I’ve got an idea and I’m going to run with it. There are things in my kitchen that I use constantly and couldn’t live without. Today’s spotlight will shine on my first juicer. I picked up this beauty for 50 cents from Recycle North. It’s bright, lightweight and it’s dishwasher safe. That’s ideal since I hate to wash anything. I get way more juice out of citrus with this baby compared to hand squeezing. Plus it strains all the pulp out! I was thinking about how much I love this juicer that I’ve had since my college days while I was cooking up some of Eating Well’s Yucatan Soup. The broth is simmered with a lot of flavorful treats and then strained. It’s citrusy and spicy. The spicy flavor comes mainly from jalapenos. In this recipe you need to seed them. I would recommend using gloves. I learned this the hard way.
Jalapeno side story: Nathan had expressed a craving for jalapeno poppers. Luckily I had a bunch of recipes from various magazines and decided to craft my own. I hit up H-Mart where you can get loads of cheap produce. I picked up a package of jalapenos (approx. 20) and took them home to stuff them. To prep them I needed to split and seed 20 peppers. I have never cooked with more than 2 peppers at a time and never seeded them. So I took to the challenge and ran my thumb right up the middle. After 10 peppers my right hand started to burn so like a fool I just switched to my left hand. After seeding them all my hands were really starting to burn so I washed them thinking I just had pepper residue on my hands. WRONG! Capsesin is what makes peppers hot. It messes with your neurotransmitters and makes you think you’re on fire when your skin is cool to the touch. Since drinking milk is soothing after eating spicy food I decided to dunk my hands into a bowl of milk. That worked while they were submerge but quickly faded. Somehow I was able to distract myself enough to go out to dinner but came home exhausted and ready for bed. My hands were really starting to burn. I soaked them in milk again and hit the sheets. 5 minutes into sleep mode and my hands were ON FIRE! I thought if I waited long enough the pain would pass. WRONG! It was so bad I was on the verge of tears. But my hands looked fine, was I going crazy? I felt like I was. I dunked my hands in milk for another 10 minutes and hit the hay once I achieved relief. I was up again in 5 minutes with fire paws. I went through this process about 3 more times before I started to get delirious. Nate offered to help but what could he do? Saw my hands off for me? I did what anyone does when they are stuck and looked to Google for help. I read of other horror stories. Thank goodness I didn’t touch my eyes or give Nate a rub down. Some of the suggestions were a bit crazy but the overall idea is that you need to wash the capsesin off your skin; soap and water will not cut it. I tried Fels Naptha, rubbing alcohol, (I didn’t want to waste good vodka!) Dawn, Eye make-up remover, hydrocortisone cream and more milk. I was on the verge of using straight bleach but tried one last ditch effort and rubbed my flaming phalanges with nail polish remover. MAGIC! Huge relief, I could have cried. I will never touch a pepper again without gloves. Lesson learned. Peppers are hot. Now back to soup…
To finish it off you throw in a bag of shrimp but you could easily add chicken or chunks of tilapia or keep it protein free for a vegetarian vibe.
Yucatan Lemon Soup
From Eating Well
4 c. Chicken Broth
1 Medium onion, cut into quarters
2 Jalapenos, seeded and quartered
8 Cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
3 Tbsp. finely grated Meyers lemon zest***
½ tsp. Cumin seeds
1 4-inch stick cinnamon stick
1-pound raw peeled shrimp
3 Tbsp. Meyers lemon juice
Salt and Hot Sauce to taste
½ c. chopped cilantro
1. Bring broth, onion, jalapeno, garlic, zest, cumin seeds, cinnamon stick to a simmer in a stockpot. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the broth and discard solids.
2. Return the broth to the pan and bring to a low simmer. Add shrimp, lemon juice, salt and hot sauce. Cook until shrimp are pink and firm, about 3 minutes. Stir in cilantro and EAT!
*** If you don’t have access to Meyers lemons you can used a combo of regular lemons and oranges. For this recipe I substituted 2 Tbsp. lemon juice and 1 Tbsp. orange juice in place of the Meyers lemon and it turned out fine.