I seriously considered not posting that picture. I mean, does that look appetizing to you? A bowl of brown, lumpy, well.....I won't go there. But then I went to the Food Network site to get a copy the recipe and saw their picture. Not any better. I figured this was just one of those times when you scratch your head and say, "How could something that tasted that GOOD, look so bad???"
And, wow, did this taste good. So good, that I didn't even mind the partially pureed texture. The only thing I'll do differently next time is roast a few extra shrimp for a topping....just so when I serve it at my next dinner party, people will know exactly what they're eating. And won't immediately push it away because its so damn ugly.
Thanks to Jennifer of Our Blessed Home for this week's BB pick. Great choice. I'm looking forward to reading everyone's posts this week and especially seeing their pictures!!
Here's the recipe:
2006, Barefoot Contessa at Home, All Rights Reserved
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, shells reserved
4 cups seafood stock
3 tablespoons good olive oil
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (3 leeks)
1 tablespoon chopped garlic (3 cloves)
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 cup Cognac or brandy
1/4 cup dry sherry
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half
1/3 cup tomato paste
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place the shrimp shells and seafood stock in a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and reserve the stock. Add enough water to make 3 3/4 cups.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the leeks and cook them for 10 minutes over medium-low heat, or until the leeks are tender but not browned. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Add the cayenne pepper and shrimp and cook over medium to low heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the Cognac and cook for 1 minute, then the sherry and cook for 3 minutes longer. Transfer the shrimp and leeks to a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until coarsely pureed.
In the same pot, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over medium-low heat for 1 minute, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the half-and-half and cook, stirring with a whisk, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the pureed shrimp, the stock, tomato paste, salt, and pepper and heat gently until hot but not boiling. Season, to taste, and serve hot.