Tag Archives: Sour Cream

Heirloom Tomato, Cheddar and Bacon Pie

 

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Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck, 2013

Southern Living Magazine raised the ante on classic tomato pie with a sour cream crust studded with bacon, layers of colorful tomatoes, and plenty of cheese and herbs to tie it all together. Nobody wants a soggy tomato pie, so for best results, seed the tomatoes and drain the slices before baking.This recipe is a bit time consuming and may take up to three hours to prepare,  but it is sure worth the effort!

RECIPE BY SOUTHERN LIVING
June 2013

Serves 6 to 8 

Ingredients:
For the Crust:
2 1/4 cups self-rising soft-wheat flour , such as White Lily®
1 cup cold butter, cut up
8 cooked bacon slices, chopped
3/4 cup sour cream

For Filling :
2 3/4 pounds assorted large heirloom tomatoes, divided (*See Cook’s Notes)
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) freshly shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons fresh dill sprigs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 scallion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons plain yellow cornmeal

Directions:
Prepare Crust: Place flour in bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer; cut in cold butter with a pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles small peas. Chill 10 minutes.

Add bacon to flour mixture; beat at low speed just until combined. Gradually add sour cream, 1/4 cup at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

Spoon mixture onto a heavily floured surface; sprinkle lightly with flour, and knead 3 or 4 times, adding more flour as needed. Roll to a 13-inch round. Gently place dough in a 9-inch fluted tart pan with 2-inch sides and a removable bottom. Press dough into pan; trim off excess dough along edges. Chill 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare Filling: Cut 2 pounds of tomatoes into 1/4-inch-thick slices, and remove seeds. Place tomatoes in a single layer on paper towels; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Let stand 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Stir together Cheddar cheese, next 10 ingredients, and remaining 1 tsp. salt in a large bowl until combined.

Pat tomato slices dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle cornmeal over bottom of crust. Lightly spread 1/2 cup cheese mixture onto crust; layer with half of tomato slices in slightly overlapping rows. Spread with 1/2 cup cheese mixture. Repeat layers, using remaining tomato slices and cheese mixture. Cut remaining 3/4 lb. tomatoes into 1/4-inch-thick slices, and arrange on top of pie.

Bake at 425° for 40 to 45 minutes, shielding edges with foil during last 20 minutes to prevent excessive browning. Let stand 1 to 2 hours before serving.

 

*Cook’s Notes:
To learn more about how to seed and drain tomatoes, please see Tori Avey’s tutorial at the following link: How to Seed Tomatoes

And a method is briefly outlined below:

  1. Place your tomato on a cutting board, stem side facing up.
  2. Roll the tomato sideways so the stem faces to the right, and cut the tomato down the center “equator” line into two halves.
  3. Use a small spoon or a quarter spoon melon baller to scoop the tomato seeds and any tough white core out of the four seed cavities. Discard the seeds.

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Leek and Celery Soup with Bacon

Serves 8

Ingredients:

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 medium leeks, halved and thinly sliced
2 medium onions, finely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
12 large celery ribs (2 pounds), trimmed and thinly sliced
4 ounces bacon, finely diced
Three 1/2-inch-thick slices of country bread, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup  sour cream
1/2 cup chilled heavy cream (optional)
Lemon olive oil, for drizzling

Directions:
In a large saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Add the leeks, onions, garlic and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened but not browned, about 12 minutes. Add the celery and cook, stirring, until just starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add 8 cups of water and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to moderate. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender, 35 to 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to half of a paper towel–lined baking sheet to drain. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the bacon fat. Add the bread and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until browned and crisp, 8 minutes. Transfer to the other side of the prepared baking sheet; season with salt and pepper.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan, whisk in the sour cream and season with salt and pepper.

Beat cream in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until it almost forms soft peaks.

Serve the soup hot, topped with the bacon, croutons. whipped cream and a drizzle of lemon olive oil.

 

Cook’s Notes:
The soup can be refrigerated for 3 days. Rewarm before serving. Do not whip cream ahead.

 

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Chicken Tortilla Soup

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The origins of tortilla soup may be a mystery, but its intriguing  roasted flavors has long made it a favorite soup in my seasonal menu rotation.

Throughout my travels in Central America, I discovered that tortilla soup it’s self is not as ubiquitous throughout Mexico. The soup appears to have originated from  the home kitchens found in the very the center, around Mexico City.

As with any dish, there are a million and one ways to prepare it. Stock, meat, vegetables and spices vary according to region and period. The common thread for all recipes is the inclusion of crisp tortillas, Tortillas provide the grain component, commonly found in soups throughout the world. European soup grain equivalents are pasta, rice, barley, and dumplings. Food historians generally tell us soup is ancient. It is consumed by all segments of society. Recipes have been shared, imported, adopted and adapted whenever peoples of divergent cuisines meet. This explains why many of the ingredients listed in traditional Mexican Tortilla Soup are from the Old World. Tortillas are generally the most common food found throughout Central America.Except for the tomatoes, the other ingredients chicken, beef, onions, oil, spinach, salt, pepper and cheese are “Old World” foods introduced to Mexico by Spanish settlers. The use of tortillas, in this soup recipe, more likely descends from European practice of adding crisped bread to soup (think croutons & crackers) rather than ancient Mayan/Aztec  food customs.

The best guess any one can estimate the arrival of tortilla soup in the Unties States in or around  southern California, probably points to  Encarnacion Pinedo’s 1898 California cookbook “El Cocinero Espanol“. A version of the  dish also appears in “Elena’s Famous Mexican and Spanish Recipes,” first  published by Elena Zelayeta (1893-1974)  in San Francisco in 1944.

Most Americans became familiar with the dish after dining at Zona Rosa, a popular nightlife and restaurant district in Mexico City. Fonda El Refugio started serving authentic interior and coastal Mexican cooking to tourists in the 1960s.

In Southern California, tortilla soup has been in seasonal rotation on the Cafe Verde menu at the  Ojai Valley Inn & Spa since  longer

Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, 2015
Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, 2015

than anyone on the staff can remember. And  the soup started to appear in haute versions in other restaurants in the 1980s, when regional Southwestern flavors were championed by chefs such as John Sedlar.

As  the recipes evolved with time, Tortilla Soup, has come to be composed of  a tomato and chicken-broth based recipe topped with tortillas, is more closely aligned with authentic Mexican cuisine.

Although some will argue that authentic tortilla soup possesses certain characteristics, there’s no wrong way to make it. At its most fundamental, tortilla soup. Cooks may add what they wish-from bits of chicken and avocado to elegant squash blossoms and vegetables, especially tomatoes. Some purists insist that epazote, a Mexican herb, also is an essential ingredient.

Mrs.  Zelayeta,  was the doyenne of Mexican cooking in California, and in reviewing her recipe, below,  you will see it  is a simple combination of broth, tomato puree and tortilla strips, to which she added mint leaves.


content“Sopa de Tortilla (Tortilla Soup)”

4 tortillas
1/4 cup oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup tomato puree
3 quarts broth, chicken or beef
1 teaspoon cilantro (coriander)
Sprig mint leaves
Grated cheese

Cut tortillas into strips about the size of macaroni. Fry tortillas in oil until crisp, then rmove from pan and drain on absobent paper. Place in pot and add boiloing broth wich has been prepared in the following manner: Fry onion and tomato puree in the oil which was used in frying the tortillas. Add stock. Mash the cilantro, add a little broth, and strain into the stock Cook half an hour, adding the mint leaves during the last 10 minutes. Serve with grated cheese. Serves 6.”
Elena’s Famous Mexican and Spanish Recipes, Elena Zelayeta [Dettners Printing House:San Francisco] 1944 (p. 16)

Jaime Martin del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu of La Casita Mexicana in Bell, near Los Angeles riff on a classic central Mexican version by pureeing guajillo chiles along with tomatoes. They grind fried tortillas with the mixture too, which amplifies the corn flavor.

The version once served by Carlos Haro of Casablanca Restaurant in Venice, California was adapted from a recipe by cookbook author Alicia Gironella De’Angeli of Mexico City,  used roasted vegetables and chicken stock, lightly thickened with beans, is the base, then chopped cilantro, fried tortilla strips and raw onion are added to the broth, along with a garnish of cool queso fresco and crunchy roasted chiles.

I have also found that other  great versions of the simple soup was composed of spicy chiles, ground tortillas and roasted vegetables topped with crisp tortilla strips and cool strands of sour cream.

In my version of the soup, I added some roasted chicken to give it a little more body to it. If you do not have the time to roast a chicken, picking up a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket works great in a pinch.


Serves 4

Ingredients:
4-6  Roma tomatoes
1/2 large white onion, peeled
2 dried ancho chiles
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 cup tomato juice
3 cups chicken stock
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground dried ancho chiles, or more to taste
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded

Tortilla Strips:
Vegetable oil, for shallow frying
6 corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips

Garnishes:
Mexican sour cream or regular sour cream
2 avocados, peeled and diced into 1/2- inch cubes or slices
Queso fresco or mild feta, crumbled
Fresh cilantro. chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with foil. Lay tomatoes, garlic and onion on the foil Put baking sheet in oven and allow peppers to roast for 20 minutes. Remove baking sheet. Using tongs, tomatoes and onions a half turn, then place back in the oven for another 20 minutes. Turn off the oven and then add the chiles and them for a few seconds. Allow the vegetables to cool. Chop the onion and garlic.

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the garlic cloves and saute over medium-low heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon. Add the onion, chiles, white pepper, cumin, paprika, oregano and cooked chicken. Cook for 10 minutes.

Add the tomato juice and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.

For the tortilla strips: In a medium, heavy skillet, pour enough oil to reach a depth of 1/2 inch. Heat over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add the tortilla strips in batches and fry until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.

To serve, ladle the soup into 4 individual serving bowls. Serve with sour cream, avocados, cheese, tortilla strips, cilantro and lime wedges on the side.

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Cook’s Note:
Look for ground dried ancho chiles ,sometimes labeled pasillo, in the spice section of selected markets, especially in Latino markets.