This shrimp tortilla soup is an ideal soup for anyone that loves spice + seafood combined into one delicious bite. It is made with shrimp, cilantro, onions, garlic, jalapeños, tomatoes, spices, seafood broth, lime juice and served with queso fresco, tortilla chips, and avocado. This recipe is a variation of my Uncle Clarence’s famous chicken tortilla soup. I lived with my aunt and him when I first moved to Austin, and loved it when he would prepare this classic tex-mex soup. He prepares it with shrimp, instead of chicken, during Lent, and it is so comforting – I still have a hard time deciding if I prefer it with shrimp or chicken.
The shrimp soup is delicious on its own, but then add tortilla chips, queso fresco, freshly chopped cilantro, green onions and avocado on top and it becomes an amazing mix of flavors. This soup is on the spicy side, but just enough for you to feel the kick of spice without being too overpowering. You can use just one jalapeño and less cayenne pepper for a less spicy version. On the other hand you can also double them for what my uncle calls the “wild stuff” version. You can also serve some fresh sliced jalapeños on the side for those (like my 10 year old) who love it super spicy. [read more]
This is my recipe for Ecuadorian tortillas de platano verde, which are green plantain patties or savory cakes stuffed with cheese (or other fillings). Have I mentioned before how much I love the mix of green plantains and cheese? Probably thousands of times, but I don’t get tired of repeating it. These green plantain patties are made with a green plantain dough, that is basically the same dough as I use to make green plantain empanadas. I just add an additional cooked plantain, since the dough for the patties can have a higher ratio of cooked plantain to raw plantain. I included a list of tips for making the dough on the original empanada recipe, you can read them in more detail there, but the high level summary is that I simplify the recipe by using a food processor. I also find that at least here in the US, where the plantains aren’t always as super green as they are in Ecuador, it helps to add an egg to the dough. Again, that isn’t at all the traditional way, but rather just another one of my carishina (a Quechua term for someone who has no hope in the kitchen or anything domestic) cooking techniques or hacks. This variation of the dough is very simple, some other versions will also add some refrito or sofrito to the dough mix (similar to how you would make llapingachos) or ground peanuts (similar to a bolon).
The plantain patties are stuffed with cheese and then cooked on a griddle, or a frying pan, until golden and crispy. My favorite way to make these tortillas de verde is to stuff them with cheese, however you can make them with other fillings, from chorizo to pork belly, seafood or pretty much anything that you think would work as a filling. I love serving these green plantain patties with a variety of sauces or topping options. Some of my favorites include aji hot sauces, such as the traditional tree tomato aji or the aji criollo. I also really like serving them cebollas encurtidas or pickled red onions, or the close variant of onion and tomato curtido. Recently I also tried serving them with a creamy avocado sauce (or a chunky avocado salsa or regular guacamole) and have to say that it goes really well with the tortillas de verde. My friends from the coastal areas of Ecuador will probably consider it borderline food heresy, but hey, as a Serrana (person from the Highlands) I can get away with the “I put avocado on everything” excuse. [read more]