Wednesday 28 February 2018

Uncle Ken's Recipes: Caldo Tlalpeño

It is bollock freezing cold at the moment so time for one of Uncle Ken's recipes, this one being for Caldo Tlalpeño. It's a soup that combines cheapness with cheerfulness, with an ease of preparation second to none. Serve it up to the pretty miniskirt that you fancy and it will give you an air of sophistication, which will help your strategy to get her knickers down no end. 

You will need:

1 can chicken broth
1 can  potato and leek soup
1 can chickpeas (drained)
1 small can mixed vegetables (Optional)
1 pack of chicken chunks - value range are perfect.
A couple of chopped onions or a good handful of frozen chopped onions - I always go for the latter on the fuck-it principle.
Salt & pepper
1 or 2 teaspoons of hot chilli powder
One sliced guacamole. (Often used in Mexico, but since they tend to be expensive in this country I don't use 'em in my version.)
Double cream (Optional)
Nacho squeeze cheese (Optional)

In a saucepan add all the ingredients, except for the cheese, cream and guacamole, if you are using them.

Bring it to the boil and then reduce the heat to simmer. You then let it simmer for about the time it will take you to smoke a cigarette. Make sure you stir it a lot to stop anything sticking to the bottom of your saucepan.

When the food looks almost right, add your guacamole to the pan and continue to stir for another minute or two.

Ladle out the dishes and add your cream to the top with the cheese squeezed over it. Do not stir before serving.

If you have added too much chilli then more cream will ease the fire that you have lit in your guest's mouth.

That's it - cheap, cheerful and dead easy to make.

If you want to be super cool, then you can explain to the little darling sitting opposite you that Tlapan is historically the southern entrance to Mexico City and back in the early Twentieth Century it was where the trams and city buses stopped. Country buses also stopped there, so people travelling in and out of the city has to change at Tlalpan.

Mexico being Mexico people began to sell all types of hot food and some bright spark created Caldo Tlalpeño out of whatever ingredients she had to hand that day. It had to have been a woman 'cos they run the street food stalls.

This is vintage, cheap urban street food so forget all the fancy recipes for it that you can find online. Street cooks will use whatever chillis they have to hand so by tossing in a teaspoonful of powdered chilli you are keeping with that tradition. Some add carrots, others don't, so if you fancy adding a can of mixed veggies to the pot, then go right ahead.

These days the street sellers add rice to the mix, mainly because rice is cheap and it means they can bulk the plate out. I haven't included rice in my recipe, but if you want to add it, that's up to you.

Then buen provecho as they say in Mexico.

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