Monday, August 16, 2010

Garbage.....or not?

On the first attempt at butterflying and de-boning a chicken, one of two things will happen, it will take you far longer than you would have preferred, or you will cut yourself, possibly not so superficially. I suggest cutting yourself. As there is a good chance that her search for a band-aid will grant you just enough time to swiftly move those lovely stock bones into the freezer. The alternative usually goes a little something like this… “Why are you putting that in the freezer? That’s garbage….are we out of garbage bags?” This however, is not the time to panic, nor is it the time to put her in the freezer. Resist the urge, kiss her on the forehead and promise that they will be gone tomorrow.…they won’t, but wasting a good creative lie on chicken bones seems overkill. While a freezer full of bones and shells may seem entirely reasonable to me, I'm learning this is not a universal opinion, and arguing that human bones would be far worse, somehow does not seem to do the trick. But with a little bit of patience, a little bit of experimentation, and a bouquet or two of fresh flowers, the tide of public opinion will begin to sway. After each bowl licking soup, or bread swabbing sauce, smiles will emerge, as will an acceptance of your crazy habits, knowing that each flavor emerged from what others once thought to be garbage. And while they may still look at you with puzzling eyes, debating the merits of an intervention, those that have tasted the flavors of your secret stash, will know that you and your bones are worth keeping around.
The below is simple, light, and fresh, sourced from my farmers market, CSA, and Union Market but the soup that proceeds is made entirely from what I had sitting around the house, and a good deal of what she used to refer to as garbage and now simple calls Adam’s "stuff"….with only a slight rolling of the eyes. As a side note I do realize that not everyone has cognac just sitting around in their apt....but then again, whose fault is that?

Tomato Shrimp Bisque
½ c heavy cream
Medium tomato
Shrimp boil
Splash of cognac
Dash of paprika
S&P

Core, peel, and dice the tomato, allow to simmer at a medium heat in the heavy cream for about 5 minutes or until soft, add the shrimp boil, cognac, and a bit of salt and pepper, blend and serve. Sprinkle with paprika.

Shrimp Boil
Shells from roughly a ½ pound of shrimp
Odds and ends of onions, garlic, or shallots
Dried hot pepper or two
Black peppercorns
Bayleaf….and or other spices

Cover with water in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil, simmer until thoroughly reduced, strain and discard solids. Can be frozen for storage.



Tequila Shrimp over Corn Fritters
½ lb of shrimp
Avocado
2-3 slices of grilled pineapple
Black beans
Cilantro
Diced white onion
Quart grape tomatoes
Lime
Tequila

Shell the shrimp and toss them into a sealable container with the juice of a lime, and a good splash of tequila, move to the refrigerator to marinate while you prepare the other ingredients. Grill and chop the pineapple adding it to the other ingredients, before grilling the shrimp. I cut the shrimp into smaller pieces but it is not necessary. Add salt and pepper to taste and pile atop the corn fritters.


Corn Fritters
2 ears of corn
¼ chopped scallions
1 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 eggs (beaten)
½ c milk
¼ c melted butter

Grill the corn and remove from the cob, add the other ingredients and mix, form into small, thin, burger like patties. Heating oil in a sauté pan, cook on either side until the fritters reach a medium brown. Top with the shrimp concoction and serve. If any tequila made it through the cooking process some pineapple margaritas would be a good start.

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