Friday, April 20, 2012

CLEAR SOUP & CONSOMME

Click below to listen to Chefs Jackie and Jeff talk about these recipes and tips:



There's nothing inherently wrong with a soup or stock that's cloudy. They're really quite delicious. But, when you want to present a sophisticated dish, whether it be a nice won ton soup or to see elegantly cut vegetables floating in a rich and delicious clear soup, there are a couple of techniques you can use to achieve beautiful results.

CLEAR SOUPS AND CONSOMME

Courtesy of Chefs Jeff Calley and Jackie Olden © 2012

Method #1:

In order to clear soup, first cool, then add the crushed shells and slightly beaten whites of two eggs. Heat slowly, beating constantly and boil for five minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 20 minutes and then strain the shells through a strainer lined with layers of cheesecloth.

Note: This method may not produce results as clear as Method #2 below.

Method #2: Consommé:

Consomme is a clear broth derived from soup stocks. It’s full of flavor, minus the cloudiness of a soup stock. Begin making consomme by selecting a lean grind of whatever meat your stock is made from.

1/2 pound lean meat, ground
4 ounces onion, chopped
2 ounces celery, chopped
2 ounces carrots, chopped
4 ounces egg whites (about 4 egg whites)
4 ounces tomatoes (or canned, crushed tomatoes, drained)
3-4 parsley stems, chopped
1 sprig of fresh thyme (or a pinch of dried)
1 bay leaf, crushed
5 peppercorns
2 1/2 quarts of stock, cold

Directions:

In a tall pot, mix all ingredients (except the stock) with your hand or a whisk till very well blended. Mix in 2 cups of the cold stock, and blend well with the other ingredients and let it sit undisturbed for half an hour. Stir in the remaining cold stock, a little at a time, until well blended.

Set the pot on a low-medium heat and bring it just to a very low simmer, stirring gently on occasion. By this time, most of the solid ingredients will have floated to the surface, creating a “raft” at the top. Using a one ounce ladle, pull broth from below the raft through a hole made in the center and gently pour around the raft’s edge. Continue this process until the desired clarity of your consomme is achieved. This may take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes.

You can either slowly strain off the solids through a sieve lined with several layers of cheese cloth, or carefully ladling out the liquid through the raft, into another clean container.

Consomme is not necessarily transparent. A good consomme may have a golden hue to the otherwise transparent liquid. There is no right or wrong color as long as there are no solids floating in it.


Have you got a great recipe, cooking tip or food story to share with the Too Fun Chefs? Email us and we might just share them with everyone else out there listening. Email: Jackie & Jeff

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