seafood soup & old bay cheddar biscuits

Hope your Thanksgiving was happy and stuffed!

We traveled back to the US for it and I’m so glad we did because, as mentioned before, it is my Olympics. My family said if I hadn’t come back they may have just opted for a restaurant which is just sad. I’m vowing never to miss my favorite holiday, even if we’re still in London next November. This is TBD.

I think the highlights this year were the fried turkey, the stuffing, the pumpkin pie (specifically the extra-thick graham cracker crust), and the kettle corn ice cream which was inspired by a dessert we had in July at FLX Table in Geneva. The salty/sweet went really well with the salted caramel apple pie.

Used my brown sugar vanilla base ice cream and steeped a bag of kettle corn in the custard for two days. Triple strained, then churned!

Our trip to the US culminated with bringing my firstborn daughter Louise to the UK! Finally! She has been living her best life with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law, but we are so happy to have her here.

Newest member of Greta’s school pickup entourage

Prior to leaving for the US I had gotten a little overzealous with my produce purchases at my favorite street market, so we had a bunch of stuff that I didn’t want to throw away. I chopped it all up and put it in the freezer, knowing that I could use it for soup when we got back.

The GS second most exciting import to the UK after Louise was a container of Old Bay seasoning, so it had to be a fish stew. Here it is! A sort of non-recipe recipe that is very adaptable with whatever you have on hand.

Seafood Soup

1 cup chopped bacon or pancetta

4 cups assorted vegetables (I used onions, celery, bell peppers, zucchini, and potatoes)

2-3 cloves minced garlic

3-4 cups seafood or shellfish stock

1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning

2 cups seafood (I used a mix of shrimp and cod, but whatever you have works!)

salt and pepper, to taste

chopped cilantro and pickled onions for topping (optional)

Cheddar Old Bay Biscuits

adapted from NY Times Cooking

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp Old Bay seasoning

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 cup cold salted butter, cubed

1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk with 2 tablespoons replaced with white vinegar)

With a small amount of oil in the bottom of your pan, add the bacon and cook until browned and fat is rendered. Add the vegetables and the garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Let the vegetables cook down until softened but not mushy, and use the moisture from the vegetables help you scrape up any bacon residue from the bottom of the pan, then add the seafood stock. Reduce to a simmer and add your seafood. It should cook pretty quickly from the heat of the soup.

For the biscuits, combine the dry ingredients. Add the butter and milk and stir together with a fork, kneading with your hands at the end if needed to bring the dough together into a ball.

Roll the dough out to about an inch and a half thickness, and cut into rounds. Alternatively you could just shape them and let them be more free form, rustic biscuits! Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. Prior to baking, brush the tops with butter and sprinkle a little flaky salt. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.

I remembered when I tasted the soup that, in addition to all the other veggies, I had added a chopped chile (maybe a serrano or a birds eye?!) that I had from a bag of mixed chiles I had bought when I needed a jalapeno for another dish. So if you want a SPICY seafood soup, I recommend this addition, as well. I loved it, the GS basically cried when he used mouthwash later that evening. Your call.

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