Friday, November 26, 2010
Sopa is a spanish word that causes some confusion, because it's used slightly differently in different regions of the spanish-speaking world.
It sounds like soup and doubtless the words come from the same origin. Sometimes it is used for "soup", but more often it is some kind of starch (bread, tortillas, rice, or pasta), cooked in a broth or liquid.
Hence, "sopa de arroz" is the ubiquitous tomato-y rice pilaf that is served with all "Mexican Plates".
In other parts of Texas you wouldn't call this sopa, you'd call it enchiladas, or some kind of King Ranch Casserole, but I prefer the word Sopa, and I like my sopa to be very simple and minimal. I exclude a lot of Tex-Mex add-ons, such as other vegetables or lots of herbs and spices, such as cumin. There is just way too much cumin being tossed into "Mexican" food, IMO. Ditto for cilantro.
We always have so much white turkey meat left over, this is a wonderful way for me to use it up. So here is how we make ours, and of course you can do this with chicken as well.
I usually use Long Green Chile, but this time of year the long green is too flaco, so I'm using Poblanos. They are always gorgeous.
I learned at A Little Cup of Mexican Hot Chocolate that if you boil your chiles first, the skin comes off easier when you roast them, so I do that.
Then I spray them with a little oil and put them under the broiler, which is quicker for me than over the flame, but you don't get as much of that wonderful smell in the kitchen!
Into a baggie they go to steam and cool off.
Then I peel and de-seed them, and it really works better using a paper towel and a little sharp knife than under the tap.
Grate the cheese, Monterrey Jack. I guess this is about 2 cups.
Put 2 cans of Cream of Chicken Soup into the blender with about a cup of milk and 2 poblanos. Blend that up good.
Assemble your ingredients:
Turkey, Cheese, Chiles, Soup, and of course, Corn Tortillas. Salt and Pepper.
Layer 1: tortillas
Layer 2: turkey meat
Layer 3: chile strips
Layer 4: cheese
Layer 5: soup
Continue until you have used up your ingredients or filled your dish. I like to finish up with a big layer of cheese.
Of course, you need some beans to go with this meal. To me, this is one of those "comfort" foods that always makes me feel better. Must be all the carbs! Or the chile.