Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cooking with Cats

So the other night I decided I was hungry for a corn and tomato bisque that I used to get at one of my favorite little cafes back home.  But I had a few problems, not the least of which were ~ (A) I didn't have the recipe and (B) I was herding cats alone so I really had no business trying to cook anything more complicated than a piece of dry toast.

But I really wanted that soup.

So I did a quick internet search and found one that I was able to adapt with what I had on hand.  And it turned out dang good.  Dang good.

Because I'm sure you will want to make this delish soup as well, and because I'm a giver....

Corn and Tomato Bisque (adapted from Food and Wine)

Gather ye ingredients while ye may:

1 large jalapeno pepper

1 TBSP white wine vinegar (or sherry wine vinegar)

1/2 tsp sugar

2 TBSP unsalted butter

1 small sweet onion (about 1 cup), chopped

3 cups frozen corn kernels or 1 pound fresh corn kernels (fresh is best but I used frozen)

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups chicken stock or low sodium broth

salt/pepper to taste

2 TBSP creme fraiche (note:  I did not have any of this fancy french cream (plus I can't figure out how to put the little french accents in those words), nor would I have been able to find it anywhere within a 75 mile radius of where I live...if this were 2 TBSP of Grapico or Cheeze Whiz I might have found it at our local wally world.  But I did learn that you can make your own creme fraiche by using heavy cream and buttermilk...of which I also had neither on hand.  Therefore I used fresh whole milk and a tsp of sugar.  The end result was still fabulous so just do whatever you are able to do with this ingredient!)

4 fresh plum tomatoes (I used 3 fresh regular tomatoes), peeled, seeded and chopped

Scallion, thinly sliced

Blue cheese, crumbled


Turn on Little Einsteins to keep the toddler busy for 28 minutes and pour yerself a glass of wine (white pairs best with this soup!)

1.  Roast the jalapeno over an open flame, or under the broiler, or on top of the stove in a cast iron skillet if your oven is broken, like mine was when I made this.  Cook it 'til it's charred.  Then put it in a bowl covered with saran wrap and let it steam for about 10 minutes.  Peel, core, seed and finely chop the charred little pepper and combine with the vinegar and sugar.

Set it aside and pour another glass of wine.  Hit rewind on Little Einsteins if you can and score another 12 minutes.

2.  Melt the butter in a large stock pot.  Add the garlic and onion.  Like so.

Take a deep breath and inhale.  Mmmm.  Butter.

Sautee onion and garlic on high heat for about 10 minutes and then add the corn.   Cook, stirring constantly, for about another 5 minutes.  Add the stock and simmer for about 15 minutes until corn is soft.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

3.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer 1 1/2 cups of the corn mixture to the blender.  Add the creme fraiche (or whatever you are using) and 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.  Puree until smooth and return to pot.

Note:  I stopped taking pictures at this point because all hell was breaking loose in my house...I'd had to leave the kitchen to go wipe someone and my soup was about to burn.  Just keeping it real.

4.  Add the tomatoes and scallion to the pot and simmer for about 10 minutes or until heated through.  I probably let mine simmer longer because at this point Little Einsteins was over and Stuart was rolling around in the floor at my feet, screaming and crying because....well....I guess because he's 3 and that's how he rolls.  But my point can obviously simmer longer and still taste fabulous! sure and throw that jalapeno pepper and vinegar sauce in the pot at this point.

5.  Now here's the most important step of all.  When you dip you a bowl full, you MUST....I repeat....MUST... garnish with blue cheese.   Lots of it.  And don't skimp.  I've never been more serious about anything in all my life.   It might even be the law or something.

Can you believe I did all that while dealing with all this?

Eye yi yi.

1 comment:

Liberty said...

have a lot of chicken broth in my fridge right now...putting this on the list of things to make with t! THANKS! cannot wait...