Perfect meal

Two posts in two days?!  This blog has hit the big time.  (Now hopefully it won’t be two months before any of us posts again…).

So on March 1, my mentor counselor from CPA had her hip replaced.  Her daughter set up a Care Calendar for her where people could sign up to provide meals for Kathy, her husband and one of her songs.  I signed up for today because it would be spring break and I would have ample time to shop for and prepare a HOMEMADE meal!  So fun.

I knew immediately that I would make chicken tortilla soup.  It is so delicious and is truly one of my favorite meals.  It’s easy to make, also.  I’ve made it for a lot of friends and it has gotten rave reviews.

Here are the steps to preparing this masterpiece.

1. Secure an assistant:

This is MowMow. She is Trone's cat and came with the marriage.

Or two…

Atticus Finch Nelson Sawyer

Now you’re cookin’.

2.  Assemble the ingredients.  The necessities for this soup fall into some simple categories:

Chicken Products (broth and breasts)

Canned and frozen goods: tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, green chilis and corn

Fresh veggies: a big zucchini, garlic and a medium onion.

SPICES! Cayenne, Cumin and Black Pepper. MMM.

Here’s a list of what it takes to make this masterpiece:

  • One medium onion
  • 1.5 zucchinis (I just used a big one)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 baked chicken breasts
  • 10 oz. frozen corn
  • 16 oz. tomato sauce
  • 3 oz. canned diced green chiles
  • 16 oz stewed, diced tomatoes (I just use a 14.5 oz can)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 20 oz. chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne

And the KEY ingredient is… your crock pot!

3. Bake your chicken breasts.  I bake mine covered in salt and pepper and olive oil on 350 for 30 minutes.  In the time it takes for the chicken to bake, you can get the rest of the soup ready.

Raw... but not for long!

4. Chop the zucchini and onion and saute them in olive oil along with minced garlic.

Saute until clear.

5. While the veggies are sauteing, dump everything else into the crock pot (tomato products, corn, chicken broth, spices).  When the veggies are ready, dump them in the crock pot too.  By now, your chickens are probably about baked:

Mmmmmmmmmmm.

6. Wait for them to cool and then shred them by hand and put them in the crock pot, too!  Then put it on simmer or warm and let it percolate for hours.  I put mine in last night and let it simmer overnight and all day.  Everything’s already cooked; it’s just a matter of all the flavors integrating.  The longer you let it simmer, the better.

Here it is, waiting for chicken.

When you serve, put shredded cheese and crumbled Tostitos with Lime in the bottom and then pour soup on top, stir and remember to take a breath while you inhale this deliciousness.

Now on to dessert…

I was trying to think of what would be a good complement to this magnificent soup and remembered this blog post from Chicken on the Green, one of my favorite food blogs.  I knew that it would be perfect with the soup; the lime from the Tostitos correlates directly to the lime in this cake!  Mmmmm.  Here’s the play by play:

1. Retain your assistants.

2. Assemble your supplies:

Dry goods.

Non-dry ingredients (butter, eggs, cream cheese).

Mmmmm. (doesn't really fit in another category...)

and the key ingredient:

Mmm.  Limes.

3. Sift the cake flour (3 1/4 cups), baking soda (1/4 tsp) and salt (1/4 tsp) and set aside:

I LOVE sifting!  I like the pretty result.

4. Cream together butter (2 1/4 sticks) and cream cheese (1 8 oz. pack reduced fat).  It takes about 40 seconds.

4. Add 3 cups of granulated sugar and beat in your stand mixer until it’s light and fluffy (about 5 minutes).

This guy is the MVP.

Then add the 6 large eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly (but not TOO thoroughly so your cake is still nice and light and fluffy at the end) between each egg.

Then add your vanilla extract (1 tsp) and freshly squeezed lime juice (3 tablespoons).

This was the first time I got to use this guy.

Lower your mix speed as low it will go and add the dry ingredients that you sifted in 3 installments.

Finally, fold in the lime zest (2 tsp finely grated) and delicately mix it in.

THEN fill the beautiful bundt pan that you just bought today (with Williams Sonoma gift cards from the wedding…)

that you had greased and floured at the beginning of this process, back when you preheated the oven to 325…

Put that sucker in the oven and let the magic happen.  Start checking it for doneness at the 1 hour mark.  It may require up to an hour and a half.

Then take it out, let it cool and dump it out on a plate:

Pat yourself on the back and generously brush the glaze you whipped up (1/4 cup fresh lime juice and 3/4 cup sugar) all over that sucker.

BON APPETITE!!!!!!!!!!!

-Catherine

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One response to “Perfect meal

  1. Drool.

    save me some CAKE!

    you are putting me to shame with the blogging.

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