Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Chilled Persian Yogurt Soup

I was intrigued by this recipe when I saw it in Food & Wine Magazine last summer. At last I made it and I am so glad I did. I just loved this very unusual summer soup, which is filled with herbs, nuts, and raisins.

Here in the dog days of summer, I need meals which are cooling and refreshing. Served with grilled bread, this soup made a perfectly satisfying weeknight supper. Make the soup ahead of time as it needs to be served well-chilled.

Chilled Persian Yogurt Soup
(Chef Hoss Zare)
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup dried rose petals, crushed*
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 cups ice water
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 seedless cucumber, peeled and finely diced (1 cup)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Ground sumac*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the walnuts in a pie plate and toast for about 10 minutes. Let cool, then finely chop.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, cover the rose petals with cold water and let stand until softened, about 20 minutes. Drain the petals and squeeze dry.

In a large bowl, whisk the yogurt with the ice water. Stir in the raisins, cucumber, mint, dill, chives, walnuts and rose petals and season with salt and pepper.  Refrigerate until very cold, at least 1 hour.

Serve the soup in shallow bowls, sprinkled with sumac.

*I ordered both the rose petals and the sumac from Savory Spice Shop.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mini Nicoise Croissants

This heat has really zapped my appetite. All I really want to eat is fruit, and I certainly have! Cantaloupe, blueberries, peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, cherries. I can't seem to get my fill with no other food really interesting me. Nor have I had much interest in working in the kitchen (Pritchard Parker has even been cutting up my Cantaloupes for me).

I do know, however, that no matter how delicious, juicy, and cooling the summer fruits are, they do not make a balanced diet. Not to mention my husband wants and needs some more substantial foods to eat. So I have been making efforts.

I saw the recipe for Nicoise Toasts in the July, 2012 issue of Bon Appetit Magazine. It really looked pretty and appealing in the photograph. Other than boiling the eggs, no cooking was involved.

The sandwich was made with a combination of tuna salad and egg salad. I used leftover grilled salmon because I had some on hand. I made the sandwiches on mini croissants because that is the size sandwich my puny appetite can enjoy.  I love the "new-school egg salad made with cottage cheese, parsley, and capers".  The two salads layered on the same sandwich  was delicious.

For the Egg Salad:
4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
3/4 cup cottage cheese
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. coarsely chopped capers
1 scallion, thinly sliced

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mash with a fork until a coarse paste forms. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the Tuna Salad:
4 oz. tuna packed in olive oil
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup parsley leaves
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 c. pitted, sliced olives
2 Tbsp. olive oil

Toss together the cherry tomatoes, parsley, lemon juice, olives and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and add more lemon juice, if desired. Gently fold in tuna keeping it chunky.

Spread some of the egg salad on bread of choice and top with the tuna salad.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Cherry Cola Barbecue Sauce

Several years ago, I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit magazine. I made it then and have made it several times since. Everyone always loves it and compliments it. I have used it on pulled pork, ribs, chicken, even tofu and it is always delicious.

Cherry Cola Barbecue Sauce
(adapted from Bon Appetit)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 large Vidalia onions, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 (12 oz.) bottles chili sauce
8 oz. cherry preserves
1 cup Dr. Pepper
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. or more Tabasco sauce (I like much more)

Saute onions in olive oil until golden. Stir in garlic. Add chili sauce, cherry preserves, Dr. Pepper, brown sugar, and vinegar. Simmer for 1 hour.

Remove from heat; stir in Tabasco sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings. Let cool completely.