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Bienvenidos a Los Dos: Recipes

About Chef David Sterling
 

  Sopa de Chicharrón Download PDF

 

Freshly fried pork cracklings

CREAMY PORK CRACKLING SOUP

Christina Baker and Executive Chef José Andrey Vázquez Manzanilla of Hacienda Xcanatún shared this recipe with me for a spectacular, creamy soup based on chicharrón en salsa verde. You may also follow this same formula using chicharrón en salsa roja. For best flavor, you should purchase both the lard and the cracklings from a Mexican carnicería: commercial lard will be flavorless, and packaged cracklings are likely to be rancid.

Prepare ahead note: Sopa de Chicharrón reheats very well; if you like, prepare the soup a day in advance and refrigerate; reheat immediately before serving, adding a bit more stock if needed.
 
Yield: 8 servings

FOR THE SALSA VERDE
• 6 medium tomatillos (1 1/3 lb. / 600g, husks removed and discarded, washed
• ½ medium white onion (5 oz. / 137.5g), coarsely chopped
• 2 medium chiles serranos (3/4 oz. / 20g) charred, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
• 4 medium cloves garlic (1 oz. / 24g), peeled and coarsely chopped
• ¼ cup  (15g) cilantro, coarsely chopped
• ½ tsp. (3g) salt
 
FOR THE SOUP
• 1 Tbs. (14 g) lard 
• 2 ½ oz. (75g) chicharrón, broken into bite-sized pieces, plus a few extra unbroken pieces for garnish
• 4 cups (1 L) chicken stock or bouillon
• ½ cup (125ml) Mexican crema (Substitute: crème fraîche, whipping cream or sour cream), plus additional to garnish
 
FOR SERVING
• 1 Tbs. (5g) cilantro, finely chopped
• 8 oz. (250g) queso panela or cotija (Substitute: fresh mozzarella or feta), cubed or crumbled
 
PREPARE THE SALSA VERDE
Place tomatillos in a medium saucepan; cover with water, bring to a boil and cook uncovered 8-10 minutes until barely tender. Remove the tomatillos; reserve the cooking liquid.
Place 1/3 cup (83ml) of the reserved cooking liquid in a blender; discard remaining liquid. Add next four ingredients and process until very smooth. Add tomatillos and puree until smooth. Add salt and check seasonings. 
 
PREPARE THE SOUP
Heat the lard in a large saucepan until shimmering; add the salsa verde; bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens and darkens slightly. Add the chicken stock and return to a simmer. Add the crumbled chicharrón to the sauce and stir to incorporate. Continue simmering about 5 minutes or until the cracklings are softened
 
Using a food processor or handheld immersion blender, process the soup until the chicharrón is thoroughly puréed. Add the cream and process again until well blended; check seasonings and serve.
 
TO SERVE: Serve in soup bowls; place one piece of chicharrón in the center of the soup; drizzle on some of the cream, and garnish with cheese and cilantro.

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