I love the Tortilla Soup at Cafe Capistrano. Could you please get the recipe? -- J.S., Apex
Cafe Capistrano (8471 Garvey Drive; 872-1127; www.cafecapistrano.com) has been open a little over a year, but its distinctive Mexican fare with a California twist and an emphasis on freshness have already made the restaurant a popular destination in North Raleigh. Chef James Cardona shares the recipe, adding that the key to success is using a rich chicken stock.
Cardona says it's OK to use a commercially prepared stock if you're pressed for time, as long as it's full-flavored. Or you might want to try this quick stock recipe which we here at Specialty of the House have adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. The recipe takes less than an hour and a half from start to finish (as opposed to five hours or more for a traditional stock recipe), and it yields a rich and flavorful stock. As a bonus, you can use the meat in the Tortilla Soup recipe -- providing you like dark meat, of course.
Specialty of the House gets recipes for local restaurant dishes. Send requests, including your city, to Specialty of the House, c/o The News & Observer or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Find past columns and recipes at www.newsobserver.com, keyword specialty.