Next, I am VERY interested in finding other food bloggers from the Kansas City area... Any one within say 100-150 miles of Kansas City, please drop me a comment or an email. I have a project in mind... Also, if there are bloggers who know of other KC area bloggers, drop me a note and direct me to their blogs.
And now, it's day 4, the 11 AM hour of my romantic Christmas Eve meal. Quick recap...
- It was just Jackie and myself. A perfect opportunity for nostalgia (and to stretch my cooking chops).
- Each hour throughout the day I would work on a single course. I was not after a HUGE gut busting meal, each course became special.
- Each menu item would be an attempt to recreate a memorable experience we had shared at a restaurant from our past.
- Not only the taste, but the presentation and look of the item would be attempted. I wanted each item to be restaurant quality.
- If you want to read over the previous 3 hours worth of dishes (Cheese Crisps, Potato Chips with Blue Cheese Sauce and Welsh rarebit, Click HERE and start scrolling down.
But not just any soup, this is a delicious recipe Jackie and I learned when we attended the NEW ORLEANS SCHOOL OF COOKING! We have been to the school several times during our many trips to the Big Easy, Classes take three hours, each day a different menu. You will leave with a full belly (lunch is included), and a history of how food helped forge the city, and many recipes for foods that you can not wait to make at home. If you visit New Orleans, DO NOT HESITATE TO TAKE THEIR CLASSES (reservations encouraged). Click the photo below to get to their website with more information.
I made a couple of alterations in their recipe. the recipe below is my recreation.
Here's what I did...
As always, assemble the ingredients...
24 ounces quartered artichokes
1 quart Chicken Broth
1 cup sliced thin green onions
1 tablespoon Thyme Leaves
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup butter
1 quart Heavy Cream
1 pound medium sized Shrimp (pealed, deveined, tails removed)
Cajun Spices if desired (I do, Jackie doesn't, so I add to individual bowls),
Cayenne Pepper to taste
If needed to get the right thickness desired (remember I am going for restaurant quality look as well as taste, add a bit of Corn Starch
For garnish (optional)
Additional Green Onions And here is how to make the soup...
- Combine Artichoke, chicken stock, green onions, Cajun spices, thyme leaves
Bring to boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 12 minutes.
- Combine butter and flour to make a roux
Stir in heavy cream to roux and whisk til mixed
- Add the roux/cream mix to the simmering pot...
Continue simmering for 10 more minutes
- Add shrimp and simmer for 3 minutes only (shrimp cooks FAST)
- Serve with Green Onions and parsley for garnish...
Add a little extra heat (Cayenne Pepper) if desired.
A roux is a base for many sauces. There are many ways to make a roux, but what I do mostly is just equal parts butter and flour (by weight). After the butter is melted, add flour a quarter at a time and whisk until blended. Cook over low heat. DO NOT BOIL THE BUTTER. It takes 5 minutes to get your first color change. The photo montage above shows the color changes from start to about 15 minutes. The longer it cooks, the darker it gets. As the roux forms correctly, you will smell a nutty odor.
It is very important to continue stirring
throughout the entire process.
throughout the entire process.
If your roux burns, it gets a nasty odor and taste. Don't answer the phone, don't kiss the babies and don't walk away.
Not Just a little bit... In every way that you measure soup, this fits the bill. THICK, RICH, Full of shrimp and vegetables (the artichoke) in every bite. It has a regional, Creole taste and depending on the spices is incredibly flavorful.
For just a shade extra kick (OK, a LOT of extra kick), added a tablespoon of CAJUN POWER GARLIC SAUCE. I picked up a bottle of this when I visited New Orleans this year, and I am just about out. I am rationing this stuff like it was gold, but in this soup, it really shines! It is available mail order from the CAJUN GROCIER, and well worth the extra effort... And BTW, with Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras coming up in a month, now is a great time to start planning your parties.
As I said, when the soup was done, Jackie and I relived several of our memories from New Orleans... I did several posts of my vacation which you can read the all by clicking HERE, and scrolling down. My very favorite post I did was the overview of How I single handedly rebuilt New Orleans,One Sazarac at a time!
So, It's noon somewhere... Can you guess what we enjoyed next for our Christmas Eve meal? Come back tomorrow and see.