Friday, February 5, 2010

grilled cheese and spicy tomato soup

you will need a non-stick skillet, large spatula, and empty beer bottle
yields 1 serving

slice of deli cheese (colby or montery jack works great!)

set skillet over medium-high heat. when hot, place cheese slice in pan. when the cheese has fully melted, swirl the skillet to coat the bottom completely. as the cheese browns, the oil will separate and the cheese will adhere to the pan’s surface. remove from heat and tip off the excess oil into a heatproof bowl. the cheese will continue to cook and turn an even deep golden color. (you may have to cook and drain off the oil more than once). use spatula to loosen the grilled cheese (called 'chicharron' in mexico) from the pan. lift it up as you would a crepe and drape it over the side of a beer bottle. it will only take a few minutes to cool and become crisp. use this to garnish the spicy tomato soup.
you will need a medium saucepan, large stockpot, slotted spoon, and a hand-held mixer
yeilds 8 servings

2 medium potatoes
2 medium red onions
2 medium carrot sticks
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chicken stock
5 cups water
2 cans stewed tomatoes
4 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp tabasco sauce
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp honey
1/3 cup chorizo

peel and chop carrots, potatoes and onions. add to saucepan with the olive oil - give a good shake to coat it all and put on a low heat for 5 minutes (veggies will be slightly soft).

in stockpot, add chicken broth and water. bring to a boil. add vegetables and keep heat on high. add canned tomatoes. add the paprika, tabasco, honey and worcestershire sauce and give a stir. reduce the heat to a simmer and leave until vegetables are tender.

cook chorizo in the saucepan that held the vegetables.

turn off the heat and blend with a hand held blender until smooth and no lumps. add chorizo (including the spicy oil). simmer to blend flavors for 10 minutes. season with salt & pepper to taste.

optinal extras:
to make this even more substantial, add a few boiled gnocchi.

*a one cup serving is under 250 calories.

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