Ishbel, you're totally correct. In another country, I would imagine, American food is thought of as "ethnic". To me, German food is foreign, as is Middle Eastern - but, of course, not so in Germany or Turkey, Iran, Egypt, etc. "Different" might have been a better choice of words. Even then, it's difficult. I'm half French, half Irish. Been eating French food as a wee child and cooking it since I was 16, so I don't consider it foreign. Grew up with Italians down the street and helped the mother in the kitchen when I stayed over; and with my mother, Colcannon is what you did with leftover potatoes and cabbage. However, my making Tamales, Rogan Gosht, or halushky certainly seems "ethnic" to some of my American friends. Americans don't mean to offend; we're just stupid in many ways.
boar_d_laze: firstly, let me thank you for the Caldo de Pollo recipe. I have always wanted to make it, but living in Los Angeles, it was just too easy to order it in one of the many good ubiquitous Mexican restaurants. Now, however, being in North Carolina, it is muy deficil to find a good caldo of any kind, let alone a good latino cafe.
What did I do that was different? No telling what a cook will tweak when you set them loose.
I increased the chicken stock by 2 cups and the chicken by another thigh and drum stick, because that's how it was packaged. I put in 3 whole carrots, in chunks, instead of two; increased the potatoes by one; decreased the mint by one sprig, because I added 2 large bay leaves and 3 parsley sprig tops. Added an additional zucchini. I deleted the corn, only because I prefer it in a Caldo de Res (to which I also add quarters of cabbage, and some chunks of bell pepper that I would not add to a Caldo de Pollo). I also added 3 large garlic cloves, unpeeled; 2 stalks of celery, chopped in chunks.
Basically, I cooked the stew for about an hour and 15 minutes before I began to add the vegetables to insure the meat was very tender and loose on the bones. The potatoes and carrots were added the last 1/2 hour. The zucchini being added the last fifteen minutes.
I served the rice on the side, like they do in L.A. restaurants, along with the bowl of chopped cilantro and onion, and the sliced limes and sliced jalapenos on a separate plate. Chopped avocado was also optional. Personally, I think all the little side dishes are what make a caldo fun, and those who don't want rice in their soup can just opt out.
By the way, I do not have a tortilla warmer. I just use a shallow, flat salad bowl and follow much the same technique you do to warm them in the microwave - however, I put one damp paper towel on the bottom, and I find that I can put in three tortillas in three layers, and cover the last layer with a damp paper towel. I have an option on my microwave for quick cooking; just chose the one-minute option and they came out perfect. I guess I could have used my comal to "toast" the tortillas, as I am now without my six-burner Viking, and am forced to use an electric stove, but the nuker is a lot quicker.
Hope you found this interesting.