SOPA DE QUESO (CHEESE SOUP)

In some parts of Sonora, Mexico, potato chunks are added to this typical regional soup. If queso Chihuahua is not available, use Monterey Jack or a medium-sharp cheddar. 1 chile poblano (see note) 1 green bell pepper 3 tablespoons butter 1/2 cup chopped onion 5 cups chicken stock 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons cornstarch 3/4 cup evaporated milk 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1 cup queso Chihuahua (or Monterey Jack or medium-sharp cheddarcheese), finely grated 1 cup chopped tomato

Remove stems, seeds, and membranes from chile and bell pepper and cut into a small dice; should yield about 1 1/4 cups.

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a skillet, add onion, and saute for 2 minutes or until transparent. Add chile and bell pepper and cook for 3 minutes. Set aside.

Bring the stock to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir flour and cornstarch into 3/4 cup water, add to the stock and stir constantly for 2 minutes. Add milk and lower heat. When it comes to a boil, add bell pepper and chile and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper and cook 2 minutes more. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and set aside.

Before serving, heat soup and place 2 tablespoons of cheese and 2 tablespoons of tomato in the bottom of each bowl. Serves 8.

[Editor's note: Poblano chilies may be difficult to find in your area. We substituted canned green chilies, with good results.] HUACHINANGO AL PEREJIL (RED SNAPPER WITH PARSLEY CREAM) Parsley, preferably the flat-leafed Italian variety, is the flavoring for this sauce, accenting the fresh, light taste of the fish. If whole red snapper is not available, any fish with firm white flesh can be used. 1 red snapper, about 3 lbs., cleaned, head and tail left on 2 tablespoons lime juice 1 clove garlic, finely chopped Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 2 cups light cream or half-and-half 1 cup chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Rinse fish and pat dry.

Combine lime juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Rub entire fish, inside and out, with this mixture and marinate 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, puree cream and parsley in a blender until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Place the fish in a greased baking dish. Cover with the parsley cream and bake for about 30 minutes or until the fish is cooked (time will vary depending on the thickness of the fish). Serves 4.

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