Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Chicken Enchilada Soup

I like to garnish this soup with tortilla strips. An easy way to make these is to cut corn tortillas into thin strips, spray with cooking oil, sprinkle with salt, and microwave until crisp.
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
10 (6 inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1/2 inch strips
1 (10 oz) can green enchilada sauce
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
2 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce, or one red enchilada seasoning packet, prepared
2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 cooked, boneless and skinless chicken breast halves, chopped or shredded
2 cups half-and-half
Garnish with:
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Sour cream (optional)
Tortilla chips or strips (optional)
Green onions or cilantro (optional)
Combine chicken stock and tortilla strips in a large pot. Cook over medium heat until strips soften and broth thickens somewhat.
Stir in enchilada sauces and cumin. Stir in chicken and half-and-half; heat through.
Garnish with and cheese and other desired toppings.

Molten Chocolate Cakes

This cake is so rich, but so good if you love chocolate. I used mini bundt pans and it made 6. You can also use ramekins or muffin tins. Just make sure to spray the pan well and remove them while still warm. Depending on the size of cups you use, you may have to experiment with the cooking time a bit to get it just right. I think these taste best when the batter is made ahead.
1 cup butter
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into bite-size chunks
5 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons flour
Place butter and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate melts completely. Beat eggs, sugar and salt with a hand mixer in a medium bowl until sugar dissolves. Beat egg mixture into chocolate until smooth. Beat in flour until just combined. (Batter can be made a day ahead; return to room temperature an hour or so before baking.)
Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 450 degrees. Spray ramekins or muffin tins with cooking spray. Divide batter among cups.
Bake until batter puffs but center is not set, 12 to 14 minutes. Turn warm cakes onto dessert plates.
Top each with whipped cream or ice cream.

Buttercream Frosting

I prefer cream cheese frosting for eating, but this is a great frosting for cake decorating. This recipe makes A LOT, but is easy to half if you don't need as much.
1 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
1 cup shortening
3 pounds confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk or cream
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and shortening. Beat in sugar, vanilla, salt and enough milk to achieve spreading consistency.