Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Case of Chilled Yogurt Cucumber Soup

The Internet can be an anonymous medium. And sometimes I'd like to keep it that way, because...judging by my former teenage standards...I'm ancient. Of course I'm younger than Joan Rivers, yes...but I'm much older than Natalie Portman. Older than Catherine Zeta-Jones (still her doppelganger)...younger than– Listen, if I've got my facts straight, I'm about five years younger than John Travolta. Which means I'm old enough to have studied computer when just one processor took up an entire room, and young enough not to be terrified of ATMs.

Chilled Yogurt Cucumber Soup

2 cups 2% yogurt
1 seedless cucumber, chopped
1 tsp honey
1/8 cup fresh chives

Blend together the 2% yogurt, cucumber, honey, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour into bowls and snip the chives on top. Serves 4.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Case of Bocconcini Salad (Cantaloup Variation)

You can see I don't make perfect cantaloup balls. But, hey, I slice most of them in half anyway, to be of a consistent size with the bocconcini. One thing for sure, on a hot summer day, this salad quenches!

Bocconcini Salad (Cantaloup Variation)

1 cup cucumber, chopped
1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
1 cup cantaloup balls, most of them halved
1 cup bocconcini
1/2 recipe Olive Oil and Red Wine Vinegar Vinaigrette
1/8 cup fresh chives

Toss the vegetables, fruit and cheese with the Olive Oil and Red Wine Vinegar Vinaigrette. Plate, and snip the chives on top. Makes 2 meal-size salads.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Case of Asparagus with Parmesan Lemon Mustard Sauce

Occasionally when I was little, and Maria – my friend and our beloved cook – was off, Mom stepped in and made Stephen and I asparagus with cream sauce on toast. She'd belt out an aria as she whisked flour, salt, pepper and milk into melted butter in a saucepan on the stove. Seasonal asparagus made Mom happy. I tend to romanticize the things she loved myself...well...except opera.

Saturday, these jade green spikes of asparagus, tipped with lavender, jumped out at me at the farmer's market. I carried two bunches to our apartment above Beautiful Things. In our cozy kitchen, I made my own, up-dated, carb-wise version of my mother's meal, for Karl and me.

Asparagus with Parmesan Lemon Mustard Sauce

2 bunches asparagus
2 tbsps butter
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsps flour
1/4 tsp salt

1 cup 2% milk
1 tsp grainy mustard
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 tbsp lemon juice
Parmesan to shave

Cook the asparagus until tender-crisp. In the meantime, sauté the garlic in the butter. Add the flour, salt, and pepper to taste, and whisk until smooth. Gradually add the 2% milk, and whisk until thickened. Stir in the mustard, grated Parmesan and lemon juice. Lay the asparagus spears on two plates and spoon on the Parmesan Lemon Mustard Sauce. Shave a little extra Parmesan on top to garnish. Serves 2.