Suzi's Blog

Roasted Poblano and Crab Hush Puppies with Green Goddess Dipping Sauce from The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook

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“What are you making?” Suzen asked me. I was upstate. She was in the city. It was dinner time, I was on my own, and I had the opportunity to do whatever I wanted. Whatever. Things I had wanted for decades and never, never got to have. I don’t want to give you the impression I’m deprived. But, still, …

“Hush puppies,” I answered with quiet confidence.

“Don’t make a mess,” she cautioned. I heard the panic: “what is that man about to do to my kitchen.”

“I’m fine. It’ll be fine.” I tried to reassure her.

“I mean it,” she emphasized.

I ended up cleaning for hours. The “hush puppy” pan I thought I had did not quite work out. Wrong shape. Wrong size. Wrong. I tried it, but … There was some spilling, some sizzling, heavy smoke, intense smell.

So for the rest of the batter, I used mini-cupcake tins which worked just fine. [And that explains the picture above!] The flavor of poblano and crab does not depend on the shape or size. It’s all in the mixture.

From The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook, these puppies are richly satisfying. They can be an appetizer or the main course. The Green Goddess Dipping Sauce was posted yesterday, because it truly stands on its own. There is synergy though in having these highly flavored puppies with the tarragon tang of Green Goddess.

 

Roasted Poblano and Crab Hush Puppies

Yield: 24 puppies

Ingredients:

  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 ½ cup yellow cornmeal, finely ground
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2/3 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup [1/2 stick] unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
  •  ½ pound fresh cap [or shrimp, roughly chopped]
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • Green Goddess Dipping Sauce [see separate post]

Preparation:

On an open flame of a gas burner, on a barbecue, or on a baking sheet under the broiler, roast the pepper until charred on that side. Rotate until charred all over. Transfer with gongs to a brown paper bag and close. Let the pepper steam for 5 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel, seed, stem, and finely chop

Meanwhile, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, pepper, baking powder, and baking soda and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, poblano pepper, green onion and crab [or shrimp].Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until combined. Do not ovemix.

Over medium heat place your hush puppy pan [ebeskiver] o the burner and allow to warm up. Add 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil to each well. Once hot, add heaping tablespoons of the butter to each well. Cook until they are golden and release easily, about 4 minutes, then flip with a skewer or fork. Cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, then plop all of them out onto a platter.

Serve at once with the sauce. Cool any remainders and freeze.

 

Source: The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook: Recipes for the Best Pan in Your Kitchen by Sharon Kramis and Julie Kramis Hearne

Photo Information: Canon T2i, 18-55MM Macro lens, F/2.8, 1/100th second, ISO 1600

 

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Crab and Corn Bisque

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Domaine Chandon is a Napa Valley winery now owned by a French company. The setting is both beautiful and upscale. The winery features a Michelin-starred restaurant, étoile, that naturally features seasonal, regional food. The Domaine Chandon Cookbook offers 75 of the premium recipes from this restaurant with its particularly  sparkling view.

Of all those recipes, this one is my favorite. Corn and crab seem to be one of those natural food marriages that can always be loved and almost certainly never surpassed. I know it’s summer, and it’s hot, so the idea of a warm soup may seem peculiar. But on the warmest of nights, everyone will sigh in delight at this bisque where both corn and crab flavor offer their distinct notes.

If you make this dish, consider doing it a day ahead if you want the crab flavor to evolve even more. I used canned crab from my good, local market. It seemed to need that extra day for its full flavor to emerge.

Since this recipe comes from a sparkling wine producer, the obvious pairing here is a glass a sparkling wine. And then? Perhaps a lamb chop and potato gratin. This bisque is strikingly elegant and deserves matching dishes of exceptional quality. And where would you find a good gratin recipe? Why Domaine Chandon has a three-cheese potato gratin, soon to be tested by Suzi and blogged by me.

 

Corn and Crab Bisque

Yield: serves 6

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup fresh chervil leaves, plus 2 tablespoons
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2tablespoons
  • 1 leak, white part only, cut into rounds ¼ inch thick, rinsed and drained thoroughly
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
  • 2 medium white potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bottle clam juice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Salt
  • 4 ears fresh corn, husks and silks removed
  • 1 pound fresh Dungeness or other lump crabmeat, picker over for shell fragments and cartilage
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

 

Preparation:

In a small sauté pan or frying pan over medium-low heat, combine the1/2 cup chervil leaves with the 1/2 cup olive oil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the oil is hot and small bubbles around the edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.  Strain the chervil-infused oil through a fine-mesh sieve and reserve. Discard the chervil.

In a soup pot, heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the leek and sauté until soft, about minutes. Stir in the onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Sauté until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the potatoes and bell pepper and sauté for 3 minutes longer. Add the stock, clam juice, wine, and 1 teaspoon salt and stir to mix well. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the kernels from the ears of the corn. Add the corn kernels to the soup and simmer until the corn is tender, about 5 minutes. Add the crab and cook for 2 minutes to heat through. Stir in the cream and remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle the bisque into warmed bowls. Swirl 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chervil oil into each serving and garnish with the 2 tablespoons of chervil leaves. Serve hot.

Source: Domaine Chandon Cookbook

Photo Credit: Canon T2i, EFS 18-55mm Macro lens, F/2.8 for 1/80th second at ISO 160.