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Water. Air. Food. Sex. The essentials in life. The first two? Leave them in their natural state and they'll look after you just fine.. The later two? Fun to play with. Get a little creative with. And if the mood strikes you, mix the two... Food and sex have been linked throughout history. Think about it. I mean really think about it. Is there anything more sexy than good food? Chances are others think the same thing. These recipes are not just about seducing that special someone (or someones) but seducing yourself. Its easy to forget what a pleasure food can be. So take a knife, some nice ingredients, and get Seductive in the Kitchen.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Damn Fine Speck, Smoked Paprika and Potato Soup

It was cold last night. The first night of the year where I wished I had of taken a jacket out with me. And when I woke up this morning it was raining.
Yay! Soup time!
I had a slab of speck on a shelf in the fridge and it called to me.
It knows how to seduce me.
And i fall, oh-so-easily.
Speck. Not much of a name. When you think of cured meats of a similar caliber (I'm thinking prosciutto, Jamon, etc) the names are so exciting you don't need to sell the product.
But what speck lacks in exotic sounding names it makes up for in taste. A brick of peppery smoked sexiness topped with a luscious layer of meltingly tender fat.
Next to go into my ingredient inventory was the wondrous smoked paprika i have just bought.
And potato.
A base of slow sauteed onions and garlic and I can taste it already. Can you? Or are you too busy salivating?
Enough chit chat. Let's cook.

1 large brown onion - roughly chopped in a fine dice
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2-3 tbls vegetable oil
20gm butter
1 tsp sexy smoked Paprika
3-4 large yellow fleshed potatoes, diced into approx 1-2cm cubes
4 cups vegetable or light chicken stock
150 gm speck, cubed, skin removed and kept

Place your butter, oil, onion and garlic in a pot and saute over a medium to low heat for a good 5-6 minutes, not allowing your onion or garlic to color, but rather become transparent and caramelized.
Add the paprika and speck and the speck rind in one large piece. The rind will infuse the soup with flavor but be easily removable at the end.
Fry a further 2-3 minutes until the whole kitchen smells like heaven then add your diced potatoes and cover with the cold stock.
Don't be tempted to add the stock warm. When you are cooking potatoes it is always better to start with cold water as it provides a more even cooking.
Bring to a gently simmer and cook till the potato is cooked and your salivating everywhere.
Simply serve with some crusty bread or, if you would like the liquid a little thicker, with a tad more viscosity, (great word!) just dissolve 2 tsp of corn flour in a couple of tbls of water and add in a thin stream to the soup, stirring constantly. Cook out a few more minutes.

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