So, I've been trying to be the efficient housewife during this time of low income and unemployment. I've been trying to shop smarter and not waste any food. This calls for planning, which I never really used to do. We've been in the habit of shopping meal to meal, instead of stocking up like normal people might do. Part of the reason for this, is when we buy lots of perishables, some of them end up unused and spoiled. So, I realized, if I buy a few items that can be a base for a meal, then I can later go to the store to fill in the gaps.
So, on 4th of July, I went shopping. I had no clue what I was going to buy. We had been talking about a shrimp boil, but it's difficult to find good head on shrimp. I looked at the meat and seafood at Henry's, Vons and Pancho's. So I got some shrimp at Pancho's. They didn't look offensive. I also got a big pack of chicken breasts. And then I saw that Hebrew National hot dogs were on sale bogo, so I got two packs of hot dogs, even though I forgot to get buns.
So, I berled the shrimp, and they sucked! Really. We were drinking margaritas, so we were using up all the ice in the freezer. So, the shrimp were not very good, and along with me not icing them enough after cooking, they were mealy and soft and hard to peel. We ate all the potatoes, corn, garlic, mushrooms and hot dogs that were in the boil, though. Yes, I put hot dogs in. Usually, we use sausage, but I didn't buy any. Since I had all those hot dogs, I figured I would throw two in the pot. They were good, don't knock it.
So, the next day, I made a greek chicken salad, a la the restaurant that the Food Pimp and I used to work at in New Orleans.
It had romaine, bell pepper, cucumber, feta, chicken and a mustard, greek yogurt and lemon vinaigrette. It was pretty delicious. It's the kind of salad that makes boneless skinless chicken breast appetizing. It was way better than the attempted shrimp boil.
So, I had three pounds of shrimp. I couldn't just chuck em. The FP said, make bisque. I think he was kidding.
But, he left for work, and I walked down to the Jaycees Market and bought celery and heavy cream. I came home and I peeled all those shrimp. Usually, with bisque, you want to use the shells. But these shrimp were just sketchy, and there were so many that I had enough to sacrifice the shells and heads. So I peeled and peeled. And I made the bisque. My forte is taking what others perceive as garbage and making something delicious - I'm kind of like a found food artist. My cooks used to tease me about this.
Leftover Shrimp and Corn Bisque
3# nasty leftover boiled shrimp
2 oz unsalted butter
4 stalks celery diced
1 onion diced
5 cloves garlic smashed
1 ripe tomato, diced
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 ear corn, cut
1 c heavy cream
salt and pepper
feta cheese (optional)
Sweat the onion, celery and garlic in the butter in a soup pot, ten to twenty minutes on low until transparent. Add diced tomato and a third of the shrimp, and cook another 5 minutes. Add the rest of the shrimp, and both cans of tomatoes. Let it come up to a boil, then blend with a hand blender or in a blender. Put it back on the heat and add the corn. Bring it up to a boil for a minute, then reduce to a simmer and let cook 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. You can let it cook on low for as long as you wish. Five minutes before serving, stir in the cream. Taste again for seasoning, and serve with chopped parsley, croutons, and a little feta if you wish. (Feta and shrimp are one of those cheese and seafood combos that actually work. I don't abide by the no seafood with cheese rule, but I don't gloop cheese on any seafood either.)
So, the FP came home and asked, what's for dinner. I said, bisque, like you said. He did not seem enthused at all. I thought it was good - I had already eaten the equivalent of one good sized bowl. So, I served him, as a good housewife does. I didn't put feta in his, I didn't want to push my luck. The FP has this kidlike quality in that if he's got an aversion to the idea of eating something, he is going to be judging it before it goes into his mouth. But, I waited, and I watched. He thought it was outstanding. I believe I heard the words "the best shrimp bisque I ever had". Although, the FP tends to get caught up in the moment and use hyperbole. That's part of what makes the FP the FP. Enthusiasm. Anyway, I got him to eat the nasty leftover shrimp and enjoy it! Score!!