Sunday, December 15, 2019

Jamie Oliver's Speedy Spiced Shrimp Soup for Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays

It's that time of year when life is busy, busy and I don't want to put a big effort in the kitchen so when I saw Jamie Oliver's Speedy Spiced Shrimp Soup recipe in his 5 Ingredients: Quick & Easy Food cookbook, I knew it was perfect for today's soup.


With frozen cooked shrimp and curry paste, it couldn't be easier and is ready in 20 minutes or so.


Speedy Spiced Shrimp Soup
Slightly Adapted from 5 Ingredients by Jamie Oliver
(Serves 4)

8 oz small frozen cooked peeled shrimp
2/3 cup white basmati rice
8 scallions
2 heaping tablespoons korma curry paste
1 x 14-oz can of light coconut milk

Place the shrimp in a bowl of cold water so they start to defrost. Meanwhile, dry-fry and toast the rice for 3 minutes in a large shallow casserole pan on a high heat, stirring regularly, while you trim and finely slice the scallions. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the scallions, and korma paste to the pan. Stir for 2 minutes, then pour in the coconut milk and 2 1/2 cans' worth of water. Boil for 12 minutes, stirring everything occasionally.

With 6 minutes to go, drain the shrimp, finely chop, and stir into the soup. When the rice is cooked through and the soup is your desired consistency, taste, season to utter perfection with sea salt and black pepper and dish up.


Notes/Results: Did I like this soup? Yes, obviously if you look at the final picture. ;-) It is simple but flavorful from the curry and rich from the coconut milk. My neighborhood grocery stores did not have a korma curry paste and I didn't have time to run to the Indian mercantile in town so I used the butter chicken curry paste I had in the pantry, planning  to make a butter tofu. I think it is fairly close to korma curry in flavor and equally as good. I like how quick and easy this soup is. I might add some spinach to it--maybe to the bowl so it warms and softens instead of gets slimy but otherwise, this was a tasty, low-effort soup that I would happily make again.


Linking up (and stretching it a bit) to I Heart Cooking Clubs where this week's theme is December Cuisine Spotlight: Holidays Around the World. I think you could take this Indian-inspired recipe from a British chef and serve it at an Italian-inspired Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner on Christmas Eve! ;-)


Have a soup, salad or sandwich that you'd like to share with the Souper Sundays kitchen? See the details below.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
Have a happy and healthy week!
 

Friday, December 13, 2019

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "Africaville" by Jeffrey Colvin, Served with Griddled Fish Cakes

It's Aloha Friday and time for another opportunity to be a stop on the TLC Book Tour for Africaville, a new novel by Jeffery Colvin. I've paired my review of this absorbing debut novel about a Nova Scotia black community and multiple generations of a family with Griddled Fish Cakes from an article on black cooking in Nova Scotia.


Structured as a triptych, Africaville chronicles the lives of three generations of the Sebolt family—Kath Ella, her son Omar/Etienne, and her grandson Warner—whose lives unfold against the tumultuous events of the twentieth century from the Great Depression of the 1930s, through the social protests of the 1960s to the economic upheavals in the 1980s.
A century earlier, Kath Ella’s ancestors established a new home in Nova Scotia. Like her ancestors, Kath Ella’s life is shaped by hardship—she struggles to conceive and to provide for her family during the long, bitter Canadian winters. She must also contend with the locals’ lingering suspicions about the dark-skinned “outsiders” who live in their midst.

Kath Ella’s fierce love for her son, Omar, cannot help her overcome the racial prejudices that linger in this remote, tight-knit place. As he grows up, the rebellious Omar refutes the past and decides to break from the family, threatening to upend all that Kath Ella and her people have tried to build. Over the decades, each successive generation drifts further from Africaville, yet they take a piece of this indelible place with them as they make their way to Montreal, Vermont, and beyond, to the deep South of America.

As it explores notions of identity, passing, cross-racial relationships, the importance of place, and the meaning of home, Africaville tells the larger story of the black experience in parts of Canada and the United States. Vibrant and lyrical, filled with colorful details, and told in a powerful, haunting voice, this extraordinary novel—as atmospheric and steeped in history as The Known World, Barracoon, The Underground Railroad, and The Twelve Tribes of Hattie—is a landmark work from a sure-to-be major literary talent.


Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Amistad (December 10, 2019)

My Review:

I love when I find a book that teaches me about a piece of history that I never knew about and Africaville did exactly that. Chronicling the history of the Sebolt family, it tells the tale of the community a group of former slaves from a variety of origins establish for themselves on the windswept bluffs of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Established in the 1800s, it was a hardscrabble life for its occupants who faced poverty, prejudice and turmoil through decades before it was ultimately designated as a National Historic Site of Canada in 1996. The history of the community itself is fascinating and the story of the Sebolt family and the other families who made it their home touches the heart. Kath Ella Sebolt comes of age in the 1930s and wants nothing more than to leave Woods Bluff and works for a scholarship to study in Montreal. Her son Omar spends little time there after single mother Kath Ella marries, and goes by his new first name of Etienne. He spends his life distancing himself from his Halifax relatives and lives as white in Alabama while Etienne's son Warner learns of his heritage and wants to know more. All three generations are seeking a sense of belonging and look for it in different and sometimes destructive ways. I don't want to go into too much detail of how the plot unfolds so I will just say that Africaville is a beautifully written book that moved back-and-forth through time, place, and point of view, which made it a bit slow moving at times, but kept my interest throughout the stories and made me think about race, prejudice, and identity. Readers who love history--especially the lesser-known bits, family dramas and multi-generational sagas, diverse books and characters, and powerful and poetic writing will find themselves as caught up by this moving and memorable  novel as I was. 

-----

Author Notes: Jeffrey Colvin served in the United States Marine Corps and is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Harvard University, and Columbia University, where he received an MFA in fiction. His work has appeared in NarrativeHot Metal BridgePainted Bride QuarterlyRain Taxi Review of BooksThe MillionsThe Brooklyn Rail, and elsewhere. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle and is an assistant editor at Narrative magazine. He lives in New York City.

Find out more at his website.

-----

Food Inspiration:

There was a mix of food in Africaville, some familiar and some not, and included dishes from Nova Scotia and Montreal, Alabama and Vermont like sweet milk and lemon bitter, butterscotch jawbreakers, a hard biscuit with a smear of canned raspberry preserves, hindquarter meat, potatoes, hard-boiled egg, a thumb-sized portion of dried goose dusted with bee sugar, walnut trees, sausage and potatoes, Strawberry Cassandra, spaghetti with clams, four-layer lemon cake, cantaloupes, Jump-Up cake with peach jam icing, buttered bread and soup, butter cookies, iced tea, onions, sandwiches including a pork chop sandwich, fried potato wedges, saltwater taffy, cold fried chicken, egg sandwich, beef Stroganoff, peppermint candies, cream soda and a bag of pommes frites, "a cocktail of prune and apple juice," trays of pies and cakes, fish cakes, meat pies, and lime punch, fried code, chicken, rice and greens, cheese sandwich and stewed figs, fried eggs and potatoes, rabbit and wild cabbages, broiled halibut and kidney beans, haddock cake, a dinner at a steak house, ice cream, crushed pistachio nuts, oranges, beer, bottles of cranberry carbonate, vodka, tequila, corned beef and cabbage, bratwurst, freshly baked rice pudding, Scotch and ginger, Vienna sausages in tomato sauce, Nehi soda, rum shots, popcorn, peanut brittle, MoonPies, green beans, rum and coke, grilled chicken thighs, assorted donuts, potato salad, creamed carrots, runny corned-beef sandwiches, soggy apple pie, peach-chester cake, a bag of apples, scrambled eggs and grits, poison-laced gumbo, oatmeal, salmon minicroquettes, sardines, pecan saplings, Italian food, delivery dinners of chicken, fried shrimp, spaghetti with meat sauce and ham with mustard greens. 


I wasn't sure what to make and ended up googling "black cooking Nova Scotia" and there were several articles but a Saveur Magazine article was the first thing that popped up. It's very interesting and I highly recommend it if you have an interest in the food of the region, culture and era. Attached to the article was  a recipe for Griddled Fish Cakes that immediately caught my eye as I rarely meet a fish cake that I don't like. ;-) This recipe says it might be served with green tomato chow-chow but as green tomatoes are scarce this time a month, I just served mine with a simple aioli with smoked paprika and cayenne. 


Saveur Magazine says, "Haddock is often used for these fish cakes, though any firm white fish will do. This recipe, adapted from Nova Scotia Cookery, Then and Now (Nimbus, 2018), creates tender cakes with golden edges. The mixture can be shaped into patties a day ahead and refrigerated, but don’t roll the patties in bread crumbs until just before frying."

Griddled Fish Cakes 
Slightly Adapted from Saveur Magazine
(Makes 8 Cakes

1 small Yukon Gold potato (5 oz), peeled (I used prepared mashed potatoes)
2 lbs firm white fish fillets (haddock, cod or hake) (I used monk fish)
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (I used seasoned panko)
1/4 cup finely-chopped parsley 
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (I used 1 heaping teaspoon of this Where the Crawdads Zing seasoning blend from bookclubcookbook.com)
fresh lemon juice
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a small pot, add the potato and enough cold water to cover; bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the potato is tender when pierced with a knife, 13–15 minutes. Drain, and let cool. When the potato is cool enough to touch, coarsely mash with a fork and set aside.

Meanwhile, cook the fish: Set the fillets on the baking sheet, transfer to the oven, and roast until the fish flakes easily, about 15 minutes. Pour the bread crumbs onto a plate and set aside. Remove the fish from the oven and cool slightly. In a large bowl, break the fish into chunks. Add the mashed potato, parsley, scallion, sour cream, and cayenne; mix well, then season to taste with fresh lemon juice, kosher salt, and black pepper. Form the mixture into eight patties, then roll each in bread crumbs.

Line a platter with paper towels and set by the stove. In a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil. Once hot, add the fish cakes in batches and let cook, turning once, until golden brown and heated through, 3–4 minutes per side. Transfer the cakes to the platter and serve hot, with green tomato chow-chow, if desired.


Notes/Results: These were not the firmest fishcakes--my first few broke up a bit but they were quite delicious and I got a few good ones. I attribute it to deli prepared mashed potatoes but on a weeknight, I didn't want to take the time to boil and mash one. I liked the seasoning blend I used which is nicely spicy but adds additional flavor--as did the seasoned panko bread crumbs. Monkfish looked the freshest at the market and its mild flavor worked well. I ate my crumbled fishcakes that didn't hold their shape for lunch the next day as sort of a fish "pie" and enjoyed it as much as the whole cakes. I would happily make them again. 


I'm also sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

Note: A review copy of "Africaville" was provided to me by the author and the publisher, Harper Collins, via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for my review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own. 
 
You can see the other stops for this TLC Book Tour and what other bloggers thought of the book here.

 

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Jamie Oliver's Pappa Al Pomodoro Soup for Souper (Soup, Salad, & Samie) Sundays

Pappa Al Pomodoro Soup is not always the prettiest of soups but it is perfect for this time of year. The colors say holidays and the flavor says delicious.


I recently checked out Jamie Oliver's 5 Ingredients: Quick and Easy Food from the library. I tagged several recipes to try and his version of this simple tomato bread soup was the first recipe I wanted to make.


Pappa Al Pomodoro Soup
By Jamie Oliver 5 Ingredients
(Serves 4)

4 cloves garlic
1 bunch of fresh basil (1 oz)
2 x 14 oz cans of plum tomatoes
8 1/2 oz stale ciabatta
1 1/2 oz Parmesan cheese

Peel and finely slice the garlic, and place in a large pan on medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, stirring regularly. Pick the baby basil leaves into a bowl of cold water for later, then pick the rest of the leaves into the pan. Before the garlic starts to color, add the tomatoes and 2 cans worth of water, season with sea salt and black pepper, and bring to a boil, gently mashing the tomatoes.

Tear in the stale bread, stir, then leave to simmer on a low heat for 5 minutes, or until thick and delicious. Finely grate and stir in the Parmesan, then taste and season to perfection. Dish up, sprinkle on the reserved baby basil leaves, and drizzle each bowlful with 1 tablespoon of good extra virgin olive oil. Heaven.


Notes/Results: One of those hug-in-a-bowl simple soups, humble but full of delicious flavor. I mean garlic, tomatoes, basil, bread, cheese--what's not to like?!? I used fire-roasted tomatoes as they are my favorite but didn't feel the need to change the recipe beyond that, it works. I will happily make it again.


Linking up with I Heart Cooking Clubs where this week's theme is Tree Trimming Treats. I think a cup or small bowl of this soup would be perfect for a tree trimming party. 


Now let's look into the Souper Sundays kitchen and see who is here.


Shaheen of Allotment2Kitchen is here with a Broccoli and White Bean Soup and says, "I had picked up some broccoli to accompany a potato dish but it did not get used in favour of tinned peas, so not to waste it I had decided to make a soup with it.  My intention was to make Broccoli and Stilton Soup, but swayed for something different with this Broccoli and White Bean Soup.  I had made some chilli oil from a previous dish and swirled a little over the soup that looked plain."  



Here at Kahakai Kitchen I snuck in another soup this week using the Dried and Prejudice Seasoned Salt I received from The Book Club Cookbook as part of their #BlendsBash for a pairing with a recent Austen-inspired novel. I modernized the classic Regency White Soup and made it vegetarian using potato, cauliflower, parsnip, onion, celery, blanched almonds and cream and used the savory and sweet seasoning salt for extra flavor. It was excellent--rich and creamy. 


Thanks to Shaheen for joining in this week!

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
Have a happy, healthy week!

Friday, December 6, 2019

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "The Clergyman's Wife" by Molly Greeley, Served with (Not So Traditional) White Soup with Dried & Prejudice Spice Mix for #BlendsBash

Happy Aloha Friday! December is flying by and with all kinds of things going on at work and home, I find myself trying to multitask and combine my efforts on different tasks and projects. Whether that means listening to an audio book while audio-shopping for gifts and then audio-wrapping them or combining two reviews that fit naturally together like my TLC Book Tour Review of The Clergyman's Wife by Molly Greeley with my product review of The Book Club Cookbook's Dried and Prejudice Seasoned Salt.


Why do these two things pair so nicely? Well, Dried and Prejudice is of course inspired by and named for my favorite novel, Pride and Prejudice and so is The Clergyman's Wife, which is the story of Charlotte Lucas after she marries William Collins and goes to live at Hunsford. Accompanying my reviews is a very nontraditional and modernized take on the White Soup, mentioned in Pride and Prejudice...but let's start with the book

Publisher's Blurb:

For everyone who loved Pride and Prejudice—and legions of historical fiction lovers—an inspired debut novel set in Austen’s world.

Charlotte Collins, nee Lucas, is the respectable wife of Hunsford’s vicar, and sees to her duties by rote: keeping house, caring for their adorable daughter, visiting parishioners, and patiently tolerating the lectures of her awkward husband and his condescending patroness, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Intelligent, pragmatic, and anxious to escape the shame of spinsterhood, Charlotte chose this life, an inevitable one so socially acceptable that its quietness threatens to overwhelm her. Then she makes the acquaintance of Mr. Travis, a local farmer and tenant of Lady Catherine..

In Mr. Travis’ company, Charlotte feels appreciated, heard, and seen. For the first time in her life, Charlotte begins to understand emotional intimacy and its effect on the heart—and how breakable that heart can be. With her sensible nature confronted, and her own future about to take a turn, Charlotte must now question the role of love and passion in a woman’s life, and whether they truly matter for a clergyman’s wife.

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (December 3, 2019)


My Review: 

I find it very hard to resist a Pride and Prejudice retelling or variation so I immediately jumped on the tour for The Clergyman's Wife as Charlotte's story is an intriguing one and I always wonder at her long-term happiness with the choice she made to marry a fairly ridiculous man without any feeling behind it in order to quit her spinsterhood status and have her own home. The book picks up  a few years into Charlotte's marriage and she has a young daughter and a quiet, placid life that she is going through the motions for until she becomes acquainted with a local farmer. Mr. Travis is probably the first man in Charlotte's life who is interested in getting to know her as her fathers, brothers, and husband have not been interested in seeing more than her surface. Told from Charlotte's point of view, I very much liked how the book gets into her head and illuminates what in her background and society lead to her making the choices she did. There is romance but it is the feelings rather than any inappropriate actions that occur. The Clergyman's Wife is Molly Greeley's first novel and she has a deft hand with capturing the feeling and tone of Austen's work without slavishly copying it and it is clear she has done her research on Regency times. I was happy to get a peek at my favorites Lizzy and Darcy who come to Rosings for a visit, as well as hear about the lives of other characters. If you are fond of Charlotte as I am, you will only like her more after the The Clergyman's Wife, and if you dislike her pragmatism and choices in Pride and Prejudice, this book will make you reconsider your opinions. At times it made me a bit melancholy but overall, a delight to read for Austen fans and for anyone interested in historical fiction or country life in Regency England. I look forward to more books from Molly Greeley, whether more on Charlotte or maybe another supporting character like Mary or Kitty, less well-drawn in Pride and Prejudice or another of Austen's works.  

-----
Author Notes: Molly Greeley earned her bachelor’s degree in English, with a creative writing emphasis, from Michigan State University, where she was the recipient of the Louis B. Sudler Prize in the Arts for Creative Writing. Her short stories and essays have been published in CicadaCarve, and Literary Mama.  She works on social media for a local business, is married and the mother of three children but her Sunday afternoons are devoted to weaving stories into books.

Find out more about Molly at her website, and connect with her on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.
-----

Food Inspiration:

On to the food... There was more than I thought there would be mentioned in the story and the Hunsford gardens provided much of it as they grew lettuces, spring cabbages, asparagus, winter parsnips, cauliflower, pumpkins, beans, potatoes and herbs as well as plum, pear and apple trees, gooseberries and currants, strawberries and raspberries. There is a pig, fattened up to be used for its pork and bacon as winter approaches and Charlotte and the parsonage housekeeper do a lot of preserving and pickling of their produce. There are preserves and honey for bread and for mead and elderberry  wine and homemade jam. Other mentions include soup and wine for dinner, toast, cake, tea and lemon cakes, cottage pie, seed cake, plum cake, chicken, pigeon, and hares, almonds in a wedding cake of dried nuts and fruit with icing flavored with almonds and rosewater, and rum cake.


For my bookish dish, I wanted to make a white soup because it is mentioned in Pride and Prejudice (Bingley is going to have the ball at Netherfield when his cook has made enough white soup) and the Collins family eat soup for dinner. It is unlikely it would be white soup as it was more of classic Regency party dish for balls than an everyday food, but there are dinners at Rosings and the Autumn festival, and Marla where perhaps it could have been enjoyed. Since the classic recipes I googled included chicken and things like "a knuckle of veal" and I don't eat meat, I took inspiration from some white ingredients from the garden--potatoes, cauliflower, and a parsnip and the almonds in Maria Lucas's wedding cake icing to make my soup.



For flavor I used my Dried and Prejudice Seasoned Salt which is made up of sea salt, demerara sugar, paprika, garlic, onion, mustard, Mexican oregano, celery seed, black pepper and cinnamon, and is tagged as "salty and slightly sweet with some subtle garlic notes." I thought the touch of sweetness would play well with the parsnip and the the blend would work well with the other ingredients. I used the blanched almonds to thicken and cream for its richness and of course used my high-speed blender to modernize the preparation. Weeknight cooking does not bode well for straining through muslin or other traditional preparation methods. ;-) Finally I had some leftover pomegranate seeds and had read the soup might be topped with them, so I sprinkled them on the soup along with a little of the seasoning blend for color. 


(Not So Traditional Vegetarian) White Soup
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes about 8 Appetizer Servings)

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small sweet onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp Dried & Prejudice Seasoning Blend
1/2 cup blanched almonds
2 large white potatoes, cubed
1 large parsnip, chopped
1 package frozen cauliflower florets
4 cups light chicken or non-chicken veggie broth + more if needed
1/2 cup cream or half-and-half
salt and black pepper
To serve: pomegranate seeds
 
Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottom soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and saute for about 57 minutes, until onion is softened and translucent. Add the garlic and saute another minute or two. Stir the seasoning into the mix, then add almonds, potatoes, parsnip, cauliflower, and broth and bring to a boil.

Cover pot, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes until vegetables are soft and cooked through. Add additional stock to ensure vegetables are covered if needed. Use a immersion blender to blend soup until smooth or blend in batches in a high speed blender until very smooth. Return to stove and stir in the cream. Season to taste with salt, pepper and additional Dried and Prejudice as desired.


Notes/Results: Like a vichyssoise in style and texture, only richer, this soup was a pleasant surprise. It had good flavor from the seasoning salt and was quite sippable and delicious. There is no one element that stands out in it but everything marries well--the sweetness is there but is tempered by the savory herbs and the tart bites of the pomegranate. I can see why the traditional soup would have been popular, but I quite liked my vegetarian version and would proudly serve it to Jane Austen at me imaginary dinner party. ;-) We have had some cooler, rainy weather this week and this soup has been an enjoyable snack and starter. I will happily make it again.


Dried and Prejudice Seasoning Notes: I quite like this blend and how it elevates a mild vegetable like potatoes or cauliflower. I think it will work well in eggs, topping other vegetables and would be excellent stirred into a pot of beans. I think there are endless uses and I like that the sweetness is subtle. I have some fingerling potatoes that I want to roast with this blend on top and I may have to try some oven potato chips with it too. (Yes I do love my potatoes). Between foodies and Austen addicts or foodies who are Austen addicts, it would be a perfect stocking stuffer--or pairing with one of the beautiful editions of Pride and Prejudice that are available.


Many thanks to The Book Club Cookbook for providing me with this tasty seasoning blend. I received no compensation for taking part in the #BlendsBash and my thoughts and experience using the blends are my own.


You can see my first Bookish Blend review (Where the Crawdads Zing) here!

You can check out all the bloggers participating in the #BlendsBash here

Of course this soup is going to be shared with Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays here at Kahakai Kitchen, where I featured my own weekly soups, salads and sandwiches as well as those of my friends. (See the details to join in on this week's link up.)


I'm also sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

Note: A review copy of "The Clergyman's Wife" was provided to me by the author and the publisher, Harper Collins, via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for my review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own. 
 
You can see the other stops for this TLC Book Tour and what other bloggers thought of the book here.


 

Sunday, December 1, 2019

North Carolina Fish Stew & Biscuits with "Where the Crawdads Zing" Compound Butter for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays & #BlendsBash

I can't tell you how excited I was to be approached by the wonderful Judy of The Book Club Cookbook to take part in their #BlendsBash featuring their creative and delicious spice blends. I had the opportunity to choose two spice blends from their selection of cleverly-named Bookish Blends, TV Blends and Song Blends to try and to write a fair review on. I was tempted by many of them but ended up going with two Bookish Blends.


I'll post my second blend later this week and I chose Where the Crawdads Zing based on my love of seafood and the book, Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. (Coincidentally, I won a copy of the book months ago from The Book Club Cookbook's Instagram account.) The story of Kya, known as the "Marsh Girl" of Barkely Cove on the North Carolina Coast is gorgeous and won my heart this year. It turns out that the spice blend inspired by it is equally as good. It is a blend of celery seed. sea salt, cayenne pepper, yellow mustard powder, thyme, paprika, black pepper, ginger and bay leaves--so many of my favorite spices! I have been quietly using the blend on my eggs, potatoes, some baked salmon and I'm loving it.



For my recipe(s) inspired by it, I first wanted to incorporate it into a soup. I found an Eastern North Carolina Fish Stew online--several recipes in fact and thought the blend of fish, red potatoes, spices, tomato, beer and eggs to be interesting and North Carolina is the setting of the book. I decided to take out the bacon and sausage (I don't eat meat) and replace the Cajun spices with Where the Crawdads Zing. To get double the zing, I baked (canned) biscuits and stirred the spice mix into butter for a Where the Crawdads Zing Compound Butter to accompany the soup.


Eastern North Carolina Fish Stew
Adapted from Timber2Table via RealTree.com
(Serves 6)

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, halved and sliced thin
1 tsp Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes
2 tsp Where the Crawdads Zing Seasoning Blend
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 1/2 lbs baby red potatoes, quartered (unpeeled)4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups beer
2 bay leaves
2 tsp of liquid smoke
1-2 tsp of your favorite hot sauce
1 1/2 lbs thick fish white fillets, sliced
6 large eggs
salt and pepper

Add the olive oil to a large soup pot and warm over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions with a little salt  and sauté about 7 to 10 minutes until softened. Add the pepper, seasoning blend and tomato paste and stir together, cooking for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the potatoes and stir until well blended. Cover the pot and cook over medium about 10 minutes until potatoes start to soften.

Add the vegetable broth, beer, bay leaves and hot sauce and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook about 15-20 minutes. Add the fish and more broth or water if needed and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

Crack the eggs one at a time into a small cup, gently pouring each egg into the simmering broth so that it poaches. Continue until all the eggs are spread over the surface of the soup. Cover the pot and simmer another 10-12 minutes until eggs are poached and yolks just firm. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Ladle into bowls, ensuring each bowl gets a poached egg and plenty of fish and potatoes. Serve with biscuits and compound butter and extra hot sauce. Enjoy. 

-----

Where the Crawdads Zing Compound Butter
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen

1 stick good salted butter
2 tsp Where the Crawdads Zing Seasoning Blend

Soften butter to room temperature and stir in seasoning blend until thoroughly mixed together. Place butter in serving dish and refrigerate about 30 minutes until slightly firm. Use on toast, biscuits, bread, vegetable and fish. 

Butter will keep about 2 weeks in fridge. Allow to come to room temperature for easier spreading.


Notes/Results: In no way is my soup authentic as I left out the sausage and bacon among other things, but it is zesty and full of flavor and very good. I like the smokiness--in part from the liquid smoke and also from the Where the Crawdads Zing spice blend. Even better than the soup is the compound butter--the way the spices sing when mixed into the rich butter make even canned biscuits (no time, lazy, not a baker...) delicious. Dipped into the soup made for an extra zingy meal. I am looking forward to using my butter and the rest of my spice blend in a variety of dishes. Although is certainly works well on fish and seafood, don't shy away fro this blend if you don't eat it--this blend would be just as good on chicken, corn-on-the-cob, French fries or tater tots and I can tell you it is fantastic on eggs.


Thanks to The book Club Cookbook for providing me with this fun seasoning blend. I received no compensation for taking part in the #BlendsBash and my thoughts and experience using the blends are my own.



I'll be sharing my second Bookish Blend soon!

You can check out all the bloggers participating in the #BlendsBash here

Now let's look into the Souper Sundays kitchen and see who is here.


Judee of Gluten Free A - Z Blog brought a bright and tasty Thanksgiving Salad to share and said, "The inspiration for this salad comes from a local Italian restaurant that we frequent in South Miami. This type of salad is one their best sellers. It is a colorful salad with chopped romaine lettuce, walnuts, roasted red peppers, diced red onion, blue cheese, diced tomatoes, black and green olives, diced yellow peppers."


Simona of briciole shared book-inspired Eggplant and Yellow Split Pea Stew saying, "The stew is excellent! The original dish is served with basmati rice (the preparation of which features prominently in Persian cuisine). I don't like white rice (long story), so I ate it accompanied by other dishes, like sautéed radicchio di Castelfranco (the variety on the bottom of the photo below). Containing both vegetables and proteins, this stew is a complete and versatile dish."


Thanks to Judee and Simona for joining in this week!

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter