Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

My boy is sick, 'nuf said.  I don't know if it's the plague or strep throat, but he's not feeling well and suggested having soup and watching a movie.  I'm not the biggest fan of soup, it's kinda one flavor for the entire meal.  I like having options on my plate, going from a savory rich steak to a tangy salad to a sweet, well, sweet potato.  Tortilla soup is the only soup I really like.  I think because there are so many options with toppings it doesn't make it one note and enjoyable for me.

I roasted a chicken breast with some spices, shredded it up and threw it in.  Pretty simple and soothing to my sickly boy.

Chicken Tortilla Soup:

1 chicken breast, skin on (or a few chicken breasts)
1 small/medium onion, finely chopped
1 small bell pepper, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
splash of tequila
1/2 cup white wine
1 tbsp. chipotle paste, or 1 chipotle chopped
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 box of chicken stock
1 can of chopped tomatoes (optional, I don't use it)
1 cup frozen corn
1-2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1-2 tbsp. garlic powder
few dashes of red pepper flakes
1 tsp. oregano
salt and pepper
olive oil

Serving Toppings:
chopped onion
shredded cheese (jack or cheddar)
crumbled tortilla chips
lime wedges

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Drizzle some olive oil over the chicken and sprinkle with the seasonings.  Roast for 25-40 minutes, depending on how thick your chicken is.  Shred with a fork, or if you're brave, your dainty fingers.

While your chickadoos are cooking, bring a bigger pot with some olive oil up to medium high heat and saute the onion, pepper and garlic for a few minutes.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and some seasonings (your choice of how much you want to add in there).  Add the chipotle paste and tomato paste and stir to combine.  Add the tequila and white wine, and let cook off for a few minutes.  Finally add the can of chopped tomatoes (optional) and the chicken stock, let simmer for 30 minutes or so, till everyone is begging you for a bowl.

Serve and garnish with chopped onion, cilantro, avocado, salsa, cheese, and crumbled tortilla chips.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Stylish Blog Award

A very big thank you to my longtime friend Katelyn at Ever Learning Eyes for nominating me for a Stylish Blog Award.  While my blog isn't really about style as it as much about food, there is some food styling that goes into photographing those masterpieces, so I think this nomination was most definitely deserved.  Thanks Katelyn!

Rules of the Game:

  1. Thank the person who gave me the award, make a post and put a link back to the person.
  2. Share seven things about myself.
  3. Pass the award to 10 recently discovered great bloggers.
  4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

And the unknown trivia begins...
  1. I come from a long line of very talented culinary aficionados.  I learned a lot of different dishes from my mother (aka: Martha Stewart) and both my grandmothers.  I still have recipes from my maternal grandmother in her almost illegible handwriting. 
  2. I only drive barefoot.  I hate that I can't feel the pedals when I'm driving with shoes.
  3. I'm always thinking about what next meal I'm going to make.  Thinking of what I can make dinner with whatever is in my fridge, what wine to pair it with, and if can I bring it to work the next day; all those thoughts are bouncing around up there before I get home every day.
  4. I am a huge klutz.  I always have a bruise, cut, or injury on my body for some reason (right now - a back sprain and a cut up knee from a minor shaving accident).
  5. I always wear sunglasses outside whether it's sunny or not.  It drives the Boy crazy!
  6. Calla Lilies are my favorite flower, ever.
  7. My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving.  I have been making the majority of the meal for my family since college.  One year my mom had a really bad flu and asked me to cook all of Thanksgiving for the family, been doing most of it ever since, minus the pies - Momma is the baker, not me.

Blogs that deserve this award:

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Fish Tacos

I am and will forever be a California girl.  Not the Katy Perry version, but the version that I know; consisting of Rainbow sandals year round, "California Stops," spending the summers at the pool or beach, running the Dish, family Sunday BBQ's, April Showers, and avocados.  Along with all of that comes Fish Tacos.  I grew up eating them, they were at every taquerilla I knew in San Diego, and I learned how to make them fairly quickly from my mother.  I choose the healthier option of grilling or broiling them rather than deep frying, and sometimes (most every time) I add unconventional toppings, like my Black Bean and Corn Salsa.

The boy and I were having a quick dinner one night and decided to opt for Fish Tacos.  They're extremely quick and easy, I think the total time took me to make dinner was 20 minutes for everything.  You marinate the fish for a few minutes (don't marinate the fish longer than 30 minutes or the acid will start cooking the fish and you have ceviche, while it is a very tasty dish, it's not so much the point of this recipe), cook it up in grill pan or broiler, add some toppings and enjoy.  It is really that simple.

Fish Tacos:

4 fish fillets, use any white fish such as Mahi Mahi or Tilapia
shredded cabbage
chopped scallions
chopped cilantro
slices of avocado
corn tortillas
Lemon Chipotle Crema - recipe see below

1/2 cup champagne or white wine (I used prosecco because I had it in my fridge)
juice of 1-2 lemons, I like Meyer Lemons
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 jalapeno or Serrano Chile, chopped AND/OR red pepper flakes
few cilantro leaves
chopped scallions
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

Let everything marinate in a shallow dish for 10-15 minutes while you chop the toppings you want on the tacos and make the Lemon Crema.

Lemon Crema:
2 tbsp light mayonnaise
juice of 1/2 a lemon
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper
few dashes of garlic powder
1/4 tsp chipotle sauce or paste (optional)

Mix everything in a small bowl and set aside to drizzle on top of the tacos.

Heat a grill pan to high heat, spray with non stick cooking spray.  Sear the fish fillets 2-3 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the fish.  Take off the heat when the fish flakes with a fork.

Look at that flakey fish with those grill marks

Assemble your tacos:  Corn tortilla, top with fish, add avocado, cabbage, salsa, scallions, drizzle with the crema, garnish with chopped cilantro.  You're done!  Dinner in 20 minutes at the most.