Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sopa Seca

4 cups chicken stock
3 small tomatoes (about 3/4 lb)
Large green pepper
Medium-size onion
2 large garlic cloves
2 ounces Parmesan or Romano cheese
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 3/4 lb)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 pound vermicelli
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon minced coriander for garnish

1. Bring stock to a boil in medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat.
2. Wash, dry, core, and coarsely chop tomatoes.
3. wash and dry green bell pepper. Core, seed and dice pepper.
4. Halve, peel, and finely chop onion. Crush, peel, and mince garlic.
5. Using food processor or grater, grate cheese. Transfer to small serving bowl.
6. Add chicken breasts to boiling stock, reduce heat, and poach at a gentle simmer 10 minutes.
7. Using a slotted spoon, transfer poached chicken to plate. Reserve stock. Allow chicken to cool until it can be easily handled.
8. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in large heavy-gauge saute pan over medium heat until hot. Break vermicelli into 3-inch lengths and cook in oil, stirring and tossing frequently, 2 minutes, or until browned. Using slotted spoon, transfer vermicelli to large serving dish; set aside.
9. Add remaining tablespoon oil to saute pan. Add onion and garlic and cook over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, or until onion is translucent.
10. Meanwhile, coarsely shred chicken.
11. Return vermicelli to pan and add reserved stock, cumin, and Cayenne. Cook over medium heat, covered, 4 minutes. Stir in shredded chicken, tomatoes, and bell pepper. Cook, covered, another 4 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and vermicelli is tender.
12. Season sopa seca with salt to taste and transfer to large serving dish. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cheese and minced coriander. Serve remaining cheese on the side.

Notes: Tasty! The name of this dish means "dry soup," so it does not have a liquid consistency. This dish has a bit of a kick to it, so if you have sensitive taste buds, I would recommend starting with a smaller amount of Cayenne pepper and season it to taste. I found the flavors to be similar to those you would find in an enchilada that you would order at a Mexican restaurant. We liked the combination of those flavors with the texture of the pasta. We used spaghetti instead of vermicelli, since that is what we had on hand. I didn't serve the sopa seca with cheese, since John isn't a huge fan of Parmesan and I didn't think I would like it as much with the flavors in the dish. We did season our own individual servings with coriander and thought it was yummy. I forgot to add the salt at the end and found that it tasted just fine without it. Out of the last few recipes that we have tried, this is probably our favorite. This is another recipe from Great Meals In Minutes: Soup and Stew Menus.

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