Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Rosie Makes Shrimp Soup.

Here's the finished product.  Shrimp soup.

 And here's what started it all.
I was cleaning out the freezer
and found a quart of shrimp stock.

Assemble everything you need:
Chopped celery 
Chopped carrots
Chopped sweet bell pepper
Chopped onion.
Can of corn
a little sugar
Shrimp, peeled, de-tracted, and seasoned with paprika, togarashi, and gochugaru 
1 qt. shrimp stock, heated
heavy cream
dry sherry 
unsalted butter 
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Minced jalapeño
Can of Rotel tomatoes and chilies
Rosie Notes: 
I always have shrimp frozen - in 8-10 oz. batches.  I thawed it out, peeled it, and de-tracted it.  That black line going down the back is the digestive tract, not a vein.  So I de-tract, not de-vein.  Then I lightly seasoned the shrimp.  Some Hot Hungarian paprika.  Some gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes).  Some togarashi (combination of red chili, black sesame seed, white sesame seed, nori [seaweed], poppy seed, orange and lemon zest).  Just a dusting.  If you don't have the exact spices, go with a sprinkling of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, or Lawry's seasoning pepper.  This is not written in stone.
None of this is written in stone.  This is not a "recipe."  This is just a "Hey, try this, but if you don't have that, you can try something else." 
As for the amounts, say a handful each of chopped onions and celery and I only had one small orange pepper left on my plant, so I used that.  Would have liked some dark green pepper or red pepper in it, for the color, but go with what you got. 
I used half the can of corn, but you could use the whole can.
I used the Rotel tomatoes and chilies to place on top of the soup, along with some cilantro and jalapeño out of the garden.  Not a cilantro fan?  Use parsley.  If you have some green onions, sprinkle them on top of your serving.
 Now, here's a thought.  If you happened to have some bacon, you could sauté a few strips, set the bacon aside, used some of the bacon grease with butter to sauté the shrimp in, and crumbled some of the bacon onto the soup in the serving bowls.  Just an idea.
As for the shrimp stock, you could substitute a store-bought carton of seafood stock or vegetable stock, but I usually have shrimp stock frozen.  Here's how to make it: 

We buy shrimp in bulk, de-head 'em, shell 'em, size 'em, then freeze 'em.
Take the shells (and heads if you're not squeamish), sauté in some oil over medium heat, add in a bunch of aromatics - onions, carrots, celery, garlic, peppercorns, thyme, and bay leaves - add water to cover, some salt, and simmer for about 45 minutes.  Drain off liquid, discard solids, and freeze in pint or quart containers.  Here are the step-by-steps plus a recipe for a shrimp and crab bisque in case you're interested.

Here's the basic outline of what I did:
Heat shrimp stock over low.
Medium skillet.  Medium-high heat.  Thrown in a tablespoon or so of butter. Sizzle. Add drained corn and sprinkle some sugar over.  Toss and sauté corn for a couple minutes until you get a nice smoky browning (caramelizing) on the corn.  Reduce heat and add in another plug of butter, then celery, carrot, and onion.  Sauté a minute.  Pour into a medium bowl.

Turn heat up to medium-high.  Add more butter.  Sizzle.  Add in seasoned shrimp (mine are large) and cook about one minute each side.  You want a searing, but not cooked all the way through.  That will be done in the soup.  Remove shrimp from skillet.  Reduce heat and add about 1/4 cup of the shrimp stock to the pan, scraping, to release all the goodie bits on the bottom.  That's where the flavor is. Pour this flavorful mixture back into the shrimp stock.

In a medium soup pot, medium heat, melt 2 TB butter.  When sizzling, add in 1/4 cup flour, stirring constantly.  Cook for about 2 minutes, to get the raw taste out of the flour and for it to turn to a tannish, light brown color.  Slowly start adding in the shrimp stock, 1/4 cup or so at a time, stirring constantly, allowing it to thicken.  When you've added all the stock, pour in the reserved cooked vegetables and shrimp.  Slowly pour in about a cup of the cream to enrich the soup.  Season to taste, with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  Give it a splash of sherry and swirl it in.  To taste.

Ladle into bowls and top with Rotel tomatoes and chilies, minced jalapeño, and cilantro.
Add some croutons or oyster crackers.

Here's my seasoned shrimp.

Vegetables ready.
Medium high heat.
Sizzling butter.
Sprinkle on some sugar.

Clockwise from top right:
sweet  pepper       
Sauté corn with the sugar,
then add more butter
and the veggies.

Sauté for a minute or so.
Set aside.
Heat butter,
 medium-high heat,
 to sizzling
in a soup pot and
add in shrimp.

About a minute each side.
These are large shrimp.

Shrimp are seared on outside
but slightly underdone inside.
And you've got all those nice
goodie bits sticking to the bottom.

Remove shrimp 
and pour in a little shrimp stock,
scraping up the "fond."
Fond - that's what those bits are called.

Pour the stock with fond 
back into the shrimp stock.
Basically, you've just cleaned your pot
and saved all the flavor. 

Medium-high heat.
Melt 2 TB or thereabouts butter
until sizzling.

Add in flour
and cook.

Keep cooking the flour.
You want the mixture
a light brown.
Pour in the heated stock,
just a little at a time,
stirring, letting it thicken.

Stir in cream.
Heat through.
Add in shrimp and veggies.
Let shrimp finish cooking.

A little sherry.
And serve.
Top with Rotel
tomatoes and chilies,
minced jalapeño.

Sliced scallions
and crumbled bacon
would be welcome.
Maybe some croutons
or oyster crackers
or toast points.


Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Rosie Makes Breakfast Buns.

I love a good breakfast sweet roll and I've made a bunch of them over the years.  I particularly like this recipe for several reasons:
  • It's yummy good.
  • It's quite easy.
  • It's very versatile. 
  • It makes a large batch that I wrapped in fridge and used 1/3 at a time, so my breakfast buns were always fresh.  And each batch was tweaked so it was just a bit different from the previous batch.
  • This lends itself well to the upcoming holidays.  You can feed a bunch of people, then have another 2 batches on hand to freshly bake and maybe vary the fillings a bit to make it a little different each time.

Here's the recipe:

Rosie's Sweet Rolls/Breakfast Buns 

First, proof your yeast. The yeast needs to "prove" it's alive and kickin'.  You do this by sprinkling it in warm liquid and giving it a little sugar to eat because yeast is hungry.  The yeast will thank you by getting foamy and bubbly.  This means the yeast is doin' its thing by fermenting into alcohol and emitting carbon dioxide.  It's ALIVE!

To proof yeast:
Zest 2 oranges and reserve.

In the bowl of your processor, juice the 2 zested oranges (Easier to zest first, then juice.) and add enough warm water to equal 1 cup.  Sprinkle a package of yeast over top, then sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over the yeast.  And wait.   (For the bubbles.)

When the yeast has proofed, add in:
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp salt
zest of 1 orange  (Save the rest of the zest for the filling.)

With the dough hook attached, start adding in flour, a cup or so at a time, processing continually.  You'll need about 5 cups of flour.  Keep processing (5 minutes or so) until you get a uniform, elastic dough that pulls away from the sides but still is attached to the bottom of the bowl, sort of like a little vortex.  Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and continue kneading by hand, adding a sprinkling of flour if needed.

Place dough in oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled.
Punch down.
Divide dough into thirds.  Wrap 2/3 dough in plastic and refrigerate.  Let the remaining third rise again until doubled.

Turn out dough onto lightly floured board.  Roll out to 10 x 14 inches.
Take your time rolling the dough.  Roll, then let it rest, then roll it out some more.  Don't try to do it all at once.  While you're rolling the dough, prepare the filling during the rests.

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
zest of one orange
1 cup chopped pecans
Mix all together until well combined.
Evenly spread the filling over the surface of the rolled-out dough.
Roll up the dough lengthwise.
Slice into 16 pieces.

Place pieces flat side down in buttered backing dish. Let rise until doubled.
Bake in a 350° oven for 12 minutes.
Rotate pan.
Bake another 12-13 minutes until golden brown.
Place pan on rack and let cool a bit.

For the glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
zest of one orange
juice of one orange (about 1/4 cup)
Combine until well-mixed and of pouring consistency.
Drizzle over cooled buns.

Now for the step-by-steps:

 Let the yeast proof.

Have the rest
of the ingredients
cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 stick melted butter

Add the orange zest and start processing, adding flour gradually.

Turn out onto lightly floured surface.

Knead by hand…

…until you get a nice supple, elastic dough mass.

Place in oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled.
About 2 hours. 

Make the filling.

Softened butter
Brown sugar
Orange zest



Dough is risen.
Turn out onto lightly
 floured board.
Separate dough into thirds.

Roll 1/3 out.

 Notice other two doughs
wrapped in back. 
Refrigerate and
save for later.

Spread filling evenly.

Roll it up.                                                                                              

Slice into 16 pieces.

Place in buttered
9 x 13 inch baking dish.

And let rise 
until doubled.

Individually wrap
the other 2/3 dough. 
Seal and refrigerate 
to use later.

And bake.
While cooling, make the glaze..

For the glaze/icing,
whisk together:
 2 cups powdered sugar
zest of one orange
enough orange juice to make it pourable (about 1/4 cup)

Drizzle over buns.










Second batch.  A variation on the first.

I spread out a stick of softened butter directly onto the rolled out dough.

Then I sprinkled 1/2 cup brown sugar over top.

a tablespoon of cinnamon.

And a cup of pecans.
Roll it up tightly.
Slice into 12 pieces.
Place in 7 x 11 buttered dish.
Let rise until doubled.

About 1 - 1 1/2 hours.

And bake.

Same glaze:
Powdered sugar
Orange juice and zest
Drizzle on the glaze.

And give it some more
 pecan lovin' on top.

3rd batch:

Brown sugar.
Pure maple syrup.

Almost forgot the butter.
Then I decided to pour in some honey.

Roll, slice, rise, bake.

And glaze.

All three versions are delish.  Mix and match ingredients however you like.