Mansion Tortilla Soup

My first incarnation of this recipe came from the Mansion on Turtle Creek cookbook, which I believe is older than I am. I had to look it up just to see, but it is still in print! Interesting, I see they also have a new book out from only a couple years ago, maybe I should check that one out.

Re-hydrated and pureed Ancho, Chipotle and Pasilla chiles

Dean Fearing might be gone from the Mansion, but the toppings live on. I usually go with crispy corn tortilla strips, avocado, sour cream, cilantro, green onion and cheddar cheese.

The base of the soup is tomatoes, onions, garlic and chicken stock. Thickened with corn tortillas.

I also don’t strain the soup, like the original recipe calls for. Also, I changed up the peppers used. A mix of fresh and dried peppers is more interesting. In a San Antonio restaurant one time I had a bowl that was straight up dried pepper powder. Felt like sand paper going down my throat. Tasted like it, too.

Creamed Pearl Onions

Always popular around the holidays, creamed pearl onions. They don’t require that much work and the make the house smell great while they are cooking.

I usually get a mix: red, yellow and white. They don’t really taste that different, but the color contrast is nice. Trim the tops, blanch them in water and give them a good squeeze and they pop right out of their skins.

Braise in a 50/50 mix of heavy cream and dry vermouth. At a low simmer they take a couple hours for the onions to break down and the sauce to caramelize. When it does, it will turn to a golden color. You will know if you haven’t gotten there if the sauce looks broken and not a cohesive and velvety.

Panettone From Roy

David Chang interviewed Roy Shvartzapel about the creation of this product and business. It sounds like it was a fun journey for Roy. The complexity of the dough reminded me of my journey with pizza dough.

So I took the bait and ordered one. I had never even heard of this type of bread before. I asked a few friends and they had heard of panettone, but said that they were never very good. Roy’s was very good. Complex. Not inexpensive but a nice treat.