Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Sow's Ear, Silk Purse

I posted yesterday about my 'Hoover soup' style tomato and leek soup. In its original form, leeks and tomatoes with a dollop of sour cream was fabulous. I ran the hand blender through it and it thickened and had a nice texture. I did wind up adding a bit of sugar and a couple of tablespoons of balsamic vinegar just to broaden and define its flavor.
Tonight was night two for the soup and instead of the elemental and rustic soup of the night before I decided I would make it a bit more elegant. Tonight it was served(unchanged) with chunks of fresh avocado marinated in fresh lemon juice. It totally transformed the soup into an elegant dish. The contrast of the velvety soup and the creamy chunks of avocado was very nice. I still have two servings left and we'll have to decide if we are returning to the simple or figuring out some other way to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
That's the thing about cooking. A bit of fresh creamy avocado can turn a simple tomato soup into an elegant main course. Adding just a bit of cheese to simple grits and garnishing with a roasted red pepper coulis can make the simplest dish something elegant and memorable.
I remember very clearly have an appetizer at Elizabeth's on 37th in Savannah of nothing but a grilled square of yellow grits resting in a bed of roasted red pepper coulis and garnished with sprinkles of good blue cheese. Brilliant use of traditional flavors with a 'twist'. Madam Terry would be pleased to know that that dish alone was enough for the to run out to buy her cookbook.

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