Sopa de Lima Con Pollo y Elote

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Out of the classroom and into the kitchen
Story and photos by Michelle Vogel

Student chef Deandra Barrera tells readers about herself and gives us the inside scoop on how to cook up something yummy!

The senior English major is an active student around campus and is involved in many organizations such as Sigma Alpha Phi, Beta Sigma Phi and S.M. Friends.
Barrera developed her love for cooking as a child and enhanced her skills in her seventh grade home economics class.

She continued her culinary education in high school, participating in several competitions.

Barrera earned a scholarship to attend Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School, but found her home at St. Mary’s University.

“I like St. Mary’s because it feels like home,” she says.

Barrera says she loves cooking “because it is the most widely experienced form of fine art in the world.

There is no greater experience than watching the components of a dish transform before your eyes with the application of simple spices and heat,” she says.

Barrera’s favorite and most requested dish to make is Fettuccini Alfredo.

She serves this dish with a pan speared chicken breast topped with a sautéed mushrooms and a pan sauce.

For the magazine, Barrera cooked Sopa De Lima Con Pollo Y Elote.

She chose this dish because it is an easy beginner’s dish to demonstrate.

“Who doesn’t love soup?” she asks.
Her tip for cooking Sopa De Lima con Pollo is that “if the chicken has bones, it will float to the top when done.

If it doesn’t then the chicken will turn white when it is ready,” she says.

Barrera’s secret to making all dishes taste good is butter.

Another tip is “learn to make rice and boil your water” and always look for bubbles.

A final tip is always season for taste after cooking.

“Not everybody’s tastes are like your own,” she says.

Barrera looks forward to a bright future as a writer or Arson Investigator.

She plans on continuing to cook no matter her career path.

“It was always a dream of mine to be on Chef Gordon Ramsay’s Sous-Chef, or be a contestant on his show Hell’s Kitchen, or have my food critiqued by Joe Bastianich,” she says.


    • Salt and Pepper for taste
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 3 c chicken stock
    • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
    • 3 tbsp cilantro
    • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
    • 2 jalapeños (seeded and minced)
    • 1 c onion (1/4 in dice)
    • 1 1/2 c tomato (peeled, seeded, ¼ in dice)
    • 1 1/2 c corn kernel
    • 1 c chicken (thinly sliced)

Heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil over medium heat. Add 1 cup of onions (1/4 in dice) and 2 garlic cloves (minced). Cook 8-10 minutes or until very soft. Add 3 cups of chicken stock, 1 1/2 cups of tomato (peeled, seeded, 1/2 in dice), 1 1/2 cups of corn kernels, 2 jalapeños (seeded and minced) and 1 tsp of cumin. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook 5-4 minutes. Add 1 c of chicken (thinly sliced) and simmer for about 3 minutes or until chicken is cooked. You can tell chicken is cooked when there is no pink. Stir in 3 tbsp of cilantro and 1 1/2 tbsp of fresh lime juice. Makes 8 servings.


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