Our Sunday mornings aren’t usually lazy and relaxed. We don’t get to snuggle under the covers until midday like most people do. We consume the entire week preparing for this day – lots of scribbling and bouncing of ideas. Saturdays are reserved for trips to organic markets, local IKEA retailers or landscaping shops.
Food blogging has never been this difficult.
It’s 7 AM and I’m peeling myself off of the bed. The first thing I need to do is open the living room curtains. There’s no sun. Think it’s going to rain again. Darn! The weather has been like this for months now – overcast in the morning, rainy in the afternoon. How can the weather be so uncooperative on the day of our shoot? But it’s early, there is still hope. So let’s crank up the espresso machine and get on with the mise en place.
Today we’re set to shoot a variation of our mom’s corn soup. I remember when we were still little she would cook this soup during a cold rainy day. It was simple, delicious and hearty. There’s nothing like mom’s cooking. You can just feel the love rubbing your back with every slurp… keeping you all warm and fuzzy. But she seldom cooks right now ever since we took over the kitchen and stuffed it with gadgets she can hardly operate.
Enough with the drama and start chopping the onions! After doing all the needed prep work, the pan heats the oil and butter. The pork belly and bacon are thrown in. The first time you hear the pork fat sizzling, it is like listening to Joe Satriani’s fingers gracefully weaving notes with his guitar. Enter garlic and onions. The pungent fragrance released from these aromats tells you there’s magic happening in that hot pan. When the cooking is almost done, my sister Karima prepares the props for the shoot. She irons the table napkins, wipes clean the dishes, sets up the table… you know, very domestic stuff. But she’s my food stylist and art director as I am not that good with composition. The food is ready, the props are laid out and the camera is mounted on the tripod. The shooting begins.
A hundred clicks later, we’re absolutely knackered. We’re excited to post the photos in this blog hoping Tastespotting or Foodgawker will accept our entries. This is a good weekly accomplishment. We’re very happy and we think we deserve a pat on our backs. And the best part of it all? Eating every ounce of that dish we prepared today! That’s happiness. That’s my kind of Sunday mornings.
Grilled Corn Soup
- 1/4 kg medium shrimps, heads separated
- 5 cups water
- 2 ears of corn with husk
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 100 g pork belly chopped
- 2 bacon strips
- 1 onion bulb chopped
- 2 medium sized ripe tomatoes chopped
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- salt and pepper
- 3-4 sprigs cilantro (optional)
- sauteed peeled shrimps (optional)
Make the shrimp stock by boiling all the shrimp heads in 5 cups of water. Reduce until stock is about 3 cups. If you have a potato masher start squeezing out the yummy juices out of those heads. You know you’re in good shape when you see an orange film on top of the stock. Peel the remaining bodies.
Meanwhile, soak the corn in water for about 10 minutes. The wet husk prevents it from burning easily and helps steam the corn. Place the corn on a high heat grill, turning the cob every so often to cook evenly. Grill the corn until the husk is well charred to induce that smoky aroma. Peel the husk off and grate the kernels. You may chop the kernels further if you don’t want them chunky.
In a sauce pan over medium heat, heat the butter and oil. Render the fat of the pork belly and bacon for 7-10 minutes. Throw in the onions, garlic and tomatoes and saute until onion is translucent. Pour in the stock and corn. Let it simmer for 10 minutes. Season to taste. Serve hot and top it with cilantro and sauteed shrimps, if desired.