Tag Archives: soup

20 Feet Seafood Joint

A while back our lives changed here in East Dallas.  Goodfriend opened and we had drinks and burgers.  There was this rumor that a seafood joint was opening, as well.  But, that would just be too good to be true, wouldn’t it?  15 years of East Dallas living with no decent bars and certainly no seafood left us skeptical.  And then it happened.  Things have never been the same.

20 Feet has received quite a lot of good press.  Rated one of the best seafood places in town.  And I will say that it’s only grown better and better as time has passed.  It’s a very regular spot for us.  Not only is the seafood fantastic, fresh and affordable, we always bring our own beer or wine.  That puts it in the VERY affordable category, which is not where you usually find seafood.

Today, we tried the oyster shooters.  Is that cute or what?  And so delicious!  $2 each?  Seriously?  That’s it?  I didn’t realize you could get something this good for $2 until today.

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As usual, we over-ordered.  I had the coconut shiitaki mushroom soup.  Delicious and mild.  An excellent blend of flavors.  It was their special soup of the day.  So, you can’t always get this.  I love trying their soups.  I’ve never had one that wasn’t fantastic.

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Hubbard went with the traditional clam chowder that is always on the menu.  I have to admit that I probably had 10 bowls of this in a row before I could bring myself to order any other soup at 20 Feet.  I love this chowder.  The best I’ve ever had.

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Another thing I find hard to resist is the Shrimp Scampi over Parmesan grits.  I’m a grits girl.  And the slaw on top with the little crunchy things…  love it!  (I don’t know what the little crunchy things are.  Does it matter?)

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Hub, being in that traditional mood today, had the fish and chips.  We searched this town for fish and chips a few years back and never really found any we liked as well as Guthrie’s, which closed a long time ago.  20 Feet has the best fish and chips ever.  Why?  The fish is delicious and perfectly fried every time.  But, those fries.  The fries alone are enough reason to order this dish.  They’re done with rosemary and thyme and cloves of garlic.  I think of the garlic cloves as little presents when I find them nestled between the skinny fries.  I’m not sure if I’ve ever left one for Hubbard.  I like garlic even more than grits.

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We didn’t get dessert today.  But, Suzan has got to be the best pie maker in town.  The chocolate cream pie and the key lime are so delicious.  Try to be more sensible than we were today and leave room for pie.  Or the strawberry shortcake which was the special today and I know I’ll be regretting not ordering as soon as I’m hungry again.  Hmmm…  maybe we’ll go back for dinner!

Butternut Squash Soup with Chipotle Cream

What is in a name?  A lot, when it comes to this soup.  In fact, the name sounded better than the soup tasted.  But, what was I expecting?  It’s squash soup.  Squash isn’t just bursting with flavor to begin with, right?

I cracked open the squash.  Since I’d never cooked a butternut squash before, more less a six dollar organic butternut squash, I took a little nibble of it raw.  Nothing.  I tossed a piece to the floor to see if the dog would eat it.  No dice.  It tasted like nice, fresh, organic nothing.  Maybe the roasting would help.

I will say that it smelled considerably better after the roasting.  I had rubbed the cut side of each half with olive oil, salt & pepper and roasted it for 45 mintues at 400.  Still didn’t taste like a whole lot.

I medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped

Saute in a soup pot with olive oil and a little salt until tender.  Add 2 cloves of minced garlic and cook for a minute or two more.  Scoop the squash flesh into the pot.  Add four cups of chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes or so.

From here you take it off the heat.  Use an immersion blender to puree the soup, thinning it with up to 2 cups more chicken broth.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Taste.  That’s kind of the problem here.  The most potent flavor in almost six cups of soup was 2 cloves of garlic.  That’s not a lot of flavor.

All of this is supposed to be pumped up by two teaspoons of chipotle chopped.  I used chipotle puree and put a lot more than two teaspoons.  It didn’t taste like much.  I added a Mexican spice blend that’s heavy on the cumin.  A little more garlic.  Salt.

It was OK.   The addition of the blob of sour cream with chipotle mixed in was nice.  It was still and exercise in blandness.  If you like bland or if you feel that you can jazz this up sufficiently to make it really good, then do make this soup.  It’s got to be pretty good for you, right?  It’s basically nothing but vegetables.  But, frankly, V8 has more flavor.

Potato and Cabbage Soup with Ham

I saw a recipe for “Colcannon Soup” in a recent Cook’s Illustrated issue covering soups and stews.  Since I had half a head of cabbage in the fridge and no real plan, I decided to take the idea of potato and cabbage soup and go with it.

I chopped up three slices of bacon and cooked that in a 5 1/2 quart Dutch oven.  Scooped out the crispy bacon and threw into the bacon fat two medium onions, diced.  Saute’d that a bit.  Then added a half a head of cabbage, sliced thin.  While the vegetables softened, I seared a ham steak and then diced it up.  Ham steaks tend to give off a lot of water.  That ham flavored water went into the pot with the cabbage.

When the vegetables were soft, I added a few cloves of garlic.  I like my garlic press a lot.  So, that’s how I added it.  You could mince it instead.  Once the garlic became fragrant, I tossed in a couple of tablespoons of flour and cooked that for about a minute or two.  Then added 1/2 cup of dry white wine.  Cooked that into the mixture until it was kind of thick.  Just a few minutes.  Then came the chicken broth.  I used about 6 cups.  I let the whole mixture simmer for ten or fifteen minutes, until the veggies were really soft. 

The potatoes came next.  About 4 smallish russets.  I let the soup simmer until the potatoes were soft enough to start to dissolve into the broth.  Then, I added 1/2 heavy cream and about that much sour cream.  A few sprinkles of cayenne, black pepper, adjust the salt and we’re ready for the ham.  I always add a meat like ham or sausage at the very end because the longer you cook it, the more your soup will taste like ham and the ham will taste like nothing.

Another dollop of sour cream on top might be good.  Some chives…  Yum!