Wednesday, October 22, 2008

If You Can't Post Something Nice, Don't Post Anything at All


Like I said last week;I have been struggling the photography of my dishes lately. I blame this mostly on the dishes themselves. They just don't lend themselves to being aesthetically pleasing which has nothing to do with the taste of them. But when I made "Rack of Lamb" (for the first time) last week and my pictures came out at best "boring and lacking interest" I had to admit that I have gotten lazy complacent about photographing my food.

In my defense, the food I blog about is the actual meals I am cooking for my family. It's hard enough to find the time to get a meal on the table, let alone set up a photography studio everytime I cook. I know it will shock you but, dinner at our house does not always mean a nicely set table. Not to mention good lighting.

I also do not own (much to my dismay) a fancy camera. I use a point and shoot type which is great for natural light but pictures that require flash have harsh lighting and a yellowish cast. If you look closely at my pictures (the good ones) you will often notice my backyard and/or deck in them.

It's getting to be the time of year when natural light at dinner time would mean eating at 4pm. Last year I constructed a "light box" and bought a mini tripod to try to combat this and they work pretty well. But, this means dragging it out everytime (again, that time thing) and often results cold food by the time I am done. Not to mention the rolling eyes of my family while they sit at the table waiting for me to finish.

I know, "Excuses, Excuses!" So I was determined today to post something with a nice picture. I have a bunch of good recipes I want you to try but this one is the only one for awhile that I have decent shots of .

This is a recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup. I saw a recipe for it on that had lime ....mmm, lime! I made a couple of changes to it and came up with a killer soup that my co-workers gobbled up last week. I love the zing that the lime adds to this and my replacement of the jalapenos with Chipolte Peppers in Adobo gave it just the right amount of heat. I hope you enjoy this as much as my co-workers did!

Chicken Tortilla Soup with Lime


1 1/2 cups diced onion
2 Tbs minced garlic
2-4 chipolte peppers in Adobo sauce
1 Tbs olive oil
1 cup crushed Tortilla chips
1 quart chicken broth
1 Tbs cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp dried oregano
1 14 oz can "fire roasted" tomatoes
1-14oz can crushed tomatoes
2 cups frozen corn
1 can black beans

4Tbs lime juice

zest of one lime

1/4 cup chopped cilantro


Heat olive oil in a heavy stock pot or dutch oven (I love my cast iron) over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until softened. Add garlic and saute 1 minute more. Add the crushed tortilla chips, toss and toast lightly. Chop up Chipoltes(they will be very soft and sort of like mush)and add, along with a couple TBS of the sauce

Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, spices,corn,beans(with juices)and shredded chicken and simmer for about 5 minutes. .

Reduce the heat and stir in the shredded cheese and Half and Half. Add lime juice, lime zest and cilantro. Stir gently until cheese is melted and well distributed.

Ladle soup into serving bowls add a couple of crushed tortilla chips sprinkle with with additional cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

Notes: Tortilla chips with "a hint of lime" go great with this. Chipolte peppers in Adobo can be found canned in the hispanic foods isle.


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