Taco Soup + Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

I had a couple of recipes in mind to try tonight from my Best of the Best From Florida Cookbook – until I realized that I didn’t have any sour cream in the house! Fail.

I had planned to make some Jalapeño Cheddar cornbread from the cookbook, but alas, sour cream was no where to be found in my fridge tonight (I almost always have light sour cream on hand because I love it – and incorrectly assumed I had some.) With no suitable sour cream substitutions on hand, I instead decided to try Ina Garten’s recipe for Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread. Her recipe called for 3 cups of flour + 1 cup of yellow cornmeal. Many of the reviews said that flour to cornmeal ratio wasn’t the best, so instead I used 2 cups flour and 2 cups of cornmeal. Here she is just prior to being popped in a 350F oven:

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While the cornbread was baking, I worked on a recipe adapted from my Best of the Best From Florida Cookbook for Taco Soup.

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And yes, that is LC making her second appearance!

Yum, this soup contains all sorts of goodies! (1 can assumes a 14-15 oz size can):

  • shredded poached chicken breast (about 1 lb)
  • water + chicken bouillon (or two cans of chicken stock)
  • tomatoes (chopped can of whole peeled)
  • yellow hominy (my first time trying it – tasted like a mix between a potato and a kernel of corn! – 1 can)
  • cream-style corn (1 can)
  • pinto beans (2 drained and rinsed cans)
  • chopped onion, red bell pepper, green bell pepper (1 of each)
  • oregano (1 tsp, dried)
  • taco seasoning: the recipe says “to taste”; I used about 2 Tbsp + about 1 tsp of black and red spice for heat

To make the soup, basically add all of the above ingredients, except for the bell peppers and seasonings, and simmer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, add in the chopped bell pepper, oregano, taco seasoning, and any other desired seasonings and simmer for 15 more minutes.

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After photographing, I garnished with shredded sharp cheddar, crumbled tortilla chips, and pickled jalapeños.

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On the side I served Ina Garten’s Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread. This was very good; so moist and buttery. Mine took around 45 minutes to bake through, which is a bit longer than the recipe suggests (perhaps because I used a 1:1 flour to cornmeal ratio). I would suggest following Ina’s suggestion to use an aged extra-sharp cheddar. I use a pre-shredded sharp cheddar bag (even though I have been trying to buy whole blocks and grate it myself lately, this time I didn’t since I needed a lot!), so that the cheddar flavor will shine through more strongly. I would also suggest doubling, or hell, tripling the amount of jalapeños, as the jalapeño flavor and heat level was rather mild. Honestly I would probably quadruple the amount of jalapeños next time (that would be four minced jalapeños versus the one large one I used this time). Now we’re just getting craaaazy!

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Mmm, what a pairing! My house smelled amazing!! very good dinner! And enough leftovers for tomorrow too.

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Taco Soup Rating: 8/10.

Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Rating: 7/10. (But has potential with a few tweaks.)

Have you checked out my post displaying my Favorite Blogged Recipes of 2010? If not, check it HERE.

I absolutely cannot believe tomorrow is New Year’s Eve. ‘Tis one of my favorite days of the year! I always feel very sentimental on New Year’s Eve and just feel it’s a really exciting time. The hubby and I will be spending a night out on the town. We’re craaazy kids. Happy New Year!! Party smile

NoteCurrently listening to: The Ice is Getting Thinner – Death Cab for Cutie.

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