Friday, October 14, 2011

Frugal Fridays - Bringing on Fall Weather

With Fall officially upon us (although, to be honest, it really doesn’t feel much different than June), I wanted something quick and hearty that would make use of what was left of a rotisserie chicken I had picked up for another meal (someday I’ll actually post about roasted chicken, which is easy and SOO much better than store-bought - but that actually requires a time span of several hours to prep and cook - something I’ve been in very short supply of lately).

Anyway, I taught my first couponing class last night, and it put me in the mood to tie in a recipe with something I brought up in class, mainly, cooking with what you have on hand.

I do usually have a can or two of enchilada sauce on hand, and chicken stock, whether homemade or store bought, is another staple of mine. The rest of this dish was basically put together with leftovers.

Now, I realize that most people probably don’t keep masa in their pantries. Don’t feel like you need to run out and buy a full bag of the stuff, either, unless you plan on tackling homemade tortillas (which I do at some point) or tamales (Carley and I already have a tentative plan in the works for this). You can actually find this in the bulk section of a lot of stores. Throw a small scoop in a bag, and not only will you have it on hand for this recipe, but it also is a great way to tighten up chili, and it gives a nice undertone of flavor as well. If you don’t have masa, and don’t want to pick any up, I imagine you could do pretty well boiling a potato (russet) until soft and then mashing it really well and adding it to the soup.

Top this with a little sour cream, and in the spirit of using up leftovers, try baking some leftover tortillas until crisp, or tossing in the remainders of that bag of chips you have sitting on the shelf.

You know who you are.

Enchilada Soup

2 - 3 cups cooked chicken, shredded or diced
1 Tbs vegetable oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cans chicken stock (or about 1 qt homemade)
1 cup masa harina
3 cups water, divided
1 cup enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (or a mixture of Cheddar and Monterey Jack is great, too)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp ground cumin

In a large pot over medium heat, sauté onion and garlic until onions are translucent. Pour in chicken broth. Add chicken and broth to the pot.

In a bowl, whisk together masa harina and 2 cups of water until well blended. Pour into pot with remaining 1 cup water, enchilada sauce, Cheddar, salt, chili powder and cumin. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until thickened.


Sour cream
Tortilla chips/strips

Cost Breakdown:

This one’s a little tough for me to pin down because I already had everything on hand. Even the enchilada sauce was left over from making enchiladas and then freezing what I didn’t use. So in other words, I didn’t spend anything running out and buying stuff. But if I had to sit down and figure out the total, I’m guessing it would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 - $10 total. And this makes a lot of soup - about 8 serving’s worth.

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