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.
For the consommé:
8 ouncesCool Ranch Doritos (about 8 cups)
1/2 teaspoonpowdered unflavored gelatin
1/2 cupcorn kernels, thawed if frozen
2 teaspoonssmoked paprika
16 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoonsvegetable 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.