What’s For Dinner?
Tapatio Soup - from Pacho's Mexican Grill
(First star is lowest, fourth star is highest)
From the Menu of ... Pacho's Mexican Grill
6193 U.S. 278 N.W., Covington,
Q: I would love to have the chicken and avocado soup recipe from Pacho’s Mexican Restaurant in Covington. -- Cynthia Sternberg, Loganville
A: Pacho’s Mexican Grill didn’t always use the broth left after cooking chicken for burritos and enchiladas. “A while back, that broth was thrown away,” said general manager Tony Rosa. But a clever member of Rosa’s kitchen crew changed all that, and now the Tapatio Soup is one of the restaurant’s best sellers. “Some of these recipes come out of the back, from my guys cooking,” Rosa said. “Back home -- me being full Mexican -- when we do chicken soup, everything is added to the pot. So out of one preparation, we come out with two dishes.”
That spirit of efficiency makes for a great restaurant dish -- in addition to the cooking broth, the soup is made up entirely of other menu items. But the many parts can look a bit daunting for a home cook. Don’t be discouraged -- it all comes together very quickly.
-- Deborah Geering, for the Journal-Constitution
This recipe looks like it has a lot of pieces, but it is actually very simple to prepare. If you wish, you can make all the parts the day before and then assemble just before serving.
Hands on time: 30 minutes Total time: 1 hour and 30 minutes Serves: 12
3 avocados, peeled, pitted and diced small
1 1/2 cups Mexican Rice (recipe follows)
3/4 cup Pico de Gallo (recipe follows)
1 recipe Chicken Broth (recipe follows)
3/4 cup shredded white American cheese for garnish
Fried Tortilla Strips for garnish (recipe follows)
FOR MEXICAN RICE:
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup diced onion
1/2 tomato, diced
1/4 cup canned tomato sauce
1 cup white rice
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
Salt to taste
FOR PICO DE GALLO:
3 tomatoes, diced small
1/4 medium onion, diced small
1/2 to 1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Salt to taste
FOR CHICKEN BROTH:
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper to taste
FOR FRIED TORTILLA STRIPS:
4 corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch strips
Salt to taste
You don’t have to wait for the Chicken Broth to be completely done before you make the rice -- just ladle out the correct amount of liquid as the broth cooks. When you’re not making soup but want to serve Mexican Rice as a side dish, use canned broth.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the oil and swirl to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the onion and tomato and sauté until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and rice and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth; let the liquid boil for 5 minutes. Cover, reduce the heat to low and let cook until the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
Per 1/4 cup: 73 calories (percent of calories from fat, 7), 3 grams protein, 13 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, 1 gram fat (trace saturated), no cholesterol, 97 milligrams sodium.
For the Pico de Gallo:
In a bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, jalapeño and cilantro. Season to taste with salt. Keep chilled.
Per 1/4 cup: 10 calories (percent of calories from fat, 11), trace protein, 2 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, trace fat (no saturated), no cholesterol, 14 milligrams sodium.
For the Chicken Broth:
In a stockpot or large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, garlic and tomatoes and sauté until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Push the vegetables to one side; add the chicken breasts and cook until they are lightly browned, about 5 minutes per side. Add 9 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 hour. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon and let cool about 5 minutes, until cool enough to handle. Hand-shred the meat into small strips and return it to the pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Per serving: 31 calories (percent of calories from fat, 58), 1 gram protein, 2 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, 2 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 8 milligrams cholesterol, 36 milligrams sodium.
For the Fried Tortilla Strips:
In a frying pan over high heat, add 1 inch vegetable oil. When oil is hot, add the tortilla strips and fry until crisp and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt.
Per serving: 36 calories (percent of calories from fat, 56), trace protein, 4 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, 2 grams fat (trace saturated), no cholesterol, 25 milligrams sodium.
For each serving of soup, place about 1/4 of a diced avocado, 2 tablespoons Mexican Rice and 1 tablespoon Pico de Gallo in a bowl. Top with Chicken Broth (about 3/4 cup) and garnish with 1 tablespoon shredded cheese and a few Fried Tortilla Strips.