© Quentin Bacon
It has been so long since I started writing up this recipe from my brother’s engagement party that he is now married. Inexcusable, no?
Well I’m not sorry! With the warm weather and the actual paying writing jobs, something had to give, and this was it. (I actually am sorry, though. This recipe nonsense is considerably easier and more fun to write about than FAA grants, and this audience is loyal as hell, so please forgive me.)
Anyway, we – and by “we” I mean “The Chef” – made a huge batch of this recipe for a St. Patrick’s Day engagement party and served it up in shot glasses. In my world, Soup + Shots + Bacon = Phenom. Seriously – peas are usually beyond lame, but the toppings on this make it delectable.
This is actually Daniel Boulud‘s super schmancy pea soup recipe, but it has been classed-down by Food & Wine for an easier preparation. It’s served cold so it’s a cinch for a party. Make a bunch and sip all summer.
8 slices of bacon
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 leek, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
5 cups chicken stock
2 rosemary sprigs
salt & freshly ground white pepper
1/2 pound sugar snap peas, thinly sliced
2 10-oz boxes frozen baby peas
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 cup heavy cream
1 garlic clove, minced
- In a medium soup pot, cook the bacon over moderate heat until browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate; reserve the fat in a bowl in case you need to add it at the end for more bacon flavor.
- In the same pot, heat the olive oil. Add the celery, onion and leek and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 7 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock, 4 slices of the cooked bacon, 1 rosemary sprig and a pinch each of salt and white pepper. Simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes.
- Discard the bacon and rosemary. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a blender.
- Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the sugar snaps and cook for 3 minutes. Add the frozen baby peas and the parsley and cook just until heated through, about 1 minute; drain.
- Add the sugar snaps, baby peas and parsley to the blender and puree until smooth, adding a few tablespoons of the broth to loosen the mixture.
- Transfer the soup and the remaining broth to a large bowl set in a larger bowl of ice water to cool.
- In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream, garlic and remaining rosemary sprig to a boil. Simmer over low heat until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Strain the garlic cream into a bowl and let cool.
- Ladle the chilled pea soup into bowls and drizzle with the garlic cream. (Use a squirt bottle to make pretty designs out of the cream. It’s absurdly cheffy, but so freaking fun.) Crumble the remaining 4 slices of bacon into each bowl and serve.
So despite my moral dilemma of yesterday, I’ve decided to go ahead and pull this one out of The Vault. (As it turns out, my threshold for withholding secret recipes is quite shallow, which is probably to be expected from a person who has a blog about recipes on the Interwebs.)
Anyway, perhaps the groundhog will take a page from my book – you know, bringing things to light and such – and ignore his stupid shadow so we can get on with Real Spring instead of this faux Fall we’ve been having.
Annnnnd, rambling is now over. As I mentioned previously, this recipe has been a long time coming. My cousin Melissia had to watch my Aunt Sylvia make it three times to come up with the recipe because it had never even been written down. So it’s old school traditional is what I’m saying.
I’m also saying it is delectable, so even if you have to tinker with it a little bit to get it right, your efforts will be rewarded.
1 pan cornbread
3-4 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2-3 raw eggs
2-3 boiled eggs, chopped
2 cans chicken broth
1 can oysters
1 tsp+ poultry seasoning
1 tsp+ sage
salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Cook celery and onion in broth until tender.
- Crumble breads and mix all ingredients together. Taste and season accordingly. (This is where the extra sage or poultry seasoning comes in.)
- Pour into 9×13 pan.
- Bake for at least 40 minutes (longer if all of the excess moisture hasn’t evaporated).
This is another holiday dish that I will definitely be putting into the year-round rotation.
I first had this dip at a Christmas party 8 years ago, and I searched for the recipe for 5 years before someone pointed out to me that it had been right under my nose – namely in Heart & Soul – the whole time.
While this does take a little while to prep and cook, it is totally worth your time. And not just because it is delicious, but also because each step of the cooking process leaves the house smelling better than the last. Butter, creole seasoning, fresh herbs and seafood? I’m on board.
Two words of caution: Make sure to thaw and rinse your seafood well to get rid of any unnecessary fishiness, and make sure you use 2 teaspoons of creole seasoning and not 2 tablespoons at each of the saute steps. Not that anyone has ever ruined 2 pounds of perfectly good seafood by doing that, but I’d like to prevent it if at all possible…
1 lb crawfish tails
1 lb shrimp, raw and roughly chopped
1.5 sticks of butter (.75 cups)
6 tsp creole seasoning
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 tbsp fresh basil (3 dried)
3 tbsp fresh thyme (1.5 dried)
3 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup flour
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
- Melt half a stick of butter in a large skillet. Add 2 tsp creole seasoning. Add crawfish and saute for 5 minutes. Pour crawfish and butter into a bowl and set aside.
- Melt half a stick of butter in a the skillet, add 2 tsp creole seasoning, and saute shrimp in butter for 3 minutes. Add shrimp to bowl with crawfish.
- Melt the rest of the butter in the skillet with 2 tsp creole seasoning. Add onion, green and red peppers, celery, and garlic and saute for 5 minutes or until veggies are tender.
- Add fresh herbs, tomato paste and flour to veggie mixture in the skillet and stir constantly for 5 minutes.
- Process half of crawfish/shrimp mixture in blender (do not puree).
- Add crawfish/shrimp mixture (both processed and not-processed halves) to skillet and mix thoroughly.
- Stir in green onions and add hot sauce to taste.
- Serve with Thin Garlic Crostinis and get out of the way.
Claire sent me this recipe several weeks ago, but in all of the Christmas hullabaloo, I forgot to post it. Now, as I sit at work doing very little of it, I figured I’d give this a post.
Usually when people send me recipes, I clean up the spelling errors and the stream-of-consciousness typing. But I’m not going to do that here because I love how weird this ingredient list came out. Apparently Peg was insisting Claire type this up and send it to me, and Claire was not all that committed to the undertaking. The sentence “drain a can of corn and drain” speaks for itself.
2 lbs ground beef
1 large can whole peeled tomatoes
1 large can tomato sauce
chop yellow onion
chop 3 celery stalks
chop 4/5 carrots
drain a can of corn and drain
cut up 2 large potatos
chop 2 zuchinis
water til soupy
1 tbs italian seasoning
salt and pepper
1 packet dry ranch dressing
- Brown ground beef and drain.
- Drain and cut up the tomatoes. (“For some reason this is different than diced tomotoes in peg’s head.”)
- Add tomatoes and rest of ingredients.
- Cook 1.5-2 hrs.
- Serve with Jalapeno Corn Bread.
“Always better next day.”
So I probably should have posted these recipes last week before Thanksgiving, but I forgot and I wanted to test them out twice to get all kinks out of the way. I was lucky to have two Thanksgivings this year, a “friendsgiving” down in NOLA (which was way better then my family Thanksgiving) and family Thanksgiving. I still never want to eat again. Below is an amazing crawfish stuffing that Chef John’s family has requested a double batch of for next year. Perhaps you can save in your Thanksgiving recipe file for next year or break it out for the December holidays! Chef’s note: make sure to use dry corn bread so it soaks up all the sauce. – ts
Chef John Says: Everyone knows that the best part of Thanksgiving is the stuffing. I usually dedicate about 3/4 of my plate to it. My family always has a traditional stuffing/dressing but this past Sunday we had a pre-Thanksgiving feast at our friend’s house in New Orleans and it was decided that we should make a more NOLA-style dressing. Tanya came across this beauty: Besh’s Crawfish Corn Bread Dressing. Like ALL of Besh’s recipes, this is very easy and delicious.
You can make the corn bread ahead or use leftover corn bread. In fact, the dressing may be prepared a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator until an hour before serving. I used more andouille, hot sausage, and garlic than it calls for… obviously. This recipe makes 8–10 cups, more than enough to stuff a turkey, but at our Thanksgiving we stuff our bird separately and serve dressings like this alongside. Serves 10
4 tablespoons rendered bacon fat (I used a couple tablespoons of butter instead)
¼ pound andouille sausage, diced
¼ pound hot pork sausage meat, removed from casing
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
½ green bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups peeled crawfish tails, chopped (you can usually find a package of frozen tails)
2 green onions, chopped
1 small jalapeño pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
Leaves from 1 sprig fresh thyme
2 tablespoons Basic Creole Spices
6 cups crumbled Basic Corn Bread
2 cups Basic Chicken Stock
½ cup heavy cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Freshly ground black pepper
- Put the bacon fat, andouille, and pork sausage into a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat, breaking up the pork with the back of a wooden spoon.
- When the pork sausage meat has browned, add the onions, celery, bell peppers, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the crawfish and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl with the sausage and crawfish and stir together until well combined. Spoon the dressing into a large heatproof dish.
- At this point, the dressing may be covered and refrigerated (for up to 1 day) until you are ready to bake it. Bake the dressing in a preheated 350° oven until it is piping hot and golden brown, 15–30 minutes.
Well in case you haven’t heard, Carol is famous. That’s right, young Carol was featured in the Times Free Press a few week’s ago for offering her soup expertise, and clearly we could not be more proud.
This is a recipe Carol adapted from Epicurious.com, and I can personally attest it is delish.
The really fun part here is the jalapeno parsley puree. It’s bright (in taste and in the bowl) and it gives the creamy corn chowder a wonderful kick.
This would be a perfect dish for a day like today in which everyone is feeling gray, wet and pretty darn depressed that the long Thanksgiving weekend is over.
Except me. Because I’m about to go see Twilight. By myself. And no, I could not be happier, so don’t you cry for me, Nummy! Now get your soup on.
5 fresh jalapeño chilies
1⁄4 cup olive oil
11⁄2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp water
1-2 garlic cloves, minced (depending on how much you like garlic)
1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
Salt, to taste
1 onion, chopped fine
2 ribs of celery, chopped fine
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups chicken broth
21⁄2 cups water
11⁄2 lbs boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 3⁄8-inch cubes
4 cups fresh corn kernels including the pulp scraped from the cobs (organic frozen mixture of white and yellow corn works just as well)
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, minced (very important; adds a great finishing touch to the soup)
- For the puree:
- Broil the jalapeños on the rack of a broiler pan under a preheated broiler about 2 inches from the heat, turning them about every 7 minutes, for 20-30 minutes or until the skins are blistered and charred.
- Transfer the jalapeños to a zipper-lock bag and let them stand, covered tightly, until they are cool enough to handle.
- Peel the jalapeños, cut off the tops and discard all but 1 teaspoon of the seeds.
- In a blender, puree the jalapeños and reserved seeds with olive oil, lime juice, water, garlic, parsley and salt. The puree may be made 3 days in advance and kept covered and chilled.
- For the chowder:
- Cook onion and celery in vegetable oil over moderate heat, stirring, until the celery is softened.
- Add broth, water and potatoes; simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in corn and thyme; simmer for 5 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
- To thicken, purée in blender 2 or more cups of the chowder, depending on the consistency you prefer your soups, and return to pot.
- Serve the chowder with a small dollop of the jalapeño and parsley puree swirled into it. Add salt and pepper to taste as well. For added crunch, sprinkle with tortilla chips.
Filed under Soups, Veggies
I was cleaning up the ole WordPress today and ran across this dusty draft in my backlog. How it is possible to forget such a yummy recipe – especially one that involves not one but two types of soup – is beyond me. Let’s remedy that, shall we?
This is 2-for-1 in that it is The Chef’s recipe for both Shrimp Stock and Tom Yum Soup. Usually, if you don’t have the time or patience to make your stock, you can buy it; but the ingredient list on this sucker makes me think you should go traditional or go home.
And I’d wager that the flavor will be well worth it. Tom Yum is spicy, brothy Asian goodness, and the longer it simmers and permeates your house, the better it will be when you finally slurp it down.
1 tablespoon of olive oil
shells from 1 1/2 pounds of shrimp (shrimp reserved)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
stems of 1 lb shiitake shrooms
2 lemongrass stalks, rough chopped
3 inch piece of ginger, rough chopped
2 celery stalks, rough chopped
1 onion, rough chopped
2 tsp of tomato paste
1/2 cup rice wine (mirin)
enough water to cover
- Add oil to stock pot. Add shrimp shells and cook them until pink.
- Add the rice wine.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and enough water to cover. Simmer for about 45 minutes. Strain.
Tom Yum Soup:
1 tbsp peanut oil
1.5 lbs shrimp
2 tsp sesame oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch piece of ginger, chopped*
2 lemongrass stalks, chopped*
3 Thai chilies*
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
2 celery stalks, cut on the diagonal into 1-inch slices
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
8 cups shrimp stock
2 cups cilantro, no stems
1 lime, cut into quarters for garnish
cilantro for garnish
- Heat large pot over medium heat. Add peanut oil. Then add garlic, chiles, ginger, lemongrass, onions, celery, sesame oil, and chili powder. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add shrimp, mushrooms, and stock. Cook for about 15 minutes.
- Add fish sauce and cilantro.
- *Remove lemongrass, ginger, and Thai chilies.
- Serve with lime wedges and cilantro sprigs. Add soy sauce if you need salt.
The Chef warns that you will definitely have leftover stock, so freeze it for next time, and your Tom will be Yum in no time.