Erica's Cocina

Lets have some fun making some AWESOME and authentic Mexican Food

Lentil Soup (Sopa de Lentejas) November 19, 2010

It’s a chilly day here in Southern California, so I thought, what better thing to warm me up than a nice bowl of Sopa de Lentejas, or in English, Lentil Soup. There are probably a million different variations to this recipe. But I particulary love this one. Bacon and lentils go sooo well together, they should be married! Growing up, during the winter months we ate tons of soups. I love soups, they have tons of flavors, textures, and they satisfy the most hungry tummies. They are also so easy to play with and  make them your own ;O)

Lately, when I am recipe testing I also read up on the history of whatever dish I am making, if there is one. According to Wikipedia, Lentil Soup was once considered a food for the poor. Hmmm, little did they know that what they were eating was not only economical but is packed with vitamins and minerals. So go ahead, save some money and enjoy a fulfilling bowl of this soup ;O)

 

Lentil Soup (Sopa de Lentejas)

Preparation Time: 10 minutes     Cook Time: 40-50 minutes     Serves: 4-6

 

Ingredients:


2 C. Dry Lentils

8 Slices of Center Cut Bacon

1/2 Onion

1 Garlic Minced

1 Jalapeno

2 Roma Tomatoes or 1 Large Tomato

2 Qt. Veggie or Beef Broth

1/2 Tsp. Cumin Ground

3 Cilantro Sprigs

 

Directions:

First off, you want to sort the lentils. Make sure to remove all debris that might have been left behind during packaging. Next, rinse the lentils under cold water until the water runs clear. Set aside.

Now for the chopping….

Chop the tomato into small dices.

 

Chop the onion into small dices.

 

Cut the bacon into small pieces.

 

Now lets get to cooking :O)

Add bacon to medium heated pot and cook until crisp. Takes about 5 minutes. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn. Once nice and crispy, remove and set aside in towels so they can drain. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings. This will give your soup TONS of flavor!

 

To bacon dripping add onion, garlic, and jalapeño. Sauté until onion transparent, 3-5 minutes. To the jalapeño, you want to do two little slits on it. Just enough to break the skin, but not slice through it. This will release the flavor without making it too spicy.

 

Add tomato and sauté until skin starts to loosen up, 3-5 minutes.

 

Add the reserved bacon and lentils. Stir until all ingredients are mixed together.

 

Add broth and cumin. Season to taste with salt if needed. Remember the broth already has salt in it so taste before adding some. I find many times, I don’t need to add salt. Bring to a rolling boil and reduce heat to low. Add cilantro, cover, and cook for 40-50 minutes or until lentils are tender. You will notice the fat from the bacon rise to the top during cooking. I usually remove this with a spoon half way though cooking and at the end. You want to have the bacon flavor but not all the grease ;O)

 

You are now ready to enjoy this delicious bowl of Lentil soup…

Buen Provecho!!!

 

 

Note: As mentioned earlier, there are tons of variations to this soup. You can easily make this a vegetarian dish by omitting the bacon, use olive oil to sauté the ingredients, and use veggie broth. Great add in are carrots, potatoes, celery. Go ahead and play with it. See what you come up with. One word of advise is when adding ingredients, make sure to chop them small. You don’t want them so big that they over power the lentils. Lets not forget, the lentils are the star of this dish ;O)
 

Frijoles de la Hoya (Beans in a pot) September 28, 2010

Frijoles de la hoya literally means, beans in a pot. You will find these beans in almost every Hispanic home. They are the foundation to an array of scrumptious dishes and they can also be enjoyed right out of the pot. I do this often ;O) Nothing better than a bowl of fresh frijoles de la hoya. When I was growing up, I could eat beans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner without any complaints. Once you have these freshly made beans, you’ll never go back to those can beans again, trust me. Buen Provecho!

Ingredients:

16oz or 2cups Dry Pinto Beans

8cups Cold Water

1 Garlic Clove

Salt

Directions:

Sort beans by removing any debris and cracked beans. Rinse under cold water to remove any dirt.

In a pot, add beans, water, and garlic.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cover. Let simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until tender.

Add salt to personal taste and let simmer for an additional 10 minutes so the beans may absorb the flavor. Make sure not to add salt before the beans are tender. Adding the salt before will not let the beans become tender. You will end up with tough skin. No bueno ;O) Remove from heat. Refrigerate unused portion.

Now that you know how to make your own awesome Frijoles de la Hoya, you can go on and make tostadas, sopes, refried beans, etc, etc.  The possibilities are endless!

BUEN PROVECHO!

 

Arroz Blanco (Mexican White Rice) June 12, 2010

This rice will compliment many main dishes perfectly.  It has a delicate buttery flavor that keeps you coming for more. I especially love this rice with Chiles Rellenos. You can also enjoy it with pork chops, carne con chile, chicken, etc, etc. With what ever you chose, I’m certain you’ll fall in love with this recipe.

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp butter

½ C Onion

1 C Rice

2 C Water

1 Tbsp Chicken bouillon

Directions:

Heat up small sauce-pot. Melt butter. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes.

Add rice and sauté for another 5 minutes.

Add water and chicken bouillon. Taste and add salt if needed.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Remove from heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes before serving.

This is the final product :O) Yummy in your tummy!


Buen Provecho!!!



 

Mexican Rice February 25, 2010

Filed under: Cooking,Side Dish — ericascocina @ 11:59 AM
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Ahhh, the Mexican Rice. My all time favorite. Goes well with most of our Mexican dishes. Mole, Chiles Rellenos, Carne con Chile, heck I even eat it alone. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. I think I’m gonna go have a bowl right about now.

Ingredients:

1 Cup white rice

1/3 Cup chopped onion

1 Garlic clove

1 Large tomato diced

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 Cups of water

1 ½ Tbsp chicken flavor bouillon

Directions:

Dice tomato and onion. Leave garlic whole. I like to put it in whole. Just make sure you take it out when rice is done so nobody bites into it :O)

Wash rice until water runs clear and set aside in colander to let dry. Chop onion and tomato. Set aside. Add a tbsp of olive oil to pan. Add rice and garlic clove to hot oil; cook until lightly browned in low/med heat. Add onion and cook until transparent.

Add tomato and cook for 5 minutes.

Add water and bouillon. Bring to boil and reduce to low heat. Heat covered for 20 minutes. This is what your beautiful and tasty end result will look like.

Buen Provecho!!

 

 
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