Shrimp and Artichoke Soup

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Posted on August 23, 2009 at 4:43 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 22 at 4:59 PM

Shrimp and Artichoke Soup

Just about everyone who samples it would have to agree that this has got to be one of those all-time, perfect, holiday appetizers! If you like shrimp, if you like artichokes, and if you just like to eat really good food, then you're gonna love this recipe! Especially for Christmas dinner!

Ingredients:

? stick unsalted butter 1 cup chopped onion, coarse diced ? cup chopped celery, medium diced ? cup chopped bell pepper, finely diced 10 strips cooked bacon, crumbled ? cup bacon drippings 3 lbs. shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped 6 small artichokes (scraped pulp/chopped hearts 2 cups Campbell's Cream of Shrimp Soup 1 cup artichoke stock 1 tsp. sweet basil 2 pints heavy cream 3 tsp. Frank Davis Seafood Seasoning Salt and pepper to taste (black and cayenne ? cup green onions, thinly sliced Parsley for garnish

Instructions:

Start off by melting the butter in a 5 quart heavy aluminum Dutch oven and saut?ing the chopped onions, celery and bell pepper until they soften. Then toss in the crumbled bacon, the drippings, and the chopped shrimp and simmer the mixture gently over low heat-stirring constantly-until the shrimp just turn pink (if you cook them any linger they will first become tough, then turn rubbery and gritty).

Next, drop in the chopped artichoke heart and pulp and fold them well into the mixture. Then stir in both the Cream of Shrimp soup and the artichoke stock (this is the water you poached the artichokes in then reduced to half its original volume).

This next step is very important!

While you continuously stir, bring the mixture to a boil. But as soon as the boil starts, reduce the fire to a low simmer and immediately cover the pot!

Then, after about five minutes of simmering, stir in the basil, the heavy cream, and the seafood seasoning, along with any extra salt and pepper you want, reduce the heat to simmer once again, and let the soup "develop" slowly for yet another five minutes, stirring every few minutes to prevent the cream from scorching on the bottom of the pot.

One suggestion: be sure to taste the sauce before you add that extra salt-the seafood seasoning and the bacon may provide enough salt for you.

After the slow cooking period, remove the soup from the burner and allow it "set up" for15 minutes so that the flavors marry and the sauce smooth. Then when you're ready to eat, reheat it gently, ladle it piping hot into soup bowls, garnish with parsley and green onions, and serve it with saltine crackers and a glass of white wine.

Chef's Notes: ? 1. Just for the record, like most soups and bisques this one too gets better the next day. But I know very few people willing to wait until tomorrow to chow down on it! So enjoy?right out of the pot

2. Any size shrimp may be used for this soup (ideally the 40-50 count size being preferred since they can be peeled and dropped in whole); but if you must use larger ones, just cut them into pieces at each segment after you peel and de-vein them.

3. You may prepare this soup a day or two in advance and store it in the coldest part of your refrigerator; but I do not suggest that you freeze it, however, freeze it without the cream-add it when you reheat the soup to serve it.

4. Note that this recipe will produce a rather thick soup, very rich and almost to the consistency of a bisque. If you'd prefer a thinner soup, substitute a pint of whole milk for one of the pints of heavy cream.

Frank's Secret-Recipe Thanksgiving Apple Crisp

According to Christopher Kimball at Cook's Illustrated, as the experts in food science and they will tell you that a whole lot of old-fashioned fruit desserts are topped with such things as bread crumbs, cake crumbs, cookie crumbs, oats, crackers, cereals and what-all-not! But technically, for a fruit dessert to be called a "crisp," it has to be "crispy" when it comes out of the oven. This one is! And whether you're a Pilgrim or an Indian, you're gonna love it!

Ingredients:

The Topping: 6 Tbsp. all purpose flour ? cup light brown sugar, packed ? cup granulated sugar ? tsp. ground cinnamon ? tsp. ground nutmeg ? tsp. salt 5 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into ? inch pieces ? cups pecans, chopped semi-course The Fruit: 3 lbs. apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1 inch chunks ? cup granulated sugar 1-1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice ? tsp. grated lemon zest

Instructions:

Start off by placing the flour, the brown sugar, the granulated sugar, the cinnamon, the nutmeg, and the salt in the food processor work bowl fitted with the steel blade. Then drop in the chilled butter and pulse the mixture until its consistency changes from a dry, sand-like texture with large lumps of butter in it to a coarse cornmeal texture. You can accomplish this with the food processor by using about three 4 second bursts. Then drop in the pecans and pulse the mixture again until its texture changes to resemble crumbly sand-this should take about five 1 second bursts.

It is important to remember, however, not to over-pulse the mixture, otherwise it will take on a smooth cookie dough like texture. This you don't want to happen! It will make the topping tough after it bakes. At this point, refrigerate the tipping mix for at least 15 minutes while you prepare the fruit. Here's how you do it:

First, adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Then toss together the cut fruit, the sugar, the lemon juice, and the lemon zest in a medium bowl. When the mixture is uniformly blended, take a rubber spatula and transfer it to an 8 inch square baking pan or a 9 inch round deep dish pie plate.

Next, remove the chilled topping from the refrigerator, distribute it evenly over the fruit, slide it into the oven, and bake it uncovered for about 40 minutes. That's all there is to it!

Just one little hint here: to guarantee an extra crispy topping, increase the oven temperature at the end of the baking period to 400 degrees and let the crisp go for an additional 5 minutes until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is a deep golden brown.

Because this recipe produces a true "crispy crisp" that won't turn soggy when it cools, you can serve it either warm or right out of the oven or later at room temperature

Chef's Notes: ? 1. To make a larger crisp that serves 10,, double all the ingredients, use a 13x9 inch baking pan, and bake for 55 minutes at 375 degrees without increasing the oven temperature

2. The test kitchens at Cook's Illustrated make this dessert with virtually every kind of apple ever to fall off a tree. But they say that by far the best results are obtained consistently whey you combine quantities of both Granny Smith and McIntosh apples-1-1/2 pounds of each, peeled, cored, and cut into 1 inch chunks. Don't substitute any other kinds of apples!

3. For detailed information on other kinds of fruit crisps, as well as other available recipes and you can access Cook's website at www.cooksillustrated.com.

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