10-11-11 Dinner Blog
The pressure is on! Tonight’s meal is Tortilla Soup – the benchmark of all benchmarks – the perfect 10 – actually the meal that gets an 11 out of 10! Can I do it?! I don’t know if I can take the pressure!
Basically by Monday evening around 8:30, I had the bulk of the meals prepared for the rest of the week! Not bad! Monday’s Chinese Chicken Salad was so easy to prepare and clean up, and knowing that on Tuesday I would be rolling in from carpools at about 6:45, I was going to have to have dinner ready beforehand. So I pulled the Tortilla Soup together Monday night in about 15 minutes, letting it simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Kids were doing homework – I was jostling my time between preparing the soup and helping my daughter on the computer with a project she is working on for school. I also had one eye on my son to keep him focused on homework. Tortilla Soup is a “super” easy preparation. I washed the chicken, chopped the peppers, and put everything in the pot following the order in the recipe. I brought the soup to a boil, simmered for 20 minutes, and stored it in the fridge. I also chopped the cilantro and radishes, storing them in the fridge so I wouldn’t have anything but the avocados to prepare at dinnertime.
It was 7:10 by the time I got home from carpool and made a second trip out to drop off shoes that were left in the back of my car. I preheated the oven to 450, put the soup pot on the stove and began slicing the corn tortillas into very thin strips.
I sprayed the bottom of two roasting pans and spread the tortilla strips out across the two pans. Then I sprayed a bit more canola oil, lightly sprinkle with salt and put in the oven, setting the timer for 5 minutes.
I got out the bowls and cut 2 avocados. I pulled the cilantro, cheese and radishes out of the refrigerator.
Once the timer for the tortilla strips sounded, I pulled both pans out of the oven, mixed up the strips and put them back in the oven, switching racks and setting the timer for 5 more minutes.
At the 5 minute mark, I pulled the tortilla strips out of the oven and served the dinner! First I put a bit of avocado in everyone’s bowl except for my son, who had his avocado on the side with a bit of salt. Then I ladled the soup into each bowl, topping with cilantro, radish, and cheese. The grand finale was a handful of baked tortilla strips on top.
It’s an 11! Yes! That is the nice thing about this recipe. It is very repeatable. My son and husband had 2 servings. My daughter and I found one serving quite satisfying. The kids requested Tortilla soup again tomorrow. I had originally planned to serve it again on Thursday night, but who can turn down an 11 rating two nights in a row?!?