Monday, April 20, 2009

shrimp bisque

I LOVE soup. I could eat it everyday (with bread, cheese, salad, and french fries). In particular, I LOVE bisque- crab bisque, lobster bisque, you name it! Every time I go out to eat and I see that there is some kind of bisque on the menu, I ALWAYS order it.

I decided it was about time I try to make it on my own. I am so glad I did because it was DELICIOUS! The only downside is all the prep. I wish I did it all a bit earlier because the whole experience would have gone much smoother. I ended up using a second pair of hands so it would be finished within dinner time.

Here's what you need (and prep it before you plan on actually cooking it): 3 tablespoons butter, 1 yellow onion (thinly sliced), 1 carrot (peeled and thinly sliced), 4 cloves garlic (thinly sliced), 2 pounds of shrimp (shelled and deveined; save the shells intact as much as possible; save 24 shrimp and cut them into 1/2 inch pieces), 4 Roma tomatoes (coarsely chopped), 4 cups of chicken stock, 1/2 cup fine bread crumbs, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 2 tablespoons dry sherry, salt, cayenne pepper, and Italian parsley for garnish (finely chopped).

In a soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and garlic and saute for about 2 minutes.

Add the shrimp shells and continue to saute for about 5 minutes. The shells will turn bright pink and the vegetables will continue to soften.

Add the tomatoes and stock. Cook for 5-8 minutes. Remove the shrimp shells and throw them away. (Notice I changed pots; I kept switching between two different pots.)

In a blender, process the mixture in batches until finely chopped. Pass the mixture through a sieve or food mill. Discard the solids.

When all done, you are left with a smooth mixture.

With the 24 shrimp set aside, add the rest of the shrimp and the bread crumbs to the pot. Cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and, with the blender, puree the soup in batches until smooth.

Return the soup to medium heat and add the cream, sherry, salt to taste, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Cook for about 2-5 minutes to blend the flavors. Add salt if necessary.

When the soup is ready, add the 24 cut shrimp and cook for a couple minutes more. Before serving, garnish with the parsley. Oh, so good...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

who is claire robinson


I woke up early this morning (to my dismay), made my necessary coffee, and turned on the TV. As I flipped through my favorite channels, I decided to stop at the Food Network. The title "5 Ingredient Fix" caught my attention. This Claire Robinson was making french toast, maple candied bacon, a fruit smoothie, and asparagus topped with scrambled eggs. The whole time, I kept thinking:

  • Does this really taste good?
  • Who is this person?
  • What are her credentials?
It became necessary to know more so I go to the Food Network site. I learn this is her third episode, she's worked in media, she really wanted to pursue her interest in food, and she's produced other Food Network shows. I started to check out her other recipes and their reviews. They were actually interesting read- people reviewing the food before even cooking it, someone named Aggie raving about the food but making some serious alterations to the ingredients, and someone named Marsha who ripped Aggie for her comments and who ripped the recipes for getting high marks for doing not much.

I'll keep watching this show out of mere curiosity. Maybe, I'll even try some of the things she made. Claire, just stop getting excited about everything you've cooked after you have a bite but it's just a bit annoying. Really... the mini orgasms that these people get after trying their food is much.