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Tony Bourdain would not approve, Vol. 1.

Ah, hip_domestics, you never fail to bring on the culinary spooge. I'm not much of a cook, but I do the best I can with decent ingredients. I'm no chef, but I know truly atrocious crapfood when I see it, and oh, have I seen it.

Today's atrocity? Easy 15 Minute Seafood Bisque. And how easy is it, you ask? I'll let the original poster tell you herself:

4 cans of Campbells "Healthy Request" condensed Tomato Soup
3 1/2 cups fat free half and half
canned seafood-drained (I used 3 cans crab and 2 cans shrimp, but when I make it again will probably reverse that)
Spices (I used Basil, Oregano and Thyme to taste.)

Throw it all in a pot on the stove, heat until almost boiling (starting to bubble), about 15 minutes on medium to medium high (or low, whatever's your preference and time schedule). Serve with a little shredded cheddar on top. OPTIONAL Add: 1/4 cup rum for a little extra flavor.
Okay, ha-ha, April Fool's--I get it! Oh, you're so funny; I would have sworn this was a recipe straight off of Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade! Fooled me, ya did!

Oh, wait. Today's April 2nd. Which means this isn't a joke at all. Which means somebody actually makes this shit. And not only makes it, but fucking eats it.

I'm not sure which is worse--that this recipe involves opening nine cans, or that it calls for fat-free half-and-half.

Regular half-and-half is simple stuff--half milk, half cream. Good stuff, right? Honest stuff. Consumed in moderation, there's nothing bad about either of those ingredients. But what the hell is in fat-free half-and-half? How do they make half-and-half without the cream? I have no idea. But I do know what they put in it:

Nonfat Milk, Milk (Adds a Trivial Amount of Fat), Corn Syrup Solids, Artificial Color (an Ingredient Not Normally Found in Half and Half), Sugar, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sodium Citrate, Mono and Diglycerides (Adds a Trivial Amount of Fat), Carrageenan, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Vitamin A Palmitate.
Mmmm. Yummy. I feel healthier just reading that ingredients list, don't you?

The inclusion of fat-free half-and-half, in some half-assed nod toward making this mess "healthy," is ridiculous enough. But the use of Campbell's "Healthy Request" soup, along with canned seafood, pushes it into some insane Outer Limits of absurdity, in which fat may be the enemy, but whopping amounts of sodium are perfectly acceptable.

How much sodium? Well, each can of Campbell's "Healthy Request" tomato soup has 1125mg, and each can of crab or shrimp has 800mg. So (4 x 1125) + (5 x 800)= 8500mg of sodium in the completed recipe. The OP claims that it makes 4-6 servings, which means ~1420 to 2125mg of sodium per serving. The recommended maximum intake per day varies; here in the US it's 2400mg, and in the UK it's 1600. But by whatever standard you're going by, that's a hell of a lot of sodium--in one bowl of soup. And that's before you add the cheddar cheese on top, or make the chipolte (sic) cheddar fried-cheese sandwich the OP recommends as an accompaniment.

And as if the non-nutritive, insanely-oversalted qualities of this industrial food-assemblage (I can't call it a recipe) weren't bad enough, it's also ridiculously expensive to make. I priced the ingredients at Safeway.com--non-fat half-and-half ($2.59/quart), soup (4 x $1.49), shrimp (2 x $3.29), and crab (3 x $2.59)--and got a total of $22.90.

Like I said, I'm not an avid cook. But for $23 I can go buy enough real ingredients to make a large pot of tomato-seafood bisque, with a lot less sodium, greater nutritional value, and a lot more flavor. Of course, it will take me more than 15 minutes to make, but I won't suffer repetitive-motion injuries while opening all those fucking cans.

So it's expensive! It's bad for you! It tastes like a fish-and-tomato flavored salt lick! The only thing I have left to say about this tribute to Sandra Lee is that I'm grateful there's no accompanying tablescape.

The one redeeming feature of this disaster is the 1/4 cup of rum. I advise ditching all the other ingredients and just taking it straight.

Comments

tattycat
Apr. 3rd, 2007 02:37 am (UTC)
I think I'm going to shrivel up and crumble just from reading about all that sodium. I need a glass of water.

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