Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Shrimp Bisque

First, I have to admit that I absolutely adore soups. Winter, spring, summer, it doesn’t matter. Second, shrimp bisque is probably my favorite soup of all (although tomato bisque is right there with it). This recipe is sort of a mish mash of all the flavors I found great in shrimp bisques that I’ve tried. The vegetables in the soup prevent it from tasting overly fishy, while the cream adds that distinctive creaminess, and the cayenne pepper give the soup a little bite.

Shrimp Bisque

Olive Oil
2 Leeks, green and white parts coarsely chopped
2 Carrots, chunked
1 Onion, chunked
2 Celery Stalks, chunked
3 cloves Garlic, smashed
¼ Cup Brandy
¼ Cup Dry Sherry
4 Cups Seafood Stock
4 sprigs Thyme
2 Bay Leaves
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 lbs Shrimp, peeled and veined
¼ Cup Butter
¼ Cup Flour
2 Cups Half & Half (or Cream, if you want it really rich)
3 Tbs Tomato Paste

Begin by sautéing the leeks, carrots, onion, and celery with some olive oil. After the veggies begin to brown up, add in the garlic, toss around. Add the Brandy, and stir until the alcohol evaporates. Repeat with the sherry, and then add the seafood stock. Add the thyme, bay leaf, and cayenne, and bring to a boil. Allow the soup to cook on a simmer until the vegetables are tender.

Bring the soup up to a full boil, add the shrimp, and then remove from heat. Stir the soup until the shrimp are cooked and pink, about 5 minutes.

Puree the soup in batches in a processor, and store in a separate container from the pot it was cooking in.

In the original soup pot, melt the butter, add the flour, and whisk until the roux comes together. Add the half & half, along with the shrimp soup puree and whisk until it begins to thicken. Whisk in the tomato paste and serve bubbling hot with a few flash seared shrimps!


French Green Lentil & Arugula Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette atop Prosciutto & Goat Cheese Toasts

Sourdough Loaf
Olive Oil
6 oz Goat Cheese
¼ lb. Procuitto
1 cup French Green Lentils
1 cup Chicken Stock
3 sprigs Thyme
1 cup water
5 oz Arugula
1 Red Onion Sliced
1 clove Garlic minced
3 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbsp Honey
¼ cup Olive Oil

Oven at 375 F

Rinse lentils, and place in small sauce pot. Add chicken stock, water, thyme and season with salt. Bring to boil and cook for 15-20 min. Don’t let them get mushy!

Begin by slicing the sourdough into 1 inch thick slices. Rub with olive oil and crisp in the oven for 2-3 minutes. Remove the toasts and spread the goat cheese even over the toasts. Top with a ribbons of prosciutto and put back in the oven until the prosciutto begins to crisp up. Mix up the balsamic vinaigrette by combing the vinegar and the honey, and then drizzling in the olive oil while whisking.

Sauté the onion and garlic until it begins to caramelize, and then add the vinaigrette.

Pour the warm vinaigrette/onions along with the drained lentils over the arugula in a large mixing bowl, and toss to coat. Serve the toasts with the lentil/arugula salad overtop.

I modified this recipe from Tyler Florence’s similar dish.