Sunday, May 2, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup & Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I'm about to break a delish rule ... and I'm posting two recipes. My reasoning is that depending on the week, sometimes I feel like I just want a go-to recipe that's easy and that I can make with stuff already in my pantry. Other weeks, I'm feeling more adventurous and want to expand my ingredient list and try something new (and am willing to spend a little more moo-la). So, you can try whatever you're in the mood for!

Quick & Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup
1/2 onion
1 green or red pepper (I prefer green)
- chop, then saute with a little butter - careful not to overcook
Add the following and simmer for 20 min.:
4 cup chicken broth (canned or bullion based)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2-3 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
1/2 cup salsa (my fave for this recipe is Pace Picante Medium)
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder

Serves 5-6; optional garnish could include tortilla chips, sour cream, cheese, etc.

Yum! This soup is one of our favorites at our house and I got the recipe from a college roommate. I love how easy it is, but the flavor is awesome - it's got a kick to it, when you use a spicy salsa, so it might just be for the adults. Also, I actually don't feel the need to add sour cream / cheese since the flavor is good by itself, but love it with tortilla chips.

OR if you're feeling more adventurous, then try the PF Chang's copy-cat:

(picture- courtesy of PF Chang's)

Chicken Lettuce Wraps
1 T oil (optional)
1 lb. ground chicken breast (sold in meat section, sometimes hard to find) or you can try grinding a couple chicken breasts yourself, but I don't think they'd hold their shape as well
Cook chicken in large skillet, then add the following ingredients (chop all very finely):
1 cup water chestnuts, finely chopped
2/3 cup canned mushrooms (I'm not a big fan of mushrooms, but you can't even tell they're in it), finely chopped
3 T chopped onion, finely chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
Cook together with chicken and stir fry sauce.
Stir Fry Sauce: 2 T soy sauce, 2 T brown sugar, 1/2 tsp rice vinegar (I usually double this)

Special Sauce to put on top:
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water (stir with sugar and let dissolve)
2 T soy sauce
2 T rice vinegar
2 T ketchup
1 T lemon juice
1/8 tsp sesame oil
Mix together and refrigerate (this sauce can usually last us through 2 batches of lettuce wraps)

When ready to serve, add to special sauce:
1 T hot mustard
2 tsp water (optional, can use to combine with mustard)
1-2 tsp garlic & red chili paste
*Really, just add however much you want - it's all about how spicy you want it. Look for these ingredients in the Asian Foods section in the grocery store (again, sometimes harder to find).

Serve with crisp iceburg lettuce and wrap chicken inside topped with your special sauce & white chinese noodles for the extra crisp. (Also just noticed from the picture, that they garnished it with some green onions, which would probably be good too.)

If you've never had these at PF Chang's, then you are missing out! They are my all-time favorite, so it's fun to make them at home. I will admit that the restaurant's are better, but these are delicious (recipe found on!! They are also messy to eat, so you may not want to have it with first-time guests. We eat them as a meal, served with french bread or rolls. The trick for me has been to find good iceburg lettuce that doesn't fall apart. Anyone else have this problem?

Happy cooking!!

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