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A couple of years ago my husband introduced me to the awesomeness that his chicken tortilla soup is.  Today, I shall share how to make it.  It’s a long process but SO worth it in the end.  Trust me on that.  It’s also a bit spicy, but not overly.  The consistency is heavenly and well, I could keep going but you will just have to try it out for yourself.  Did I mention my husband is a chef at a swanky restaurant?  Yep, it’s gonna be a good day.

Gonna stretch this post out over two days and then probably combine later.  We have a busy day planned (remember how I said I HAVE to make a flower girl dress this weekend?)  and I may not have time to update the actual process until tomorrow.  Also, the FROGS are on this afternoon and the husband has friends coming over to watch the game.

CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP

Serving Size – Not sure.  Maybe 12?  With leftovers.  Depends on how many servings you have!

Grocery Store List:

  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 5 tomatoes (hubbie likes to use roma), diced
  • 2 jalapeño, diced
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 guajillo dried peppers *, seeded and torn into pieces
  • 1 pasilla dried pepper *, seeded and torn into pieces
  • 1 bulb of garlic, diced
  • cilantro, picked
  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice and some extra for drizzling as garnish
  • 1 bag of tortilla chips
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • paprika
  • 2 or 3 big cans/boxes of chicken stock (I like the box kind!)
  • 1 lb of skinless, boneless chicken breasts, shredded
  • 1 avocado,sliced, for garnish
  • queso fresca cheese for garnish

*good chance I am not spelling the names of these peppers correctly.

This recipe can easily be made vegetarian.  Of course then it would really be called “Tortilla Soup”.  Just replace the chicken stock with veggie stock and don’t add the shredded chicken.

Up next:  Let’s Cook!!

This year we decided to go with a theme for our Christmas Day dinner menu – CREOLE!  Having lived a good deal of my life in New Orleans, I am very familiar with this type of cuisine.  While our entire dinner was fabulous, there was one dish (or bread rather) that was a total hit – CRAWFISH BREAD!  Supposedly this is an all time favorite for Jazzfest. goers.  I got the recipe from GumboPages.com.  On that site you can find a multitude of traditional creole recipes.

Here’s how you make it:

  • 3 to 3-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sweet basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup warm water (120 to 130° F)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound crawfish tail meat, coarsely chopped
  • 1 4-ounce jar pimientos, drained and chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 3/4 cup grated monterey jack cheese (or jalapeno pepper jack cheese for a bigger kick)
  • 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Sesame seeds, optional

In a large mixer bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups of the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, thyme, oregano, basil, onion and garlic powders and peppers. Gradually add the warm water and oil to the dry ingredients, then beat for 2 minutes at medium speed, stopping to scrape the bowl occasionally. Beat for 2 minutes at high speed. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough.

Knead dough on a floured surface until it’s smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to oil the top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in volume, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Punch the dough down. Place on a floured surface and roll into a 10×14″ rectangle. Scatter the crawfish lengthwise over the center third of the dough. Top with pimientos, green onions and shredded cheese. With a sharp knife, make cuts from the filling to the dough edges at one-inch intervals along the sides of the filling. Alternating sides, fold the strips at an angle across the filling for a braided effect.

Place on a greased baking sheet; cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in size, 30-45 minutes.

Brush the loaf with egg wash and sprikle with sesame seeds, if desired. Bake in a preheated 400° F oven until done and golden brown, 30-35 minutes.

YIELD: One loaf of spicy crawfish bread!

OK, say it with me:  YUMMY!!!!!!

(Um, it’s safe to say there were no Crawfish Bread leftovers!)

Momtrends is one of my new favorite blogs to follow.  From honest reviews, to the latest in fashion trends, cooking and parenthood, Nicole shares all.  I also love that there is a post every single day! Fridays are dedicated to cooking and this last Friday was a post on Chocolate Pretzels.  Since cooking really isn’t my thing (I married a Chef for a reason!), I thought that these might be something that I could actually make!  That and my current obsession for a white chocolate and peppermint candy combo.

On Saturday afternoon, we had a very domestic moment.  With Holiday music playing in the background, Hunter and I had an afternoon of making these sweet little treats.  Since gas burners and 3 year olds do not mix, I knew there were certain things that Hunter could help me with.  For one, he is an excellent candy cane crusher:

In fact, he took his job very seriously.  I on the other hand, am not a good white chocolate morsel melter.  Since we do not own a “double broiler”, I whipped up a make shift one.  Took a pot with a little water on the bottom and then set a stainless steel bowl on top.  After a later conversation with Chef Husband, turns out you should NOT turn the heat on high.  OOPS!  The chocolate melted very fast and then became super clumpy.  It was really hard to put the chocolate on the pretzel this way.

Hunter’s other very important job was picking out all of the unbroken pretzel rods.  We don’t really let him have pretzels (too much salt!), so needless to say, he pretty much ate ALL of the broken pretzels.  Funny kid! He was also very good at rolling the chocolate covered pretzels in the crushed up candy canes.

All in all, it was a really fun activity for Hunter and I to do together.  Next weekend we are going to see Santa, decorating cookies and making hot (warm) chocolate.  We might even listen to more Holiday music!

Get the full recipe HERE.

What is your favorite sweet treat to make during the Holiday Season?