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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Soup of the Week: Crema de Elote

Uh, I'm a little late in posting this one. Here's the soup from last week. I made Rick Bayless' Crema de Elote (Cream of Corn) for our Wednesday soup. I didn't want to repeat a soup that I've posted about before so soon , but I couldn't resist because Jewel (of all places!) had some really fresh sweet corn. It was so bright green and moist; and the silt was very yellow and not dried out at all. I'm guessing it came from Florida (on a very fast truck.) We had corn on the cob one night and then I used the last three ears for this soup. You need really good corn for this soup because it is all about the corn. The recipe can be found here, but it is embedded in the text. This corn soup recipe was originally printed in Rick Bayless' Authentic Mexican, which has just been republished as a Authentic Mexican: 20th Anniversary Edition. An adaptation of the recipe can also be found in Rick's recent book Mexican Everyday, a book that has many of his older recipes updated for a more current, health-minded lifestyle. I use the Authentic Mexican recipe because it I only need 3 ears of corn and that makes enough for us. But I had already adapted the recipe for myself (I've been making it for years.) I never add the 1 cup of heavy cream at the end. It is just too rich and it makes it too heavy for me. While finishing the soup, I do add a little more milk and about a shot of half and half just to enrich it a bit. It really doesn't even need it. The corn gets so creamy and smooth by being blended and put through a strainer. We like to dust it with cayenne pepper at the end.





I should take a moment to discuss Rick Bayless and my, ahem, somewhat overzealous adoration of him. I have loved this man since Authentic Mexican (20 yrs ago!) and before he had a TV show or a gazillion books. I love his restaurants, his recipes and his writing. When he was more obscure, I used to clip every article about him. Dear husband would joke that I had some creepy closet in our house where I kept all of the clippings and pictures tacked up "stalker-style." I have all his books and I know his recipes so well that I have watched them evolve through the years from the purist Authentic Mexican to the more user-friendly recipe adaptions in his later books. The recipes that appeal to me most are from his book, Mexican Kitchen. In this book, the dishes have deep, complex flavors and the preparations that are somewhat demanding for authenticity's sake but they stop short of instructions like "start by grinding your own corn in a molajete." or "milk one goat." I'm also fond of Mexico: One Plate at a Time, there's some really good dishes in that book. Further on down the line, the more simplified recipes in his later books are also still very tasty and reliable and much more realistic time-wise, especially now that I'm a mom.

2 comments:

Genevieve said...

Hi Toni!
I've never thought about getting a cookbook solely on Mexican cooking, but considering how much I love authentic Mexican food...that's a pretty good idea. :)

Anyway I wanted to tell you that I love the writing on your blog, and I wanted to see if you would be interested in participating as a Guest Blogger on a new food-centric website called eatNation (www.eatnation.com)?

Please email me if you are interested - I'd love to feature your writing!

Thanks!
Genevieve
homeyturtleg@gmail.com

Lisa said...

This soup also sounds great. I've always meant to get a Rick Bayless book; I think I remember a PBS cooking show with him on it, from a long time ago...? Maybe I'll try Mexican Everyday. The title would seem to promise "not that much work to make the recipes."

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