Chicken Tortilla Soup


Nothing like a lil Chicken Tortilla Soup (for the soul) as the chill of Fall weather flows into Middle TN.  And, this recipe is very easy but it’s best if you slow cook it a day ahead of when you plan to eat it.

Simmer for 3 hours, lowest heat on day-1, fridge overnight, simmer on lowest heat on day-2 until hot & ready to eat, but that’s just me.  Serve with your favorite tortilla style chips, shredded cheese and sour cream.

Ingredients:  (all ingredients can be added at the same time)

1 Whole Roasted Chicken (I get a whole roasted chicken from Publix.)  Remove all the skin, pull/shred all the chicken and dump that into your soup pot.

1 14oz can Sweet Corn, drain liquid, add to pot

1 14oz can Black Beans, drain liquid, add …

2 4oz cans Diced Green Chilis, drain & add …

3/4 of a stick of original Philadelphia Cream Cheese (dice into small cubes)

2 14oz cans of Diced Tomatoes (not necessary to drain tomatoes) I use Cento brand if I can find them.  Or, you can get the whole Cento tomatoes and rough cut/chop.

1 32oz container of regular Chicken Broth

2 packages of Taco Seasoning (regular/mild/hot,,, your call) I use Old El Paso – Mild.


Add a couple bottles of your favorite red wine, maybe a big spicy red zin, a warm fire on the patio and of course, some friends – and you’re ready!!!




It’s a Wagyu Weekend…

Wagyu Beef Brisket and Burnt Ends – – – Brisket Tacos or Sandwiches or On the Plate, it’s all great!!!

Wagyu Brisket (1 of 7)

Wagyu Brisket (2 of 7)

Wagyu Brisket (3 of 7)

Dry Rub:

  • 1/4 cup each – Kosher Salt & Coarse Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Onion Powder
  • 1Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp Chipotle Chili Pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dry Mustard

Wagyu Brisket (4 of 7)

Smoked with Pecan Wood, wrapped in foil after two hours.  @ 205 degrees internal, removed from the smoker and placed in a cooler for 4 hours.

Wagyu Brisket (5 of 7)

The full “packer brisket,” the flat and the point, separating the point created the burnt ends pieces below.

Wagyu Brisket (6 of 7)


Kansas City Style Burnt Ends

Wagyu Brisket (7 of 7)

Burnt Ends go back on the smoker, with a little bbq sauce & a light spray of apple cider vinegar, for about 1 hour @ 250.  Once they have a nice char, you’re ready…  The “point” end of the brisket has more marbling/fat, which makes the burnt ends really moist and tender.  You’ll be eating them like candy.

Tarragon & Chive Butter Grilled Lobster

Lobster Tail (1 of 1)-2

Lobster Tail (1 of 1)

Grilled Lobster Tail with Tarragon & Chive Butter:

Med-High Heat:  375 – 400:  Meat side down for approx 5 mins, shell was cut and split, turned and cooked for 4 to 5 minutes

Butter for basting:

  • 1 stick salted sweet cream (melted in sauce pan, over low heat)
  • 2 Tbsp finely diced fresh chives
  • 1 Tbsp finely diced fresh tarragon
  • 1 Clove Minced Garlic
  • 1 Dash Tabasco Sauce
  • 1/2 Tsp Black Pepper

Bacon-Beef Burgers

2 lbs beef, 1.5 lbs bacon – ground together for burgers, the flavor is mouthwatering…  grilled zucchini with avocado oil & seasonings


The bacon ground in with the beef keeps the burgers super juicy – give it try.  Cheers…

It’s a red blend kind-of night…


Carne Humana – Red Blend

~$25 price-range

Copper Cane Winery – If you’re familiar with Joe Wagner (Wagner Family of Wine – Caymus Special Select, Caymus, et al.) and (Meiomi), then you’ll appreciate what he’s doing at Copper Cane.  This is a very nice red-blend @ a great price.  Pair this with a charcoal grilled rib-eye and you’ll be looking for a 2nd or 3rd bottle…

This is an easy drinking wine – with or without food.  It has both red fruit and dark fruit on the nose, a little leather and licorice as well.  It’s medium- tannin, med acidity and alcohol with a nice lingering finish.  Regardless of my opinion, give it a try – you’ll like it @ $25…

Copper Cane Winery

unWine’d with a pour…

Mother’s Day Weekend


’13 Rodney Strong, Symmetry Meritage (red blend):  Cabernet-Merlot-Petit Verdot-Malbec-Cab Franc:  ruby color, mild tannins, med-alcohol, dark/black fruit, jammy, hint of licorice – – very nice with the steak…

NYStrip – 2″ thick cut, kosher salt & a lil dry-rub, then pan-sear for 4 minutes – one side only.  Afterward, remove from cast iron skillet, slice into 1″ pieces across the grain.  Stack the pieces back in the skillet – crust side down.

With your broiler on high, place the skillet back in the oven for 3 – 5 minutes based upon how done you prefer the steak.  This was about 4 mins for Med-Rare +, as you can see.  At the 3 minutes mark, I put about 3 Tbsp of softened butter on top of the steak and closed the oven door for another minute or so until the butter melts completely.  Additionally, preparing this way allows you to see how done the pieces are getting – get the doneness you like.

Now, remove steak from the skillet onto your cutting board.  Drizzle a little EVOO over the hot steak and sprinkle on a little kosher salt – add cracked pepper if you like.

The dry rub:  use just enough to get a nice coverage on all of the steak, sides as well…

  • Kosher Salt – I don’t measure but I use an ample amount all over the steak.  I’d guess 1 1/2 Tbsp to get nice coverage all over the steak.  I let this sit a room temp for about 30 mins before adding the dry rub.
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ancho chili pepper
  • couple pinches of cayenne pepper
  • …mix all the spices together and use what you need, may have some left over – give the dry rub 30 – 45 mins on the steak before searing