The culinary throw-downs are competitive in a friendly way and they give me an excuse to get away from my usual meal-time stand-bys, whether it’s a new recipe, unfamiliar ingredient or technique. Fellow cook and blogger Troll’s latest culinary throw down challenge is SMOKE and FIRE and La Diva was ready to embrace the challenge!
Smoky Tortilla Soup with Duck
Taking the skin off two duck legs, I fried the duck skin in its own fat into nice, crispy duck chicharonnes. I then fried the tortilla strips in the duck fat. Also, the tomato/onion/pasilla/chipotle/cilantro spice blend used to give the soup it’s smoky, earthy flavor was reduced after sauteing with, yep, you guessed it, even more duck fat!! With the addition of fried tortilla strips to thicken the broth as well as used as garnish along with sliced avocados, LOW FAT this soup is not!
The soup, though a lengthy process to make, was delicious. You get SMOKE from the chipotle chile (which is a smoke-dried jalapeno chile) and you get FIRE from the heat of the chile itself! (the heat was actually quite mild) Adding a handful of crushed fried tortilla strips to the broth as it cooked thickened it up and really gave the soup texture. I loved the taste of the duck, this would be a great soup for a cold OR hot day!
Well, I certainly did challenge myself but the true question is: Would I make this again? Yes. But, when it comes to fat, La Diva is a bit like Jack Sprat and will cut meat off a steak before eating a bit of fat so I think next time I would omit the chicharonnes and perhaps not cook the tortilla strips in the duck fat! DECADENT AND RICH AND OH SO TASTY, I think Rick Bayless would be proud!
(On a side note, the tomato chile sauce was SO DELICIOSO that I think I might just use it as a smoky salsa in itself! I’ll post the recipe later!)
Email La Divaand I’ll give you all the details!
LA DIVA WON!!!! YAY! MY FIRST WIN! And I even get to “sport” the Culinary LOGO! Woo hoo! Go to Judge Moi’s site to read about the challenge entries and her witty post! CLICK HERE.
Here’s the recipe for the smoky salsa. If you want to try making the soup, add this to the duck fat and simmer until reduced to 2 1/4 cups for 10 min. (from 3 1/2 cups sauce) and then add to the stock. Stock: add to 4 cups chicken stock and 4 cups water and simmer with seared duck legs for two hours or until the meat falls off the bone.
1 dried pasilla or mulato chile
1 dried pasilla de Ozxaca chile or chipotle more or 1 canne chipotle chile in adobo
1 14-15 oz. can diced tomatoes in juice
1 medium white onion, chopped
1/2 c packed fresh cilantro sprigs
2 large garlic cloves
1 whole clove or pinch of ground cloves
5 whole allspice or 1/4 t ground allspice
1 3/4 t salt
Heat a heavy bottom skillet over medium heat until hot. Cut dried chiles open lengthwise and open out flat. (if chiles are too brittle to open, toast whole chiles for afew seconds on each side, pressing down with tongs, to soften slightly, and then cut open); discard seeds and stems. Toast chiles in hot skillet, pressing down with tongs, turning once, until color changes slightly and chiles are more fragrant, 10-15 seconds. (If using a canned chipotle, simply discard seeds, do not toast!) Transfer dried chiles to blender, add 1 cup water and let soak for at least 20 minutes (without blending) add canned chipotle if using.
After chiles have softened, add to blender: tomatoes with juice, onion, cilantro, garlic, salt, clove and allspice to chiles and blend until smooth. You will have 3 1/2 cups salsa.
Damn tasty but a lot of it. I think it would be good to eat some as is and then use the rest over eggs or spooned over chicken and baked with cheese and served with rice.
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Originally posted 2009-11-18 21:57:00.