1 pound medium shrimp, shells on*
1 medium carrot
1 stick celery
1 garlic clove
1 small onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ tablespoon tomato paste
6 cups water
1 small bay leaf
½ tablespoon dry parsley
½ teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon dry thyme
1 tablespoon brandy or white wine
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1⅓ cups cream
croutons as desired
6 sprigs fresh parsley
* = To get the most authentic flavor, you need to buy shrimp with the heads on. This is difficult if you don’t live in a hopping culinary center. My Poway is like this. I feel your pain.
colander with fine mesh
Makes 6 bowls. Takes 1 hour.
Peel and devein shrimp. KEEP SHELLS. Dice carrot, celery, garlic, and onion. Add oil and shrimp shells and heads, if you could buy them, to 1st pot. Sauté at high heat for 5 minutes or until shells start to brown. Stir frequently. Add garlic and onion. Reduce heat to medium-high. Sauté for 5 minutes until garlic and onion soften. Stir frequently. Add carrot, celery, tomato paste, water, bay leaf, dry parsley, salt, and thyme. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer shrimp-shell stock for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Strain this stock through a colander and into a large bowl. Return clear stock and add brandy to 2nd pot.
While stock simmers, add butter to pan. Melt butter using medium heat. Add flour. Blend in flour. Stir frequently. Cook for 2 minutes or until flour turns golden brown.
Add golden-brown flour to 2nd pot. Blend with fork until golden-brown flour blends completely into stock. Strain stock again through colander into 2nd pot. Add cream to 2nd pot with stock. Stir in cream with spoon until well blended. Cook at medium heat. Add shrimp. Cook at medium heat or until shrimp turns orange. Garnish each bowl with croutons and fresh parsley sprigs.
1) This recipe uses water.
2) Life uses water. Every organism needs water to live.
3) Unless, of course, you’re a bacterial endospore. Even then, you’d need water eventually.
4) I harbor doubts, though, that you are a bacterial endospore, BA.
5) For such endospores rely on a notoriously deficient system of public education. There’s no funding for it. None. So, BAs can’t read. But you can read. Therefore you are a human or possibly a very smart giraffe.
6) People are not allowed to take giraffes to sporting events, not even as a comfort animal. People behind would be forever yelling, “Down in front.”
7) Giraffes can be surly and are apt to smack your head with their strong, necks if you try to make them leave a ball game, particularly if you didn’t ask them nicely. Manners are always in fashion.
8) Yes, the best way to get a giraffe to leave a Cubs/Cardinals game is for the security guard to say, “Excuse me please, Mr. Giraffe, would join me in eating some popcorn just outside?” This will work nine times out of ten, for giraffes love popcorn. Yay!
9) But how does popcorn pop? There’s a little bit of water inside every corn kernel. Yes, staying hydrated is important for everyone whether you be a human being or a future corn plant.
10) When you heat the kernel sufficiently, pressure builds up as the water in the middle turns to steam. But the kernel’s solid shell prevents steam from seeping out. Eventually, there’s enough pressure to rip apart the shell. Et voilà, you have popcorn.
11) Admiral Halsey contemplated this very fact while munching on popcorn in early 1943. “If only we could have harnessed the explosive power of popcorn during the Battle of Midway. We could have launched our planes so much quicker.”
12) And what the Admiral wanted, the Admiral got. Plane after plane would be launched by exploding popcorn. American fighters got to the Japanese Zeros so fast that they could not respond in time. America would thrash Japan in every carrier battle. We would win the war.
13) At first, the carriers’ crews poured melted butter over the popcorn left behind by the launches. But although the sailors would eat every tasty popcorn kernel, the remaining melted butter would leave the flight deck extremely slick. The returning American planes skidded off the buttery carriers and into the sea. This is why the U.S. Navy has banned buttered popcorn.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef