Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Soup and Porcupine Cookies

Happy 8th Anniversary Food ‘n Flix!

I truly heart Food ‘n Flix.  After the summer “intermission,” we are back at it and Heather, our intrepid leader and founder,  is hosting.   (I’m glad the hiatus is over.   I missed FnF!)  For the September round, we can choose any film from Food ‘n Flix’s archives, anything from the inaugural film Waitress (September 2010) to the most recent The Incredibles (June 2018).   It’s been a fun ride and along the way Food ‘n Flix has featured animated Disney films, documentaries, comedies, and drama.  (For a complete list, check this out.)

I love the creative outlet Food ‘n Flix gives.   I didn’t find FnF until April of 2012 so I decided to revisit a film from “before my time.”  (You can see all my Food ‘n Flix posts here.)

Tortilla Soup (from the May 2011 round) was hands down going to be it.

I loved the original version (Eat Drink Man Woman)  and the American comedy, Tortilla Soup, that followed in 2001.   Honestly, I can’t remember which film I saw first.   And most importantly, you see, Tortilla Soup (the recipe not the film) helped me win The Hubs’ heart.

I posted a recipe for my version of Tortilla Soup recipe way back in 2011 during our soup challenge.  So, I guess all the way around, this post is going to be retro to celebrate the 8th Anniversary of Food ‘n Flix!

Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Debra

This is a copy cat recipe I created inspired  from a now defunct local restaurant.  It is one of my recipes that is always evolving.

Ingredients

  • 4 T. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large jalapeno, seeded, de-veined and diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 T. flour
  • 1/2 t. freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 t. dry mustard
  • 1 t. dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 c. milk
  • 2 1/2 c. chicken broth
  • 1 can (15 oz) crushed tomatoes*
  • 1/4. c. chopped roasted Hatch chiles*
  • 2 c. grated colby/jack blend cheese
  • 2 c. cooked chicken, shredded or diced**
  • Optional garnishes: cilantro, extra cheese, guacamole, tortilla chips

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large sauce pan. Add onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, and garlic; cook until tender (around 6 minutes).
  2. Stir in flour, ground pepper, ground mustard, and oregano.  Heat until bubbly.  Slowly add milk using a whisk.  Whisk constantly.
  3. When milk has been incorporated, add chicken broth, and tomatoes and stir. Heat to boiling, continuing to stir often so mixture doesn’t scald. Boil and whisk 1 minute.
  4. Reduce heat and stir in cheese and chicken. Heat over low heat until cheese has melted. Remove from heat.
  5. Ladle unto individual serving bowls and garnish with a dollop of guacamole and a sprinkling of grated cheese. Serve with tortilla chips on the side.

*May substitute a can of Rotel.  I have even used a cup or two of picante sauce in a pinch.

**Leftover grilled chicken is the BEST for this.

Yield: 8

OK–I was in a pinch.  I usually use a can of Rotel (chopped tomatoes and green chiles) but my cupboard was bare.  I did, of course, have lots of frozen green chiles in the freezer and a can of crushed tomatoes.  It turned out OK but I had to reseason with more ground pepper.  

 

I had this planned from the start—that I would revisit my old Tortilla Soup recipe for this post.  Then I re-watched the film.   I had forgotten just how much food is in the movie.   I felt like a cop out, like I needed to try grilling nopales or roasting whole snappers.  (I didn’t see me being that ambitious.)

Instead, I decided to search for a recipe for porcupine cookies because as Martin presented them to April, I thought they were nothing like I had seen before.

Martin’s Porcupine Cookies

Based on recipe found here.

The Hubs was skeptical when I sent him for supplies but the apricots along with the chocolate give these quite chewy cookies a deliciousness that is amazing.

Ingredients

  • 1 c. pecans, chopped
  • 2 1/4 c. sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 (6 oz.) pkg. dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chips
  • 1 (7 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or use a nonstick pan.
  2. Place all ingredients in a bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the paddle until incorporated.
  3. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of batter for each cookie onto the lined cookie sheet.   I used a small cookie scoop.
  4. Bake 10 minutes or until the coconut turns very pale golden, being careful not to over-brown. Transfer to racks to cool.  (I transferred the entire silicon liner to the racks.  It was a bit easier to remove the cookies from the liner after they were cooled.)

Yield: 24-ish

These confections are divine.  They remind me of Hello Dollies, those bar cookies with coconut, chocolate and butterscotch chips.   But, these are better.  The recipe is super easy and I would like to experiment with other dried fruits like cranberries for a holiday twist.  You must try them (and you must use parchment paper or a silicon pad.)

I really wanted to catch all the food references, recipes and dishes from the film.  I am amazed that Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, the celebrity chefs that created the food and consulted on the film, have not printed a Tortilla Soup Cookbook.   I searched and could find no references.   If they haven’t, they should.

Here’s my list which is I know is incomplete and is probably inaccurate.  (I finally turned on the close captions so I could get some of the dishes’ names.)

 

Just from the first Sunday Dinner:

  • Peppers and tomatoes from the garden
  • Avocados
  • Roasted Peppers in the grill
  • Nopales
  • Red Snapper with orange achiote sauce
  • Banana leaves to slather on achiote sauce
  • Plantains
  • Squash blossom soup
  • Jalapenos
  • Black beans
  • Giant squash
  • A roasted tomato salad with red onions
  • Vanilla custard ice cream w/candied pumpkin

The restaurant crisis:

  • Belle Melange à la  Martin (salvaged bread pudding)
  • bourbon
  • “You are a Cuban who never learned to drink Tequila.”  (Martin to Gomez)

Breakfast:

  • Orange Juice
  • grapefruit
  • coffee
  • Coconut Flan

Carmen’s dish:  Tamarind glazed lamb on  cumin cabbage with tangerine  sauce (among other dishes I couldn’t identify)

Marina’s Market:   fresh fruits and vegetables.

Back at Martin’s:

  • Red onion, tomatoes, cilantro, lime
  • Something en papillote

April’s lunches:

  • Porcupine cookies
  • Empanaditas de Queso with Panuchos de Pollo
  • Green corn tamales
  • Tomatoes stuffed with guacamole
  • Filete rellano de cabrilla

Back at Martin’s (Andy’s introduction):

  • grilled corn
  • White wine
  • enchiladas
  • Pulpo a la Veracruzana (Octopus)

Sangria on the patio with Hortensia

Leticia’s Wedding Dinner:

  • Tortilla dough
  • sopa de fideo
  • “I’ve always liked toppings….the more toppings the merrier.”
  • Hot dogs and sodas

The final “Big Announcement” Dinner:

  • Chicken
  • Dried chiles, toasted
  • lots of sauces
  • Whole roasted pig
  • wine and tequila

At Carmen’s Neuvo Latino:

  • Chicken Pibil ala Carmen
  • Lobster

 

I am linking up with Deb’s Souper Sunday.

 

Join Food ‘n Flix for October and the feature, Disney’s The Princess and The Frog All Roads Lead to the Kitchen(hosted by Heather at ).

I already know what I’m making, btw.

 

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My Favorite Reads

Eat, Pray, Love
Running with Scissors
SantaLand Diaries
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Angela's Ashes
Naked
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
My Life in France
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, and Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living
Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise
A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table
Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table
The Liars' Club
Code Name Verity
The Paris Wife
The Shoemaker's Wife
The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo: A Novel
Brother of the More Famous Jack
Burying the Honeysuckle Girls


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