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Texas Soup

If Texas branded its own cuisine, this would be on the menu.

Enjoy!

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Cream of Jalapeno Soup

This elegant soup is served at Grady Spears' Reata restaurant in Fort Worth. The Reata, which was on the top floor of the Bank One Tower, was closed after the 37-story building was heavily damaged by a tornado in 2000, and later reopened at its present location in Fort Worth's Sundance Square. The Reata experience is not to be missed if you're anywhere near Fort Worth. If you can't visit the restaurnt, buy their beautiful cookbook, Reata: Legendary Texas Cuisine!

The original Reata location is in Alpine, Texas, "nestled in the southern end of the breathtaking Davis Mountains in west Texas," according to the Reata website.

Ingredients:
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 fresh jalapeños, stemmed and seeded
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups chopped peeled and seeded tomatoes
  • 8 cups heavy cream
  • 1 bunch cilantro, stemmed and chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preparation:
  1. Mince the jalapeños and set aside. In a large heavy saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the jalapeños, onion and garlic and sauté, stirring, until vegetables are softened (not browned).
  2. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the avocado, tomatoes and cream. Lower the temperature and return pan to heat, watching and stirring so the cream does not separate. Bring the soup slowly back to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 50 to 60 minutes or until reduced by one-third. Be sure to stir occasionally to prevent scorching.
  3. Season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, stir in the chopped cilantro, reserving some for garnish. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with the remaining cilantro.

Note: Grady Spears is a great Texas chef, and stopping by for a meal at the Reata during a trip to the Dallas/Fort Worth area is highly recommended. He has several cookbooks to his credit, among them A Cowboy in the Kitchen: Recipes from Reata and Texas West of the Pecos.

Kitchen tools you'll need: Saucepan, Soup Bowls, Soup Pot

Lone Star List

Here are 10 things that caught my eye this week!

  1. Some new recipes from the internet: Violet Bakery Chocolate Devil’s Food Cake (with marshmellow icing!) and Brown Butter and Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies.
  2. Homesick Texan: Ten great meals from recent trips to Texas.
  3. Texas Monthly: On 'Parts Unknown,' Anthony Bourdain Asks If West Texans Are the Platonic Ideal of Texans - Spoiler: The answer is yes..
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  5. The Woks of Life: Chinese Vegetables: Leafy Greens.
  6. Addie Broyles: "I was saddened today to hear of the passing of Marie Offerman, a nonagenarian in New Braunfels who had perhaps the largest cookbook collection in Central Texas. Here's the story I wrote about her in 2016" - New Braunfels woman has spent 80 years collecting cookbooks, Dies at 92
  7. Medium Startups: What I Learned From Making Hot Sauce at Scale - I set out to create the first line of all-natural, deeply flavorful Chinese condiments. Getting there was harder than I anticipated.
  8. Urban IPM: On all of the recent Texas rain and imported fire ants.
  9. NYT Food: In a narrow swath of Kentucky and Tennessee, the specialty is a pork-shoulder steak, grilled and dunked in a tongue-torturing hot sauce.
  10. BBC: Chocolate is older than we thought.

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