Jul 19, 2012

I Heart Cooking Clubs: July Potluck

One of the things I like most about I Heart Cooking Clubs is getting to know the chefs that are featured.  An extended study.  Six months spent exploring a person's body of culinary work.

Most of the chefs I've "studied" through IHCC each have their one little ingredient that they always seem to turn to.

If you know Giada, you most likely know about her love of lemons.  Cooking her recipes for six months gave me an appreciation for what lemon can do to savory dishes (and I'm now obsessed).  With lemons.  Not Giada.

Couldn't help notice that many of Jamie Oliver's recipes included anchovies.  I did not become obsessed.  I got downright tired of them.  Anchovies.  And Jamie (sorry).

Two ingredients that Rick Bayless seems to use a lot of are roasted poblano and shrimp.  And I can totally roll with that.  Roasted poblano.  And shrimp.  And together.

Shrimp Ball Soup w/ Roasted Pepper & Tomato (Sopa de Albondigas de Camaron) from Authentic Mexican by Rick Bayless

I made this soup a month or so ago and it was intended for last week's Soup & Sides theme.  C'est la vie.

It's hard to remember just what I kept and what I changed about the recipe.  I do remember that I made shrimp stock with my horded frozen shrimp shells instead of fish stock.  Because I don't horde fish parts.

That would be weird, right?

The shrimp meatballs had a good flavor and were my favorite part of the soup. 
I lie.  It was really the roasted poblano rajas.   A squeeze of lime (or two) finished things off just fine.  I think the soup would have been even better with some tortilla strips on top for texture.

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Shrimp Ball Soup w/ Roasted Pepper & Tomato (Sopa de Albondigas de Camaron)
from Authentic Mexican by Rick Bayless

8 ounces shrimp, well chilled
1/4 small onion, very finely chopped
1/4 ripe, medium large tomato, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
1 large egg yolk
2 Tbsp flour (I needed more)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
generous 1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 chile poblano, roasted and peeled, seeded and sliced into thin strips
1 ripe, medium tomato, roasted or boiled, cored, peeled, and roughly chopped
about 4 1/2 cups shrimp stock
about 3/4 tsp salt
1-2 limes, quartered

For the shrimp mixture: Peel the shrimp and devein them by running a knife down the back to expose the dark intestinal track and scraping it out. Chop them finely so the shrimp forms a coarse-textured paste. Warm shrimp will turn to mush; make sure the shrimp are chilled.  Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl.

Add the onion, tomato, egg yolk, flour, oregano and salt, and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to finish the soup.

For the broth: In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium. Add the onion and fry until just browning, about 7 minutes. Add the chile strips (reserving a few for garnish if desired) and tomato and fry for 3 or 4 minutes longer to reduce the liquid a little.

Stir in the stock, bring to a boil, cover and simmer 15 minutes over medium-low heat to blend the flavors. Season with salt.

Finishing the soup. Fifteen minutes before serving, poach the shrimp in the gently simmering broth: Drop in rounded tablespoons of the shrimp mixture, simmer gently for 8 to 10 minutes, then remove from the fire.

Ladle the soup into bowls. Serve with lime wedges on the side.

More Rick Bayless recipes can be found @ I Heart Cooking Clubs for this week's Potluck.
Rick Bayless @IHCC button rounded

Cookbook Sundays @ Couscous & Consciousness


  1. Yep those are two ingredients I could learn to use over and over again.

  2. This soup sounds awesome. I'm finding the recipes I choose almost always include chipotles, avocado, or fruit. Loving that mix. I can't wait for next weeks topic!

  3. Your comments on the chefs made me laugh. I guess we all end up with our "go to" ingredients. I've noticed that I've backed off of mine, as of late. For years I felt that onion, bell pepper, and garlic were the base of every meal I prepared. I guess my subconscious level told me to take a break because I've noticed the absence of my go-to's. Hmm, food for thought.

  4. Funny...whenever I think of Giada I think of lemons and mascarpone. LOL!

    This is the first time I've seen a shrimp ball soup before and it definitely gets my attention. I bet with your homemade shrimp stock it was delicious!

    Hope you're doing good. When I downloaded my email about a week ago I thought I saw an email from you, but then when I looked back it was gone. ?? Not sure what happened or if it was an old one.

  5. Haha you definitely learn a lot about each Chef's food preferences by cooking a lot from them! Sounds like a great dish..can't go wrong with shrimp and potatoes, that's for sure!

  6. He's given me an appreciation for poblanos as well. Thankfully I found a market that sells them up here!
    What a great looking soup, I love the shrimp balls.
    It's also fun just to say shrimp balls. ;-)

  7. I can so agree with that- I'd be hard pressed to get tired of shrimp and poblanos, I love them both. This looks so comforting, and so delicious. I also love shrimp balls, and now I feel hungry.

  8. You're so right - all chefs do seem to have their go to ingredient. I never tired of Giada's passion for lemons, and their an ingredient I use loads.

    Unfortunately I can't get poblanos here readily, but I sure can do a lot with shrimp, and so pleased I'm not the only one who has a stash of shrimp shells in the freezer for stock.

    I've never come across a shrimp ball soup before, but I'm pretty sure it's something I could like a lot.

    Thanks for sharing at Cookbook Sundays.

  9. Oh my gosh - YUM! I have had this soup marked to make for YEARS (yes, I'm embarrassed that I haven't yet made it). It looks awesome!

    I had to laugh about the individual cook/chef's fave ingredients. I knew you'd say lemon for Giada. Jamie definitely uses lots of anchovies. Hmmm...what do you think Tessa's ingredient was?

  10. I made an Asian inspired shrimp-ball soup a while back and have been drooling over this one for a while. I may just have to try it before we end our Rick time after seeing your pictures and review. Yum! ;-)


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