Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Chilled cucumber soup

I don't really like cucumbers. But, all my friends with gardens have raised bumper crops this year and given me lots. Since I had a cucumber gazpacho in Spain a view years ago that was pretty good, I decided to try a chilled soup. It is good, and unlike most where you just grind up the cukes, cooking them cuts the cucumber-y taste. It's almost like a potato soup.
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • several sprigs flat leaf parsley
  • several sprigs fresh dill
  • 5 cups chicken broth, hot (I used turkey broth from a recent breast I roasted... it worked great!)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Melt butter in skillet, saute onions and cucumbers with pepper until tender and onions are translucent. Sprinkle with flour and cook for 1 minute. Transfer to soup pan and add broth, salt and spices. Heat until boiling, then cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Cool in pan, then puree in blender with sour cream, lemon juice and milk. Chill several hours.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Green Tomato Pasta with Bacon

I made this for dinner tonight; a nice change from regular spaghetti. You have to love the split-personality nature of a recipe that has you frying things in a combination of olive oil and bacon grease.
  • 6 slices thick cut bacon
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves pressed garlic
  • 3-4 medium green tomatoes, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 yellow sweet pepper, chopped
  • 2/3 cup grated cheese (Romano, parmesan or mozzarella)
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 pound spaghetti
Fry bacon in skillet. Remove and drain on paper towels. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon bacon grease, mix in olive olive. Saute garlic for 1 minute, then add tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Cook for 7-10 minutes. Add wine and chopped peppers. Cook for about 10 minutes, until sauce thickens. Add parsley and crumbled bacon; stir in just before removing from heat.

While sauce thickens, cook pasta to al dente stage. Drain, reserving some of the hot pasta water. Add cheese and sauce to pasta along with 1/2-1 cup of the water. Stir thoroughly and serve. Serves 3-4.