I have written a number of blog posts in the last few days, so be sure to check them all (I think I've written about seven in a week with four more to go). Also, comment if you have anything to say :) I wrote this whole blog and then it disappeared, so it might be short. I hate re-writing when things poof.
I decided to actually made a cohesive meal--Josh and I had a Mexican food night. We tend to eat a main entree and no side dishes which is not the best way to eat.
I adore tortilla soup in general, and since I had a boatload of chicken stock, I decided to make TJOC's version--Tortilla soup (p. 132). The first step is toasting a jalapeno or two and some garlic in a dry pan on the stove. Joy says this will only take ten to fifteen minutes but it took at least twice as long for me. Why does nothing cook more quickly? Everything I make seems to take longer than TJOC says it will.
I forgot to take pictures for the entire middle of this recipe but the jalapeno and garlic need to chopped in a food processor or blender. I didn't want to dirty my little food processor so I decided to use the immersion blender--a lifesaver! A big can of tomatoes was then added--although TJOC says to drain the tomatoes, I didn't because I didn't read that sentence until it was too late. I didn't think it would matter (and it didn't matter).
At the same time, in the soup pot, I sauteed onions in a little olive oil. A few cups of stock and the tomato mixture were added.
I couldn't imagine ruining homemade tortilla soup with store-bought chips so I whipped up a plateful of tortilla chips. I may have eaten a few too...
The tortilla chips were mixed into the soup, cooked a few minutes, and the soup was done. I put a little shredded Monterrey Jack cheese on the top.
DELICIOUS! But really really spicy. I can't imagine using two jalapenos when just one made the soup incredibly hot. The leftovers heated up extremely well. It was so good that just writing this blog is making wish I had another bowl...
I thought Refried beans (Frijoles refritos) (p. 254) would go well with tortilla soup. I like refried beans but have never been particularly motivated to make my own. The first step is heating up some fat--either vegetable oil, bacon drippings, or lard. Might as well make it lard since I had some in my cupboard.
I added chopped onion and garlic to the delicious lard.
It's a rather strange system--add one cup of black or pinto beans (I used canned black beans), and smash smash smash. Then add the next cup and smash smash smash. A couple more times and it looks like refried beans.
There was a confusing part of the recipe--TJOC says not to drain the beans if they are canned, so I didn't. Then it says to stir in one cup of reserved bean cooking liquid or water. I didn't have any cooking liquid because I didn't drain the beans. Do you think I should have added in a cup of water? I didn't and the beans seemed okay.
There is nothing attractive about refried beans but they were really good. Josh pointed out that they were strong and they were--I assume that is a combination of using black beans instead of pinto and all that garlic and onion.
Because I had such a big batch of refried beans, I decided to make both Bean burritos (p. 103) and Chicken burritos (p. 104). They are easy--take a flour tortilla (burrito sized), smear some refried beans on it, add some cheese, and roll it up.
To make it a chicken burrito, add chicken (obviously) and slightly less refried beans:
Heat them up in the oven and serve them. They were good--I think the burritos were way better with homemade refried beans than they would have been with canned beans. If you used canned beans, a rotisserie chicken, and bagged shredded cheese this recipe would take about a minute to throw together. The burritos heated up really well, which is great because eight burritos is way more than we can eat in a sitting!