In my last several blogs I’ve devoted several paragraphs to a young black and white female cat that has recently adopted us. As we have Boo Boo, our inside cat, to deal with, we have temporarily set up bed and food in the garage for the newcomer until we can determine how to best integrate her into the house and into Boo Boo’s little black heart.
My other half has become accustomed over the years to my taking in, or at least feeding, most of the wildlife in our immediate vicinity. Three wild hares, yup I said it, and their offspring stop by during the summer months for an offered piece of lettuce or carrot, a flock of hummingbirds circle our feeders, and even the deer show up on occasion for a piece of apple. It’s a zoo, literally.
After finally convincing him we needed an indoor cat, he acquiesced and we got Boo Boo six years ago, whom he adores. Now, we have added Mouth outside, or she has added us, and he has issued a moratorium on additional adoptions for the time being. This morning he went out to open the garage door and let Mouth out for the morning. Returning to the kitchen, he filled his coffee cup spilling coffee on the counter. Reaching for a paper towel and instead finding an empty roll, he grabbed his cup and trudged back out to the garage where I keep the extra rolls of towels. On opening the door, he found himself squarely facing a small buck (well small when compared to a full-grown animal, but bigger than a breadbox) sporting a two point rack bent over the cat food dish enjoying a kibble or twelve. Hard to tell who was more shocked, but the young deer probably won the toss. Before my other half could react, the animal slipped on the cement, fell, rallied, and took off out of the garage like someone had ignited a roman candle under his tail. Meanwhile, my other half was left doing the Tijuana two-step in the garage waving his coffee cup in the air spewing liquid about like he was officiating at an enthusiastic baptismal.
Hearing the commotion, I poked my head out of the bedroom doorway to find him standing in the hall wearing most of his coffee on his tee-shirt and mumbling to himself. “I draw the line at bucks, Susie. “I just have to draw the line at bucks”. Huh?
This soup is hot both in flavor and temperature.
South of the Border Cream of Chicken Soup
3 Tbsp. butter
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 poblamo chile, seeded and diced
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. hot chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
6 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, divided
3 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Mexican beer (Corona, Dos Equis)
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup uncooked rice
3 cups pepper Jack cheese, shredded
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded with a fork
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
Tortilla chips, coarsely crushed
Melt butter in large cooking pot. Stir in bell pepper, chili, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and coriander. Sweat mixture about 5 mins. until peppers begin to soften.
Whisk in 3 Tbsp. of flour and toss to coat vegetables. Whisk in milk, beer, and broth until smooth. Add salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Stir in rice. Simmer about 20 mins. or until rice is tender.
Combine cheese and remaining 3 Tbsp. flour in a resealable plastic bag. Shake to coat. Add flour coated cheese to vegetable/flour mixture a handful at a time, melting cheese completely between each addition. Add chicken and cilantro and heat thoroughly.
Garnish each bowl with a spoonful of tortilla chips, a dollop of sour cream, and lime slices.