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The Secret Society of Marmalade Makers

https://www.tastecooking.com/the-secret-society-of-marmalade-makers/

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In the kitchen, my first pot of marmalade is softly boiling away, filling the house with the spark of citrus peel and cardamom. It’s inching its way toward gelification—or at least what I hope will be gelification. Ideally, once heaped into a small Mason jar and sealed, the mess of julienned satsuma orange peels will be suspended in the vanilla-spiked syrup I’ve been tending over the last hour or so, transforming into a glistening time capsule of this winter’s fortune. If the result is runny or, on the contrary, overset, it’s certainly not the end of the world—oranges do grow on trees, after all—but I’ve done so much research on marmalade while waiting for citrus season proper to start that I feel I must have, perhaps by osmosis, become at least somewhat proficient in the art of jamming whole citrus (actual jamming experience be damned).

The thing I’ve discovered is that marmalade is not simply a room you walk into, look around in, and shut the door upon. Marmalade is an entire world, a rabbit hole with no escape hatch. And somehow I’ve landed the role of Alice, stumbling through groves of boiling theory and orchards of shred method, wondering at the scale of this eccentric subculture. Tomorrow, I plan to marmalade Meyer lemons from the tree out back as well as a handful of neon-yellow grapefruits from the soft-spoken man at New Orleans’ Crescent City Farmers Market. Next week, while in Paris, I’ll be seeking out a stockpile of fresh Seville oranges, the bitter rarities traditionally used in English and Scottish marmalade, and hopefully stowing them away—past customs searches and X-ray scanners—back across the pond for further experimentation.

The UK, blessed with an influx of Seville oranges each January, knows all about this annual ritual. Come the new year, it’s not uncommon there for the average home cook to acquire a case of bitter oranges, boil them down to stock their larder for the year, and dispatch a slather onto everything from toast to scones or a spoonful into tea and the batter of baked goods. You’ll recall Paddington Bear survived on marmalade sandwiches; Sir Edmund Hillary carried a jar on his expedition to Mount Everest, and James Bond was written to partake of it each morning.

To be sure, part of the draw of marmalade is its standard simplicity; at its heart, it’s a basic mixture of sugar, water, and citrus. But the real appeal is its complexity, and the never-ending permutation of a formula that traces its lineage back to the 1600s.

“You have no idea how many ways there are to deal with the same three ingredients,” says Alan Gray, a preservationist architect in the Hudson Valley who sells a cultish, small-batch marmalade dosed with a splash of scotch. More than 20 years ago, Gray began making marmalade with chef Mona Talbott while they were both working on Annie Leibovitz’s estate in upstate New York. One Presidents’ Day weekend, the two were sequestered in a restored 1917 outbuilding kitchen on the photographer’s property with billows of white snow blanketing the grounds around them. They took their first crack at marmalade with a case of Seville oranges Talbott had hunted down. “She would stack the jars up against the windows, and it was like bottling sunshine,” says Gray of Talbott’s process. He’s been making marmalade with obsessive detail ever since.

Gray also documents the jars he makes each year (he’s up to 900 this season) with such meticulous care that even the health department was impressed when they stopped by recently. Though he admits one of his secrets is cooking in copper and adding a touch of kosher salt to each batch—the latter tip inspired by Alice Waters’s method for vinaigrette-making—he is not interested in sharing much else about his process; he says he’s gotten wind that someone has been attempting to ferret out the brand of blended scotch he uses, a detail he insists makes a marked difference in the finished product.

Veda Karlo, a New Yorker of Filipino descent who’s been making jam for the last 40 years (and marmalade for seven) in her Upper East Side apartment, jokes she’s quite possibly the only person ever to acquire carpal tunnel from chopping citrus for a preserve. She’s made so much marmalade over the years that her kitchen curtains turned yellow—until she got a pressure cooker, which she says has drastically reduced cook times as well as halved her gas bill. Karlo doesn’t sell the 500 or 600 jars she makes every year, though; she gives them away to family and friends, along with the 200 pounds of fruitcake, 2,000 cookies, and 50 stollen she bakes annually. “My marmalade is stored in boxes under every bed in my house,” she says. “And my cousin spread the rumor that I was mixing fruitcake in my [spare] bathtub, which was only partly true.” (She stores cases of dried fruits and nuts there.)

Karlo is legendary in marmalade circles. Dan Lepard, a baker, food writer, and judge at Dalemain’s annual marmalade festival in Cumbria in the north of England, told me that every year, the panel is bowled over by her ingenious concoctions. “I wasn’t sure if she was a real person until she came over [to the festival] for a visit,” he says. “She’s inventive in a pure way, and she really understands that what we’re looking for is the fruit captured within the jar.”

One year, for the Macnab category (named for a Scottish ritual in which one hunts a deer, shoots a brace of grouse, and catches a salmon all in one day), she created an orange, cranberry, and horseradish marmalade, which was awarded Most Innovative in 2018. In other years, she’s submitted Buddha’s hand with citron vodka, Seville orange with Plantation pineapple rum, and blood orange with raspberry and kirsch.

“My marmalade is stored in boxes under every bed in my house.”

If one’s first batch of marmalade is the rabbit hole, Dalemain’s festival is Wonderland. It’s also the equivalent of the Oscars for preserved orange fanatics. Founded by Jane Hasell-McCosh in 2005, the event is held at her family’s Edenic Georgian estate in March, and the judging is divided into homemade (for amateurs) and artisan (for professionals) categories, with the former encompassing contests specifically for octogenarians, bell ringers (there’s a rather interesting Venn diagram of campanologists and marmalade-makers around the world), and home gardeners.

In its 15th year, the festival now receives more than 3000 submissions from former British colonies like Australia and Canada as well as countries as far-flung as Singapore and South Korea. There are entrants like Georgina Regas from Spain, who collaborates with women’s cooperatives in Senegal to make marmalade from local citrus; Russel Luckock in Australia, who innovated the “Marmalashes” competition, which, inspired by the Ashes, a cricket match between England and Australia, pits the countries’ marmalades against one another; and Blanka Milfait from the Czech Republic, who, after winning a Double Gold in 2013, drove a tour bus all over Europe to sell her marmalade.

Over the years, Hasell-McCosh and her camp came to realize that they were receiving a disproportionately large number of submissions from Japan—so many that they invited a Japanese ambassador, who enthusiastically embraced a partnership, which has evolved into an annual marmalade festival in the Yawatahama region, where the bulk of the country’s citrus is grown. Lepard says the connection between marmaladia and Japan lies in the legacy of Toichiro Nakashima, a director at food manufacturing company Shokuhin Kogyo, which is now known as the Kewpie Corporation. On his travels abroad in the early 20th century, Nakashima encountered both mayonnaise and marmalade, whose recipes he transported home, resulting in Kewpie and the Blue Flag, respectively (after World War II, Blue Flag’s name was changed to Aohata, which means “blue flag” in Japanese).

As with American cocktails and French pastry, the Japanese adapted and developed the culture of marmalade, and some of Dalemain’s most beguiling submissions have come from Japan. Lepard says that the “dark and chunky” category (marmalade made with thick shred and brown sugar or black treacle) translated to the Japanese corollary of black marmalade, which integrates soy sauce, black sesame, or seaweed; he’s also come across versions studded with salted cherry blossom, yuzu, and sake lees. “The magic of marmalade is that it crosses languages and barriers. It’s soft diplomacy,” says Hasell-McCosh.

It’s probably sacrilege to the English and Scottish, but I’m using a recipe from the French touchstone La Bonne Cuisine by Madame E. Saint-Ange. I am hardly an authority on the subject, so I cannot responsibly recommend a recipe, save for advising that the trove is vast, but I liked M. Ange’s abbreviated, no-nonsense attitude. Not that making marmalade should be laissez-faire—nearly the opposite—but I gave up trawling the intricate alcoves of the marmalade substratum and ceded my trust to intuition, for the first go-round at least: I’m eschewing thermometers and timers in favor of the timeworn technique of eyeballing.

From my conversations with the experts, I can tell you that the constants are these: Boil the citrus once, change the water, boil again (a second, longer soak is up to you, but it seems to make good sense). When you get to the part where you add water, don’t add too much, and make sure you have enough sugar, but again, not too much. Add lemon juice for its pectin-boosting properties, which will help the marmalade set. And don’t be afraid to experiment—herbs, spices, and other citrus fruits are all fair game.

“The magic of marmalade is that it crosses languages and barriers. It’s soft diplomacy.”

Karlo told me to flavor my haul of Meyer lemons with vanilla and ginger and a little gin as well. (She says to think of marmalade like you might cocktails; she’s often inspired by the drinks of bartender Don Lee’s, a friend of hers.) Gray swears by adding salt and not letting the syrup thicken too much so it remains spreadable. (He eats marmalade on toast every single morning; he should know.) Lepard told me about a Japanese technique, which involves blanching the peel, using just enough shred to add flavor, and sugaring the whole batch to taste. (The man judges marmalade for a living.)

Mad Hatters, the bunch of them. But they know the rules of this particular world, and I’m inclined to believe them.

I’ve just put my marmalade away into its vessels to sleep for a bit, but already they look well set. I must admit, my jelly isn’t quite as clear as it should be (the English would probably categorize it as dark and chunky, despite the absence of brown sugar), but everything is floating, Shape of Water style, just as it should. Luckily, citrus season has only just begun—blood oranges and limes have yet to appear—and I’ve got plenty of time to practice before I send a few jars across the pond to Wonderland.

A Few Marmalades to Buy

Though America diverged somewhere along the preserves path to prefer sweet jams and oranges over the traditional bitter British kind, there has been a recent renaissance in the art of marmalade. Dollop them into your tea, spread them between shortcrust for a gâteau Basque, glaze a pork shoulder with them, why don’t you? Here are a few to seek out.

Alan Gray’s Seville Orange and Scotch Marmalade: Sold exclusively through Talbott & Arding in Hudson, New York, Gray’s marmalade has a thinner shred, spreads beautifully, and works well on a fruit plate with blue cheese and a dark ale.

Blake Hill: Made in Windsor, Vermont, Blake Hill’s preserves and marmalades are made by British expats. Their Meyer lemon and cardamom marmalade is a standout, and a version enrobed in raw honey can also be found at Michigan retailer Zingerman’s.

Brins: Architect Candice Ross grew up in Louisiana, where the word “brins” means “little bit” in Cajun. She began making marmalade with the citrus her mother would send her from home, resulting in a full-on company that now purveys flavors like grapefruit-rosemary and lemon-saffron, which was made in collaboration with the Met.

Jamboree Jams: Using only local fruit, this New Orleans–based company is prolific on the marmalade front. This season, they’re offering satsuma and kumquat, blood orange and sumac, spicy satsuma, and grapefruit and Aleppo pepper.

Robert Lambert: A fascinating character with roots in the ’70s California rock scene, Robert specializes in rare marmalades, such as Rangpur lime and Seville orange, Lisbon lemon, finger lime, and Marrakech limetta.

A Marmalade to Make

Adapted from La Bonne Cuisine by Madame E. Saint-Ange

A relatively simple formula for orange marmalade—oranges, sugar, water—the real key to this recipe is time. The oranges soak in water for two days in order to leech out a fair amount of bitterness. When it comes time to cook the oranges with sugar and water, it can be helpful to add the juice of a whole lemon, which contains pectin, to help the jelly set. Once the nappe point is reached (when the syrup coats the back of a spoon nicely), the hot marmalade is ready to be jarred.

Plunge the oranges into a basin of fully boiling water so that they are completely covered. Cover and maintain a rather lively boiling until the head of an ordinary pin easily pierces the peel. As soon as they pass this test, put the oranges one by one into a terrine of cold water: Let them soak there for 2 days.

Divide the oranges into quarters. Remove the cottony part in the center with scissors. Remove the seeds. Cut the quarters crosswise, including the skin, into slices as thin as possible.

Meanwhile, put some granulated sugar of a weight equal to that of the oranges into the basin. Moisten it with 2 glasses—that is, 4 deciliters (1 2/3 cups)—of water per kilogram (2 pounds, 3 ounces) of sugar. Once this has melted, place it on the heat and bring it to a boil; skim. Put the oranges into the syrup. Reduce the heat to maintain a very gentle boil for 1 hour to give the orange peel time to be completely infused with syrup; it must be quite tender and translucent. Cook the marmalade until the nappe point is reached. Put into jars.

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Perfect Chocolate Cheesecake with Oreo Crust

https://thestayathomechef.com/chocolate-cheesecake/

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This Chocolate Cheesecake recipe is smooth, rich, and full of chocolate flavor with an Oreo crust to take it over the top. It’s the perfect cheesecake for chocolate lovers!

Cheesecake. It says so much all on its own. Adding chocolate to the mix just takes that delectable dessert to the next level. This recipe uses an easy technique to make sure you get a rich, smooth cheesecake that is both decadent and delicious. Thanks to this amazing recipe, you don’t have to go out to get your dessert fix—you can make the perfect chocolate cheesecake from the comfort of your own home.

Oreo crust is the perfect touch to make this the best cheesecake ever! It’s up to you whether you want to share, but the finished product might just make you want to show off too.

Aluminum Foil Ice Bath Trick

This recipe uses a modified water bath trick to keep your oven nice and moist, but not risk any water leaking into your pan. Start by crumpling up 3 to 4 balls of aluminum foil into small balls. Place these onto a baking sheet and place your cheesecake on top, making any adjustments needed to the aluminum foil to keep your cheesecake level. Place an even layer of ice onto the baking sheet to surround the cheesecake. The ice melts while it is baking so there’s no risk of spilling as you transfer this into your oven. 

  • Why do I have to cool the cheesecake in the oven for so long?

    In order to create the perfect texture and smooth top, you will want to allow the full baking and cooling times in the oven, without opening the door. By cooling the cheesecake in the oven, without opening the door, the cheesecake continues to bake and then cools in a controlled environment. If you skip this step, you can “shock” the cheesecake and it could crack.

  • What kind of baking chocolate is best?

    This is not a chocolate bar or another kind of cocoa. Baking chocolate is sometimes called bitter chocolate and is a dark, unsweetened chocolate that is made specifically to be used as a raw ingredient in baking. Just be sure to use baking chocolate. Pro Tip: Add in the melted chocolate slowly. If you add it in too quickly, it will harden and can become clumpy instead of blending perfectly with the rest of the ingredients.

  • Why do I need to use a springform pan?

    A springform pan has a clasp on the side that allows it to expand outward and separate from the cheesecake in the ideal way—your cheesecake will retain its tall, flat form around the edge by using this kind of pan. It is possible to make the cheesecake in a deep dish pie pan, but you won’t be able to serve it in free form.

  • How do I keep my cheesecake from cracking?

    There are several tricks incorporated into this recipe to help prevent your cheesecake from cracking. Cracks do not impact the flavor in any way, but they do look funny. To keep your cheesecake from cracking:

    • Grease your springform pan really well. If your cheesecake sticks, it’ll pull the center and create a crack. 
    • Give your cheesecake a few taps on a countertop before baking to make sure the filling is settled into the pan with no bubbles.
    • Bake your cheesecake in a steam-filled oven to keep the moisture content high on the outside. Dry cheesecakes crack easier.
    • Do not open the oven door while baking! Allow the cheesecake to cool completely in the oven, without ever opening the oven door. Sudden exposure to major temperature differences may crack your cheesecake. 

If you are looking for great cheesecake recipes, we have your covered—check out this variety of delectable cheesecake treats:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Chocolate Cheesecake on a white plate surrounded by oreos

Perfect Chocolate Cheesecake with Oreo Crust

This Chocolate Cheesecake recipe is smooth, rich, and full of chocolate flavor with an Oreo crust to take it over the top. It’s the perfect cheesecake for chocolate lovers!

Prep Time25 mins

Cook Time1 hr

Cooling Time6 hrs

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Servings: 12 slices

Ingredients

Oreo Crust

  • 24 oreos
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

Chocolate Cheesecake

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese softened
  • 4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate melted
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the sides and bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with butter or shortening.

  • Crush the Oreos in a food processor or blender until finely ground. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Stir in melted butter until the crumbs are all moistened and press into the bottom of the prepared springform pan.

  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar, flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, and salt. Use a hand mixer (or stand mixer) to whip in the cream cheese until creamy and smooth.

  • Roughly chop the baking chocolate and place into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 15 second increments on high until melted, stirring in between.

  • Slowly add the melted chocolate to the cream cheese mixture while you mix until the chocolate is fully incorporated. Mix in eggs, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Beat on low until combined.

  • Pour mixture into the springform pan. Give the pan a few taps on the countertop to make sure any air bubbles have been removed and the filling is settled.

  • Crumple up 3 sheets of aluminum foil into flat discs and place on a baking sheet. Place the springform pan on top of these discs to elevate the cake so it doesn’t touch your baking sheet. Fill the baking sheet with a layer of ice, surrounding the springform pan, about 4 cups.

  • Bake in the center rack of the oven for 1 hour. Do not open the door. At the end of the hour, turn off the oven, keeping the door closed. Let the cheesecake slowly cool in the oven for 5 to 6 hours to prevent cracking. Remove and refrigerate until ready to serve.

  • Remove the springform pan ring before serving. Keep cold. Serve plain or topped with whipped cream or even drizzled with chocolate ganache or syrup.

Notes

Cheesecake should be refrigerated. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 674kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Cholesterol: 174mg | Sodium: 481mg | Potassium: 348mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 46g | Vitamin A: 1355IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 126mg | Iron: 5mg

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Keyword: Chocolate Cheesecake

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Most Amazing Red Velvet Cupcakes

https://thestayathomechef.com/red-velvet-cupcakes/

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The Most Amazing Red Velvet Cupcakes are moist, fluffy, and topped off with velvety ermine frosting for the perfect Red Velvet Cupcake you’ve been dreaming of!

Red velvet cupcake with ermine frosting with a bite taken out of it

Here it is, the recipe you have been looking for—red velvet cupcakes you will come back to every time you crave these babies! So delicious, tangy and moist, red velvet cake is a thing of its own. Some people think its chocolate cake with red coloring, but those who love red velvet know it is so much more.

Red velvet cake has hints of chocolate but is better known for its tangy, acidic flavor. It was originally made with beets, which added sweetness, flavor and tanginess, along with its signature red color. If you want to try making it that old fashioned way, here is a recipe for a Naturally Red Velvet Cake .

  • Isn’t red velvet cake just chocolate cake with red food coloring?

    Good question, and no. That is a common misconception. Red velvet cake does have some chocolate flavor to it, but it is also known for its slightly acidic or tangy flavor, which results from the buttermilk, vinegar, and either cream cheese or ermine frosting. In this recipe, we include the instructions for an ermine frosting that we love as a great balance to the tangy flavor of red velvet, but you can also use cream cheese frosting.

  • What kind of food foloring should I use?

    This recipe was made and tested using red liquid food coloring. You can also use gel food coloring or a natural red food coloring made from beets. You can find a wide variety of natural food dyes on Amazon.

  • What is ermine frosting?

    Ermine gets its name from the cute, weasel-like animal that has a white, fluffy coat. Ermine frosting is made of heated milk, sugar and flour and then whipped with butter. It is light and delicious, but not as tangy as cream cheese frosting. It will hold its shape better if it is refrigerated before and after icing. You can also use cream cheese frosting if you prefer it and like a little more tang on your red velvet cupcakes.

  • Is there a substitute for buttermilk?

    Buttermilk is a key component in this cake recipe. If you don’t have access to buttermilk, please use a buttermilk substitute. There are lots of options and you are sure to find one that you can make work in our article on buttermilk substitutes.

 

Check out these other recipes for more delicious cake and cupcake recipes:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Ermine Icing on a wire cooling rack

Most Amazing Red Velvet Cupcakes

The Most Amazing Red Velvet Cupcakes are moist, fluffy, and topped off with velvety ermine frosting for the perfect Red Velvet Cupcake you’ve been dreaming of!

Prep Time15 mins

Cook Time22 mins

Frosting Cooling Time3 hrs

Total Time3 hrs 37 mins

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Servings: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (up to 1/4 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring (1 fluid ounce)

Ermine Icing

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups unsalted butter , cubed and softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Recipe makes 24 cupcakes.

  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

  • Add eggs, buttermilk, warm water, oil, vanilla, vinegar, and red food coloring. Use a hand mixer to beat on a medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl to make sure everything got mixed in.

  • Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full.

  • Bake for 20-22 minutes until the cupcakes meet the toothpick test (stick a toothpick in and it comes out clean). Remove from tins and cool completely.

Ermine Icing

  • In a medium sauce pan, whisk together flour sugar, and salt over low heat. Cook for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk and bring to a boil. Cook until thickened into a pudding-like consistency, about 1 minute, and then remove from heat. Pour into a bowl and place plastic wrap directly on top of the mixture so no skin forms. Set aside.

  • In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to whip butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in cooked milk mixture 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing well between each addition. Once all milk mixture has been added in, beat in vanilla and continue beating until the frosting is thick and creamy and everything is well mixed in.

  • Frost completely cooled cupcakes.

Notes

COLOR NOTE: If you want a brighter red color, use only 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder. If you want a better flavor, use up to 1/4 cup. You’ll simply have much deeper brown notes to your red cake. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 369kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 221mg | Potassium: 92mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 560IU | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 1mg

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Keyword: Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Ermine Icing on a wire cooling rack

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30 Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup

https://thestayathomechef.com/chicken-tortilla-soup/

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This 30 Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup is delicious and easy to make. Tender chicken, black beans, and hearty Tex-Mex vegetables together in the perfect comfort food for busy chilly evenings.

Pot of chicken tortilla soup topped with cheese, avocado, tortilla strips, lime, and cilantro

Comfort food isn’t comfort food if you have to slave over a stove all day to make it. This soup is the best because it is so easy to make and comes together so quickly. It also happens to be ridiculously delicious.

We love having soup for dinner, so busy nights or chilly evenings are the perfect excuse for us to make this family favorite. It’s a great party food, or a handy and healthy family meal. Whatever your reason for wanting a great soup, you will love the warm flavors and hardiness of this comforting Tex-Mex treat!

  • Can this be made in a slow cooker?

    Yes. You can add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker except for the lime and cilantro. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours. Shred the chicken and add lime juice and cilantro just before serving.

  • Can I make this soup in advance?

    Yes. This recipe freezes well. You will want to make the soup and not add the lime and cilantro. Allow the soup to cool completely and then store in an airtight container for up to three months. When ready to prepare this soup, thaw and heat either in a slow cooker or on the stove. Add the lime and cilantro just before serving.

  • How to make your own tortilla strips:

    Heat about a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a skillet on medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add a corn or flour tortilla and fry for about 30 seconds and then flip it over, using tongs, and fry the other side until it is nice and crispy. Then, remove from the skillet and place on a cutting board. While it is still warm, you will cut it into strips using a regular knife or pizza cutter.

If you’re
craving soup, here are some other delicious recipes that
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Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Bowl of chicken tortilla soup topped with cheese, avocado, tortilla strips, lime, and cilantro

30 Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup

This 30 Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup is delicious and easy to make. Tender chicken, black beans, and hearty Tex-Mex vegetables together in the perfect comfort food for busy chilly evenings.

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time20 mins

Total Time30 mins

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Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion , diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper , diced
  • 5 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce (passata)
  • 15 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 15 ounce can black beans
  • 7 ounce can diced green chiles
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn (or use canned)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup lime juice

For Serving

  • 3 cups tortilla strips or tortilla chips
  • 2 medium avocados , diced
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add in onion and bell pepper and saute 5 minutes. Add in garlic, chili powder, cumin, and paprika and toast for 60 seconds.

  • Pour in chicken broth, add in chicken breasts, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Remove cooked chicken from soup, shred with a fork, and return to the pot.

  • Pour in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, black beans, green chiles, and corn. Return soup to a simmer and let simmer 5 minutes.

  • Turn off the heat and stir in cilantro and lime juice. Season with salt, to taste. Serve hot, topped with tortilla strips, diced avocado, cheese, and sour cream.

Notes

Slow Cooker Instructions:

You can add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker except for the lime and cilantro. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours. Shred the chicken and add lime juice and cilantro just before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 516kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 1743mg | Potassium: 1369mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1685IU | Vitamin C: 68.3mg | Calcium: 245mg | Iron: 4.5mg

Course: Dinner, Main Course, Main Dish, Soup

Cuisine: American, TexMex

Keyword: Chicken Tortilla Soup

Bowl of chicken tortilla soup topped with cheese, avocado, tortilla strips, lime, and cilantro

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