The mornings are getting chilly these days, so it’s obviously time for some fall chile soups! Soups are the elegant side of a chef’s kitchen. In professional cooking, tradition holds that the head chef always makes the soup. In fact, if you catch the chef eating something in his kitchen, chances are it will be a soup. Why do chefs love soups? Because it gives them a chance to recycle some of the byproducts of the main dishes, as well as take advantage of seasonal ingredients. The full article is here.
Veracruz-Style Shrimp Chowder
In Veracruz, Mexico, this dish is known as Chilpachole Veracruzano. The use of dried shrimp in here intensifies the flavor. Dried shrimp and epazote are available in Latin and Asian markets. There is no substitute for epazote, with its unique, pungent flavor. Serve the shrimp stew in bowls or over cooked rice and garnish with lemon or lime slices.
8 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 chipotle chiles, seeds and stems removed
2 ancho chiles, seeds and stems removed
1 onion, cut into eighths
3 tomatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
3 tablespoons oil
3 cups water or Traditional European Fish Stock
8 dried shrimp
1/4 cup epazote
2 pounds fresh shrimp, shelled and deveined
Wrap the unpeeled cloves of garlic in aluminum foil and roast them in a 400 degree F oven for 30 minutes. When they are cool enough to handle, squeeze the garlic out of the skin into a blender.
Using a dry skillet, lightly roast the chiles for 2 minutes, taking care not to burn them. Add the chiles to the blender along with the onion and the tomatoes and puree the mixture.
Heat the oil in a medium skillet, pour in the pureed mixture, and cook it over a medium low heat for 1 minute. Then, add the water, dried shrimp, and the epazote and simmer for 3 minutes.
Add the fresh shrimp and simmer the mixture for an additional 5 minutes, or until the shrimp are cooked. Add more water if the mixture starts to get too thick. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings
Heat Scale: Medium