Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sopa de Tres Frijoles (Three Bean Soup)

Fall is here! And what better way to kick off a long term hiatus than with a hearty soup recipe. I haven't posted in awhile but this is truly too good not to share. I first tasted this soup when my coworker brought some over to work to share with everyone. It was her DJ roommate's famous three bean soup recipe and she very nice to have packaged a portion for everyone to take home. Impeccable timing because unfortunately for me, that was the same day that I caught the flu. This soup was the perfect remedy for feeling sick and super awesome to have after a long day at work. Who knew DJ's could cook right? (Check him out here!) I'm sure what I have here isn't the exact recipe but the outcome is nevertheless delicious. This version is a bit thicker and meatier than the original so I hope you enjoy. Warm yourself up with some sopa de tres frijoles (three bean soup) as the weather continues to cool down. ¡OlĂ©!

P.S. Many thanks to Helen and Richard for sharing their soup with me!

Sopa de Tres Frijoles
1 cup pinto beans
1 cup black beans
1 cup lentils
1 can chicken broth
1 large brown onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 chicken breasts
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 small can roasted green chili pepper, mild
8-10 cups of water
salt and pepper to taste
green onion, chopped
cilantro, chopped

1. Sort the beans by removing twigs, rocks, and such. Rinse and soak beans for half an hour. (No need to soak the lentils they cook fairly quickly, but I would advise rinsing them. )
2. Rinse the chicken breasts and pat dry with a paper towel. Season one side with salt, pepper, cumin, and oregano.
3. In a large pot, heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and place the chicken breasts seasoned side down. Allow the chicken to sear and caramelize. Season the other side and flip the chicken breasts. When both sides are nice and browned, remove the chicken breasts from the pot. (They do not have to be cooked through.)
4. In the same pot, add another tablespoon of olive oil and saute the garlic. When the garlic becomes fragrant, add the diced onion. Add the chicken breasts back into the pot when the onions become a little browned.
5. Add the pinto beans, black beans, spices, green chili pepper, chicken broth, and water into the pot. Bring to boil, turn down the heat, and allow to simmer for two hours or until the beans are tender, stirring occasionally.
6. After the two hours, add the lentils and cook for an additional 15-30 minutes, or until tender. Remove the chicken breast from the pot, shred the meat in a bowl, and put the chicken back into the soup. Adjust the thickness of the soup by adding more water and bringing it back to a boil.
7. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with cilantro and green onion to enjoy. :9

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Shoyu Tofu Dango

Most commonly featured in animes and Asian dramas, dango is pretty much glutinous rice balls served on a skewer. They can be easily found in Japan anywhere for about 100 to 150 yen each. Well in the USA, that's a different story. I know they can be found at a stand in Little Tokyo in LA, and of course in the refrigerated section at your local Japanese market, but sometimes that may be a whole lot of trouble for something that can be so easily made. This recipe is a modification of ochikeron's recipe from youtube. The dango she makes look good but I do not entirely agree with putting potato starch in the shoyu sauce; it's just not traditional. Not that I am an expert at being Japanese or anything but here you go! (;

Shoyu Tofu Dango

100 grams shiratamako flour
140 grams silken tofu, drained
1 teaspoon sugar

Sweet Shoyu Glaze
1 tablespoon shoyu
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoon brown sugar

1. Bring a pot of water to boiling.
2. Meanwhile, combine the shiratamako, tofu, and sugar together. Knead until soft but not sticky. Add a little bit more flour or water until the right consistency is reached. ("soft like an earlobe")
3. Separate the dough into twelve equal pieces and roll into round balls. Place the dango balls into the pot of boiling water until it floats to the surface. Allow to boil for an additional 2 minutes.
4. When the dango are finished cooking, immediately place them in a iced water bath for 1 minute. Strain and remove the dango from the iced bath.
5. Now we can make the shoyu glaze! Place all the ingredients in a small pot and heat under medium heat. When the sauce is bubbling, turn off the flame and allow to thicken.
6. Pour or brush the shoyu glaze onto the dango skewers and serve!