A few months ago, this blog had an identity crisis. It hit me and my business partner / husband / resident web developer / handsome curly-haired hobbit that while That Hubert Kitchen may be a sweet, meaningful name to us, it’s awfully hard to remember. As I found myself talking about this food blog with others, people would ask the name… and saying That Hubert Kitchen aloud usually garnered responses along the lines of, “Huh?”.
So, we decided to start brainstorming ideas for new names. We started reflecting on past posts, what the underlying themes of the blog are thus far, clever names that would knock everyone’s socks off… And it was a dreadfully long, indecisive process (on my part). Some of the frontrunners: Spectacular Spatula (thanks to my father in law), Come and Bake It (perfect, but taken by a site covering home food businesses), Flour and Salt (my attempt to be both mainstream and pretentious) and Kitchen Rising (I still have feelings for it, but everyone else hated it). So thank you, dear friends whom we cornered and begged for ideas and feedback. We won’t be bothering you anymore.
Then Kevin made the point one day, “Your recipes have a lot of Texan themes to them.”
Huh. Hadn’t thought of it that way. He brought it up to my in-laws during our shameless attempts to pick everyone else’s creativity apart in hopes of finding a new, great name. A few hours later, they texted those words: A Dash of Texas.
Both of us raised our eyebrows, took a short beat, and used high pitched voices to describe our excitement at the new name and immediately called it a winner.
Then I got cold feet, bad.
I started to psych myself out, convincing myself the name portrayed someone who wasn’t me and instead portrayed some of the stereotypes I’m not: Cowboy boots. Country music. Big trucks. Rick Perry.
And I am none of those things. There are people in my life who identify with many of those things, and I love and care for them dearly. But I’ve never owned cowboy boots. I passionately dislike country music. I hate Paula Deen’s accent. And I was worried this name would be completely unrepresentative of who I am.
Then I realized I’m a seventh generation Texan. I’m related by marriage to James Bowie, and my great-something grandfather, Gideon Lincecum, came to Texas right after the revolution and was pen pals with Stephen F. Austin. We buy jalapenos on a weekly basis when it’s too cold to grow them in our backyard, and I’m putting off having children primarily because I can’t imagine a life without margaritas, even for a few months. I live in one of the coolest, weirdest, hipster-filled cities in the world, where stand alone taco shops and microbreweries are starting to outnumber the people. I’m very Texan, no matter what stereotypes I may not fit. And our diet is extremely reflective of this state.
So Dash of Texas. Not all of the recipes on here obviously fit that mold, because we like having a varied diet of new and adventurous foods, which I’ll continue to post. But our kitchen is in the thick of this wild Central Texas landscape, run by us natives who are constantly inspired by our Austin surroundings. Whether it’s the sketchy Mexican food place hidden on a backroad that changed our lives with one bite of their pulled pork tamale, or an unrepentantly hipster restaurant on South Congress with a remarkable vegan menu, we’re energized and excited by it. And I think that’s what loving to cook is all about.
A huge, major, colossal, gigantic thanks to my wonderful and brilliant husband. Not only did he love me in the midst of my crazy when having manic episodes during the name-picking process, but he built this website FROM SCRATCH. He is one helluva web developer, and I don’t deserve his love and talents to be poured out on me.
He would also like everyone to be patient with any bugs on the site that he continues to work out over the next few weeks… Just be cool.
Now for food. Here’s a recipe for a Chicken and Lime soup with some beautiful green-hued toppings that really steal the show. The choice to make this is a straight up reflection of the depressing weather. Wet. Gray. Icy. Cold. Gross. Never have I longed to lose an hour of sleep at daylight savings just for the sake of more sunshine, but oh how I’m looking forward to it.
The lime is the pride and joy of this recipe. I told my dad about the soup, and he staunchly declared it a weird idea, but I promise, it’s delicious. The tingling tartness of the lime mingles with avocado, cilantro and cheese for a front row show of taste bud heaven, with a supporting cast of hearty shredded chicken, savory broth, and chopped red pepper for color and taste… It’s important to enjoy the aesthetics of your food.
It comes together quickly, makes a great, light lunch, and has the unique versatility to be a winter and summer soup. Bless you, limes, for making the world a better place.
Mexican Chorizo Meatball Soup
For the stock (optional)
- 3 quarts water
- Carcass of one chicken (I used a used rotisserie chicken)
- 2 white or yellow onions quartered
- 1 jalapeno, halved (seeded if you don't like heat)
- 1 cup carrots roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- Salt and pepper
For the soup and meatballs
- 8 cups of chicken stock
- 1 white onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic diced
- 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 cup corn kernels (mine were frozen)
- 1/2 cup rice
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- 1/2 lb chorizo
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons cilantro chopped
- Salt and pepper
- For the stock (optional), bring all ingredients to a boil in a large stock pot. Once boiling, bring to a simmer on low heat and simmer for at least 4 hours. Strain and reserve the stock, discarding the chicken, vegetables, and herbs.
- To prepare the meatballs, combine the ground beef, chorizo, egg, milk, breadcrumbs, cilantro, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Either mix with a spoon or with your hands. Once combined, roll into golf ball-sized balls and set aside.
- Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeno and cook until the onions are translucent, about 4 minutes.
- Add the cumin and a bit of salt and pepper. Add both cans of tomatoes (with juices) and bring to a boil. Bring back down to a simmer.
- Add the corn kernels, rice, and meatballs. Simmer for at least 25 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the meatballs have cooked through. Serve topped with cheese, avocado, cilantro, or fresh lime wedges.
- The stock is entirely optional, but is a nice added touch to the soup with the jalapeno and lime infused throughout.