I love shopping. Some of the brands I totally adore are Ghirardelli, Valrhona, Barilla, etc. Oh, right…I forgot to mention grocery shopping, that is :-P. Cold Storage, NTUC and Giant are my favourite haunts. You can find me there at least 4 times a week. There’s just a minor problem – I end up getting more items than I should. What started out as an innocent trip to get a couple of items always ended up with a trolley of ten other things...
Gumbo originated from Louisiana (southern region of United States). It usually consists of okra (lady's finger), meat or shellfish and the stock is thickened. They are traditionally served over a bed of rice. To be honest, my gumbo tasting experience only began a couple of years ago but the last few I had inspired me so much. The broth was so tasty and addictive, filled with seafoody-goodness (BNF vocabulary ;-P) and packed with tons of seafood. It is really a meal on its own! I was so tempted to rush home and make some gumbo! The last straw came when I was watching one of the episodes from the latest season of Masterchef US. One of the contestants made a pot of gumbo in less than an hour for the judges (according to them, was quite impossible) and all 3 were blown away by it. So hubby immediately said: "I want some gumbo this weekend!". That was how I began my gumbo-making journey. Although this is not the traditional recipe (I did not include okra and also added some extra ingredients), the flavor compensates for everything else. This is also one of my father-in-law's favorite BNF request.
So my MIL (mother-in-law) recently went to a cafe (somewhere in the east) and tasted some clam chowder. We were shocked to hear that she actually liked to it. Okay, a little background on my MIL. She is definitely not big into western food and does not like anything that is creamy or cheesy. I asked her to describe the taste and texture to me and just as I suspected, the thickness of the chowder was not the Soup-Spoon kind (for those who does not know Soup Spoon, they are a soup chain here in Singapore, famed for their thick, rich chunky soups, which I totally love by the way) but rather on the thinner side. Traditionally, clam chowder is made with potatoes, celery, onion and bacon. But for BNF version, I added in carrots and corn (for extra color and taste) and tone down the thickness of the consistency. It has passed my MIL's taste test and I'm a happy DIL! (Daughter-in-law haha!)
My first exposure to mushroom soup was a type of condensed canned soup. Fast forward 10 years , I've tasted different versions of mushroom soup that did not come from a can and I absolutely loved it. From then, I've been making my own COM and it proved to be a hit especially at pot-luck parties. Oh, and it tastes even better the next day.