What I had for dinner:

A soup, I guess

(Surf and Turf Soup)

[ Previous ] 26 Jan 1995 22:18:59 -0500 [   Next   ]

I have a tin of saffron in the cabinet over the sink, that emits a fragrant cloud everytime I open or close the door, and thus keeps reminding me that I am long overdue for a saffron orgy. Now, my consumption of saffron is --on average-- rather modest, especially considering my origins, but I tend to use it all at once, the way the Swedes, rather than the English, handle alcohol. Binge is the word.

It took me a while to arrive at a possible recipe; I ended up with a compromise between the obvious fish soup, which demands too many varieties of fish to be feasible when cooking for one, and the totally esoteric.

First, I needed a broth in a hurry. Therefore, into the pressure cooker went the bones and trimmings of two lamb chops, a couple of carrots, one parsnip, four habanero peppers (split but unseeded), four crushed cloves of garlic, a couple of bay leaves and about 20 threads of saffron, and 2 quarts of water. This was cooked for 1/2 hour, the broth was sieved, defatted, and some of the vegetables were added back as a puree to thicken it. One can of white beans (drained and washed) was added, together with the grated rind and the juice of 1/2 lemon, one chopped tomato, and a large pinch of saffron (about 10 threads). The broth was brought to a boil, then set aside for 10 min.

Meanwhile, 1/4 lb of small scallops was sliced at about 3 slices per scallop, and the center of two small lamb chops was similarly sliced, against the grain, to yield pieces the size of the scallop slices. Lamb and scallops were floured lightly, and sauteed rapidly in a wok over high heat, then added to the broth. Salt to taste and serve with crusty sourdough bread.

Makes 2 or 3 main course servings, or 6 soup servings.

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