Archive for mussels

NYE 2014 Soup

Posted in cod, dairy, leeks, parsnip, potato, shellfish, soup, stock, vegetarian with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2015 by oskila

It says soup, but the concoction in question has a few similarities to a stew, a casserole, a chowder, a bisque or a bouillabaisse. Anyway, it’s a soup I made for the NYE dinner main course at my mother in law’s. Since it turned out rather excellent I feel like sharing.

The most important ingredient of all is good stock. I had two pints of lobster stock that I forgot to blog when I made it, so we’ll deal with that first.

Lobster stock (serves: you right)

1. Have your mother or similar invite you for a lobster party.
2. Nab the shells.
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3. Lug a bucket of lobster peel home.
4. Cut up some good stock vegetables such as onions, carrots, leeks, garlic, parsnips (fennel, celery and celeriac are good too) and give them a sizzle in a large pot.
5. Cram the lobster remains in. Be as violent as you need. (I used a potato masher). If the shells refuse to be properly seared, oven roasting them first is a good idea.
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6. Top up with water, wine and perhaps a bit of sherry.
7. Simmer for as long as you like I’d say, skimming frequently and seasoning to taste.
8. Strain the solids. I ended up using a pillowcase.
9. Simmer down to a more manageable volume
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10. Use soon or freeze in a suitable container, for example a milk jug.

Freezing it in a milk jug will likely mean you end up using all of it in one go rather than a little here and there, since you’d have to defrost it to get anything out (apart from the bit with all the salt in it sloshing around the bottom unless the freezer is very very cold.

Since I’m a bit of a cheapskate I didn’t want to use this luxurious stock on just any soup and was at risk of waiting for too long when the opportunity of New Year’s dinner came along just in the nick of time. Also, wanting to defrost the stock well in advance of NYE to see if it was OK I took it out a couple of days early and discovered that we accidentally had turned the freezer off some time around Christmas eve and the temp inside was hovering around zero. Without the stock we’d probably gone for another day or two without checking the freezer, spoiling everything in it.

Aaanyway – for this soup you’ll need:

1 tbsp tomato paste
1 onion, finely chopped
4 carrots, cut to matchsticks
3 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped
3 inches leek, julienned
1 kilo almond potatoes (or other mealy fingerling) cut to pieces or large dice

1 quart stock, for example lobster (see above)
1-2 glasses white wine
½-1 pint double cream
crème fraîche
water (optional)

400 grams fish fillet, diced
100 grams smoked mussels
peeled shrimp

In a pot suitable for soup-making, start by sizzling the tomato paste and onions, then add potatoes and garlic. I left the potato skin on since almond potatoes are very mushy when cooked and will be held together a bit better by the skin. The reason for the comparatively large amount of potatoes is that they absorb salt and the stock was very very salty. Add water as needed.

Deglace pot with a small amount of wine, then add the stock and wine to taste. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are nearly done, then add leeks, fish, mussels and cream to taste and cook until everything is nice.

Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche and a few shrimp as garnish. Garlic bread or croutons are nice on the side.

The above recipe was cooked up for five adults as main course, but turned out to be enough for seconds for three and thirds for two and also leftovers for lunch for two a few days later, which should add up to 12 servings, but not the largest ones.

2014soup

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Chowder-like Smoky Salvage Soup

Posted in alaska pollock, american, bacon, beans, discount, leeks, potato, shellfish, soup with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2013 by oskila

An awful lot of time has gone by since the last post. I’m very sorry for that, and I have a big backlog of meals to blog about. Today’s dish, however, is hot from the stove. (not really, since it’s probably three-four hours since I actually ate it for dinner)

soppingr

When my wife’s aunt and uncle moved to Copenhagen they gave away quite a lot of food that wouldn’t keep for the trip over to Denmark anyway. Among the things we were given were a tin of smoked mussels, something I felt we’d probably never use. Until I read some stuff about clam chowder. The soup I’m making today is probably breaking all kinds of clam chowder rules, but that’s never bothered me in the past. I didn’t feel like a big round of shopping, so I used up stuff I found. Ye olde crustacean stock, frozen alaska pollock up the seaworthy proteins a bit, bacon, cos at least it’s never made a dish worse, ever, creme fraiche with herbs instead of cream, because it was expires-tomorrow-cheap, some old frozen fries and some leek.

soppgryt

Bacon, leeks and diced fries are the first to go in my new nice cast iron pot, along with some white pepper and powdered garlic. Any chowder purists among the regular readers have probably un-followed by now, but in hindsight I couldn’t tell if the potatoes in the soup was hand-peeled and diced, or simply chopped up fries. It’s not cheaper at all, but handy if you’re in a pinch.

sopptvå

As I added the still frozen stock, the diced fish and the mussels (it’s damn silly, by the way, that the same Swedish company that used to can 1500 tons of locally sourced mussels annually now ships them from Chile instead. Not very sustainable I’d think) second thought struck, and I also added a handful of green beans and a pinch of paprika.

soppfyr

Good food, but crappy photo. Added water, a bit of milk to counter the rather high saltiness, a dash of lemon juice in lieu of white wine and, after bringing the pot to a boil, the creme fraiche.

soppklart

The final result is a soup with quite a few chowder-like qualities, that I hope at least a quite hungry Mainer would agree to eat. And it feels great to be back in the food blog business.

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