly toasted
4-6 dry Guajillo chiles slightly toasted
1-2 dry Arbol Chiles slightly toasted
4 Roma tomatoes
¼ piece of onion
1 garlic clove
4 tablespoons of corn or sunflower Oil
Salt and pepper.

4-5 cups Chicken stock previously made… or the best option you have available.

Garnish with

8-10 Corn Tortillas cut into 1/2-1/4” wide strips.
½ to ¾ cup Canola Oil

1 ripe avocado, cut in slices or cubes
1 cup queso fresco crumbled
½ cup Mexican style crema or Creme fraiche
½ cup diced onion
2-3 Limes
2-4 dry Arbol Chiles toasted with a little bit of oil, until they look dark. (see photo below)

 

Preparation:

1. Start by preparing your chicken stock on a 7-8 qt pot. Place the whole chicken and add all the stock ingredients, add water enough to cover the chicken. Bring to boil and then lower down the heat to a slow simmer cover with a lid and cook for about 45 minutes.

Chicken-Tortilla-Soup-'mariana-style'

2. Mean time slightly toast your chillies on a pan, small comal or cast iron pan.
3. In a small pot boil the toasted chillies and the tomatoes.
4. Once they are soft, place the chillies, tomatoes, onion & garlic into a blender or food processor and puree.
5. Using a strainer, strain the chilli puree to eliminate the seeds and pieces of skin. (see picture below)

Chicken-Tortilla-Soup-'mariana-style'how-to-make-the-broth

6. Cut and Fry the tortilla strips. Once fried place them on a plate with a paper towel to remove the oil excess. Sprinkle with salt while they’re warm.

Chicken-Tortilla-Soup'Mariana-Style'-frying-tortilla-strips
7. Check on your chicken stock, the broth should look translucent, no foam on the top, vegetables soft and onion translucent, chicken fork tender. If it is done remove at least 4 cups of chicken stock and strain. Take out the chicken, place it on a bowl and cover with some aluminum foil wait a bit until ready to handle, remove the skin and shred the chicken.
I usually use about ½ a chicken to serve 4. you can save the rest for tomorrow’s enchiladas…hehehe
8. In a medium size pot add 4 tablespoon of canola, or sunflower oil, once is rippling hot add your chilli-tomato puree, and cook the sauce in medium low for about 4-5 minutes.
9. Add chicken stock, and corn kernels season with salt and simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
10. Taste the soup for salt and paper.

Chicken-Tortilla-Soup-'mariana-style'_making-the-soup

11. Chop and prepare your garnishes

Chicken-Tortilla-Soup-'mariana-style'-Garnishes
12. Serve on a deep bowl place the shredded chicken 2 to 3 ladles of the chilli broth place a good handful of the fried tortilla strips, and garnish with the cream, crumble cheese, avocados, and some of the chile de arbol fresh or toasted with a little oil for more heat.

 

Chicken-Tortilla-Soup'Mariana-Style'-close-up

Chicken-Tortilla-Soup'Mariana-Style'-bowl~yes,-more-please!

Chicken-Tortilla-Soup'Mariana-Style'-ready-to-eat~yes,-more-please!

ENJOY!!!

Smith&smith-chicken I’m in love with the chickens from Smith & Smith Farms, it is a small family operated farm, they specialize in  pasture raised meats that are hormone and antibiotic free. They  raise Dorper Lambs, all different breeds of laying hens, Cornish Rock meat chickens, Red wattle hogs, and Broad Breasted White Turkeys. All of the animals on their farm are free range and roam around every where! They are all as happy as can be, and you can taste the happines when you cook them. Delicious!

If you live in Austin, check their website for hours and farmers markets locations at: http://smithandsmithfarms.webs.com

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Pulled Pork Tacos & Hatch-banero Mango Slaw

Pulled-Pork-Tacos-&-Hatch-banero-Mango-Slaw-Green-Tomatillo-and-Avocado-Salsa-~Yes,-more-please!

I consider myself a part-time vegetarian but every now and then my carnivorous side knocks at my door. In this case I was craving for a good fresh pork taco. This is an lengthy description right?    Good – fresh – pork – taco? Let me explain myself. “Good”: high quality meat well prepared and well seasoned. “Fresh” : I make it from scratch no short cuts. I want something that is really gonna satisfy my craving. I could go to buy a taco but its better when you make them. Its easy to follow these few steps and….. Done! The formula is ready so you can have the best tacos in town, because you made them!
Being from Mexico, its been hard for me to find good tacos in town (how come something so simple can get so screwed up at the restaurants?). I think the best ones I had here in Austin were prepared in my kitchen. Why? Not because I’m a taco genius, its do to a simple easy equation: handmade tortilla + quality meat cook properly + fresh salsa = the best taco. Want to make fresh corn tortillas?… check our step by step tutorial click here.

In this case, this is more like an adaptation taco recipe, I used the pork shoulder, or pork butt, because its a good substantial cut of meat. It has a balanced percentage of fat and meat and is great for braising. Yes I wish I could have a copper pot with a huge wooden spoon and cook the pork in hot lard (like carnitas style) and also a huge powerful vent in my tiny kitchen for the smell to go away!. Yes, I love tacos but the smelly vapors in my house? Not so much. Therefore I’m using my handy dandy slow cooker. I place a little table outside in my patio and leave it there for about 3-6 hours, depending on how many lbs. of meat I’m cooking. The result is the neighbors want my fork tender juicy meat. (See pictures below). Its such a great method because it allows you to go to work come back with dinner ready! If you are planning a dinner party its also a really easy one pot wonder, everybody happily assembles their tacos.

In this case I wanted to make some sweet and sour cole slaw instead of the traditional cilantro and onions or pickled red onions. I added some mango for sweetness and spicy hatch chilies.For the salsa I used creamy avocado and green tomatillos to balance the acidity from the spicy mango slaw (as I’m writing my mouth is watering). These are good fresh pork tacos to me, for now let the pictures do the talking…
This is three recipes in one all fairly easy considering the pork cooks by itself, a Taco Feast that will satisfy any crowd… Enjoy!

Pulled-Pork-Tacos-&-Hatch-banero-Mango-Slaw-crowd-pleaser-how-to-make-tacos~Yes,-more-please!

Pulled Pork Tacos & Hatch-banero Mango Slaw

Serves 6-8 mexicans, 8-12 americans, 12-16 french.

Ingredients:

3-5 lbs pork shoulder or pork butt roast
1 orange ½ juiced the other half cut in thick slices
4-6 garlic cloves
½ medium size onion cut into thick rings
2 bay leaf
1 teaspoon of whole black pepper corns
6 whole cloves
2 tablespoons of dry chile powder
1 tablespoon dry mexican oregano
2 tablespoons of sea salt
2 red habanero peppers
3/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ cup water

Preparation:

On the bottom of the slow cooker sprinkle some salt , half of the pepper corns, half cloves, 2-3 crushed garlic cloves add vinegar and water. Remove some of the excess fat then place the pork roast in the slow cooker. Sprinkle all the rest of the aromatic ingredients on top, add onion rings, orange slices, chili powder, brown sugar, red habanero peppers, garlic cloves. Cover with a lid and follow the instructions for your slow cooker. I cooked this amount of meat in 4 hours (the 3 first hours in high, the last hour on low). Cook until the center of your meat reaches 145F / 62C measured with a meat thermometer. Once your meat is ready turn off the slow cooker and let it rest for about 30-45 min.
Remove all the topping spices and pieces of orange, onion and bay leaf. Transfer the meat into a bowl, and then proceed to fish out all the peppercorns and cloves once you remove all the aromatics, Remove some of the extra fat, but not too much (Leave some for flavor). Place the meat back into the juices and with the help of 2 forks start shredding the meat. It will be easy since the meat has been cooking for so long. Leave it in the pot to keep it warm.

Pulled-Pork-Tacos-&-Hatch-banero-Mango-Slaw_Pork-cooked_step-by-step~Yes,-more-please!

On the bottom of the slow cooker sprinkle some salt , half of the pepper corns, half cloves, 2-3 crushed garlic cloves add vinegar and water. Remove some of the excess fat then place the pork roast in the slow cooker. Sprinkle all the rest of the aromatic ingredients on top, add onion rings, orange slices, chili powder, brown sugar, red habanero peppers, garlic cloves. Cover with a lid and follow the instructions for your slow cooker. I cooked this amount of meat in 4 hours (the 3 first hours in high, the last hour on low). Cook until the center of your meat reaches 145F / 62C measured with a meat thermometer. Once your meat is ready turn off the slow cooker and let it rest for about 30-45 min.
Remove all the topping spices and pieces of orange, onion and bay leaf. Transfer the meat into a bowl, and then proceed to fish out all the peppercorns and cloves once you remove all the aromatics, Remove some of the extra fat, but not too much (Leave some for flavor). Place the meat back into the juices and with the help of 2 forks start shredding the meat. It will be easy since the meat has been cooking for so long. Leave it in the pot to keep it warm.

Spicy Hatch & Habanero Mango Cole Slaw

Serves 6-8
Hatch-banero-Mango-Slaw-~-Yes,-more-please!

Ingredients:

2 cups or ½ small size red cabbage
4 cups or ½ medium size green cabbage
1.5-2 cups 1 big mango 2 medium size peeled and medium diced
3 green onions finely chopped
½ red onion finely chopped
¼ cup cilantro finely chopped
1 Hatch pepper seeded and finely chopped* ( you can replace the hatch for fresh jalapeños )
1 red habbanero pepper seeded and finely chopped*
*Rub a little canola oil in your hands specially your finger tips before start cutting the peppers, this will help avoid burning your hands.

Vinaigrette:

1/3 cup of canola Oil
½ cup of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon of dry oregano
½ teaspoon of celery salt
½ lime juice
½ lemon juice

Preparation:

In a large bowl whisk all the vinaigrette ingredients. Add the 2 types of cabbage and the rest of the chopped ingredients. Mix well set a side let it get happy for about 20-30 minutes.

Mango_ColeSlaw_02

Green Tomatillo and Avocado Salsa

Pulled-Pork-Tacos-_Green_avocado_Salsa-how-to-make-~Yes,-more-please!

Ingredients:

6-8 Small fresh green tomatillos
2 hatch peppers roasted skinned and seeded
1 ripe Hass avocado
3-4 cilantro sprigs
juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup of water
salt and pepper to taste

Method:

In a stand blender or using a hand blender, puree all ingredients until smooth and creamy consistency. Adjust for salt and pepper.

Pulled-Pork-Tacos-_Green_avocado_Salsa-~Yes,-more-please!

How does all this work together?…

Place everything on the table like a buffet style, warm up your tortillas, keep the shredded pork warm on the slow cooker, cut some extra limes, some Cholula red sauce, or any of your preference. Layout the coleslaw, the green avocado salsa and let everybody assemble their own tacos. Open a cold bottle of amber beer like Victoria (this beer is from Mexico but now available in Austin!!!) squeeze a lime juice and Salud!…Share with friends!

Pulled-Pork-Tacos-&-Hatch-banero-Mango-Slaw-~Yes,-more-please!

Pulled-Pork-Tacos-&-Hatch-banero-Mango-Slaw_bite!--~-Yes,-more-please!

Enjoy!

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