Rustic Shrimp BisqueThe recipe for “Rustic Shrimp Bisque,” from Melissa Clark’s Dinner, Changing the Game, makes you feel resourceful for all the right reasons. Make a shrimp stock out of the shells, thicken the soup with rice, and cook with lots of butter.

Rustic Shrimp Bisque
Dinner, Changing the Game,
Melissa Clark

4 to 6 servings

1 lb. medium or large uncooked shrimp, shelled, shells reserved
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt, more to taste
2⁄3 cup dry white wine
2 Tbsp. Pernod
3 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 fennel bulb, finely chopped, fronds reserved for garnish
1⁄4 cup long-grain rice
2 Tbsp. tomato paste Pinch cayenne
Freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste

In a large pot over high heat, cook shrimp shells in 1 Tbsp. butter and 1/4 tsp. salt, stirring frequently, until lightly browned in spots, about 3 minutes. Add wine and Pernod and boil until most of the liquid is evaporated. Add 6 cups water, thyme and bay leaf and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Strain shrimp stock into a bowl, pressing on shells before discarding them.

In same pot, melt 2 Tbsp. butter with 1/4 tsp. salt. Add shrimp and sauté until they are pink, 2 to 4 minutes depending on size. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shrimp to a bowl.

Add remaining 3 Tbsp. butter to pot along with celery, leeks, garlic and fennel and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice, tomato paste, cayenne and remaining salt and sauté for 2 minutes. Add shrimp stock and simmer, covered, until rice is tender, about 20 minutes.

Set aside 4 to 6 nice-looking shrimp and stir remainder into bisque; let cook for 2 minutes. Working carefully and in batches, pour bisque into a blender and process to a smooth purée or pulse to a chunky mixture, as you like. (You may use an immersion blender to purée soup.) Return bisque to pot. Stir in the lemon juice and additional salt to taste. Reheat if necessary before serving. Garnish each bowl with a shrimp and a piece of fennel frond.

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Pernod smells like fennel and licorice: a nice touch, here. At the end, I added 2 Tbsp. lemon juice and 2 tsp. salt to the pot of soup. And why would I bother pouring it into a blender? I used my trusty immersion blender, right there in the pot, to blend this into a thick, shrimpy, vegetal soup.

And speaking of butter! I made this last, rough and rustic recipe, so I could use another stick and a half of butter.

Rye & Cheddar BiscuitsRye & Cheddar Biscuits
Dinner, Changing the Game,
Melissa Clark

Makes 9 biscuits

2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rye flour (or whole-wheat)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. fine sea salt
1/2 cup cold sour cream or plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp. light or dark brown sugar
12 Tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. In  small bowl, whisk together 1 egg with 1 Tbsp. water and reserve.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, remaining 1 egg, and brown sugar. Cut the butter cubes into the dry ingredients using a fork or pastry cutter, until the mixture consists of chickpea-sized crumbs. Gently stir in the wet mixture. Fold in the cheese.

On a floured work surface, pat the dough into a square that is 1 1/4-inch tall. Using a sharp, floured knife, cut into 9 equal-sized squares and space the biscuits very close together on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops with egg wash. Bake until the biscuits are golden brown and tender, 12 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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Definitely “Camille-style” biscuits: mixed in bowls, shaped by hand. All that butter, sigh. After baking for 15 minutes, these were moist biscuits, thanks to all the butter and cheese. A real pleasure.

I’ve enjoyed this cookbook. It’s inspiring and will get you cooking.

PRICES:
Shrimp (1 lb.) = $10.83
Fennel Bulb = $3.46
Leeks (2) = $3.35

PREP TIMES: bisque needs 60 to 90 minutes of prep and cooking; biscuits need 45 minutes of prep, baking, cooling
TASTES: thick, shrimpy, vegetal bisque; moist, hearty biscuits

Next time, I want to enjoy a laid-back summertime recipe: the “Squid Salad with Herbed Breadcrumbs,” from the May 2017 issue of Food & Wine. Come back to my site next week, to enjoy this with me.