Friday, March 2, 2018

Soyrizo Bean Sopes { #Lenten #Recipe }

Have you ever had sopes from your local taco shop? They’re a thick tortilla, anywhere from a 1/4-inch to 3/8-inch thickness, with a crispy outside and a soft middle. These babies are then smeared with a good portion of refried beans and are topped with shredded beef or chicken or any number of guisados (stewed meats or vegetables). 

Did you know they’re super easy to make at home? 

Today, I’m sharing another inexpensive lenten meal favorite, vegetarian-style. Soyrizo Bean Sopes. This soyrizo beans recipe is adapted from a chorizo beans recipe I grew up on. They're my dad's version of frijoles charros (charros is slang for cowboy so this translates to cowboy-style beans). Traditionally, frijoles charros also has bacon and weiners. Don't ask me why. They just do. Dad's didn't. I'm glad for that. 

I'm forsaking a post filled with photos for a video tutorial on technique firstly, because I think it's easier to show you how to make the masa in a video over photos. Secondly, I'm off to a food styling workshop by the incomparable Denise Vivaldo this weekend and need my beauty sleep as it's in Los Angeles and I'm going to have to make the 2 1/2 hour drive up north in the rain at 5 a.m. on Saturday morning to be there in time for the 8:30 am check-in.

I'm tired already thinking about it! Wish me luck!

As for the video, I'm still trying to figure out my style and format. I'm a one-woman show so they take me longer to do than if I were to have someone shooting the video and then have an experienced video editor doing the post, so please bear with me.

If you do like this video and find it useful, I'd love it if you could subscribe to the YouTube channel for Confessions of a Foodie, hit the bell icon so you can be notified directly when new videos go up and leave me a comment if you'd like to see something from my archives turned into a cooking video.

Until next time friends … xo, ani

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Soyrizo Bean Sopes
Mexican sopes are a handheld street food typically piled high with meat. We're making these soyrizo bean sopes vegetarian for a satisfying Lenten or vegetarian meal. Masa harina is an instant corn masa flour not to be confused with corn flour/meal used to make cornbread or polenta. Those products are made from dried corn that has been ground. Masa harina is maize (field corn) that has been treated with lime and water, made into a dough, then dehydrated and made into a flour for tortillas or tamales depending on the consistency of the grind. Queso fresco is a soft Mexican farmer's cheese. Feel free to substitute with feta, or your favorite farmer's cheese.

For the masa
  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt)
  • 2 ½ cups very warm water
  • oil for frying
For the filling
  • 5 ounces soyrizo
  • 1 16-ounce can pinto beans, do not drain
For the garnish
  • 1 cup shredded iceberg
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • ½ lemon freshly squeezed
  • salsa, to taste
Add the masa harina to a large mixing bowl. Pour in 1 ½ cups of very warm water to start. Using your hands, mix in the water until it’s thoroughly absorbed. Continue adding water, about a ¼ cup at a time, working the water in, until there is no more loose flour on the bottom of the bowl and the dough holds together. Test the dough by rolling a small amount in your palms to make a smooth ball. Flatten between your palms. If the sides of the disk has cracks in it, you’ll need to work in a little more water, a tablespoon at a time until the dough is smooth, pliable and resembles a play dough-like texture. Cover with a damp paper towel then seal the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to rest. Add 1 teaspoon of cooking oil to a hot skillet. Once the oil is hot, add the soyrizo. Cook for five minutes, stirring to keep it from sticking or burning. Remove 2 tablespoons of the liquid from the can of pinto beans then add the beans to the pan. Stir to heat through. (We removed some of the liquid because we want our beans creamy, not soupy.) Using a potato masher, give the beans a mash. I prefer not to over-mash, leaving some beans whole for added texture but you can mash more or less to taste. Lower heat to a medium low and allow to simmer for five minutes. Then remove from the heat and set aside.Roll the masa into a log about 10 inches long. Using a bench scraper or knife, divide the dough into 8 pieces. Roll a piece of the dough into a smooth ball. Place the ball of dough on a sheet of waxed paper. Press down a little to flatten slightly then cover with another sheet of waxed paper. Place a plate on top and press down evenly and firmly to create about a ¼-inch thick patty. Remove from the wax paper and use your thumb to smooth out the edges by pressing your thumb into your index finger, creating a squared off edge. Work your way all around the patty. Return the now flattened dough to the bowl and cover with a clean dish towel to keep the dough from drying out. Repeat with remaining dough.
Heat up a skillet or griddle, preferably cast iron. Once the griddle is hot, add two of the tortilla patties to the griddle. Keep the heat at about medium. We don’t want the griddle so hot that the outside of the patty burns before the inside has a chance to steam and cook. After about 6-8 minutes, check the patty. You want it to just be turning a medium to dark brown and the edges should be looking a little dry. Flip them and repeat this cooking process on the second side. If you have multiple skillets going, or a large two-burner griddle, this cooking process will go much faster as you can cook more at the same time. As the patties are cooked, place them in a bowl and cover with a clean, kitchen towel to keep warm.
While the tortilla patties are still hot but cool enough to handle, create a “crust” that will keep the toppings from sliding off, by using your thumbs and index fingers to pinch the edges up firmly, creating a little ridge on surface facing up. It's like crimping a pie only you're not getting fancy by scolloping, you're just creating an elevated "wall'. Return the patties to the towel covered bowl as you finish crimping them to keep them warm.Heat a skillet on medium-high. Once hot, add enough oil to cover the bottom, about ⅓ of a cup or so. When the oil is hot, carefully add the tortilla patties to the skillet, no more than three at time so you don't lower the oil temperature. Fry for about 3-4 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown. Remove to a towel-lined pan and continue frying until all the patties have been fried.
In the meantime, add the sour cream to a small bowl. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon. Stir until smooth; set aside. To assemble the sope, spread two tablespoons or so of the soyrizo beans onto the tortilla patty. Top with some queso fresco. Add lettuce. Drizzle on sour cream, to taste. Then add salsa, to taste. Garnish with another hit of queso. Serve immediately.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8 sopes

Friday, February 23, 2018

Musacaa - Egyptian-Style Stewed Eggplant with Chickpeas { #Lenten #recipe }

My favorite color is purple. Have I mentioned that to you before? 

Equal amounts of high energy red and calming stable blue, it's a well balanced, luxurious color. 

And it's the color of one of my favorite vegetables.

Eggplant is often described as having a creamy texture with a meaty flavor. But really, it all depends on the preparation. I have recipes here on this site that includes breading in panko and parmesan and shallow frying for a satisfying "steak" alongside a salad. I have it baked and stuffed. Or breaded, fried, and layered between cheese and tomato sauce. I have it thinly sliced, baked and rolled around pesto covered angel hair pasta and slathered in a chunky tomato sauce. 

All of these are good, dare I even say, great. 

But then I tried musacaa. 

Of course, it wasn't called that when I ordered it. Allow me to rewind a bit.

Several folks at work banded together a few years ago to sign up for an office lunch meal delivery service. Usually, I skip it because it's often pasta or overly bready sandwiches or, ew, sushi. But a few times a month, it's Mediterranean/Turkish/North African and I will partake.

Back in October, on a particularly chilly day, an offering on the delivery service included a vegetarian dish which they called moussaka. I was intrigued because every Greek moussaka dish I had ever had always contained meat so I assumed this would be layered eggplant and potatoes minus the meat but still topped with the traditional thick layer of Béchamel sauce. I was wrong.

When it arrived, it was this ridiculously smooth, luxurious concoction of chunky roasted eggplant, tomatoes and chickpeas with no potatoes, no meat, no Béchamel in sight. It was also heaven in a bowl and I had to learn what it was and how to make it at home. STAT.

Several weeks of research later, the closest I came to figuring out what I actually had (because remembering the name of the restaurant and calling them to find out was just too logical and would, of course, begin with remembering the name of the restaurant. Duh.), I discovered was most likely the Egyptian version of moussaka called musacaa (I also found variant spellings of it as mesa'a'ah and misa'a'ah).

The dish I had was definitely not spicy so I didn't include hot peppers in my version. It did have hints of warming spices in it, which I include. Also, the main theme of all the versions I found was to separately deep-fry the onions, the eggplant, the peppers and generally bathe everything in copious amounts of olive oil. And, yes, I know, eggplant fried in tons of olive oil is definitely a thing of beauty but in no scenario can that ever be called healthy.

I found a version that is the main source of my adaptation which calls for a method that I already employ often when cooking eggplant: lightly oiled slices of eggplant get roasted in place of frying. Plus, the onions and peppers are sautéd instead of getting deep fried. I've added chickpeas for protein and added fiber. Besides, I love chickpeas. I love the name. I love saying the name. Chickpeas. So much sexier than saying 'garbanzo beans'. I mean, really, am I not right?

I think this is my new favorite way to eat eggplant. I hope it becomes yours, too.

Until next time, friends. Peace and good health... xo, ani

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Musacaa: Egyptian-Style Stewed Eggplant
A healthier, non-spicy version of this Egyptian dish subs out deep-frying eggplant for roasted eggplant. The addition of chickpeas adds protein. Served over your favorite grain, this makes a great meatless meal.
  • 2 - 2 ½ pounds globe eggplants (about 2 large), sliced into ½-inch thick rounds
  • olive oil, as needed
  • sea salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound vine ripened tomatoes, sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds
  • 1 large onion, diced (about 2 ½ cups)
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground clove
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups tomato puree (I like Italian style 'passata")
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 (16 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
For serving
  • cooked rice, quinoa or couscous
  • chopped cilantro
  • warmed flatbread
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush three sheet pans with olive oil. Arrange sliced eggplant in a single layer on pans. Brush with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Flip slices and repeat oil and seasoning. Working in batches if needed, roast the eggplant in the oven for 24 minutes, flipping once halfway through roasting so both sides get evenly browned. Remove from oven and set aside.While the eggplant is roasting, prep the rest of the vegetables, slicing the tomatoes, dicing the onions and peppers. Also, add the cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, clove and sea salt to a small bowl; set aside. Mince the garlic; set aside.Place a stockpot on medium low heat. Once hot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and swirl to coat bottom of pot. Add the onions, stirring every 45 seconds for 15 minutes or until the onions have evenly caramelized to a light golden color. Don't rush this by turning up the heat; you need to cook them slowly so they release their natural sugars. Once the onions are a light golden brown, pour in a ¼ cup of water to deglaze the pan and continue to cook for 5 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Toss in the bell peppers, stir, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Clear the center of the pot and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Toss in the garlic and spices and stir continuously for 30 seconds before adding the tomato paste; stir to incorporate. Pour in the tomato puree. Fill the empty jar with water to almost full, cap and shake, then add to pot. Pour in the 3 cups of water and stir in the chickpeas. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove all but 1 cup of sauce from the pot to a large bowl or container. Place a single layer of eggplant in the pot. Add a ladleful of sauce to cover. Next add a layer of tomatoes and cover them with a ladleful of sauce. Continue layering, alternating between vegetables and sauce until all are in the pot. Simmer on low for 30 minutes. Serve over your favorite cooked grain with flatbread and garnished with chopped cilantro.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 servings

Friday, February 16, 2018

Dad's Tuna Patties in Spanish Sauce { #Lenten #recipe }

Lent always reminds me of my childhood. We didn't grow up eating fish. It's why I am, at 51 years of age, still learning to appreciate seafood. Even when we went fishing with Dad, we went for the one-on-one time we had with him, certainly not for any caught fish. If we did catch anything, Dad would clean it and cook it for him and mom to enjoy while us kids got hot dogs, which was fine by us.

The one exception to this "we don't like fish" rule was tuna. And every year at Lent, Dad would make his Tuna Patties with Spanish Sauce. It was the only time he made it and every year we looked forward to it. It's total comfort food, filled with the flavors of my childhood: tomatoes, onions, cilantro, bell peppers –– a classic mix of Mexican ingredients that are the basis for so many different dishes.

Over the years, I tried replicating Dad's recipe. And every year, I'd wind up with scrambled eggs with tuna. I simply couldn't get them to hold together. The flavor was pretty much there but obviously, my technique was lacking.

A few weeks ago, I called my Dad and shared with him my past fails. I told him I wanted to share the recipe on the blog but I've never been able to make it like he did. He agreed to teach me. So on a mid-Sunday morning the weekend before last, I stopped at the store to pick up some tomatoes and headed over to my parent's house. Dad already had the mise en place set, minus the tomatoes I had in hand. I quickly made notes of his quantities of ingredients (like most cooks, Dad doesn't measure, he just chops, slices, dices and adds a little of this and a little of that which makes jotting down his recipes challenging).

Then he got to the eggs. Here is what I was missing. I simply scrambled the eggs and added them to the tuna.

"No, no, no," Dad said. "You have to whip the eggs and yolks separately."

"Oh, you mean like chiles rellenos?" I asked.

"Exactly. You're making a batter so you also have to add a touch of flour to it to help it adhere to the tuna, " he added.

Of course! Lightbulb moment. Why hadn't I ever thought of that? We continued with the lesson. When the patties were all made and the sauce ready, he fried up some eggs. Mom came downstairs to join us in the kitchen and we each had a plateful, our heads swirling with memories, our stomachs satiated.

Thanks, Dad!

Watch me make it below:

Until next time, friends. May your memories be good ones and your hearts always filled with love. xo, ani.

Keep scrolling for printable recipe.

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Tuna Patties in Spanish Sauce
Perfect for Lent, this recipe for tuna patties is bathed in a classic Spanish sauce filled with some of the classic flavors of Mexico.

For the patties:
  • 1 (12 oz) can chunk light tuna in oil or solid white albacore in water
  • 3 scallions, green stalks only, finely sliced
  • ½ small onion, finely diced
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped cilantro (¼ bunch)
  • 1 large roma tomato, finely diced
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt (or ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Oil for frying
For the Spanish sauce:
  • ½ cup thinly sliced green bell pepper
  • ½ cup thinly sliced white onion
  • 1 large roma tomato, finely diced
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 ⅓ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Knorr Chicken bouillon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon whole dried oregano
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped cilantro
Place the tuna in a fine strainer over a bowl to drain while you chop your ingredients. Once your ingredients are chopped, place the tuna in a mixing bowl. Add the scallions, onion, cilantro, tomato, pepper, salt and lemon juice to the bowl and mix well to combine. Set aside.In another bowl, using a hand mixer, whip egg whites to soft peaks. Add the flour and continue whipping to stiff peaks. In a small bowl, hand whisk the yolks until thickened. Add two spoonfuls of the egg white into the yolks bowl and carefully stir to combine well. This loosens the yolks and will make it easier to fold them into the whites. Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold the yolks into the bowl with the whipped egg whites until mostly combined. Fold in the tuna mixture. Heat a skillet on medium heat. Add ¼ cup of oil. Once oil is shimmering, carefully add about ⅓ of a cup of the tuna to the pan and spread out to form a patty about ½ inch thick by about 3 inches in diameter. Add no more than three at a time to the pan so as to not lower the heat of the oil. Fry until golden brown on both sides then remove to a paper towel lined plate. Continue until all patties are cooked, adding more oil as needed. Batter should yield 8 patties.To make the sauce, wipe out the skillet with a paper towel and return to heat. Add a tablespoon of oil. Once shimmering, sauté the peppers and onions for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and simmer for two minutes. Pour in the water and bring to a soft boil. Stir in the bouillon and pepper. Put the oregano in the palms of your hands, rub your hands together to crush the dried herb into the pan. Stir in the cilantro. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes. Taste sauce, add more bouillon if it’s not salty enough.To serve, either add the patties into the sauce or plate the patties and spoon sauce over them. Serve with rice, beans and tortillas, if desired.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 servings

I decided that instead of doing Meatless Monday posts during Lent like I have in the past, I would share Lenten-friendly recipes on Fridays. These will include completely vegetarian dishes to dishes like today's that incorporate some form of seafood (since fish is the only animal protein allowed during Lent). I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I enjoy sharing them!

In the meantime, here are a few more Lent appropriate recipes for you to try: (click on names to go to recipes)

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Chicharrones en Salsa Roja (pork rinds in red chili sauce) #Recipe

{a breath}
The phone ringing finally got me out of bed. It was a Friday. I don’t have to be at work until 11 a.m. on Fridays so I usually have a bit of a lie-in.

“Ani?” It was my niece.

“Hi sweetie, what’s up?” She was at the market in my neighborhood, just a few blocks from the house.

“I want to make breakfast for Grandma. Do you know what kind of salsa Grandma likes for chicharrones?”

I rattled off a couple of brands and 15 minutes later, she was knocking at the door.

“What a nice surprise. Does Grandma know you were coming over?”

“No,” she answered. She had just been over a few days earlier in the week to help my grandmother with a few things.

My niece said she had sensed that Grandma was feeling a little lonely during the day and wanted to come spend time with her when there was nothing that needed to be done other than just have breakfast and listen to her share her stories. Sweet, right?

It was also quite coincidental as just two weekends before I had made chicharrones for this post and had finally found something that piqued my grandmother’s tastebuds. She hadn’t been eating much but managed to polish off half the leftovers herself.

Chicharrones in a red or green salsa is a really common dish in most Mexican households. My parents made it frequently when I was growing up as it’s a filling and economical dish to make, especially for a household with five kids. Even though it’s a super common dish, you’d be hard pressed to find it served at a taco shop or even at a sit down Mexican restaurant. When I had my friend Joanna over to help me make it for this post, she even commented that she hadn't heard of this dish but after seeing how easy it was to prepare and tasting it for the first time, felt it was a kind of “food for the soul” – meaning, a simple comfort dish that one would find in the kitchen of someone's home not on a menu in a restaurant. I couldn’t agree more.

My parents used regular pork rinds that you can find in the chips section of nearly any major grocery store ($2 a bag!). I prefer the smaller, curly chicharrón botanero you can find at an ethnic market. This variety isn’t light and airy like the national brand varieties but are thicker, harder and some pieces may retain pork belly meat. This recipe made with this kind of pork rind makes for a chewier, more satiating eating experience once it’s stewed in the salsa. But certainly if you don’t have access to a market that sells Hispanic foods, regular pork rinds will work just fine.

Today I’m sharing my version in an easy homemade red salsa. I also have a salsa verde variety waiting in the wings that I’ll probably share after lent. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this look into a traditional Mexican meal. I’ve made it into tacos here serving them on corn tortillas, but you can eat it over rice and beans. This also makes for an excellent breakfast paired with a fried egg and fresh tortillas.

Until next time friends ... xo, ani

{the recipe}
Scroll to end for printable recipe.

Start by prepping the onions. Finely dice half a large onion. From the remaining half, slice off about a ½-inch thick slice. Set both aside.

Next, wash and dry two dry California chiles (guajillos would work well, too). Trim off the stem and cut down one side lengthwise to open and get access to the seeds and veins.

Remove the veins and scrape out the seeds. Fill a small sauce pan with water and bring to a boil.

Heat a griddle or cast iron skillet on medium-high heat. Once the griddle is hot, place the chiles on the griddle and toast about 30 seconds on each side. The chiles will start to deepen in color. Don't walk away. You don't want the chiles blackened as they will burn easily and become very bitter. Remove the chiles to the boiling water. Cover, turn off heat and allow to steep while you prep the tomatoes.

Add the tomatoes, onion slice, serrano chile pepper and garlic cloves to the hot griddle. Cook until mostly charred, flipping the vegetables as needed to ensure even charring. The onions and garlic will be the ready first. Remove them to a blender jar.

As the tomatoes blacken up, remove them to the blender jar, as well. Add the chiles and about a 1/4 cup of the chile steeping water. You might have to work in batches. Here, we added half the tomatoes with all the ingredients, blended until smooth and then added the rest of the tomatoes.

Be sure to remove the top round part of the lid and cover the hole with a kitchen towel before blending.

Next, heat a 12-inch skillet to medium heat. Once hot, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add in the onions and sweat until translucent. Stir in 1 tablespoons of powdered chicken bouillon (I use Knorr).

Pour in the blended salsa.

Let simmer on medium-low for 15 minutes.

Working in batches, add in the pork rinds. Simmer on medium-low for 25 minutes.

Optionally, stir in a half cup of chopped cilantro just before serving.

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Chicharrones en Salsa Roja (Pork rinds in red chili sauce)
This is my version of a very traditional Mexican dish. "Chicharrones en salsa" varies slightly from family to family but the heart of it remains the same. Pork rinds are stewed with chili peppers and fresh tomato sauce until tender. They can be served in tacos, burritos, over rice and beans or served with a fried egg for breakfast.
  • 1/2 large onion, plus a 1/2-inch thick slice, divided
  • 2 dried California chili pods, or sub guajillo
  • 1 pound roma tomatoes
  • 1 serrano chili pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon Knorr chicken bouillon
  • 12 ounces chicharron botanero, or regular pork rinds
  • To Serve
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • warm corn tortillas
  • queso fresco, crumbled
  • lime wedges
Finely dice onion; set aside. Bring a small sauce pan of water to a boil. Wash and dry chili pods. Trim off the stem. Slice open and remove seeds. Heat a griddle or cast iron skillet to medium-high heat. Toast each chili pod for 30 seconds on each side, remove them to the boiling water. Cover pot, turn off heat and allow to steep so they soften.Place the slice of onion, garlic, and serrano chili pepper on the hot griddle. Char on all sides, removing them to the blender when ready. Add the tomatoes to the hot griddle. Char and blister on all sides, adding them to the blender once charred. Add the now softened California chili peppers to the blender and a 1/4 cup of the steeping liquid. Blend until smooth. (Work in batches if needed.) Heat a 12-inch skillet to medium high heat. Add oil. Once shimmering, add the diced onions and sweat until translucent. Stir in bouillon. Pour in the tomato chili mixture and simmer on medium-low heat for 15 minutes to thicken and develop flavor.Stir in the pork rinds, working in batches if needed, until all are coated in sauce. Allow to stew for 20 minutes. Taste and add more bouillon if needed. Stir in the chopped cilantro. Serve in warm tortillas with queso fresco, more cilantro and a squeeze of lime, if using.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 servings

Monday, January 29, 2018

How to Make Caldo de Res, a Mexican Beef Vegetable Soup { #video }

Even when it isn't chilly out, I often go searching for a bowl of something comforting and nourishing. I'm one of those people who can eat soup for lunch or dinner pretty much any time of the year. One of my favorites is a soup I grew up on, it's a beef vegetable soup called caldo de res.

The recipe is pretty basic but, like most dishes, every family puts their own spin on it and this dish in particular is very customizable. In fact, I have three different versions I make; the one I'm sharing today is the most basic of them but nonetheless deserving of a place on your table.

It starts with the meat.

I like to use a meaty cut and it can be an inexpensive one. Today, I'm using chuck. Then there's the bones, a necessary component to any good stock and a crucial part of caldo de res. I've added a package of just plain beef soup bones I picked up at my local grocer to accompany my meaty chuck steak but you can also use beef shanks or short ribs.

There are classic vegetables that go into this soup: onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, corn on the cob, squash.

The variables include green beans, chayote (a pear-shaped squash popular in Mexico) and cabbage, to name a few.

Today's recipe includes all these except for the cabbage, mostly because I tend to use cabbage when I make the caldo with a guajillo chile base.

I filmed the last time I made this soup to make it easier for you to follow along with this super easy recipe. It's a little long, but I wanted to show you every step. Here's the video:

I plan on doing more of these kinds of videos to post to YouTube, including for recipes already up on this site. Let me know in the comments if there's a recipe in my catalog that you'd like me to walk you through.

Until next time, friends, be safe and ¡buen provecho! xo, ani

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Caldo de Res (Mexican Beef Vegetable Soup)

A comforting and nourishing bowl of vegetables and beef soup to chase the chill away. This is my version of this classic Mexican soup.


For the broth:
  • 2 pounds chuck steak
  • 2 pounds soup bones
  • coarse sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ medium onion, cut in two
  • 1 carrot, peeled and halved
  • 2 celery ribs, halved
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, de-seeded if less heat is desired
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • ⅓ bunch cilantro
  • water to cover
  • coarse sea salt, to taste
For the soup:
  • 2 ears corn, cut into thirds
  • 4 small red potatoes, halved
  • 4 small Mexican squash, ends trimmed, halved lengthwise
  • 2 chayotes, peeled, halved length-wise, then halved again
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and quartered
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed, longer beans halved
  • salt, to taste
For the marinated onion garnish:
  • ½ medium onion, thinly sliced
  • pinch of sea salt, or to taste
  • pinch of freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • juice of half a freshly squeezed lime
For garnish:
  • chopped cilantro
  • lime wedges
Optional garnish:
  • ½ cup cooked Mexican-style rice, per serving


Cut steak into 2-inch chunks, trimming away excess fat and any visible gristle. Generously season the steak and soup bones with salt and pepper. Add the steak, bones, onions, carrots, celery, jalapeño, bay leaves, garlic, cilantro, and salt to a large stock pot. Fill with water to cover meat and vegetables by 3 inches. Cover pot, put on stove at high heat and bring to a boil, then lower heat to maintain a slow simmer. After the first 20 minutes, skim off the foam and impurities that float to the top. Continue skimming every 20 minutes for the first hour of cooking.

Periodically check the stock pot, adding more water, if needed, to keep the water about 3 inches above the meat.

While the meat is cooking prep the soup vegetables as noted in the ingredients list.

For the marinated onions, place the thinly sliced onions in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the juice of half a lime; set aside.

When the meat has been simmering for 2 hours, start checking for doneness. Once the meat easily pulls apart with a fork, remove the now exhausted stock vegetables and discard. Add the corn; cover and cook for 15 minutes. Add the potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes; cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the tomatoes and a ladle of the broth to a blender and set aside for now. Add the squash, chayote, and green beans. Taste soup and adjust seasoning. Cover and continue simmering. Blend the tomatoes and broth until smooth. Pour the tomatoes back into the pot, passing it first through a sieve; discard anything that remains in the sieve. Cover pot and simmer until chayote is fork tender. Serve immediately, garnishing with the marinated onion, chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Optionally, add ½ cup cooked Mexican-style rice to each bowl.

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 servings