Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cinco De Mayo with Gourmet Club

Cinco De Mayo!

My Gourmet Club met last night and our Mexican theme fiesta was a hit. Fabulous recipes ladies. It was also extra special because we got to see Kate. My friend Kate received some very unfortunate news a few weeks ago that she has breast cancer. Kate and I initally started the gourmet club and it was doubtful she may get to attend due to current conditions after treatments. I enjoyed the conversation and laughs and Racheal thank you so much for hosting.

My recipe was inspired by my friend April Nodine, who has since moved from Nashville. One of her favorite dishes is Tortilla Soup and this recipe happens to be hers. Preparing this soup for my foodie friends was like sharing a little piece of friendship.

Tortilla Soup

Makes: 4 large bowls
1/2 c plus 2 Tbsp vegetable oil (or olive)
1 yellow onion- diced
2 garlic cloves- minced
1/4 c plus
2 tsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 c drained canned plum (roma) tomatoes
1/2 tsp ground cumin
4 c chicken stock
1 chicken breast cut into bite-sized strips
4 corn tortillas
1 dried chile seeded
1 avocado- diced
1/4 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 tsp fresh lime juice

Warm 1 tbsp oil in frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and 2 tsp cilantro and saute until golden brown (~10min). In a blender or food processor, combine the mixture plus tomatoes and process until smooth. In the same pan over med-high heat, warm another tbsp of the oil; add the tomato mixture and cumin. Cook stirring frequently, until thickened and darkened, 5-6 min.

Transfer the mixture to a large saucepan over med-low heat and add the stock. Cover partially and simmer until the soup is slightly thickened (~20min). Add chicken strips and simmer until they are opaque throughout, 2-3 min longer. Season to taste with S&P.

While soup is cooking, cut tortillas in half and slice into thin strips. you can bake them until hard or fry them in frying pan over med-high heat with 1 c oil. If you fry them, drain them on a paper towel after.

In small, dry frying pan over med heat, toast the chile until fragrant (~7min). Shake the pan often so it doesn't burn. Let it cool, then crumble it and set aside.

Ladle soup into warmed bowls.

Divide tortillas strips, crumbled chile, 1/4 c cilantro, avocado, cheese, and lime juice evenly among the bowls and serve.

***My modifications: I used a prepared roasted chicken vs raw chicken breast. It was faster and more moist.***

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