Monday, 29 August 2011

Shrimp Bisque

Parents of college children realize that summer, supposedly a carefree time of familial togetherness, has transformed into one long goodbye. We are preparing the chickies to fly the coop and parents to inhabit it alone. One popular parental coping technique is denial. This method works well until reality (that buttinsky), sticks its nose in and blows. At this vulnerable time parents must be careful to guard against unpredictable bouts of weepiness, due to the high annoyance potential. To mitigate the angst, you could adopt a “why suffer alone?” school of thought, perhaps by inviting everyone you know over to dinner. Thus, you have an opportunity to showcase your triumphant victory over self-pity while grieving and celebrating simultaneously. A handy skill.


A large bowl of this can take the sting out of any situation. Let go, and bask in the bisque.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
Large onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, mince
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cups marinara sauce  (Marinara could not be easier. All I do is throw about 4 sliced cloves in a sauce pan with some olive oil. Gently heat for about 1 minute (be very careful not to burn it). Then toss in a 28 ounce can of good quality tomatoes (San Marzano are great), maybe some basil (or thyme or oregano) if you have it, salt and pepper. Crush the tomatoes with a spoon, bring to a boil. Then simmer for 10-15 minutes.)
12 ounces low-sodium chicken broth
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon Tabasco
¼ cup light cream
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil with the butter over medium high heat. Add onions and sauté until golden. Season with a little salt and pepper. Toss in garlic and red pepper flakes for 30 seconds. Add marinara and chicken broth, bring to boil. Reduce to a low simmer for about 30 minutes. Add shrimp just until they turn pink, about 2 minutes. Now add remaining ingredients and heat through. Await your applause.
(If I serve this as a prelude to a meal, I allow only a small cupful for each person as it’s very filling. However, I always get conned, by the usual suspects; into serving another helping.)

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Change of Heart

From the minute I wrote the last line in my previous post, I knew I would be reneging. I won't be posting the African recipes at this time. Given the horrific situation in Somalia(and getting worse), I haven't got the heart to write about food from this area. I don't know what the moral aspects are, I just know I can't do it.
The good news is, our Canadian government is matching, dollar for dollar, any donations we send to Somalia. Once again, I'm moved to emotion by being so inexplicably blessed to be from this country. As Warren Buffet says, it is simply by "winning the ovarian lottery".