In the Hands of a Chef

In the Hands of a Chef by Jody Adams Read Free Book Online

Book: In the Hands of a Chef by Jody Adams Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jody Adams
about 20 minutes, tossing occasionally. If necessary, cook them in a couple of sauté pans or do them in batches.
    4. Add the tomato paste to the pan and cook for 3 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and add the wine and brandy. Return the pan to the heat and stir to deglaze. Transfer everything to the stockpot.
    5. Add the tomatoes to the stockpot, then add enough water to come ½ inch below the top of the contents of the pot. Add the cheesecloth bundle. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to a simmer. Move the pottoward you so it sits 2 inches off the center of the burner. This will cause the fat and impurities to collect at the edge of the pot closest to you, making it easier to skim them off. Simmer for 1 hour.
    6. Pour the stock through a fine strainer into another large pot or container. Refrigerate. After the stock has cooled, skim off the fat that has accumulated on the surface. Refrigerate or freeze the stock until ready to use.
Chilled Smooth Corn Soup with Tomatoes, Avocado, and Lime
    T
his is an August recipe,
a summer finale, when local corn is at its peak. I can’t think of another recipe that squeezes more flavor out of corn than this one. Even the stripped cobs are put to use. This is one case where you should absolutely stick to the times given in the recipe, cooking the kernels briefly in as little water as possible in order to preserve their freshness. The result is an intense creamy hit of corn with absolutely no cream. Smoked bluefish, homemade salsa, and crème fraîche give the soup a little counterpoint and bring your palate back to that wonderful summer corn flavor.
    MAKES 4 SERVINGS
    6 ears corn, husked
    1 small white onion, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    1 medium leek, white part only, trimmed of roots and tough outer leaves, thinly sliced crosswise, and swirled vigorously in a bowl of cold water to remove any grit
    1 shallot, thinly sliced
    1 ripe avocado
    ½ cucumber
    1 small tomato, peeled (see page 55), seeded, and chopped into ¼-inch dice
    2 tablespoons diced (¼-inch) red onion
    1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
    2 ounces smoked bluefish (substitute smoked salmon if bluefish is unavailable), skin and any bones removed, cut into ¼-inch dice
    ¼ cup crème fraîche or yogurt
    2 tablespoons chopped chives
    DO AHEAD: This soup needs to chill before it is served. Typically I make it the night before, then finish the garnishes before serving. If you’re pressed for time, chill the soup in a shallow bowl in your freezer.
    1. Use a sharp knife to strip the corn kernels from the cobs. Set the kernels aside. Cut each cob into 4 pieces.
    2. Put the cobs into a pot, along with the sliced onion. Add enough water to barely cover. (If you use too much water, the stock will taste thin.) Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 35 minutes. Discard the cobs.
    3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the leek and shallot and cook until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the corn kernels, season with salt and pepper, and cook until they just start to soften, about 2 minutes. Do not overcook, the corn should still taste fresh. Remove from the heat and set aside until the corn broth finishes cooking
    4. Add the sautéed vegetables to the corn broth and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain the broth intoa bowl and purée the solids in a blender, adding just enough of the broth to make a thick soup. Push the soup through a medium strainer, then chill for at least
3
hours. (You will have about a quart of soup.)
    5. Peel the avocado, remove the pit, and chop the flesh into ¼-inch dice. Peel, seed, and chop the cucumber into ¼-inch dice. Mix the tomato, avocado, cucumber, and diced onion together. Toss with salt, pepper, and lime juice to taste.
    6. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Distribute the fish evenly among four

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