Chilled Corn and Coconut Soup

This recipe has been submitted to Monthly Mingle for Dec 2009 being organized by What’s for Lunch Honey? and Tongueticklers.

I recently read The Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. The chef is describing the turning point of his life. He was less than 10 years old and had gone to France to visit relatives. That was when he tasted French cooking for the first time. Soup was served and it was cold. He was so taken by surprise that a cold soup and a yummy one at that could exist that it left an indelible mark on him. Funnily, it has also made a huge impact on me and the incident, though experienced only second hand, will always stay with me. This recipe of chilled corn and coconut soup is in memory of that moment when I felt the shock cold soup brought to a top chef when he was a little boy.

The recipe is simple in itself and very wholesome. A beautiful blend of corn and coconut milk, the flavor is enhanced by jalapeno chile and the simple art of reduction.

Ingredients

200 ml coconut milk

2 cups sweet corn

2 cups water

1 jalapeno chile

Salt and Pepper

A dash of lemon juice

Chilled Corn and Coconut Soup

Deseed jalapeno chile and chop it into little pieces. Pour water in a pot. Add chopped chile, corn and coconut milk. Bring to a boil and then let it simmer for 30 mins. Let it cool.

Pass the soup through a blender. Sieve and discard solids. Season with salt and pepper.

Chill overnight or for 4-5 hours.

Add lemon juice only just so much. Serve cold.

Garnish – Black pepper and corn kernels.

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Pear Canapes

These days everyone is being health-conscious. Everything served at the table must have fewer calories and still taste good. Combining raw fruits and vegetables gives the natural sweetness and taste that is not only filling but also satisfying. Pear canapés is a recipe for your next cocktail party that will be received well but also be ready in a jiffy.

Pear Canapes

Ingredients

1 pack ready-made canapés

Pear Stuffing

Garnish of your choice

Canapés

If you are not able to get your hands on ready-made canapés, you can always cut bread into shapes of your choice and shallow fry them for base. You do not need to deep fry the canapés. Simply place them on a hot pan for 1 min and they will be as crisp as ever.

Pear Stuffing

1 cup finely chopped pear

¼ cup finely shredded carrots

¼ cup finely chopped onions

2 tbsp finely chopped ginger

1 tbsp fennel

¼ cup bread crumbs

2 tbsp chopped parsley

Salt and pepper for seasoning

1 lemon

1 tbsp butter

Squeeze lime juice over chopped pear to prevent it from browning. Also, let the pear marinate in the juice for 10-15 mins to take the flavor.

Heat the butter in a skillet. Add onions, ginger and fennel. Cook onions till translucent. You will notice that fennel will start giving a beautiful aroma.

Take off the flame. Mix with carrots, parsley, pear and bread crumbs. Add salt and pepper.

The stuffing should have the subtle taste of ginger and fennel along with the sweetness of pear with a hint of lime.

Putting it together

Place 1 tbsp of pear stuffing in a canapé boat. Sprinkle grated cheese and bake till cheese turns golden. Alternatively, for a healthier option, decorate with a fresh cherry.