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Cook with Mara’s Bakery & Café at the YMCA on Wed., March 12

Sean Conklin

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 • 2:11pm

Chefs from Mara’s Bakery & Café (250 South Ave., Fanwood) will put their skills on display for a good cause on Wednesday, March 12 from noon to 1 p.m. at the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA (1340 Martine Ave., Scotch Plains).

Money raised from the event will go to the Livestrong Foundation, a non-profit organization that offers support for people affected by cancer.

“We expect at least 20 people to attend,” said chef Paul Michael O’Laughlin, general manager of Mara’s Bakery & Café. Feature dishes will include spring salad and chicken tortilla soup. O’Laughlin will teach guests how to make these popular dishes at the event, while help raise money for a good cause.

Tickets for the event are $15 and can be purchased through the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA.

Mara’s Café & Bakery was kind enough to share their recipe of the Chicken Tortilla soup to those interested in the popular dish:

Chicken Tortilla Soup
Total Time: 35 min
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 25 min
Yield:4 to 6 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 jalapenos, finely diced
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 (14.5-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
2 limes, juiced, plus wedges for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 (8-inch) flour tortilla, grilled, cut into thin strips
1 avocado, pitted, sliced
1 cup shredded Monterrey cheese

Directions
In a large saucepan heat the vegetable oil. Add the onions and cook for 2 minutes. Once the onions have softened add the garlic and jalapeños and cook for another minute. Pour the chicken broth, tomatoes and beans into the pot and bring to a boil. Once at a boil lower heat to simmer and add your chicken breasts. Cook the chicken for 20 to 25 minutes. Once chicken is cooked remove from pot. When cool enough to handle shred it and set it aside. Add lime juice and fresh cilantro to the pot. In a serving bowl add a mound of shredded chicken. Ladle soup over chicken and top with a lime wedge, grilled tortilla strips, avocado slices and cheese.

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