Saturday, October 29, 2011

Saturday Smells Like . . . Salvaged Black Bean and Corn Soup

Hello all. J here. Your normal author is off DARing (that's a technical term used by HODARs for getting together with other DAR ladies to . . . do whatever they do when they get together), so I thought I'd pick up an oar and give JE a break. It being a Saturday Smells Like with JE gone, it's pretty easy for me. Step one, wait to get hungry. Fortunately for the specifically-motivated among us, this occurs naturally. Step two, turn off the PS3/TV/Magic online (When JE's gone, it's a frightening view into how much narrower my life would be without her. If I were a superhero, my superhero name would be "Inertia." So, step 2.5, thank god yet again for my wife.). Step 3 figure out what to stuff in my piehole, preferably after subjecting it to some method that makes it: (a) edible; and (b) tasty. Step 4, take pictures. Step 5, blather on in a smarmy, sarcastic tone so that when someone reads it, if he or she has met me, she or he will hear my voice in his or her head (Admit it, it's happening right now!). Step 6, hit the post button.

Today, we apply these time tested steps to this morning's hunger in the form of Salvaged Black Bean and Corn Soup (And for those that know my recent culinary exploits, yes, this is another take on tortilla soup that I've cunningly named "Black Bean and Corn Soup" to disguise the fact that it's another take on tortilla soup. Yes, it's a rut. I like tortilla soup. After I get it right a few times, I might get out of it. Or not.)

The interesting part of the recipe is the "Salvaged" part. You see, last night, I performed the same steps as today, but without all the interwebz parts (a process I call "feeding myself"). I recently had some sweet chili shrimp at one of the best sushi places in Lexington (Seki), and last night, I decided to try my hand at a version of it. This idea came from having shrimp, chili sauce and stupidity on hand.

Yeah. It didn't work out so well. You see, while I stand by the "Melton corollary" (for those unaware, "Rule 1. If at first you don't succeed, apply more force. Rule 2. If you still don't succeed, see Rule 1.") both in direct and analogous applications, there are instances in which more subtlety is required. And this can be most evident in my cooking with spicy flavors.

You see, my problem with the Seki version was that the chili sauce was too sweet, without any heat. I was jonesing for a sweet/hot fusion that tantalized my taste buds by confusing them against a backdrop of buttery shrimp. I bet you can see where this is going.


Yeah. Zeppelin wouldn't eat it. My culinary failure bridged species.

So, I had a good deal of the "sauce" (I use quotes to indicate that a mixture of the devil's tears with a touch of the sun's essence can only loosely be considered a sauce rather than the next level weapon of choice for the Oakland police against protesters) left over. And some black beans. And some corn soup base. And some cream . . . . make that a lot of cream.

So I put it all together, did some other magic, and created this actually edible food:

My verdict: GOOD. With that, here's hoping that you take the remnants of your failures, and, to paraphrase Henry Ford, begin again, more intelligently, with success.

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