La Morena | Hot and Sour Chicken Soup

La Morena

I’ve always had an affinity for chipotle sauce and anything adobo. Having said that, I’ve never been the type to whip some up or use something pre made in my few feeble attempts at Mexican. That changed when more recently, I made it into Pioneer, a rough around the edges supermarket unsuited for the UWS in all its gentrified glory. Strolling through the aisles I noticed a shiny stack of an orange tin can with the illustration of a brunette with a Frida Kahlo sort of disposition, sans the unibrow.

SIPA

La Morena who always seems to be gazing into the distance, unfazed by your election to pick her from what appeared to be a canned good pageant, has a whole line of delicious sauces and marinades to choose from. It this sort of packaging that reminds me of heirloom products that my mother used in her cooking. Notably, Sipa, a French couscous brand that was a staple in her pantry, and Clara, a Middle Eastern ghee, who like La Morena, embellished the tin which held the kitchen elixir. Clara was attractive; but less Kahlo and more Arab Stepford housewife. The kind of woman whose husband would come home to, perhaps a little past one in the afternoon, finding a gorgeously coiffed Clara with full makeup on, placing finishing touches on a splendid lunch.

La Morena’s Homemade Style Chipotle Sauce, not to be confused with one that has peppers in it, is, in my opinion the perfect Mexican condiment to have in your pantry. When attempting to emulate a Chipotle burrito bowl or do something even a little more creative, it has just the right mix of heat, sweetness and acidity. On an arbitrary whim I sauteed some chicken with a whole can of the stuff, and added some parsley at the end. The result was a soup with a great flavor profile. You can substitute the parsley for cilantro. With either, make sure you add it at the very end, right before serving.

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