Instead of using a “raft” (a mixture of egg whites and vegetables) to clarify stock into a clear consommé (as in our Consommé Célestine recipe), author Lauren Shockey uses gelatin and the freezer, a technique she learned while interning at New York’s WD-50. As the Doritos-flavored frozen “soup” defrosts, the gelatin traps the impurities and only lets the clear, flavorful liquid through. Watch Shockey make the consommé in this CHOW Tip video.
Special equipment: You will need 2 large pieces of ultrafine woven cheesecloth for this recipe. It can be purchased at cooking supply stores or online.
- Yield: 4 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 2 1/2 hrs, plus 2 days freezing and defrosting time
For the consommé:
- 8 ounces Cool Ranch Doritos (about 8 cups)
- 10 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered unflavored gelatin
- 1/2 cup corn kernels, thawed if frozen
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 16 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon microcilantro leaves or coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
For the consommé:
- Combine the Doritos with 8 cups of the water in a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, mashing the Doritos with a wooden spoon until the mixture looks mushy. Remove from the heat and let steep for 30 minutes.
- Set a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl. Pour the mixture into the strainer and push the liquid through with a ladle; discard the contents of the strainer. You should have about 4 1/2 cups of thick liquid “soup.”
- Wipe out the pot, return the soup to it, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, place the remaining 2 cups of water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the water’s surface.
- When the soup comes to a boil, remove it from the heat, add the gelatin-water mixture, and stir until the gelatin dissolves, about 2 minutes. Let cool for 1 hour at room temperature. Place the pot in the freezer until the liquid is solid, at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Line a colander with 2 layers of cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl; set aside.
- Run hot tap water on the outside of the pot until the frozen soup block loosens from the sides. Transfer the soup block to the cheesecloth-lined colander. (You may need to break it into several pieces.)
- Leave the bowl and colander at room temperature so that the melting liquid from the frozen soup drips through the colander, about 1 day. (The gelatin will trap all the particulate matter in the cheesecloth, and the resulting liquid will be a clear Doritos-flavored consommé.) Discard the contents of the colander.
- Transfer the consommé to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat; keep warm.
- Place the corn, water, and smoked paprika in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Drain the corn through a strainer and set aside.
- Season the shrimp lightly with salt and pepper. Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over high heat until smoking. Add the shrimp and sear until cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.
- To serve, divide the shrimp among four soup bowls. Fill the bowls with the warm consommé, then divide the corn among the bowls. Garnish with the cilantro and serve immediately.