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Archive for September, 2010

I was struggling to tell this story for weeks on end. Until a good friend reminded me of the beauty of intense brevity with what some may call Hemingway’s best short story: “For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

I’m going to let that sink in for a moment…

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… and then share my second day in Panama with you. You can fill in the details.

Fruit never before seen. Not tasted.

Chef rescue. Try fruit. Make friend.



New Year. Re-taste fruit. Shehecheyanu. Blessed.

Hemingway I am not.

But, as the (Jewish) holiday season draws to a close, I wanted to share with you my wish for a year of new experience, fabulous adventure, and friends to share it with.

On that note, in just a few days, I am heading to Tokyo (and Paris) for work for two weeks. And a few days of adventure.

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Last Monday was Labor Day (well, you probably knew that). It was also farmers’ market day in my neighborhood. And since I didn’t have to go to work, I spent a good hour wandering around fruit, vegetable, and bakery stands rather than rushing in 15 minutes before they close on the way home from work. The weather was glorious and I lingered at each vendor, tasting here and there, sniffing and thumping, making the perfect choices. Since I was having a friend over for dinner, I bought an abundance of summer produce – heirloom tomatoes, plums, zucchini, and eight cucumbers. Eight? Yes, I had an idea.

Last year at another nearby farmers’ market, a local chef, Chris Parsons, was sharing tastes of a recipe from his restaurant, Catch. I took a  few spoonfuls of the smooth light green concoction and immediately knew that I had found the perfect recipe to take advantage of the free Greek yogurt that Stonyfield Farms shared with me and my blog.  I was a quick convert to Greek yogurt and have never looked back. But back to that summer soup. I asked Chris for the recipe and he emailed me a few days later. But the weather turned cold, and warm soups beckoned.

And then all of a sudden, it was summer again. With work a little crazy and much weekend travel, my days of leisurely cooking have suffered. But I couldn’t let another summer pass without making that creamy cucumber soup that so enchanted me last year. Labor Day was the day to slave away in the kitchen with a cool breeze blowing through my open windows.  So I made a dinner of cucumber gazpacho followed by ceviche, and kept the oven off.


Cucumber Gazpacho

I made a few adjustments to Chris Parson’s recipe and have copied it verbatim at the end of this post. The soup is very simple, but the yellow curry topping gives an extra kick. And I like a little kick. I used nonfat yogurt instead of whole milk yogurt, and then added some full-fat labne to the garnish to thicken it up.

Soup

- 8 cucumbers

- 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil

- 1/4 C red wine vinegar vinegar

- 1.5 Torn day old bread

- 1 C Greek nonfat yogurt

- Kosher salt and white pepper to taste

Prep. Peel half the cucumbers. Split all and removed seeds. Roughly chop.

Mix. Toss the cucumbers, oil, vinegar, bread, and yogurt into a big ziplock bag (none of my bowls could fit all the ingredients with enough room to mix). Shake and allow the liquid to soak into the bread for ~10 minutes.

Blend. Throw the mix into a blender and liquefy in two batches. Add salt and pepper to taste. I didn’t bother to strain the soup because I liked the flecks of green (and I couldn’t find my strainer).

Chill. The soup is a little bit thinner than the one I tried because I used nonfat yogurt. Once you chill it for a few hours, it thickens up a bit and also gives the flavors some time to develop. (I found the soup better the next day).

Garnish

- 1/2 C nonfat Greek yogurt

- 1/2 C 1% milk

- 1/4 C labne

- 1 t yellow curry powder

- 1 t ground cumin

- kosher salt and white pepper to taste

Whisk together all the ingredients. Refrigerate.

Serve soup in bowls with a swirl of yellow garnish across the top.

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CUCUMBER GAZPACHO
Chris Parsons, Catch

8 each Cucumber, 4 of them peeled, Split and seed all. Rough chop.
1/4 C Evoo
1/4 C Sherry Vinegar
1 C Torn day old bread
1 C Greek Whole Milk Yogurt
Kosher Salt and White Pepper to Taste

Toss in a bowl like a salad, blend in blender and strain. Adjust seasoning.

Greek yogurt Bubbles
1/2 C Greek Yogurt
1/2 C Whole Milk
1 t Yellow Curry Powder
1 t Toasted Ground Cumin
Kosher Salt and White Pepper to Taste

Wisk together. Buzz w/ hand blender to froth.

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