This has not been a summer of creative cooking. We did still host our annual Crab-Boil however so I did cook. After having some crawfish and andouille sausage left over (ok, we kept some for ourselves) I thought about ways to use it that would be fairly easy and not usual for me. What I decided on was a soup and more specifically a chowder.
Below is what I came up with and it was very well received by those who tried it.
Due to crawfish being not that easy to get and already peeled meat almost impossible (and after peeling mine for over an hour) I think it would be safe to substitute shrimp and scallops to turn this into a seafood chowder. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
- 8-10 ounces of andouille sausage links
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 ½ cups onion, finely chopped
- ¾ cup carrot, finely chopped
- ½ cup celery, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, Minced
- 2 cups red bell peppers, finely chopped
- 4 cups frozen corn
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 ½ litres chicken stock (can use fish or shrimp stock if desired)
- 2 cups russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
- 4 Teaspoons Creole seasoning
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp thyme leaves
- 1 ½ pounds cooked, peeled crawfish tail meat
- 2 cups whipping cream (one 500ml container)
- Grill andouille until nicely browned on the outside. Does not have to be cooked through, just grilled. Halve and cut into ¼ inch slices.
- Warm a large pot over medium heat and add 2 tbsp butter, onions, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes.
- Add the andouille. Cook, stirring for about 2 minutes.
- Add the garlic and stir in.
- Add the remaining butter, bell peppers and corn to the pot and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring often.
- Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables in the pot and stir constantly for 2 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock to the pot and stir to combine.
- Add the potatoes, Creole seasoning, cayenne, and thyme to the pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and continue to cook for 20-30 minutes, or until potatoes are very tender.
- Add the crawfish meat and whipping cream, stir and cook for 5 to 8 minutes.
Lobster bisque is one of my favorite soups and while a good one can be a truly amazing taste experience, a bad bisque is a real horror for the senses and I’ve had the misfortune of having sampled a number of the latter. The following recipe is the end result of examining several recipes and combining them into a fairly good example of what a lobster bisque should be.
Originating in France, bisque began as a means to use shellfish that were damaged or misshapen and thus not good enough for market. Made with lobster, crab, shrimp or crayfish the authentic versions had the shells of the crustaceans ground up into a fine paste and used to thicken the soup. The idea was for the cook to extract every bit of flavor from the fish and thus enhancing the bisque.
This version will follow the classic method of searing the lobster before cooking it in wine and other flavorful ingredients but will not use the shell in the soup itself. Unlike many other recipes I don’t use rice as a thickener either, but rely instead on a roux for this duty. I also do not strain my bisque with a china cap as is very common with other recipes because I don’t mind sacrificing some of the smoothness for having the vegetables as part of the soup.
- 1 three pound live lobster
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 shallots, chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp cooking oil
- ½ cup butter
- 4 tbsp flour
- 1 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
- ¼ cup brandy
- 1½ cup whipping cream
- 1 cup dry sherry(or white wine)
- 2 liters chicken stock (about 8 ½ cups)
- 1 small can tomato paste
- 1 tsp parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp thyme
- ½ tsp cayenne
- ½ tsp black pepper
Killing your lobster:
- Place the lobster in your freezer for about 15 minutes. This dulls the lobster and reduces both movement and the amount of fluid that may come out.
- Use a large chef’s knife. The knife will also need to be sharp enough to cut through the shell.
- Position the lobster on a wooden cutting board. If the cutting board moves, place a dampened kitchen towel beneath it.
- Flatten and hold down the lobster with one hand where the tail and head segments meet. This will be two-thirds down the lobster’s body.
- With the blade towards the front of the lobster, aim the knife above the head where the horizontal and vertical creases meet. It’s about 1 to 1 ½ inches behind the eyes. Swiftly puncture the lobster all the way through. Then with another motion, finish cutting through the lobster toward the eyes and away from the tail.
- Split the lobster down the center.
- Separate the tail, the head and the claw pieces, discard the green tomalley from the head sections.
- Heat oil in a large sauté pan over high.
- Sear the pieces of lobster cut side down, adding the claws whole.
- Reduce heat to medium and cook until the shells become bright red and the flesh is nearly cooked (about 7-8 minutes).
- Remove lobster pieces from the pan and set aside.
- Add 2 tbsp of the butter to the pan and sauté the shallots, carrot, celery and garlic until lightly browned.
- Stir in tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes.
- Whisk in the sherry, cooking for 3 minutes then adding chicken stock.
- Add parsley, bay leaf, thyme, pepper, cayenne and lobster pieces to the pan and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove lobster and set aside.
- Melt remaining butter in a small saucepan, add flour and whisk to make a roux.
- Stir the brandy and chopped tarragon into the roux, then in thirds, add the roux to the bisque, whisking to remove any lumps before adding more. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- You may choose to strain the bisque at this time using a china cap or other tool.(I do not do so)
- Remove claw meat from shell, cut into small cubes and add to the bisque
- Add cream and blend with an immersion blender until smooth.
- Remove meat from tail pieces and slice into bite size pieces.
- Serve topped with pieces of lobster meat and a sprinkle of chives.
Here’s a version of the simple and delicious soup that Morocco has become famous for. This traditional dish is the soup that in Morocco is used to break the fast every day during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Often served with dates and lemon this hearty soup is considered to be a meal in itself and is not served with other dishes.
I translated this recipe from a Moroccan site and while I’m sure the measurements are sound I have not yet made this myself.
- 9 ounces lamb or beef, cut into 1″ cubes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 can chickpeas
- 6 cups water or lamb stock
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 can stewed tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- ½ cup rice
- 10 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped
- Heat about 2 tbsp oil and cook the meat until evenly browned; add the onion and cook until soft.
- Add the chickpeas, lentils, tomatoes, tomato paste, cinnamon, red pepper and water or stock. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the rice and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the rice and lentils are cooked.
- Stir in the coriander, add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice, some dates or some sticky sweet Moroccan pastries.
Here’s Nancy’s butternut squash soup recipe that we’ve fed to a number of our friends in the past and the reviews are very good. This is a nice Autumn comfort food for those cool evenings with a slightly sweet and mildly spicy flavor. You can substitute frozen squash if you wish but fresh is the best.
When buying your squash look for those that are firm with smooth skin that’s a uniform buff color has a smallish bulb end and thick neck. The older larger varieties are more flavorful than the smaller modern ones so you should try to find just one large squash for best results with this recipe.
- 8 slices bacon
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 granny smith apples, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 4 lbs fresh butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup whipping cream
sour cream (for garnish)
- In a large pot cook bacon until crisp, remove and set aside on paper towel, saving drippings in the pot.
- Saute onion and carrots in bacon drippings over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes (until onion is tender).
- Add celery and apple to pan and saute 5 minutes.
- And garlic and saute 1 minute.
- Add squash and chicken broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until carrots are tender.
- Crumble half of the bacon into the pot.
- Process mixture, in batches, in a blender or food processor until smooth. (it’s best to use a hand blender and process in the pot but it’s not required. Just remember that hot liquids can erupt from the blender when filled too much.)
- Return mixture to pot and stir in lime juice and remaining 7 ingredients.
- Simmer for about 10 minutes or until thickened.
- Serve topped with remaining crumbled bacon a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle of cayenne.
Tom yum (Thai: ต้มยำ, [tôm jɑm] is a soup originating from Thailand. It is perhaps one of the most famous dishes in Thai cuisine. It is widely served in neighboring countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, and has been popularized around the world.
There are many different soups found in Thailand, made with all types of seafood, poultry and meats. The one thing they all have in common is that intriguing flavor that is simultaneously sour, salty and spicy. Thais call this flavor Yum. Yum is perhaps the most important flavor in Thai cooking. You may recognize the word “Yum” in Thai dishes like Yum Nuea (spicy beef salad) and of course tom yum soup. The ingredients that give us this magical combination are the basics of the Thai kitchen. Salt is rarely used; instead there is fish sauce (nam pla), a liquid made from salted fermented fish. It doesn’t sound very appetizing, but it is indispensable in Thai cooking.
Recipe for Tom Yum Soup
This is not quite the soup pictured above which was served to us at Thai Boat restaurant but is a version I have made. Stick with the stock and the basic ingredients and add fresh tomato, green onion, and fresh white mushrooms to make it more closely match. J
For Thai Chicken Stock
- Place chicken carcass in stockpot Add water, galangal and lemon grass.
- Roll lime leaves and crush lightly with hand, then add to pot.
- Bring to boil over medium heat, then reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes to 1 hour. Strain.
- Bring Thai Chicken Broth to simmer over medium-high heat in medium pot.
- Add shrimp, mushrooms and chilies, cook until shrimp turns pink (about 1 minute).
- Stir in fish sauce, lime juice and chile paste. Garnish with lime leaves and cilantro.
|Serving Size 1 (1001g)Recipe makes 6 servings
|Calories from Fat 49
|Amount Per Serving
||Total Fat 5.5g
||Saturated Fat 1.3g
||Monounsaturated Fat 2.0g
||Polyunsaturated Fat 1.4g
||Trans Fat 0.0g
|Total Carbohydrate 25.2g
||Dietary Fiber 4.6g