Thursday, June 28, 2007

Thursday Afternoon Lunch Blogging

It’s almost lunchtime. I’M HUNGRY!!! I have 2 perfect avocados from Timber Creek just waiting to be treated with lemon juice and salt – but WAIT – how about a “Midshipman’s Butter Sandwich”? You may have seen the recipe on our website. I made it today and only changed it a little. (Except for baking, I just cannot seem to stick to a recipe!) This is today’s version:

Midshipman’s Butter Sandwich (There's no butter in this sandwich--the Avocado is the "butter")

1 large piece of toasted Tuscan Bread
1 ripe Avocado
3 very thin slices of Vidalia Onion
Or other sweet Onion
Lemon Juice
1 small Plum Tomato cut in strips
4 sprigs Cilantro (c’mon! Try it!)
Good Sea Salt

Spread some mayo on the toast, then sprinkle the onion rings over that. Peel and slice an avocado, then fan it over the toast. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the avocado, sprinkle with tomato shards, salt well with a good sea salt, then lay the cilantro sprigs over the top.

Yeaahhhh Baybay!!!!

clicky on pix for a more delicious view!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Cool Dinner for a Hot Day

Baby, it’s HOT outside! And hot days call for cool meals. Cooking on the stove is out of the question, but sometimes it's even too hot to grill. Guadalajara Gazpacho appears on one of the recipe pages at the website, but this version is just a little different. You can make this a day ahead of time and serve it really chilled, or keep all the ingredients in the fridge until the moment you put it together. Sometimes I even use frozen corn – just to keep it as cold as possible. Vegetarian-style or with shrimp, this dinner is coooool!

Guadalajara Gazpacho

1 46 oz. bottle of spicy Tomato Juice
3-4 ripe Plum Tomatoes cut in chunks
½ C thinly sliced Green Onions, or
½ C diced Vidalia Onion
2 ripe Avocadoes, cut in chunks
1 C diced Jicama (about ½ of a small one)
1 C fresh corn off the cobs (about 2 ears) or 1 C frozen corn
½ lb. cooked and cleaned large Shrimp, split lengthwise and cut crosswise (optional)
1 big handful Cilantro, roughly chopped (or you can substitute fresh Basil)
Hot sauce to taste (optional)
Juice of 2-4 fresh Limes

Pour the Tomato Juice in a large bowl. Add everything else and taste. It might need more salt, more lime juice, more hot sauce – suit yourself. If you don’t like cilantro (and you know who you are!), you can use fresh Basil….but I would dare you to put in just a tiny bit of cilantro, because nothing will brighten the taste of this dish like cilantro will. If you’re leaving out the shrimp, you can add more of each ingredient as a replacement. This will make 4 large bowls of “GG”, or a great appetizer for 6-8.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


I know it’s almost officially summer, but you’d never know it here! The nights have been in the mid-40s and the days are barely hitting 80. This past week, it never went over 75, and some days were downright chilly – just right for a last hurrah of Risotto.

This version is done “restaurant style” so everything stays pretty and the flavors retain their distinctness. You will need Arborio Rice or, my favorite: Carnaroli Rice. The former is now available in most grocery stores, the latter in Italian Specialty or Grocery Stores. This rice releases a lot of starch while cooking – almost making a soup – and that’s what makes Risotto what it is.

For 2-4 people you’ll need:

1 Broccoli Crown cut in tiny florettes
1 small Onion, chopped small

1 medium Carrot, diced
1 C frozen Peas, thawed
4-6 cloves Garlic, chopped rough
1 C Arborio or Carnaroli Rice
5-6 C Chicken Broth
3 Tb. Butter
Zest of one Lemon, chopped
¼ C Parmesano Reggiano

10-12 medium or
8-10 jumbo Shrimp

Olive Oil

(Options: use Veg. Broth or water, and leave out the shrimp for a Vegetarian-Style version, or substitute Chicken for the shrimp.)

Clean an devein the shrimp, then cut them in half lengthwise and again crosswise. Start a pan for saut̩ and a saucepan for the rice. Saute the shrimp and half of the garlic in a little olive oil. Strive to slightly undercook, rather than overcook it. In the saucepan, heat some olive oil and add the veggies (but not the peas). Stir constantly over high heat so that they caramelize just a bit, and cook through Рbut just barely. Remove the shrimp to a plate, and the veggies to a bowl.

Heat a little more olive oil in the same saucepan you cooked the veggies in. Add the rice and cook until the grains begin to shine a bright white. Add a cup or two of chicken broth, and boil stirring constantly. The rice will begin to absorb the broth, so add some more. Keep adding and stirring until the rice won’t absorb anymore and the remainder of the liquid has cooked away save for a nice, hot starchy bath around the rice kernels. Taste a few grains to make sure they’re cooked.

Now, take the pan off the heat and add the butter. Stir well. Add the Parmesan and stir again. Pour in the veggies (this time the peas, too) and stir once. Now ladle the risotto into a serving bowl. Sprinkle the lemon zest on top, and maybe another grating of Parmesan. Then sprinkle some garlic shrimp on top of that. Ahhhh! It’s Italian comfort food!