Well, that didn’t work,
Let it be known that parmesan cheese sours a broth. Literally. The sour taste of the cheese permeated the broth like I’d added too much tomato paste and that was disappointing. The rosemary seemed to be a tasty addition however so that was a plus.
However I’m at the point where the acidity of the broth is much too high. I may need to start the broth completely over from scratch using no starter broth from previous batches.
“WE USE A TON OF BUTTER…”
One thing stuck out in my mind and that was the look of the broth close up. If you take a look at the edges of the broth in the white bowl in the photo, you can see some froth that is missing in the current experimental recipe. (And every other recipe out there as well) It also appears to lack the oily look of the current broth which is interesting to me.
I consulted my friend Steph about this aberration and she suddenly began thinking about all sorts of reasons the broth looked so different in the picture compared to the current recipe. She determined that the froth is the result of the butter. Milk solids appear like that when you add butter to soups and if you add it early enough, you don’t get that layer of oil at the top of the broth – something the current experimental recipe suffers from.
This makes sense, especially considering you never saw a layer of oil on the original broth. You might have seen some swirling in the bowl but never a LAYER. Additionally, it’s well quoted that the Killer Shrimp folk commented several times in quotes that “we use a ton of butter” as part of the cooking process.
So the primary addition of butter is now being added at the VERY END of the cooking process, with some butter used for the mirepoix melting process. The result is a tastier broth with a froth at the top that tastes good!
GARLIC CHUNKS… NOT MUSH
Another change is the nature of the how the garlic is mixed into the broth. Previously, I’ve made sure the garlic melted pretty well, but now I’m not so sure. When looking at the broth sediment of the original Killer Shrimp, you could notice that there were remnants of garlic at the bottom, meaning that it hadn’t completely dissolved into the soup.
So I’m now chopping the garlic but not crushing it like the rest of the spices. And I’m making sure not to melt it down as part of the mirepoix but rather just let it soften.
So here’s what we’ve got now in this batch:
- ½ small onion, diced
- 1 celery rib, diced
- 1 moderate sized carrot, diced
- 5 cloves Garlic, chopped/diced small
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoon FRESH – not dried – Rosemary
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper (3/4 teaspoon if PREVIOUS batch of Killer Shrimp is available)
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (3/4 teaspoon if PREVIOUS batch of Killer Shrimp is available)
- 8oz clam juice (was 1 cup clam juice supposed to change to 2 cups but switched back to 8 oz)
- 3 tablespoons (3 oz) of tomato paste (was 1/2 (6 ounce) can tomato paste)
- 1 cup beer (ale)
- 1 ½ pounds shrimp, with tails
- 1 (1 pound) loaf French bread
- 2 cups of PREVIOUS batch of Killer Shrimp
- Fry onion, celery, carrots, garlic in a small pad of the butter until fragrant and soft in a large pot. Do not use more than a pad here.
- Take all the spices (rosemary, thyme, pepper, celery seed, fennel seed, pepper flakes) and cut/crush them enough that they remain whole but are broken to more easily release flavor.
- Pour in broth, and mix in rosemary, thyme, pepper, celery seed, fennel seed, clam juice, pepper flakes, & tomato paste. Place cover on pot to maintain consistency.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Stir beer into the broth mixture as well as PREVIOUS batch of Killer Shrimp and continue to simmer and occasionally stir 2 hours.
- Just before serving, stir in shrimp. Continue cooking 3 minutes, or until shrimp are opaque. Remove and place in serving bowl.
- Add remaining butter in pads. Stir until all pads are melted. Once melted, quickly turn off heat and serve broth with previously separated shrimp in bowls.
- Serve with bread.
For those who missed it, this is part 5 of a 6 part series on reverse engineering the recipe for Killer Shrimp. The rest are here: