Sunday, January 9, 2011

Shrimp Bisque

I found this one on Discovery Health, and although I didn't even come close to following it to the letter, it was still delicious. My only advice would be NOT to leave the ingredients from the stock in the soup (specifically the bay leaf & peppercorns; carrots - optional) because you think it will improve the flavor as it finishes cooking and you can just warn your family what not to eat. We all nearly killed ourselves accidentally cracking into those sneaky peppercorns... So probably, just follow the recipe. We served it with buttermilk cornbread, which recipe follows below.

• 12 ounces raw shrimp (30-40 per pound) shell-on
• 1 each onion chopped, divided
• 1 each carrot peeled and sliced
• 1 stalk celery (with leaves) sliced
• ½ cup dry white wine
• ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
• 1 each bay leaf
• 3 cups water
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 4 ounces mushrooms wiped clean and sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
• ½ each green bell pepper, chopped
• ¼ cup chopped scallions
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
• ¼ cup all-purpose flour
• 1 ½ cups low-fat milk
• ¼ cup reduced-fat sour cream
• ¼ cup dry sherry
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• Freshly ground pepper to taste
• Dash of hot sauce

1. Peel and de-vein shrimp, reserving the shells. Cut the shrimp into 3/4-inch pieces; cover and refrigerate.
2. Combine the shrimp shells with about half the onion, all the carrot, celery, wine, peppercorns and bay leaf in a large heavy saucepan. Add water and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes. Strain through a sieve, pressing on the solids to extract all the juices; discard the solids. Measure the shrimp stock and add water, if necessary, to make 1 ½ cups.
3. Heat oil in the same pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, bell pepper, scallions, parsley and the remaining onion. Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring constantly, until it starts to turn golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly stir in milk and the shrimp stock. Cook, stirring to loosen any flour sticking to the bottom of the pot, until the soup returns to a simmer and thickens, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved shrimp and cook until they turn opaque in the center, about 2 minutes more. Add sour cream, sherry and lemon juice; stir over low heat until heated through—do not let it come to a boil. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt, pepper and hot sauce.

Buttermilk Cornbread

Ever-so-slightly adapted from a classic find, this one is FABULOUS... IF you like your cornbread sweet. Which of course I do.

• 1/4 cup butter, melted
• 1/4 cup oil
• 2/3 cup white sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup buttermilk
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• 1 cup cornmeal
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• ½ teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square pan.
2. Combine melted butter, oil, and sugar. Add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and immediately stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.