Haute Cuisine: Tortilla Soup

Business Jet Traveler » August 2008
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Friday, August 1, 2008 - 5:00am

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.

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“When you get into the larger aircraft it becomes like a hotel, with dozens of staff supporting the plane based in a galley area down below. You have very comprehensive cooking facilities, and on larger aircraft we have looked at theatres, with spiral staircases and a Steinway grand piano. The limitations for what you can put inside a plane are pretty much the limits of physics, and even money cannot always overcome that. Even so, people are still always trying to push [the limits]. ”

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