Shrimp Soup with Pasilla Chiles

Shrimp Soup with Pasilla Chiles

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  • 5 pasilla chiles, seeded, deveined, halved
  • 5 medium tomatillos, husked
  • 1/2 small white onion, chopped
  • 1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled, shells reserved
  • 1 6-inch-diameter corn tortilla

Recipe Preparation

  • Cut 4 chile halves into fine strips. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in small skillet over high heat. Add chile strips and fry until crisp, about 10 seconds. Drain; reserve for garnish. Toast remaining chile halves in medium skillet over medium-high heat 1 minute. Transfer to bowl of cold water; soak 30 minutes. Drain; rinse with cold water.

  • Bring 1 1/2 cups water to boil in small saucepan. Add tomatillos and boil until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain. Puree tomatillos, soaked chiles, and garlic in blender. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add chile puree and stir over medium heat until puree thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.

  • Bring 5 cups water to boil in large pot. Add shrimp shells and boil 10 minutes. Strain shrimp broth into chile puree. Toast tortilla directly atop burner until crisp and blackened in spots, about 4 minutes. Add tortilla to chile puree, then epazote leaves. Simmer over medium heat until tortilla is soft, about 15 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to saucepan; season with salt. Bring to boil. Add shrimp and simmer until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls; garnish with fried chile strips and serve with lime wedges.

Recipe by Roberto Santiba ezReviews Section

Caldo de Camaron y Pescado

I feel like I'm a part-time pescetarian. And I have the sneaking suspicion that if pigs could swim, I'd have no problem whatsoever becoming a full-time pescetarian.

Although, you might find me holding swim lessons for chickens and cows in my spare time.

So yeah, not really a pescetarian. but I would definitely be okay having fish and seafood as my main "meat" source for the rest of my life. Which further substantiates that nagging little voice in my head telling me that I need to move to the coast. A coast. Any coast.

Or perhaps an island. All coast, all the time. I am still trying to find a way to "build up" on that little one-foot-square parcel of land I own on Islay , right across the street from the Laphroaig distillery .

But, until then, I will keep rejoicing when I find "just delivered" seafood shipments at the market. Or good, local fresh water fish when I can find it. I haven't actually gone fishing since I was a kid.

Lately I've had the craving for one of my favorite types of Caldos, or Brothy Soups. One swimming (see what I did there) with not only fish, but also shrimp in a broth flavored perfectly with chiles, onions, garlic, and tomatoes. Caldos really are my favorite. good and brothy, with lots of chunks just waiting for my spoon to scoop them up!

How 'bout you? Do you have a favorite type of fish or seafood soup? I'm thinking I may make the exploration of seafood soups my mission for the cooler months, once the Summer of the Popsicle has ended. Of course, sitting around with a big, steaming bowl of this in front of me, I am hardly to be blamed for being steered in that direction. Can I?

More delicious caldo (brothy Mexican soup) recipes:
Caldo de Mariscos
Caldo de Res
Caldo Tlalpeño
The Recipe Box -->

Pasilla Chile Salsa

Have you used this pasilla before? They are frequently used in traditional Mexican sauces. You may know that they have mild heat compared with others. Pasillas are typically longer and thinner. It always tastes a bit earthy and less sweet. So let’s explore Pasilla Chile Sauce to your taste buds.

Ingredients List:

  • 4-5 tomatillos
  • 3-4 Pasilla chiles
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup water (plus more if necessary)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 chipotle in adobo (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (optional)

Preparation Steps:

1.Using a wet paper towel, wipe off any dust on the pasillas.

2.Then you have to roast them in the oven at 400F for 1-2 minutes. Add them to a bowl and cover them with the hottest tap water.

3.Pull the husks off and rinse them properly. Then cut the stem out.

4.Roast the tomatillos until they become army green in color.

5.In this step add the chile pieces to a blender. Add some roasted tomatillos, garlic cloves, and water to it. If you want to add more water and combine them well.

6.To balance the earthy flavor you can add a single chipotle and 1 tablespoon adobo sauce. You have to combine them well in a blender.

7.All done! Serve immediately after the preparation. You can also store them in the fridge.

So I am certain that this pasilla chili recipe will be very helpful for you. If you want something different at your dining table then try this recipe now. Don’t miss any single step. Just follow our guidelines mentioned above.

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

Another month has gone by and once again it is time for Blogger C.L.U.E.

Where does the time go? Really, I have no idea!

Blogger C.L.U.E. is a fabulous group of bloggers who once per month sample the offerings from another group member’s blog, then blog about it (as I am about to do here). These run on a theme that changes from month to month (last month was eating healthy, in which I made Couscous with Chicken and Vegetables from the blog Anna Dishes.)

This month, the excitement is all about Soups & Stews, and I was fortunate enough to be assigned Heather at All Roads Lead to the Kitchen (as she has about a billion soup recipes and must have something wonderful simmering away in her soup pot every single day). So I browse her recipes and my eye suddenly spots the word Caldo in several places, and I am instantly in love. Exploring the recipes in greater detail does not disappoint, except the one I want most (Mariscos or Seafood) was mysteriously missing. However, I quickly honed in on the Caldo de Camerones y Pescado, which is quite similar, and uses shrimp and fish. At the market, though, I couldn’t leave the package of mixed seafood with calamari, mussels, clams and shrimp alone, so I opted for that instead of a second type of shrimp the original recipe calls for, and have ended up with something quite like Caldo Mariscos after all. See how easy it is to switch gears in the kitchen? Sometimes out of necessity, other times out of choice, but usually everything ends well.

One of the necessities I had to change in this recipe was the dried chilies. I usually have every chile known to mankind in my pantry, but for some odd reason, was out of the whole dried pasilla chiles, which is one of the larger ones that are usually used when making mole.They had a supply at the market, but being the snob I can sometimes be, I didn’t like their color (they looked really really old) and since I didn’t want to market-hop in search of the lost chile, I decided to buy a bottle of pre-ground pasilla powder, which would change the method in the soup making, but really, it would be good for people to see how Heather does hers with whole chiles, and what to do if you have to use ground chile powder. Of course, if you can’t find that either, or something about what the market offers is untoward, you can always opt for the garden-variety of chili powder. But unless it is pure ground California or New Mexico chile, it is going to have “filler” in it as well (lots of cumin for one thing) and cumin will radically alter the flavor profile. Not in a bad way, I would think, but it isn’t going to be the same. If you do happen to have the whole chiles, besides the way Heather mentions of cooking them until soft and buzzing up in the food processor, there is a third way, where you lightly toast the peppers until aromatic (either over a flame or under the broiler)(don’t burn them!), then tear off the stems and seed pod, shake out any excess seeds, and buzz them up in a spice grinder to make your own ground chile powder. I do this all the time as I like to concoct my own chili powder blends and ground chiles for enchilada sauce. Besides being customized to my tastes, it is also much cheaper to buy the chiles that way and do things yourself.

But back to the soup. This is a brothy soup, and will be a bit brothier than what you see in the photo. I was not trying to be dishonest about it, but plated the soup so you could see the contents. If you do want more filler, add about 1/3-1/2 more of the ingredients for a well stocked soup. But since I am dieting, brothy is fine with me. You choose how you like it. But if you change the ingredients and are watching WW points, remember to recalculate that on your own.

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

My recipe of the day is for caldo de camaron, or Mexican shrimp soup, with the Fish Friday Foodies blogging group.

I love the flavors in a Mexican seafood soup so enjoy having it when I can. Perfect timing that Fish Friday is having the monthly recipe posting, and the topic is for International soups.

Cold Weather Warmer

We got snow recently although it likely won’t last. But regardless, it will still be cold for months now. And nothing better to warm us up than a soup imbued with the flavors of pasilla and ancho chili.

Chili Pepper Prep

You can buy both of those in the jar or grind them yourself- generally they get toasted up, torn apart, the seeds removed, and then ground in a mortar or spice grinder.

Alternatively, you can soak them in hot water and then puree to make a paste. It all comes out the same. I generally grind mine with a spice mill so I can have it all ready if I make enchilada sauce or chili or something. Having to stop and prep last minute is a lot like finding you are out of an ingredient and have to run to the store. I hate that.

Forgiving with Tweaks

You can vary the vegetables in this if you like but these are the ones I prefer. Carrots and onion are very common in all soups as part of the mirepoix, but the addition of zucchini or calabacitas as that variety is called, is very apropos.

To prepare the guajillo chiles, rinse the pods and place them in a heat tolerant bowl. Fill the bowl with enough boiling water to just cover the chiles when pressed down. Submerge the chiles with a pan lid or other heavy object and leave to soak for 45 minutes. Stem the chiles, reserving the soaking liquid. In batches, puree the chiles with the liquid until they are mostly liquefied. Strain the puree into a container. Discard the solids and store the liquid in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

To make the soup, add the canola oil to a pot over medium heat. Once heated, turn the heat to low and add the chopped onion and sauté until soft but not brown. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock, water and 1 ¾ cups of prepared guajillo and bring to a boil. Add the shrimp and boil until the shrimp are pink. Scoop off any foam with a ladle. Stir in the epazote. Serve with the fresh cilantro, lime wedges, rice and your favorite hot sauce.

Dark Chile Shrimp Soup with Epazote

In a very large (8-quart) saucepan or a soup pot, heat the oil over medium. When hot, add the chiles and garlic. Stir constantly until the chiles are blistered, have noticeably changed color and have filled the kitchen with a toasty chile-infused aroma. Add the dried shrimp and 4 cups of the broth. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the mixture for 30 minutes.

Pour the mixture into a blender jar, set the lid loosely in place, cover with a kitchen towel and blend the mixture as smoothly as possible. Pour through a medium-mesh strainer back into the pot. (Straining will remove any bits of unblended chile skin.)

Add the remaining 4 cups of the broth, along with the potatoes, carrots and epazote. Taste and season with salt, usually about 2 generous teaspoons depending on the saltiness of your broth. Cover and simmer over medium to medium-low heat until the potatoes and carrots are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the shrimp and turn off the heat, wait a minute, then serve bowls or cupfuls of the soup for all your guests to enjoy, offering the lime wedges for each guest to squeeze in.

3 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

2 ears sweet corn, cut into 6 slices

Shell the shrimp and set aside. Heat 1 Tbsp of butter in a frying pan and sauté the shrimp shells for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a saucepan, add 2 cups water and boil until reduced by half.

Strain stock and discard shells. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp butter in large pan and saute onion and garlic until tender. Add tomatoes, bay leaf, cloves and stock. Cover and cook 15 minutes. Strain.

Add potatoes. Cover and simmer 15 minutes, until potatoes are almost done. Add milk, shrimp, and corn and cook, covered for 5 minutes. Beat egg yolks lightly. Beat 3-4 Tbsp of hot soup into the yolks, then stir the egg mixture into the soup over low heat until it thickens slightly.

Recipe reprinted with permission from ¡Baja! Cooking on the Edge by Deborah M. Schneider, Chef’s Press Inc., 2014. Photo by Maren Caruso.

2 c. freshly squeezed tangerine juice

In saucepan over medium heat: melt butter and saute the shallot, garlic and ginger until just softened do not brown. Mix cornstarch with 1 cup of tangerine juice until dissolved. Add to pan and cook, stirring, until thickened. Add remaining 1 cup of juice. Turn off heat and set sauce aside for 15 minutes, then strain through a fine sieve and keep warm over very low heat while you cook the shrimp

2 ½ lbs. best-quality large shrimp, preferably Mexican, peeles and deveined (tails may be left on)

12 grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, cut in half

¼ c. chopped cilantro leaves

1 dried pasilla, ancho, or guajillo chile, seeded, toasted and ground

In large frying pan or well-seasoned wok, heat oil over high heat until it shimmers. Pat shrimp dry with paper towel and add to the pan all at once. After about 5 minutes, when shrimp are half-cooked (curled and pink but slightly soft), add the tomatoes, crushed chile, and salt. Cook and stir just until the shrimp are firm do not overcook. Remove pan from heat and stir in ¼ cup of strained sauce and half of cilantro. Squeeze lemon over shrimp.

To serve: Heap shrimp and tomatoes onto heated serving plates. Drizzle each serving with some of the remaining sauce, sprinkle with some cilantro and ground chile, and serve.

Tortilla soup

As we see the icy images on television of the fierce storms sweeping the US and read of record cold (in Texas of all places!) we’re grateful for our relative warmth in Mexico. Winter still happens here, especially at our elevation of 4,600′ (1402 m). The grass was rimmed with frost this morning, but the morning sky is already brilliant blue. Chilly days call for steaming hot soup, and tortilla soup will warm soul and body on the coldest of days.

In the valley below, tomatoes, chiles and cucumbers are being harvested. Yes, winter is harvest time, and we have a friend, Profesor Pauli, who grows organic tomatoes. Ziploc bags of chopped tomato fill the freezer, enough to keep us supplied until next year’s harvest.

This soup is basically an extremely savory tomato broth with lots of toppings. Slices of avocado, strips of crisp fried tortilla and chile, queso cotija, crema mexicana, and optional chicken pieces, if you wish to make it heartier.

With two chiles — chile pasilla pureed in the broth and chile ancho strips as a topping — you might think tortilla soup would be muy picante. Not at all. These are mild chiles. Chile pasilla literally means “little raisin”, maybe because of its color. Mark Miller, in “The Great Chile Book”, describes the pasilla as tasting of berry, grape, and herbaceous tones with a hint of licorice.

The ancho chile is the queen of chiles in my kitchen. Ground or whole, I can’t get enough of it in soups, chocolate desserts and salsas, even in coffee and hot chocolate. The Great Chile Book describes it as “having a mild fruit flavor with tones of coffee, licorice, tobacco, dried plum and raisin, with a little woodsiness”. My hat is off to Mark if he can detect all those tastes. I can’t say that I can, but that’s probably due to my unimaginative palate. The chiles taste and smell exquisite, despite my lack of original descriptive adjectives.

Traditionally, tortilla soup is not served with chicken, but as with all recipes, creativity is the extra salt that seasons a dish like nothing else. In other words, add whatever you fancy — corn, potato, tofu, shrimp. It may no longer be a traditional tortilla soup, but the broth is so good, it will still be delicious, a customized bowl of soup. I didn’t have an avocado to use for leftovers the next day, so cilantro gave the bowls a touch of green.

Most likely, there are thousands of pots of soup being made today north of the border. For those still under winter’s cold spell, I wish I could deliver bowls of piping hot tortilla soup. Since that isn’t possible, here’s the next best thing, a recipe for one of the most warming, flavorful soups of Mexico. I’m hoping your casa has power and water, that you and yours are warm and dry, and that you are able to enjoy a hot bowl of soup. Provecho!

Tortilla soup4 servings

  • 4 corn tortillas, preferably a day old
  • 4 ancho chiles
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) neutral tasting oil
  • 2 cups (14 oz/400 g) chopped Roma (plum) tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) chopped onion
  • 2 large cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 2 pasilla chiles, seeds, membranes and stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cups (1185 ml) chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed, cooked chicken, well heated (optional)
  • 2 avocados, cubed
  • 1/2 cup (59 ml) crema mexicana, or sour cream
  • 1/2 cup queso cotija or queso fresco, crumbled
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  1. Stack and cut tortillas into small strips, about 1 1/4″ x 1/4″ (31.75 mm x 6.35 mm). Fry in hot oil in batches in a skillet until crisp. Drain on a paper towel.
  2. Slit open ancho chiles, remove stems, seeds and membanes. Cut into small strips, 1 1/4″ x 1/4″. Fry in hot oil in batches until starting to blister, 10 – 15 seconds per side. Drain on a paper towel.
  3. Puree tomato, onion, garlic, pasilla chile and oregano until very smooth.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan. Add tomato mixture and cook until bubbling. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Season with 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste.
  6. Divide hot chicken pieces, if using, among 4 bowls. Ladle broth over chicken. Top with avocado, tortilla and chile strips, crumbled cheese and a spoonful of crema mexicana. Serve immediately with wedges of lime.

Leftover tortilla soup is deliciosa, but be forewarned that the pasilla chiles have had time to steep their heat into the broth. Más picante, but still so good. We emptied our bowls too soon.

Guajillo chiles can be substituted for the chile ancho. North of the border, look for dried chiles online, or in Mexican or import grocery stores.

For a vegetarian version, substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

This is an anniversary of sorts, the 200th post for Cooking in Mexico. This post also has another distinction. While I was combining recipe, photos and text, the nuts and bolts of blogging, Russ was on the kitchen floor attempting to get the dishwasher doing its thing again. I would be in the process of inserting a photo, and he would ask for a wrench. Then I would start to rewrite a sentence, and he wanted a rag or screwdriver. I finally finished the post for tortilla soup, but he’s still working on the dishwasher. Russ has the harder chore today. He’s my fix-it guy par excellence. He’ll get it done. Or we’ll get a new dishwasher.


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