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Haute Cuisine: Tortilla Soup
The Dish: Tortilla Soup. Seasoned chicken stock is the foundation of this Southwestern staple, to which executive chef Emiliano Ramirez adds sautéed celery, carrots, yellow and green squash and fire-roasted tomatoes. Next come strips of chicken breast that Ramirez has grilled separately. It is the garnish, though, that brings the soup to life: pico de gallo (Spanish for "rooster's beak," the name reportedly derives from the red chilis used, which resemble a rooster's beak). Ramirez's pico de gallo is a lively mixture of chopped tomato, onion, avocado, cucumber and mild or volcanic peppers, to which he adds lime juice, cilantro and a sprinkle of salty chili powder. Quartered limes are served on the side, as are homemade, fried, warm tortilla strips.
The Caterer: Executive Aircraft Catering, Dallas, (888) 899-3663, www.executiveaircraftcatering.com
In business for seven years, Executive Aircraft Catering has kitchens at Dallas' Love Field and Addison Airport. Its menu has no lack of distinctly Southwestern dishes but also ranges from Swiss and Scottish-style breakfasts to brandied veal with sherry to linguine with asparagus and Shitake mushrooms to chocolate-dipped fresh fruit.