I guess neither one of us realized how much California and the Hispanic culture and foods had influenced us. (Just in case anyone was unsure, we are not at all Hispanic, we just love the food!) When Rob was telling me the story I had the same reaction he did, "What?" and "Oh man, they don't know what's good out here!" The guys at his work talk about eating deer and other things we'd never think of trying. Okra, what is it? It's some sort of vegetable right? I guess you don't realize the small cultural differences in our own country, even in food, unless you go new places! I don't think I'll be eating deer (or alligator or squirrel or anything else that I don't think is "normal") any time soon.
Since Cinco De Mayo is coming up I thought I'd post this recipe. This was the first dinner we made in our new house. Rob loves this Chicken Tortilla Soup and it's pretty easy to make, which makes me happy.
I plan to enjoy a few margaritas on Cinco De Mayo. I just realized our blender is in storage, looks like someone's going to have to buy one! Mmm, I could go for a margarita right now!
Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 whole chicken
3 cans (15 ounces each) chili beans, do not drain
1 can (15 ounces) corn, do not drain
1 can (15 ounces) whole tomatoes
1 small can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 package of taco seasoning mix
5 cups water
10 corn tortillas (more or less, depending on how many strips you want)
Canola oil (or whatever you like to fry things in)
Sour cream, optional
Boil chicken in enough water to cover. Cook chicken one hour, or until done. Remove chicken from water. Allow chicken to cool. You could also bake the chicken or use a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. Once chicken is cool remove meat from bones and break meat up into bite-sized chunks.
For tortilla strips:
I cut the strips using a pizza cutter before I start the soup. I add about an inch or two of oil to the pan. Heat the oil while soup is cooking. Add a handful of strips to the oil, cook until crispy, about 3-5 minutes. Drain on a paper towel, sprinkle with salt.
Add chili beans, corn, whole tomatoes and tomato sauce to pot. Do not drain any liquid from the cans, add it all. Add water and taco mix. Cook soup over medium heat, once soup is boiling add chicken. Cook for 5-10 minutes.
Top each bowl of soup with tortilla strips and sour cream (if desired).