So sorry it's been a few days since I blogged. J and I have been at a Great Harvest convention in fantastically sunny Tucson AZ. Did you know that Tucson is only about 50-60 miles away from the Mexican border. I was certain that I was going to be eating Huevos Rancheros for breakfast everyday, chips and guac at the pool every afternoon, and fajitas, or tacos at every dinner. But to my sadness we were not. I kept waiting to be served some Prickly Pear Jelly with my bagel every morning at least, but no such luck. The second night there we had a lovely dinner at the Arizona Sonoma Desert Museum. They had some fantastic cornbread with a pretty pink spread at its side. In the pale moon light I could have swore that it was definately Prickly Pear Jelly. My dear little friend Mallory from the Boise Great Harvest assured me that it was. I took a huge spoonful and spread it all over my cornbread. Finally, a food from the region. To my dismay I took a bite and low and behold can you believe....it was ketchup!! Sick! I couldn't even eat the lovely piece of cornbread. I did come home with a jar of the Prickly Pear Jelly. Mallory felt bad for me and bought me one at the hotels gift shop. I love you Mallory!!! I'm sure you are wondering if Prickly Pear Jelly is really that good, but I am the type of girl that "When in Rome, eat as the Romans" or Tucsonians in this case! I just wanted to taste the local fare. It did taste quite good in fact.
This is where I spent every afternoon eating frozen grapes. It was lovely.
The landscape in Tucson is so different. The Saguaro cactus is the tree of choice there. There were also amazing critters. J and I went jogging early one morning and came upon a wild pig type creature. Think of Timon the wart hog in Lion King. That's what this little critter looked like. We ran into a scorpion, and a few rattle snakes were spotted. I decided I'd take my moose and Mountain Lions most days. I'd sure hate to find a large spider, or scorpion in my house. I've got a picture of the mountains behind our resort with all the cacti. (that is plural for cactuses:)
I thought I would share my favorite Utah-Mex recipe since I just didn't get enough of the stuff. It is a knock off of Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup. There are tons of recipes online for this soup, but none of them has made me happy. So I made this one up. I love it and so does Emma so I hope that counts. It is made with corn tortillas instead of masa harina. I've tried it with masa harina and that corn flour always seems rancid to me. You get a way better taste with the tortillas. It's a great soup and I hope you enjoy it since it is such soup weather now:)
Clawson's Chicken Enchilada Soup
3 carrots chopped
2 ribs celery chopped
1 onion chopped
2 T. oil
Saute veggies until clear. Add the following:
8 c. chicken broth
1 can Rotel tomatoes (a must! Regular tomatoes don't cut it.)
1 pkg. taco seasoning
10 small corn tortillas ripped a bit
Bring all ingredients to a boil and boil gently for 20 mins. Use a wand blender if you have one and if not use your regular blender to puree all the ingredients together. Add:
2 T. corn starch stirred into 1 c. cold water
Bring soup to a boil. Add:
1 c. cream or half and half
1 lb. Velveeta Cheese (has to be the name brand. The other stuff doesn't melt well.)
Don't boil the soup again once you add the cream and cheese. It will curdle. Add your mix ins.
3 c. chopped chicken ( I love using a rotisserie chicken)
1 can black beans rinsed (optional)
1 can corn rinsed (optional)
Top with tortilla strips, fresh salsa or tomatoes, sour cream, avacado, and chopped cilantro! The best!