Food -n- Flix: Tortilla Soup~

19 03 2011

I recently discovered a different Foodie group out on the ‘net… Food -n- Flix.  How fun!  I watched the movie from the last time period, Woman on Top, but I didn’t get to post in time.  The flick of the moment is Tortilla Soup;   the story of a retired chef with 3 adult daughters who’s lost his taste for Life.  My recipe choice was immediately obvious to me!  One of my friends has a recipe for Tortilla Soup that gets excellent reviews…and yes…she shared!

Christina’s World Famous Tortilla Soup~

Chicken broth (1 large can)
canned green chiles
canned diced tomatoes
avocado-cut in chunks
fresh cilantro
cheese, grated
corn tortillas
tortilla chips
1 chicken breast, cubed
Salt & pepper to taste

Pour the broth into a large pot.  Add onion, garlic, diced tomatoes and juice, and chicken.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until chicken is done.  When chicken is fully cooked, tear a few corn tortillas into small pieces and add to the soup.  Add green chiles and cilantro.  Simmer 10-15 minutes more.  Turn off heat, stir in cubed avocado.

To serve, crush a handful of tortilla chips into each serving dish, and top with hot soup.  Garnish with grated cheese, additional chopped cilantro (and whatever else your heart desires).

Tasting Notes~
I didn’t have an avocado.   That would have been a really nice touch.  So, I added sliced black olives and some green onion instead.  I seriously doubt there’s much you could do that would make this recipe bad… It has a wonderful texture from the tortillas that have cooked in the broth.  And there’s something about the taste of the slaked lime that remains in the corn, imparting its own flavor to the soup.  Seriously yum.  Now that Christina has shared her base recipe with me…I’ve got to play with it and add a few things.  Structure a few things… I’ll be back with the results another time!  In the meanwhile, this is one of the very best Tortilla soups I’ve ever had.  So far.  Watch this space!  *Ü*

Movie Notations~
Kind of a fun little tale that promotes la familia…  Amusing…  Food porn everywhere that man went!  Arrrrrgh!!  LOL!  I’d die for that kitchen!  Oh well…  They could do a sequel…Enchiladas…Dad and the girls, finally all married…with children!  Regardless, Tortilla Soup was fun to watch!

I’m also linking this to girlichef’s search for THE BEST Tortilla Soup EVER!



French Fridays with Dorie: Beggar’s Linguine~

19 03 2011

French Fridays with Dorie is chugging right along without my help…  I’m having trouble making the time to shop AND cook.  Well…I’m getting cooking done, but it’s not “group” cooking!  LOL!  I promised to make dinner for a friend’s birthday…his choice…his choice?  Fried chicken.  And then there was the yen for salmon I couldn’t quite get away from either.  Oh well.  So…I finally got to pick up the odds and ends I didn’t have stashed in my cabinet (figs, pistachios) and we got busy with this.

The timing on this recipe is really pretty good!  There’s plenty of time to do all your mise en place while your water heats for the pasta.  It won’t matter if you’re still prepping when the pasta goes in.  It’s going to need to cook for about 3-5 minutes before you start making the sauce.  The sauce cooks pretty quickly, but stay with it so you don’t brown your butter too much.

I used a Le Creuset 2-1/2 quart casserole for making the sauce.  It provided even consistent heat, and would hold enough heat to finish cooking the pasta in the sauce.  All of the little bits and pieces are cooked in the oil, so everything disperses through the pasta pretty well.

I had a couple of hearts of rib eyes that were left from a previous meal that I broiled for a few minutes, just enough to heat them through well and get the juices moving again (had been med. rare).  I didn’t want it to cook much more, but I did want it hot…all the way through.  I mixed up a bit of Gorgonzola cheese with a pat of butter for a richly flavored steak topper.  The pasta went exceptionally well with the steak.  The flavors and textures complimented each other nicely.

Tasting Notes~
Okay.  I confess.  I planned to blow off this recipe because I’m timid about combining sweet and savory.  There.  I’ve said it.  Is there a “program” for people like me?  *Ü*  Dorie’s FF Bloggers changed my mind…everyone thought it was so good…  I asked hubby if he minded a little trip to the wild side…and he was game.  He’s so good about such things!  Still…I was prepared to not like the dish.  The flavors are difficult to explain…  First off, this dish is not sweet.  Banish that thought.  It has an essence of sweetness when you encounter a raisin, but still not really sweet.  Remember, there’s a lot of butter and pasta here.  The toasted nuts mellow the butter and the sweetness of the fig (which actually wasn’t all that sweet, nor particularly to my liking…but I got past my objections) and the raisins.  The ratio of tidbits to pasta is nicely balanced so you don’t get bites that are without flavor, nor too many bites with too many tidbits.  It was really, no kidding, good.  I loved the essence of orange that spread throughout the dish.  It was just a whisper… Thanks, Bloggers,  for all your comments on the site forum! You won me over and I’m SO glad!  LOL!