Thursday, August 06, 2009

Cooking Challenge - Week One

Carlos recently finished reading the book Julie & Julia. For those not familiar with the book (or the upcoming movie): a housewife (Julie) decides to make all 500+ recipes in Julia Child’s cookbook – in one year.

Inspired by that, Carlos and I are trying to accomplish something similar. I have 70+ cookbooks.

Here are my actual bookshelves. (Click to enlarge. You can actually read the titles)…

Every Wednesday night - until we are tired of this latest idea - I will cook whatever is on page 67 of one of my cookbooks. Why page 67? Since I was born in 1967, I thought it would be easy to remember.

Carlos wants to be surprised by each meal so I can’t tell you exactly what we will be having until after the meal. Since we have now had our first meal (last night), I can reveal that this week I cooked out of a cookbook called Cajun Cuisine. Page 67 contained a recipe for Crab Soup.

Here is the recipe:

Crab Soup

1 ½ cups of butter
4 small onions, grated
1 bay leaf
¼ cup of chopped celery leaves
Pinch of thyme
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 8-ounce can of tomato sauce
½ cup of flour
2 quarts of water
2 pounds of fresh crab meat
Salt and cayenne pepper, to taste
½ cup of chopped parsley
Lemon slices (garnish)

1. Melt butter in a large saucepan; add onions and cook until onions are transparent.
2. Add bay leaf, celery leaves, thyme and garlic and mix well; add tomato sauce and mix again.
3. Stir in flour and mix until well blended; slowly add water, stirring, until mixture is well blended; add crab meat, salt and pepper, bring to a boil and simmer about 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Serve in soup bowls, sprinkled with parsley and topped with lemon slices.
Yield: 8 servings

I bought imitation crab meat, which is much less expensive, but it tasted fine.

Christine invited us over to her house last night so we provided the soup course. We also had delicious bread, a main course of pork loin, birthday cake in honor of Pam’s birthday, and lots of flowing wine. All the food was really, really good.

Carlos and I arrived around 6:30 pm and left around 9:15 pm. We had a great time.

In addition to expanding my cooking skills, we are using Cooking Challenge to reconnect with our family and friends. We have invited Christine, Karlie, Pam, Kurt (Pam’s husband) and their daughter over for week two’s dinner. It’ll be a full house! For future dinners, we will be inviting other family and friends.

Week two of Cooking Challenge will be taken from page 67 of Rick Bayliss’s Mexican Kitchen cookbook. I’ll post the dish and details on the dinner next Thursday.

Bon Appétit!


jason said...

Wow...cute idea!
I've had that Cajun book....for years.
I've never made that soup however.
My mother used to make a similar soup all the time from all crabs we'd get out of the bayou as a kid.

"Just David!" said...

very clever indeed!

Breezy said...

Crab soup was delicious! By the way, Rick Bayless looks like my eye doctor if I haven't mentioned that before. ;-)

jason said...

Hey Carlos, does Rick Bayless remind you of anyone? :)