Monday, December 21, 2009

Chicken Tortilla Soup #1

Once upon a time there was a soup. A Chicken Tortilla Soup. And it lived at a semi fast-food restaurant called Baja Fresh. The soup was not your ordinary semi fast-food fare. It was rich and dark, full of mysterious flavors and not too many chunks of vegetables. It was topped with cilantro and avocado and a wedge of lime, which as everyone knows, is The Trifecta of Mexican Cuisine. The soup was cryptic, inscrutable, an enigma.

This, friends, is not that soup.

When searching for recipes that would compare I tried to identify just what the ingredients are that make the soup so outrageously good. It's really dark, practically black. Could special something be that chipotle, the smoky little devil? This recipe calls for some basic ingredients that sounded good, in theory, and some jalepenos. So I decided to substitute chipotles in the place of the jalepenos.

I've had better ideas.

Chipotle is NOT the mystery ingredient. And this recipe calls for far too many onions. It's basically a Mexican Onion Soup which is good and all, but not The Soup.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

12 Days of "Cookies" and 1 Day of Ina

It's time, once again, for Food Network's annual "12 Days of Cookies" email/recipe series. Let's take a moment to reflect on a few of this year's offerings, shall we?

First up are Gingerbread Cookies by Chef Alex SomebodyorotherthatIdon'tknowandprobablyneitherdoyou.

Those are the saddest, flattest, driest little men I've seen in a long while. I think I've seen cardboard that looked more flavorful and moist. In fact, did they use Elmer's to decorate those little pieces of particle board?

Next up are The Neelys' Butter Cookies. I love this picture. Because, really, the first thing you want to be reminded of while eating cookies is... a pig.

Finally, Sunny's Crunchy Peanut Butter S'more Bites. You know what I usually do when I'm jonesing for some S'mores? I take a huge chunk of peanut butter, roll it around in some sawdust and fingernail clippings, and then make a sandwhich out of it with some Crisco. Mmm mmm good.

And I'm not even going to dignify Sandra Lee's Peppermint Dandruff Cookies with a response. You can't make me.

Did Food Network redeem themselves by including a 13th recipe for Rugelach? Hard to say. There are Hateful Raisins in them. But Ina always comes through for me in the end. At least someone at Food Network does.