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Gazpacho

Gazpacho

 

This recipe is from Epicurious and is delicious.

yield

Makes 6 servings

This is also terrific with yellow tomatoes. Garnish with thin cucumber slices and some chopped red onion, if desired.

 

ingredients

  • 2 pounds large tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 pound country-style bread, crust removed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, diced
  • 1 cup chopped peeled English hothouse cucumber
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup Sherry wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup water

preparation

Working over bowl, gently squeeze tomato halves to release seeds and juices. Strain juices, pressing on solids to extract as much juice as possible (about 1/2 cup). Discard seeds. Chop tomatoes. Transfer chopped tomatoes and tomato juices to large glass bowl. Add next 9 ingredients. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour.

Working in batches, puree gazpacho with 1 cup water in blender until smooth. Pour gazpacho into coarse strainer set over large bowl. Press on solids to extract as much soup as possible. Season with salt and pepper. Chill at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. Serve cold.

 

Blinis and Caviar

This recipe is from Martha Stewart.

1 package of active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water

1 cup milk

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 eggs separated

1/2 teaspoon salt

Pinch of sugar

6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

Clarified butter for the griddle

Proof the yeast in warm water with the pinch of sugar for 15 minutes. Put the yeast mixture, milk, flour, egg yolks, salt and melted butter in a blender. Blend at high speed for 40 seconds. Turn the machine off, scrape down the sides of the container, then blend for another few seconds. Pour the batter into a bowl that is large enough to accommodate the rising. Cover loosely and set in a warm place to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Do not let the batter rise much longer or the blini will taste overfermented.

Blinis batter

The batter after rising for 2 hours

egg whites for blinis

At cooking time, beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold them into the batter.

griddle for blinis

Heat a griddle.

claridfied butter

Brush with clarified butter.

blinis cooking 2

Drop batter by 1/8 cup measuring cup onto to the griddle.. Turn the blini when the first side is lightly browned and cook briefly on the second side. I serve this to order. Make one blini for each person – serve the blini, let them spoon creme fraiche and caviar on freshly made blini and repeat making blinis just a serving at a time.

blinis cooking 3

Another “batch of blinis”

caviar and creme fraiche

Caviar ( paddle fish on the right, hackelback on the left) and Creme Fraiche

wine with blinis

Wine with blinis and caviar

Merry Chistmas everyone.

Best part – this keeps overnight in the refrigerator and makes blinis with jam for breakfast.

Avocado Soup

AVOCADO SOUP

3 ripe avocados, mashed

4 cups chicken broth

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp white pepper

1/2 tsp minced onion

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

2 to 3 tablespoons dry white sherry

1 cup sour cream

8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/2 cup minced chives

Mix first 8 ingredients in blender at low speed until smooth. Add sour cream, 1/4 cup at a time, until well blended. (A 5 cup blender will not hold the entire recipe so adding the sour cream must be done in two batches)

Be sure to taste as you might like it spicier – I add some Tabasco

Chill the soup for at least two hours. Also chill the bowls to be sure they are nice and cold.

Garnish with bacon and chives.

Served with an absolutely spectacular wine – Berry Bros. & Co 1934 Chablis


Persimmon Cookies

We used to have a huge persimmon tree, but it died. We did find a small persimmon tree and for the first time we finally got some persimmons.

Puny persimmon tree

Some Hachiya persimmons from our tree – not ripe yet – must be very soft for this recipe

RECIPE:

1 cup persimmon pulp – put pulp in processor and then strain (can be frozen)

1 tsp soda

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg

2 cups flour/sifted

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 cup raisins

1. Stir soda into pulp and set aside

2. Cream butter and sugar.  Hand beat the egg into this mixture.

3. Hand-beat the pulp into the above mixture

4. Sift flour with the spices and baking powder.  Add to the pulp mixture.

5 Stir in the raisins.

6. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto the greased cookie sheet.

7. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes

All that was left from a full batch

Butter/Sugar Cookies

INGREDIENTS

1 cup butter

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

2 1/2 cups flour, sifted

1/2 teaspoon salt

Using electric mixer

1. Cream butter and sugar

2. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla

3. Beat in 1 egg

4. Sift and combine  flour and salt

5. Add to butter mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Scrape dough onto saran wrap and use wrap to form into a mass.

6. Chill dough 3 to 4 hours before rolling

I roll out 1/4 of the dough at a time – a pastry cloth lightly floured makes the job much easier

7. Preheat oven to 350

The cookie cutters and decorating sugars

8. Roll out and cut

9. Decorate with colored sugar and other fun stuff

10. Bake for 10 minutes or until slightly colored

11. Cool on rack

12. Can be frozen


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