Tuesday, November 30, 2010

AMAZING Tortilla Soup Recipe (courtesy of Karen Marino)

. I'm a soup person. And definitely a Tortilla Soup person. Here's a wonderful recipe Karen Marino from Vollmer PR (soon to be Edelman) passed on to me last year. I made it again on Sunday to help combat the sniffles.

Tortilla Soup
Ingredients1 rotisserie chicken from the supermarket, meat picked from bones and shredded
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)
1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 1/2 quarts chicken stock
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in puree, crushed
2 to 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced (depends on how hot you like it)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, optional
6 (6-inch) fresh white corn tortillas

For serving: sliced avocado, sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions start to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their puree, jalapenos, cumin, coriander, 1 tablespoon salt (depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock), 1 teaspoon pepper, and the cilantro, if using. Cut the tortillas in 1/2, then cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch strips and add to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and season to taste. Serve the soup hot topped with sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and broken tortilla chips.

Note: It’s important to put the white corn tortillas in and let it simmer. They not only flavor the soup but they thicken it just enough.

Simple, delicious. Enjoy!

Diamond K Thanksgiving

Hard to believe we were that close to a Texas Longhorn. This wasn't Betsy.

Hard to believe that this was year three of spending Thanksgiving at the Diamond K Ranch in Sisterdale, Texas (http://www.diamondkranch.com/). This year, one more night's rest. We leave on Tuesday morning to drive down. Unfortunately, I'm sick, but with Kleenex box and plenty of remedies in tow. It's a relaxing drive, but the cops were out in full force.

It's always great went you take that right turn that will leisurely lead you into the ranch. Pretty quickly we see "critters" -- deer-like things is more along the lines of what we see. Pull through the gates, head to the office to check in. Then off to the Loghouse where we're staying this time. Get settled in, pour a cocktail or two. And then sit down to pheasant enchiladas for dinner. Yum. Big fires in the firepit and the chimenea, looking for critters in the dark (unfortunately our night vision is not working). It's quiet and relaxing.

In the morning, we get up and have a big breakfast and then head out for skeet shooting. I opted out because I couldn't decide if I'd rather wipe the snot running down my face or hold a gun. Kleenex won vs. Gun. But it's nice outside. Big lunch (Axis burgers, yum!!!) then out for a drive to check things out. We have a pair of Pierre David's right around the lake at the Loghouse. We usually don't see them around, but this year they were just "hanging out." Driving around, we run into some Longhorns. Get out and before we know it, they are surrounding us, almost at arm's length. They wouldn't get close enough to touch. The next herd -- Betsy was in it -- Betsy licked me! I didn't know that girl Longhorns had horns. Yes, I'm a city girl! Another evening with cocktails, dinner in the barn this time, fires in the pits. Life is tough.

Thursday is Thanksgiving and we start out with some bird hunting. Follow it up with lunch -- Tony and I skipped it because we were still full from breakfast and wanted our fill of turkey for dinner! It was windy and the birds were flying "dog low" so the catch wasn't as good as the year before. I just love watching the dogs. No one was shot either! Hang out, watch some football, have a nice Thanksgiving meal.

Friday, breakfast and then head home with all of the crazies in traffic. But, this time, we have a "bird bag" -- a bag of frozen quail, pheasant, chuckers... and ground axis. We'll be figuring out what to cook over the holiday!