(A Bit Of The Silly & A Bit Of the More Serious)
April 1st, this coming Sunday, has connected to it a bit of the silly, April Fools’ Day, and a bit of the more serious, Palm Sunday. So, today, in anticipation of this Sunday, I am offering two recipes. The first was suggested by Mark Twain for Fanny’s cookbook:
Eggs a la Canton, Williamsport, Trout Run and Way Stations.Divest two genuine eggs of shell and claws, being careful to avoid breaking the same.If you break ’em, begin again at the top of the recipe and proceed anew.Lay the plumage and cackle on one side, roll the remainder very thin, add baking powder, and boil in a pudding bag over a slow fire for a week.Tie with baby ribbons and serve cold. (Quoted in “Ways of Cooking Eggs,’ New York Times, April 4, 1909, p X12 from the cookbook of actress Fanny Davenport.) Margot’s suggestion : Don’t Try It!
This April 1st is also Palm Sunday which is a Christian moveable feast that commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and takes place about a week before his Resurrection. The word Palm always makes me think of the often underused Hearts of Palm. They really are wonderful in salads or in cooked dishes. The heart of palm is a vegetable harvested from the inner core and growing bud of certain palm trees which now a days are mostly procured from South America and even from HI. I do enjoy them greatly and so here, I offer what I think is a very nice recipe for this time of the year.
Creamed Hearts of Palm Soup ( 4 to 6 servings)
3 Tblsp. Butter
2 Tblsp. Flour
1 C. Chopped Yellow Onions
1 Tsp. Minced Garlic
1 ( 16 oz.) Can Hearts Of Palm, Drained & Chopped
1/2 Cup Dry White Wine (if you don’t have that, dry white vermouth will do)
3 ½ Cups Good Chicken Broth
3/4 Cup Heavy Cream Or Half & Half
1/2 Lb. Shrimp (defrosted or fresh w/o tails)
2 Tblsp.Chopped Parsley Leaves Or Chopped Chives For Garnish
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions & flour. Sauté until onions are tender, 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds.
Add the hearts of palm and stir to combine. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by ½, about 3 minutes or less.
Add the broth, stir to combine, and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender, 20-25 minutes
Remove from the heat. Pure the ingredients in a blender. Return them in your pot to medium heat and add the cream.
Stir in the shrimp and cook until heated through, 3-5 minutes.
Adjust the seasoning with salt and white pepper, to taste.
If not serving directly, keep warm on very lowest heat.
Ladle into bowls or cups and garnish with parsley or chives.
This soup is also excellent after being refrigerated and served very cold.
Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share. For comments, questions, and ideas please feel free to email her:firstname.lastname@example.org.