Monday, November 17, 2014

Mexican Soup with Homemade Tortilla Chips

Last week I was at a new restaurant in Edmonton called Rostizado, which is a Mexican rotisserie place with great ambiance and amazing food.  Surprisingly enough, we did not try the rotisserie (next time), but we did try a deeply flavourful Aztec soup.  Ever since that night, I have been craving a soup as soulful as that one was.  This recipe is not a reproduction of Rostizado's soup, but it is a comforting bowl of Mexican flavours that warm the heart and the soul on a cold winter's day.

Serves 8.


2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 yellow onion, quartered
2 serrano or jalapeƱo peppers, halved and seeded
8 large tomatillos
3 cloves garlic
10 skinless chicken thighs
15 oz crushed tomatoes
6 cups chicken stock
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
3 bay leaves
juice of half a lime
3 cups hominy, corn, black beans, or a combination of these
2 avocados, chopped
a handful of fresh cilantro or flat leaf parsley
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepper

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 fresh corn tortillas
sea salt


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Toss onion, tomatillos, and peppers in 1 Tbsp of oil and roast on baking sheet for 25 - 30 minutes turning halfway through cooking.

3. Combine roasted vegetables with garlic and 1 cup of chicken stock and puree in a blender or food processor.

4. In a 6 quart slow cooker, combine skinless chicken thighs, blended vegetables, crushed tomatoes, remaining 5 cups of chicken stock, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and bay leaves.  Cook on low for five hours.

5. Add hominy (or corn or beans) and lime juice and cook for an additional 30 minutes.

6. Remove the chicken from the cooker and shred using two forks.  It will be very tender and fall apart.  Return it to the soup.

6. Serve soup with avocado, cilantro, and tortilla chips.  Enjoy!

For the tortilla chips:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Brush corn tortillas with oil.

3. Cut tortillas into strips, place on baking sheet, and sprinkle with salt.

4. Bake for 6-8 minutes.

Shopping Tips:

1. Hominy is a white corn that is treated with lime and salt.  It is chewier and starchier than regular corn.  It can sometimes be found in regular grocery stores, but I buy it at the Mexican grocery store a block from my house.  If you are not using hominy in this recipe, use half corn and half black beans.

2. Fresh corn tortillas will be found in the deli section of the grocery store.  They are very different from the flour tortillas in the bakery section.  If you would like to make homemade tortilla chips, simply cut them in quarters.  They are great with salsa.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Green Onion Cakes

I've always loved green onion cakes, so imagine my surprise when I learned that there is a crusade to name them Edmonton's official dish.  Several years ago, I was also surprised to learn that they are made in the same way as cinnamon rolls.  In fact, you might even call them Chinese cinnamon rolls, except that there is no cinnamon... or sugar... or butter...

Anyway, they are quick and easy to make and taste great.  I topped mine with pulled pork and kimchee for a kind of Korean carnita, but they are great just dipped in sambel  olek and soy sauce, too. You can make these with green onions or leeks.  You can also add fresh herbs such as rosemary, oregano, or thyme.

Makes 16 - 20 cakes.


3 cups flour
2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups boiling water
one bunch green onions, slices and dried
peanut oil (or other cooking oil)


1. Mix flour, salt, and water together with a fork.  Knead for a few minutes until it comes together into a soft ball. Place back into the bowl.

2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 - 60 minutes.

3. Divide the ball into quarters.  On a lightly floured surface, roll one quarter into a circle, brush with oil, and sprinkle with green onions.

4. Roll into a log with the green onions on the inside (just like you would for cinnamon rolls).

5. Cut the log into five pieces and pinch the ends shut.

6. Place each roll on its pinched end, and smush with the palm of your hand (yes, smush is an official culinary term).

7. Using a rolling pin, flatten each cake until desired thickness.

8. In a frying pan on medium-high heat, warm 2 tsp oil.  Fry cakes until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.  While they are cooking, roll the rest of the cakes.  Enjoy!