Friday, January 18, 2008


I went to a sauce class on Tuesday night. This was the second class that I took from the gift certificate that Tom gave me for my birthday. She showed us how to make a compound butter, veloute, vinaigrette, bechamel, reduction sauce, and a creme anglais flavored with coffee beans. I went home from that class feeling totally inspired. Wednesday night I made corn chowder with crispy pancetta and golden shrimp for dinner. Okay, seriously it was so amazingly good. Then Thursday night I made cream of mushroom soup and tonight was Pasta al Forno (fancy way of saying mac and cheese). But the best was the corn chowder. Soooooo good. Here's the recipe:

1 T. canola oil
small onion, diced
1/2 C. cubed pancetta (or bacon)
3 T. butter (divided)
2 T. flour
2 C. chicken stock
16 oz. frozen white corn (w/ 1/4 c. reserved)
1 C. milk
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
Tapatio or Tabasco Sauce
salt and pepper

In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, add the oil, onion and pancetta. Cook until onion is translucent and pancetta is browned. Add 2 T. butter and cook over medium heat until the butter is melted and sizzling (do not let it burn). Add the flour, whisking constantly until it begins to have a nutty aroma - about 3 minutes. Whisk in the chicken stock. Stir in the corn (except for 1/4 cup) and bring soup to a simmer for 5 minutes or so. Stir in the milk and simmer for another 5-10 minutes. In a separate skillet, melt 1 T. butter and cook the shrimp 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove the shrimp to a clean bowl after it turns a light pink, add the 1/4 cup reserved corn to the skillet and saute for 2 minutes. Chop the shrimp into small pieces and add with the reserved corn to the chowder. Add a couple of dashes of tapatio or tabasco and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a green salad and crusty bread. Serves 2.

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