Saturday, May 14, 2011

White Corn Guacamole

A couple of weeks back, an out-of-town friend and I went over to the Fashion Show Mall after work so she could pick up something she needed.  While we were there,  we decided to have dinner at California Pizza Kitchen.  We have a couple CPKs here but I don't eat there often because they seem out of the way - being in malls.

For an appetizer, we decided to try the White Corn Guacamole.  It was delicious! Diced avocado, white corn and black beans are the main ingredients.  Lime juice and cilantro were evident.  Looking at the menu, it seems that green onion, jicama and red pepper are involved.  I found Bobby Flay's recipe for something similar, though he chars the corn.  I made my own version today, combining the two, using charred corn, onion, black beans, avocado, lime juice and cilantro.  I didn't have any peppers but would definitely try some jalapeno in there.

I served mine on some crostini instead of chips.  And, of course, had some white wine to go with.  This is definitely going to be a staple for me.  The sweet corn with the avocado is amazing.  Also, I think dicing the avocado instead of mashing it the way to go.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Shrimp and Artichoke Soup

While I was in New Orleans, our group decided to go to a cooking class at New Orleans School of Cooking. We had a great time with our teacher Ann.  We observed her make Shrimp Artichoke Soup, Crawfish Etouffee and Pralines.  And then we got to eat it.  With beer!  We were given the recipes and told that if we made one of the recipes and sent a picture to the school, we would get our cooking license. 

Today I made the Shrimp Artichoke Soup. Here is the recipe.  I made some alterations which I've described below the recipe.

Shrimp and Artichoke Soup:
24 oz artichoke quarters (TJ frozen for me)
1 qt chicken stock (I used veggie stock and will probably try fish stock)
1 T thyme leaves
1 C chopped green onions
1/4 C butter
1/4 C flour plus 1 T
1 qt heavy cream
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt to taste
Joe's Stuff to taste ( This is a NOSOC product but you can use any creole type seasoning) I used about 2 T
1 C chopped green onion for garnish
1 T chopped parsley for garnish

Combine artichokes, stock, 1 C green onions, salt, Joe's stuff, and thyme to pot and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 12 minutes.  Combine butter and flour in a small pan and make a light roux - cooking about 5 minutes.  Add roux and  heavy cream and continue simmering 10 minutes.  Add shrimp and simmer another 5 minutes.  Garnish with green onions and parsley in the bowls.

This was how we had it at school.  At home, I added a few shrimp and used the immersion blender to make the soup creamy and smooth.  Then I tossed in the remaining shrimp and simmered.

I also added a T of sherry to the bowl before serving.  I served it with white wine and garlic bread.

If you're ever in New Orleans be sure to take a class and tell Ann I sent you.  You'll love it.