Tortilla Soup and Arrachera


This recipe was both my first and last taste of Chicago on my visit in October.

It’s Emeril’s recipe.

My niece substitutes tortilla chips for the homemade corn tortillas.

Good with several squirts of lime.

We also had arrachera (grilled skirt steak marinated with onion, cilantro and lime).



 If only you could smell this photo.
In California, we’ve eaten virtually the same thing, but it was called Carne Asada.

Can anyone explain the difference between Asada and Arrechera?

::  an aside ::
It is on my Bucket List to learn to make refried beans as good as
the Mexican restaurants. I’ve tried, I’ve fiddled, I’ve cooked many
a pinto bean. But, man, it’s never the perfect consistency.
Any suggestions on making the perfect refried beans?
:: close aside ::

I did learn a fun tip. You probably already know it.
But I don’t get the Food Channel.
So new discoveries are still mine to make!
To warm a tortilla, just do this:


I took more pictures of cute kids who share bloodlines with me.

A boy absorbed in a book—yeah, we’re related.

This smile makes my heart thump. Those eyes!

Curls! Sweetness!


Compare young man (half Mexican, half mostly Dutch) on left
with picture of me (mongrel English/Dutch) on the right.
Isn’t that something?

This girl has the name I chose, but never got to use.
She’s a keeper!

Family and food.
The perfect recipe for a memorable trip.


2 thoughts on “Tortilla Soup and Arrachera

  1. Carol, I’ve used the refried beans recipe from Laine’s Letters with great success. The recipe is her Mexican mother-in-law’s. The main tip she shares that I did not know is not to add salt to the beans until they are finished cooking as the salt causes the beans to toughen up if it is added at the beginning.  I also like her tip to make a big batch of the pintos and only “refry” the portion you will eat that meal. Freeze the rest of the pintos for “refrying” later. I need to make another batch of pintos!Your pictures are wonderful. I’m so glad you got to visit so many family members on your trip.Sandyrecipe link:

  2. Carol, I have FINALLY had great luck with refrieds.  My handy hints are cook the daylights out of the beans (I stick them in a crock pot for a really, really long time) and then cook them with (unfortunately) a lot of lard. I am not a measuring person, so all I can say it is a good size blop in a deep cast iron skillet.  That makes all the difference in texture and taste.  Also, when I freeze pintos and some of their liquid, those beans are even better for texture.  Love the tortilla warming trick.  DI

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