Chicken Tamale Soup

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Well another day without school brought me to my favorite cookbook in all the land, Fresh, the one from Lake Austin Spa. By the way, Kara is headed there this weekend with her mother and sister in tow, at least she plans on it if the weather will break. It's amazing, literally amazing, that I had the ingredients for this recipe in my pantry after getting in late Saturday night from Hot Springs and running the Burns Park 15K that morning. In other words, I haven't been to the grocery store since last Thursday. Anyhow, I love, love this recipe. I had time on my hands, even though I got the opportunity to keep Whit and Stella, my fabulous nephew and niece, today. They are so easy, they played while I made this soup that features tamales topped with cilantro and feta cheese. It was really good and I look forward to getting into this soup later in the week.

Chicken Tamale Soup (Fresh cookbook, Lake Austin Spa)

1-1/2 C. masa harina de maiz
1/4 t. salt
3/4 c. warmed chicken stock, I used chicken broth
3 T. light butter, I used 4 T. real butter, dang it
6 oz, skinless chicken or turkey, shredded, I cooked 4 thighs in the microwave, then shredded them
1/4 C. red or green salsa, homemade or commercial, I used Pancho's mild
1/2 C. diced carrot
1/2 C. diced onion
1/4 t. dried oregano, I used 1/2 because I love oregano
1/2 t. ground cumin
1 garlic clove minced, I used 2
3 C. chicken stock, I used broth
1/2 C. diced tomatoes undrained, I used stewed tomatoes
1/4 C. tomato puree
1/4 C. diced zucchini, I did not have this
1/2 C. corn
1/2 C. chick-peas, garbanzo beans
1/2 t. adobo paste from canned chipolte peppers
1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro, I used 1/2 C. because I had it and love, love it
3 T. feta cheese
4 lime wedges, I skipped this

Combine the masa, salt and 3/4 c. stock in a large bowl. Whip the butter in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy (this is a good technique). Mix the butter into the masa dough. Divide and spread the masa onto 8 8X10 aluminum foil sheets and top each with chicken. Using the foil as a guide, fold the tamale lengthwise, shaping the packet with your fingertips, until the filing is completely enclosed. Fold the foil to seal the tamale, first along the long side, then folding in the ends to form a packet. You should have enough filing for 8 tamales. Steam the tamales in a steamer set over boiling water for 1-1/2 hours.

Heat a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the carrot and onion and cook until the onion is soft, covering the pan. Add the oregano, cumin and garlic and saute for a few minutes. Add 3 C. stock and bring the mixture to a simmer and cook 15 minutes. Add the tomato, tomato puree, zucchini, corn, chickpeas and adobo paste and simmer for 10 minutes. Unwrap the tamales and place 2 in each of 4 wide bottom bowls and ladle soup over top. (I don't have wide bottom bowls so I did one tamale and topped with soup, feta and cilantro). Garnish with cilantro, feta and a squeeze of lime juice. I also added dashes of Tabasco on mine.

The beauty of this recipe is that I just did tamales last week so I knew a little about how to get them rolled and what to expect. I loved this recipe, Jackie just smirked when he decided he didn't want another bowl. I think he needs alligator in his tamale instead of a chicken.

On Monday I did try the Fresh Cookbook recipe for Red Lentil Soup and again, it was very good. This cookbook is so fabulous, encouraging low-fat choices and other "fresh" ingredients.

I added a pic of Chloe on top of her snowman with Whit and Stella, we made that snowman the day before, fun times at Birdeye!