Home is Where the Kitchen Is

It's been a while since I've been able to cook anything. For me, cooking is a creative outlet and a way for me to clear my head. So tonight, although still not fully unpacked in my new home, I decided to - no, needed - to cook a dinner for myself. In honor of my new neighborhood, it had to be Mexican influenced. So after a quick trip to El Guero, my new neighborhood supermercado, I decided on a tortilla soup with a nice cheesy quesadilla to dip in the savory broth.

Side note regarding El Guero itself. I've never seen so many limes, avocados, bags of dried beans, and peppers in one place. Heaven! The strange part is in the back of the store is a deli which sells the meat and cheeses separately. You have to wait in a separate line and pay separately. And I definitely need to brush up on my Spanish as I had a few communication issues here. Regardless, a great store with lots of fresh produce and cilantro by the bushel.

So back to dinner.

For the soup, I basically did a vegetable broth, although you could easily substitute chicken stock, and added some Carne de Soya. I found the bag of dehydrated soy "chicken" strips at El Guero, much to my delight (many of you are aware of my fondness for fake meat). I tossed a few handfuls in and before you know it, I felt more at home than I had in weeks.
Carne de Soya Tortilla Soup
3 cups of Carne de Soya, chicken, or other delicious fake meat
vegetable or chicken broth
1 tomatillo
1 zucchini
3 tomatoes
1 Spanish onion
hot sauce of your choosing
sumac, coriander, cumin
handful of cilantro
tortillas, avocado, sour cream and queso blanco for garnish

1) Rehyrate the Carne de Soya in a bowl of lukewarm water for about 15 minutes. Add to broth and start to simmer

All the little soy meats go swimming!

2) Add diced onions and tomatoes. Clean the tomatillo and finely dice, along with the zucchini. Add to broth and continue to simmer.
3) Cook until the vegetables are tender. Add coriander, cumin, sumac, hot sauce, salt, black pepper, handful of cilantro, diced.
4) Ladle into bowls and garnish with lots of crispy crushed tortillas, sour crema, and crumbled cheese

Enjoy with a hopefully un-burnt quesadilla...

(I'm obviously still learning the heat settings on my new stove)

Stay tuned for a post from Kate and I about our recent night o' gluttony. And check out links for my new friends at Chicago Gluttons and Blue Kitchen. Some great photographs and writing on both sites.

1 comment:

jed said...

a good quesodiller supposed ta have a lil crunch, lil miss.