Thursday, September 2, 2010

Shrimply Irresistible

I'm a shrimp lover from way back; I could double as Forest Gump's friend Bubba in describing all the shrimp dishes that I love.  This summer, Mexican shrimp have been showing up here in San Diego at great prices, and I've got a freezer full of my favorite crustacean just waiting to be transformed into new dishes.  Leftover Chino Farm corn gave me the inspiration to make a soup with a Cajun twist, the sweet corn and shrimp are balanced by the heat of the Cajun seasoning.  This soup is terrific any time of the year, but when fresh corn is available,it's spectacular.          
Cut the corn off the cob

Better than Bouillon reconstituted lobster stock, Penzeys' Cajun seasoning, flour and corn from the cob

Cooking the shallots and Cajun seasoning

Add the flour, and cook for 3 minutes after white bubbles form on the bottom of the pan

Add the stock and bring back to a boil, otherwise it won't thicken correctly

Add the corn and break it up

Cooked shrimp, chop up large ones, you want the shrimp to be bite size

Looking good

Good enough to eat!

Creole Corn and Shrimp Soup
Serves 6

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
1/4 cup finely diced celery
1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning or Old Bay Seasoning
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups seafood stock
4 cups white corn, fresh cut from the cob, or frozen and defrosted
1/2 pound medium cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup snipped chives

1. Melt the butter in a 4-quart saucepan and add the shallot, celery,and Creole Seasoning, sautéing for 3 minutes, until the shallot is softened.

2. Add the flour, and stir until the flour begins to bubble in the bottom of the pan.

3. Slowly add the stock, and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Add the corn, and bring to a boil. Simmer the soup for 3 to 4 minutes, add the cream and shrimp bring to serving temperature and serve garnished with chopped chives.

Cooks Note: If you would prefer to use chicken, substitute 2 cups of cooked chicken for the shrimp and chicken broth for the seafood stock. For a vegetarian soup, omit the shrimp and substitute vegetable broth for the seafood stock. I have a friend who makes this soup with leftover ham (about 2 cups cut into 1/2-inch dice)

I'm taking the weekend to finish my editing, so I'll be back early next week with eating and cooking adventures from the weekend. Although it's the end of the summer, I'm looking forward to a scrumptious fall!     

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