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Soups and Stews

Sopa De Caracól

Sopa De Caracól

I’m spending a few days in Northern California visiting family this week and it has me feeling all kinds of nostalgic. Billy and I spent 4 years living in Humboldt County while we both finished our Bachelor’s, and driving through the lush landscape really just reminded me how much I missed the sights, the weather, and the small town living. We actually got to experience the seasons change here!

In the spirit of nostalgia and because most of us are experiencing chilly temperatures, I’m sharing a recipe for sopa de caracól today. Sopa de caracól is essentially shell pasta in a thin tomato broth. My mom would typically make this for us on cold rainy days, and she’d always accompany it with quesadillas overflowing with melty mozzarella cheese. It was heaven for us but now that I’m older, I like my soups to be in between a chowder and a bisque, so my take on this is going to be a little thicker, and I’m adding sour cream to my bowl for those tomato bisque vibes.

Whenever I think of Sopa de caracól, the song with the same name also comes to mind. It was one of those songs that would always be played at parties growing up and even though you didn’t really understand what they were saying (apparently they say “What a very good soup”), it always stuck with you!

Stay warm and cozy, and if you need something to bop along to while you’re cooking..go ahead and hit play.

Nos vemos!

Sopa De Caracól

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Potaje de Garbanzo

Potaje de Garbanzo

This post is sponsored by USA Pulses and Pulse Canada, thoughts and opinions are my own.

When I was in High School, I was introduced to this cute little cafe in Old Towne Orange called Felix’s Continental Cafe. If you happened to watch American Horror Story: Cult, they actually used the empty building across the street from this cafe for the set of Ivy’s restaurant, which I thought was super cool! Felix’s Cafe has been a staple in the City of Orange, specializing in food from Cuba and Spain, dubbed as the “La Casa de Paella” and it is here where I fell in love with the flavors of Cuba and Spain!

Potaje de Garbanzo-Chicano Eats

When USA Pulses & Pulse Canada reached out to me to see how I added pulses into my diet, I had just the recipe in mind. I wanted to share something inspired by my many trips to Felix’s. If you’re not familiar with pulses, they are the delicious, protein-packed, sustainable foods known as dry peas, chickpeas, lentils and beans. If you’re looking to find ways to incorporate more pulses into your diets, sign up for the Half-Cup Habit, and see how easy it can be to add 1⁄2 cup serving of pulses to your diet just 3x per week for added nutrients.

Potaje de Garbanzo-Chicano Eats

Today we’re making my version of potaje de garbanzo (or garbanzo stew), which is one of my favorite soups from Felix’s–which is always served with every meal. Potaje de Garbanzo, is a traditional Cuban garbanzo stew that has roots in Spain. The stew we’re making today starts with an aromatic sofrito to which we add pureed tomatoes, longanisa, garbanzo beans and potatoes. Some of the ingredients Felix’s uses were not available/a little hard to find so I adjusted the recipe to be more budget friendly. This is the kind of soup you want to have on a cold winter night, because it’s a hearty feel-good soup. It fills your house with the sweet smell of onions caramelizing, sizzling garlic, and spicy longanisa as everything cooks. Although it takes some time for it to come together, the end result is so worth it! If you live in areas where you get snow, definitely save this recipe for days when you get caught inside with a snowstorm, you won’t regret it!

For more recipes using pulses, be sure to check out USA Pulses.

Potaje de Garbanzo-Chicano Eats

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Sopa de Letras

If you don’t speak Spanish, you might be a little confused about what I spelled out above.

“Eres Chingonx” translates into “You’re Cool.”  Which might not necessarily sound very meaningful en Inglés, pero en Español, it has a completely different connotation packing a stronger punch either way it is being used.

If you grew up with parents who spoke Spanish, you might have heard it used in various ways. “Como chingas” or “No estés chingando” might have been thrown at you along with a chanclazo if you were misbehaving, but you also might have heard “Está Chingón” or “Eres Chingón” to point out that someone or something was really fucking cool!

When I was thinking about the shots I wanted for this post, I knew I wanted to recreate a shot I had seen that said “Yass” but instead spelling out something stupid, I really wanted to incorporate these words of reassurance because we’re all chingonxs in different ways, and in these trying times I think it’s important for us POC’s to continually support and uplift each other.

You might have seen palabras en Español start popping up with an X here and there, and that is because Spanish itself is not a very inclusive language.  It is structured to give just about everyone and every object a gender, and it completely disregards those who might not have been blessed with the appropriate genitals at birth, or the gender they might currently identify with.

When I first encountered the X, I didn’t really understand why it was being used or why it was needed and I figured it was just a bunch of kids on Tumblr trying to tell me how to be politically correct. But after doing further research, I completely understood its importance.

Sopa de Letras

En México though, the concept of the X hasn’t really permeated the culture.

Los chicxs de the Tamarindo Podcast and Latino’s Who Lunch touch on the topic in the Latinx, Si o No crossover episode where they dive a little further into the conversation. Escúchenla when you get the chance.

We are Mitú shared my picture on Facebook and although most comments were positive, there were a few people who expressed grief with the X at the end of chingonx.

What are your thoughts on the use of the X?

Sopa de LetrasCon este frío, I had been craving sopa de letras for a while now and I finally decided to make some over the weekend. Mi mamà used to make it with a much thinner broth and we always accompanied it con quesadillas.

 Pro tip: add one or two dried chiles de àrbol for a little heat.

Keep your little feetsies warm, make some soup and stay cozy this winter!

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Pozole Blanco

Pozole BlancoToday we are celebrating the day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Reina de México,  aka the patron saint of Mexico

In Mexico, there are tons of fiestas held on December 12th to celebrate the miracle of her apparitions because roughly about 82% of the population is Roman Catholic.

As kids we’d be dressed up in traditional native clothing, and taken to mass. Unfortunately, I lost the picture I had from when I was two, posing in front of the Virgen de Guadalupe. So you’ll just have to close your eyes and imagine me as a 2 year old looking v cute in my huarachitos, zarape and sombrero.

Pozole BlancoIt all started with Juan Diego, a native who was born under aztec rule who was traveling to the city. During his trip, the Virgen de Guadalupe appeared and told him she wanted a temple to be built on Tepeyac hill dedicated to her.

(A temple had been previously built on Tepeyac hill dedicated to Tonantzin, Aztec mother goddess, but it was destroyed by the Spaniards during the Conquest)

Juan Diego ran to to let fray Juan de Zumárraga know of the apparition, but the archbishop looked at him like he was crazy and asked him to let the Virgen de Guadalupe know to prove her identity so he knew it was real.

The following day, Juan Diego returned to speak to the archbishop, but he insisted he ask for a sign to prove her identity, so Juan Diego went back to Tepeyac hill and the Virgin appeared again and she agreed to prove her identity the next day.

Pozole BlancoWhile all this was happening, Juan Diego’s uncle was in his death bed. So that following day Juan Diego set out to find a priest who would take his uncles last words and went a different path to avoid seeing the Virgen de Guadalupe.

It didn’t work because she still appeared before him, scolded him, and told him to pick the Castilian roses that were randomly/mysteriously growing in the middle of the desert (that were also not native to Mexico) and take them to the archbishop. When Juan Diego arrived to see the archbishop, he unfolded his tilma with the roses, to reveal Our Lady of Guadalupe’s image imprinted on it and everyone was shook.

You can find Juan Diego’s tilma hung inside the Basilica de Guadalupe in Mexico City, which was built near the Tepeyac hill where she originally appeared.

Pozole BlancoIt’s a long story, I know. Pero, she’s an integral part of our culture. There’s still so much more to discuss but we’ll leave that for another day.

If you read my post on pozole rojo, you’d know that pozole is always around whenever there’s any big celebrations or birthdays, which is why we’re making it today.

I hope you learned a little today, and if you are itching to learn a  little more, do some googling! It gets a little more weird. Just wait till you find out what they’ve discovered in the image imprinted on the original tilma!

Enjoy.

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