Chilled Corn and Crab Soup

Chilled Corn and Crab Soup

Silky and cool, this gorgeous soup makes a delightful first course for those scorching hot days when nobody wants anything heavy but everybody wants to  eat on the patio. Chilled Corn and Crab Soup has a lovely corn flavour that’s married up with fennel and swirled with sour cream. It not only looks pretty, it’s darn delicious. The crab salad swimming in the middle is also adorned with fennel and fennel fronds for a crisp and refreshing spoonful. Enjoy!

Recipe Source for Chilled Corn and Crab Soup:  Compelled To Cook

 

Chilled Corn and Crab Soup
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    5 cups 20 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    40 minutes 1+ hour
    Servings Prep Time
    5 cups 20 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    40 minutes 1+ hour
    Chilled Corn and Crab Soup
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      5 cups 20 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      40 minutes 1+ hour
      Servings Prep Time
      5 cups 20 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      40 minutes 1+ hour
      Ingredients
      Corn Soup
      Crab Salad
      Servings: cups
      Instructions
      Corn Soup
      1. In a large pot melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery, fennel and garlic. Sauté until starting to soften but not brown, about 10 minutes. While vegetables are cooking prepare corn by peeling off corn husks and removing silk. Stand corn on end and remove kernels by running a large knife along the body, cutting at the base of the kernels. Trim ends off bare cobs and cut cob in half. Add kernels and cobs to pot along with vegetable broth, water, thyme sprigs and 1/2 tsp salt.
      2. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Remove cobs and thyme sprigs and discard. Allow to cool at room temperature for 10-20 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 tsp salt and adjust as needed, remembering that cold foods tend to taste saltier than warm. Using a blender, blend soup in batches until smooth. Pour through a fine mesh sieve, pressing against the sides to extract all the soup. Cover and chill until cool, stirring occasionally.
      3. Scoop approximately 1/4 cup of crab salad into the centre of shallow serving bowls. Ladle soup around crab salad and drizzle with sour cream, swirling into soup slightly. Serve immediately.
      Crab Salad
      1. Gently stir together all ingredients. Cover and keep chilled until ready to use. Can be made up to several hours ahead.
      Recipe Notes

      Yields a generous 5 cups of soup and will serve 6 as a first course or 4 servings as a main dish. Both the soup and crab salad are best if served slightly chilled but not cold. If both have been completely chilled, allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.

      Grilled Tomatillo Avocado Dip

      Grilled Tomatillo Avocado Dip

      My latest obsession is tomatillo salsa or variations of. Why? Because it’s fresh and spicy like salsa, but because of the avocados there’s just a hint of creaminess. Count in the fresh garlic and cilantro and you couldn’t find a better match for your favourite tortilla chip. Grilled Tomatillo Avocado Dip brings all the fresh spiciness that you’d expect but with a little smoky char flavour. It adds just a bit earthy bitterness that balances with all the acidity and creaminess from the avocado. It’s a fantastic pairing with my Spicy Grilled Vodka Shrimp

      While it’s pretty easy to throw all the ingredients into a food processor and call it a day, you won’t regret taking that extra step to the grill the veggies for this. It keeps several days in the refrigerator and freezes well too. So make up a batch and use it for a dip, topping for tacos or sauce for enchiladas. Enjoy!

      Recipe source for Grilled Tomatillo Avocado Dip:  Compelled To Cook

       

      Grilled Tomatillo Avocado Dip
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        2 cups 15 minutes
        Cook Time
        5 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        2 cups 15 minutes
        Cook Time
        5 minutes
        Grilled Tomatillo Avocado Dip
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          2 cups 15 minutes
          Cook Time
          5 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          2 cups 15 minutes
          Cook Time
          5 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: cups
          Instructions
          1. Preheat grill to medium. Peel onion and cut into 1" thick slices. Cut lime in half. In a large bowl combine, tomatillos, jalapeños, lime halves and onion slices. Drizzle with oil to coat lightly.
          2. Grill vegetables until starting to char and blister, turning occasionally to slightly char evenly, approximately 4-5 minutes. Remove from grill and allow to cool slightly.
          3. In the bowl of a food processor add grilled tomatillos, onion, avocado, cilantro and garlic. Cut stem from jalapeños and cut in half, scoop out seeds and add flesh to processor. Juice grilled lime and add to processor. Pulse until combined but still a little chunky. Season with salt and garnish with additional cilantro and chopped red onion. Serve immediately with tortilla chips or chill until ready to use.
          Recipe Notes

          The purpose of grilling is to impart a slightly smoky charred flavour.  You only need to char the vegetables a little here to get the flavour.  Too much char will lead to bitterness.

          Spicy Grilled Vodka Shrimp

          Spicy Grilled Vodka Shrimp

          Wanna set your food on fire??  Here’s your chance with Spicy Grilled Vodka Shrimp.  It’s so much fun to cook and share.  These shrimp are spicy but not extreme, just a perfect spicy bite really.  They get a little heat not only from the chili flakes, but jalapeño and spicy vodka if you have it.  Add a good squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of cilantro for a great nibble.

          Outdoors is definitely the preferred location to perform this act of pyromania.  An ounce of vodka will shoot flames 2-3 feet high, seriously!!  And, the look on your guest’s faces will be priceless.    The flame will dissipate within about 20-30 seconds, so be ready for it, it happens quickly.

          I have done this particular flambé outside before, however for this post and for the purpose of taking pictures I used my garage which has high ceilings and a large open area.  It’s really not a maneuver I would ever do in my home.  Too much potential for bad things to happen in my opinion, so I’ll keep this outdoors, and I strongly suggest you do as well.  Besides, that is where your shrimp and hot pan will be coming off the BBQ anyway.  Have fun with it and enjoy!

          Recipe source for Spicy Grilled Vodka Shrimp:  Compelled To Cook

           

          Spicy Grilled Vodka Shrimp
          Print Recipe
            Servings
            4 people
            Servings
            4 people
            Spicy Grilled Vodka Shrimp
            Print Recipe
              Servings
              4 people
              Servings
              4 people
              Ingredients
              Servings: people
              Instructions
              1. Preheat grill to medium high. In a medium bowl combine, oil, garlic, lime juice, chili flakes, salt and cumin. Pat shrimp dry with a paper towel and toss with oil mixture. Thread shrimp alternating with jalapeño slices onto skewers being sure to skewer through head and tail of shrimp thereby making the shrimp lay flat.
              2. Place a cast iron platter or grill plate onto grill and allow to heat for at least 10 minutes. Grill shrimp for approximately 2-3 minutes per side until slightly charred, turning once or twice to get good char coverage.
              3. At the grill remove shrimp and jalapeño slices from skewers onto cast iron plate. Remove from grill, turn off grill and close lid. While everything is hot, pour vodka over shrimp and ignite using a BBQ lighter. Flames will shoot 2-3 feet high and quickly dissipate. Serve immediately garnished with chopped cilantro, red onion and lime wedges.
              Recipe Notes

              -If using wooden skewers, be sure to soak accordingly. You should be able to fit 4 shrimp onto each skewer, divided by jalapeño slices.

              -It's important to use cast iron for this.  Using ceramic, metal or anything with a coating is likely to crack and chip after pouring liquid on its hot surface.

              -DO NOT DO THIS INDOORS!

              Kale and Sausage Pastry Roll

              Kale and Sausage Pastry Roll

              Kale and Sausage Pastry Roll is a fantastic brunch or appetizer dish. It combines convenience with rustic flavours by using Pillsbury Crescent Roll Dough, kale and Italian sausage. A great way to use kale as its sturdy leaves stand up to a little braising and pairs well with Italian sausage and cheese.

              This perfectly golden pastry roll can easily be made up in advance and popped in the oven at the last minute, saving you time to spend with friends and family. The slices are plump with braised kale, melty cheese and Italian sausage making it delicious with eggs.  It’s a great addition to your brunch table.

              Recipe source for Kale and Sausage Pastry Roll:  Compelled To Cook

               

               

              Kale and Sausage Pastry Roll
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                5-6 people 15 minutes
                Cook Time
                55-60 minutes
                Servings Prep Time
                5-6 people 15 minutes
                Cook Time
                55-60 minutes
                Kale and Sausage Pastry Roll
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  5-6 people 15 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  55-60 minutes
                  Servings Prep Time
                  5-6 people 15 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  55-60 minutes
                  Ingredients
                  Servings: people
                  Instructions
                  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet. Cook sausage until no longer pink and starting to brown. Remove sausage to a paper towel lined plate. In same skillet over medium heat, add remaining tbsp oil and sauté onion for 3-4 minutes, add garlic and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Stir in kale, broth, Italian seasoning, pepper and chili flakes. Allow to simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until liquid is absorbed and kale is tender, about 15 minutes. There should be no visible liquid left. Remove to a large bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
                  2. Preheat oven to 375℉. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Unroll dough and separate each triangle. On the prepared pan, place 4 triangles in a horizontal line, lining up the corners of the shorter side. Place remaining 4 triangles parallel to the first 4, joining the bottoms of each triangle. 4 triangle tips will be pointing toward you while the other 4 away from you. See blog post for photo. Press dough together along the seam and press out slightly with your fingers, creating an approximate 3" dough surface for the filling.
                  3. To the kale mixture, stir in sausage meat, gruyere cheese, and 2 tbsp of parmesan. Scoop out filling onto prepared dough bed in a straight horizontal line, keeping filling on the dough seam and leaving a 1" border at the ends. Slice tomato into 1/4" thick slices and lay slices in a flat row along the top of the filling row. Sprinkle tomatoes with remaining 2 tbsp of parmesan cheese. Lift and bring triangle tips over and across filling, alternating tips. Cut excess dough from triangle tip and tuck end under. Use any excess dough to stretch and cover any filling spots that get missed in the first pass. Tuck and pinch ends together. The roll should be approximately 14" long.
                  4. Whisk egg with a 1 tbsp of water and brush over roll. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Remove and cut into 2-3" slices and serve immediately.
                  Recipe Notes

                  Makes a great brunch item or appetizer.

                  Potato Chip Shrimp

                  Potato Chip Shrimp

                  What flavour will you choose?  With Potato Chip Shrimp there are plenty Potato Chip varieties and flavours to temp you.  My first instinct was dill pickle of course, because to me it is reminiscent of tartar sauce with dill pickles and a good pairing with shrimp.  BBQ, sour cream and onion or salt and vinegar are also great flavours to work with.  I find that BBQ on its own is a good all round coating that comes out nicely seasoned and would make a good coating for most anything. You really can’t go wrong with any flavour that you use as the potato chips in general make a surprisingly thick and crispy coating.

                  What I found oddly interesting about using potato chips in this fashion is that the potato chips have trouble being ground down really fine.  Which is odd, because chips will turn into micro dust if you eat them in bed or on the sofa? Secondly, a deep fried potato chip coating isn’t greasy as one might think since you are essentially deep frying a deep fried product.  You will be pleased with the results.
                  It seems the oil already in the potato chip prevents them from really grinding down as mentioned earlier but this same oil allows you to really pack on the coating as it tends to stick together well.  So the next time you’re looking for a great party snack, don’t just put those potato chips out in a bowl.  Turn them into something worthy for your gathering of friends.  Enjoy!

                  Try these Potato Chip Shrimp flavour options:

                  BBQ with the addition of chipotle powder

                  Sour cream and onion with the addition of onion powder

                  Salt and vinegar with the addition of  cracked black pepper

                  Ranch with the addition of dried parsley and onion powder

                  Cheddar with the addition of chili powder

                   

                  Recipe source for Potato Chip Shrimp:  Compelled To Cook

                   

                   

                  Potato Chip Shrimp
                  Print Recipe
                    Servings Prep Time
                    20 shrimp 10 minutes
                    Cook Time
                    12-16 minutes
                    Servings Prep Time
                    20 shrimp 10 minutes
                    Cook Time
                    12-16 minutes
                    Potato Chip Shrimp
                    Print Recipe
                      Servings Prep Time
                      20 shrimp 10 minutes
                      Cook Time
                      12-16 minutes
                      Servings Prep Time
                      20 shrimp 10 minutes
                      Cook Time
                      12-16 minutes
                      Ingredients
                      Servings: shrimp
                      Instructions
                      1. Combine potato chips, 3tbsp flour, dill, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until chips have broken down into small crumbs. (the chips with only process so far, so don't be afraid of over processing) Remove coating to a shallow bowl and set aside.
                      2. Prepare breading station by adding remaining 3 tbsp of flour to a shallow bowl and seasoning lightly with salt and pepper. In a third shallow bowl whisk egg whites with water. Arrange breading station starting with flour, egg whites and potato chip coating.
                      3. In a large dutch oven, pot or deep fryer, heat a minimum of 4" of oil to 350℉ using a candy/deep fry thermometer. Pat shrimp dry with a paper towel and toss in flour to coat. Shake off 6-7 shrimp and add to egg white bowl and toss to coat. Remove shrimp one by one to coating bowl and press both sides of shrimp into coating. The coating will adhere nicely when gently pressed on. Place prepared shrimp on a plate or small baking sheet. Repeat with remain shrimp until all are coated. Drop 5-6 shrimp into hot oil and cook for approximately 3 minutes until golden. Remove with slotted scoop to a paper towel lined plate. Continue with remaining shrimp. Serve immediately with your favourite tartar sauce.
                      Recipe Notes

                      -I used Old Dutch Dill Pickle with the addition of a little dried dill, however your favourite brand and/or flavour can be used as is.

                      -substitute all purpose flour for cornstarch if wanting gluten free.

                      Mini Beef Yorkies

                      Mini Beef Yorkies

                      Having your pals over for Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day? Mini Beef Yorkies are crazy good and easily washed down with your favourite pint. Crispy edges and soft eggy interior cradle shaved roast beef and creamy horseradish sauce. You’ll find them irresistible!

                      While traditional Yorkshire Pudding seems to have originated in the North of England, you will find that stuffed mini yorkies are popular in many Irish themed pubs. I guess great finger food knows no boundaries! Whether it’s St. Patrick’s Day or just a night with friends, you can’t go wrong dunk’n Mini Beef Yorkies into a warm bowl of au jus. Enjoy!

                      Recipe Source:  Compelled To Cook

                       

                      Mini Beef Yorkies
                      Print Recipe
                        Servings Prep Time
                        20 Mini Yorkshires 10 minutes
                        Cook Time
                        20 minutes
                        Servings Prep Time
                        20 Mini Yorkshires 10 minutes
                        Cook Time
                        20 minutes
                        Mini Beef Yorkies
                        Print Recipe
                          Servings Prep Time
                          20 Mini Yorkshires 10 minutes
                          Cook Time
                          20 minutes
                          Servings Prep Time
                          20 Mini Yorkshires 10 minutes
                          Cook Time
                          20 minutes
                          Ingredients
                          Mini Beef Yorkies
                          Horseradish Sauce
                          Servings: Mini Yorkshires
                          Instructions
                          Mini Beef Yorkies
                          1. Preheat oven to 450℉ and set oven rack to the center position. Place a large baking sheet on rack to catch any oil or dripping that may occur. In a medium size bowl whisk together milk and eggs. Add flour, salt and melted butter and continue to whisk until smooth, approximately 1 minute.
                          2. Using a mini muffin tin, add 1 tsp of oil to 20 mini cups. Place on prepared baking sheet set on the middle rack for serval minutes to heat oil. Once hot, remove mini muffin pan and quickly scoop 1 tbsp of batter into each of the 20 cups. Place back in oven and bake for 18 minutes. Remove from oven and tilt each mini yorkshire onto its side.
                          3. Stuff approximately 10g of warm roast beef into the center of each mini yorkshire (a slit or hole should generate naturally at the top while baking). Pipe or squeeze approximately 1 tsp of horseradish sauce into the same hole. Serve immediately with au jus if desired.
                          Horseradish Sauce
                          1. While yorkshires are baking, whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl. Scoop into a piping bag or squeezable condiment container. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
                          Recipe Notes

                          I used shaved deli roast beef for this recipe, however left over homemade roast beef, flaked, sliced or shaved is just as good, if not better.