Hello All! Sorry its been so long since I’ve posted. I don’t really know why its been so long. I think I was hit with a two week low motivation streak. But the good news is I’m back!
My parents have been here visiting and helping me with the boys so I’ve been repaying them with lots of good food. If you follow me on Instagram, you can see some of the yummy things I’ve been making. After a pretty heavy weekend, I thought I would make something light. I know – shrimp bisque isn’t really something you consider to be light. But this one is! It uses only a little cream and no butter… I know… unusual for my cooking 🙂
This bisque actually started out as a chowder, but somehow the texture was way off and so to remedy that I blended the soup and then strained it – turning it into a shrimp bisque. And this is one time I’m actually thankful for whatever mistake I made because it turned out soooo good. One of the key steps to this recipe is making the shrimp broth. It seems like a bit of a hassle, but really its easy to do and adds such a nice sweet shrimpy flavor to the bisque. The end result is what I am confidently calling my best soup ever! I served this with warm cheddar biscuits – bonus recipe included.
Corn, Bacon & Shrimp Bisque
For the Bisque
- 100g of bacon diced
- 1 lb or 500g medium/large shrimp, peeled, deveined and shells put to the side
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, or more, to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups fresh corn kernels - I prefer to use fresh but you can use frozen or canned
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon of dry sherry
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/3 cup cold butter chopped
- 1/3 cup cheddar cheese chopped
- 1 cup milk
- Pre-heat your oven to 200C. Place your shrimp shells in a roasting dish and toss with a tablespoon of olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes then transfer to a pot on the stove, cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer until shells are soft. Approx 30 mins. Once softened, blend in a blender until smooth. Strain through a fine strainer or cheesecloth and put the broth aside.
- Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Add shrimp to the stockpot, and cook, stirring occasionally, until pink, about 2-3 minutes; set aside.
- Add garlic and onion to the stockpot, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in paprika, oregano and red pepper flakes until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Whisk in chicken stock, corn and bay leaf. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 12-15 minutes; discard bay leaf. Puree with an immersion blender.
- Once pureed, strain through a fine strainer or cheesecloth. Take the remains and blend in a blender then strain again into the soup. This may seem like a lot of work, and it is, but the results are worth it. Its building layers of flavor.
- Add in your sherry, heavy cream and shrimp broth and bring the soup up to a simmer. Remove from heat.
- Serve immediately with shrimp, garnished with bacon, basil leaves and loads of fresh ground pepper
- Mix your flour and baking powder together then place in a food processor.
- Add your cheddar cheese and pulse until the mixture resembles a fine breadcrumb.
- Add in the butter and pulse 3-4 times to break butter up into pea size pieces.
- Pour in your milk and mix until a dough forms.
- Remove the dough and roll out on a flour surface. Cut out your biscuits and place on a lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 12-13 minutes.
- Serve warm.
This recipe was adapted from Damn Delicious
Clearly I’m off that grain free diet, however we do limit the amount of grains we consume – especially pasta. This is my first pasta in 2 months! I’ve gone full deliciousness with wheat pasta, but you could substitute whole wheat or spelt pasta for a “healthier” version.
A few years ago, we were on holiday in Rome with my brother and sister-in-law and were really excited to try what is heralded as some of the best pizza in Rome – only to find it closed on arrival. The pizza place was a destination and a ways out from the center. We were all starving so we decide to just walk around the block to see if there was anything open. We came upon a little hole in the wall, local place, which was just about to close. They told us to sit down and they would “whip” us up something. They brought out two family style plates of pasta. One of those plates was a carbonara. But it was unlike any carbonara I had had before. It was sooo yellow and sooo creamy. Ever since I’ve been trying to replicate it. Along the way I’ve learned that there is no cream in a traditional carbonara, it gets its color from a lot of egg yolks and is made with a tubular pasta. This is a really simple and fast recipe so a great go-to when time is limited – or you’re too tired to make anything else. Here is my take on a classic carbonara.
- Tubular pasta – penne, rigatoni
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 eggs + 2 egg yolks
- 100 grams of pancetta (or use regular bacon)
- 1 cup of grated good quality parmesan or pecorino plus more for sprinkling
- A Lot of fresh ground pepper
Put a large pot of salted water to boil and cook your pasta. Pour your olive oil into a frying pan and crisp up the bacon.
Mix up your eggs, egg yolks, cheese and pepper.
Drain your pasta and reserve some of the pasta water. Place pasta back in the pot, put the pot back over a very low heat and pour over your egg sauce. Stir, stir, stir quickly to combine and thicken the sauce. If it becomes too thick, remove from heat and pour in some of your reserved pasta water. Once you have your sauce to the right consistency – smooth, creamy and glossy – its ready to serve! Put on a plate, load up with some of grated cheese, drizzle with a high quality Italian extra virgin olive oil and fresh ground pepper. Voila!