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Monday, August 15, 2022

Gazpacho Goodness

This is my go-to summer favorite for years now--try with a 28 oz. time-saving can of whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, ease up on the olive oil if you'd like, but by all means enjoy, whatever you do! 

Gazpacho Andaluz
Adapted from Saveur

Probably invented in Seville, gazpacho was originally served at the end of a meal. Though there are many versions of this soup, "the traditional, tomato-based Andalusian variety is the one you want to find on your table on a hot afternoon or warm evening. It's salad in a blender; summer in a bowl"...!

1 slice country-style bread, about 1" thick, crusts removed 

2 small cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped 

2 lbs. very ripe tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped 

1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped 

2 tbsp. sherry vinegar 

1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil Salt

Optional garnishes: 1⁄2 green pepper, seeded and finely diced; 1⁄2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely diced; 1 cup 1⁄2-inch croutons; 1⁄2 small white onion, peeled and finely diced; 1 small tomato, seeded and finely diced

1. Soak bread for 12 hour in a small bowl in water to cover. Squeeze out moisture with your hands.

2. Purée bread, cucumbers, tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, and 1 cup water in a food processor until very smooth.

3. Push purée through a coarse sieve with the back of a wooden spoon. Gazpacho should be fairly thin. Season to taste with salt.

4. Chill gazpacho in refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Adjust seasoning. Serve in individual glasses, or in soup bowls with garnishes on the side.

This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #7

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

A Sumptuous Summer Salad

This salad was so beautiful and delicious, each bite a different delight! The method is simple too and only requires just a touch of artistry when composing--summer does the rest.

Scatter fresh arugula leaves on a platter, shred some proscuitto, slice up ripe stone fruit (we used white peaches) and arrange artfully. Drop a luscious orb of burrata cheese on top--if you are not familiar with burrata, it's high time you become well-acquainted. A ball of mozzarella cheese holds a treasure of luscious stracciatella and cream, which oozes out when cut open. Yes! Drizzle some olive oil and a squeeze or two of lemon over the whole thing and season with some freshly ground black pepper and Maldon sea salt flakes. Add your favorite herbs if you like, or add some fennel fronds to the mix. 

Instead of stone fruit, perhaps you have some juicy melon on hand? Try that with some fresh figs and take a bite out of summer! 


Thursday, February 24, 2022

Tonight's Menu - Outstanding Rib Roast

I did a little rearranging not so long ago (one night when I couldn't sleep) and removed our dining room table. But then we were having guests over for dinner in a few days, so what to do until the new table arrived? Well, gougeres at our apartment for appetizers and wine and then move across the hall to our friends place for a proper sit-down! I set their table the evening before and prepped as much as I could ahead of time so our migration would be quite effortless. Here is what was on the menu, with links: 

Tonight's Menu 
Serves Six 

Gougeres - serve with an inspiring red wine 
Yorkshire Puddings with Lobster in a Vanilla Chive Sauce - a little bit of a twist here; I used the sauce to pour over the Yorkshire Puddings instead of the Bread Pudding the recipe suggests 
Standing Rib Roast (four bones), unwrapped from packaging and let dry for 2 hours in fridge sprinkled with salt, pepper and Bavarian Seasoning from Penzey's, cooked until internal temp was 135 degrees--let stand for 20 minutes 
Boston Cooking School Brownies and slivers of Harvey Wallbanger Cake that I revived from an old post, topped with pistachio ice cream. 

What an outstanding evening we had indeed! 

 Soundtrack: Dexter Gordon, Ballads; Stanley Turrentine, The Spoiler; Miles Davis, Birth of the Cool; Horace Silver and The Jazz Messengers