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Chilled Strawberry Soup

I have always remembered this soup from my adolescent years for some reason. I was looking for something different for dinner with friends in place of a salad. Too warm for regular hot soup and we happened to have a box of strawberries in the fridge. Pinterest showed me this wonderful and simple recipe!

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TIP – Whether it’s a salad or cold soup, I always freeze my bowls before serving time!

Chilled Strawberry Soup

Author: This Mess Is Ours         Prep time:  2 hours 15 mins

Total time:  2 hours 15 mins     Serves: 4 cups

This soup only takes about 15 minutes of time to prepare but be sure to let it chill for 2 hours before serving so that the flavors intensify.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups sliced fresh strawberries, preferably organic
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup white grape juice (or white wine)
  • 3 tablespoons raw honey (one tablespoon was sufficient)

 

To garnish

  • freshly ground black pepper
  • sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 or 2 radishes, cut into thin shreds with a grater or mandoline
  • fresh mint

Instructions

  1. In a food processor or high powered blender process the 3 cups of sliced strawberries, Greek yogurt, white grape juice, and honey until smooth. Stopping periodically to scrape the sides. Cover and chill for 1½- 2 hours. Garnish with freshly ground pepper, sliced strawberries, shredded radishes, and bits of mint. Serve immediately. NB…dont skip the radishes, they were awesome!

 

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Ravioli with White Wine and Leeks

First had this at one of our favourite restaurants in nearby Merida – Il Caffe Italiano. Had to try and duplicate this subtle dish. Et voila as the French say. PINTEREST as I say…LOL. I would highly recommend it for your Christmas Eve or New Years dinner. Suggestion is to serve it with grilled asparagus spears…I chose not to…

Ravioli with White Wine Butter Sauce (and Asparagus – optional)

Ingredients

  • One 9 ounce package chilled fresh ravioli
  • One bunch asparagus (about 15-20 spears), trimmed and cut into two inch pieces. You can use just the tips or if you like lots of asparagus, use the stems as well! OPTIONAL
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 leeks carefully washed and chopped into 1/4 inch slices. Dont use the dark green parts!
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes
  • ¾ cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme, plus more for garnish
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese for garnish

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and olive oil, and then asparagus. Cook asparagus until just crisp-tender, about 2 minutes, and remove asparagus with a slotted spoon, leaving the water boiling. OPTIONAL – just boil some water for the ravioli !
  2. Add one tablespoon of butter to a medium size skillet and melt over medium high heat. Add leeks and garlic and stir until soft, 2-3 minutes.
  3. Stir in wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 2-3 minutes. Now add butter, cube by cube, stirring until each one is melted into the sauce.
  4. While the sauce is cooking, add the ravioli gently to the boiling (asparagus*) water (I like to lower them in with a slotted spoon) and cook according to package directions until just done, about 6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and put in a single layer on a plate until the sauce is finished.
  5. When all the butter is melted, stir in the chopped thyme.
  6. Divide the ravioli between two plates, (and tuck the asparagus tips in between the ravioli – OPTIONAL). Drizzle a generous portion of sauce over each serving, garnish with fresh thyme and shaved Parmesan and serve at once!

 

Linguine with Red Clam Sauce

Checked the pantry and found a large can of clams…should I make chowder or linguine? No potatoes…decision made…linguine! Pinterest to the rescue again.Quick and fairly straight forward if you use the canned clams. Certainly would make a special dish for a memorable dinner…

Linguine with Red Clam Sauce
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Yield: serves 4 to 6**
Ingredients
• 1 pound linguine
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 4 anchovies, packed in oil
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 shallots, minced
• 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 1 cup dry white wine
• 18-ounce jar diced tomatoes
• 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
• 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
• 2 pounds littleneck clams* OR 13 oz. canned clams drained (save the juice)
• Parmesan cheese
Directions
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add linguine and cook for 3 minutes. The pasta will finish cooking in the sauce. Strain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water, and set aside. If using clam juice discard the pasta water
2. In a very large sauté pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add anchovies, garlic, shallots, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 3 minutes until the anchovies “melt” and the shallots become translucent. Add wine and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until the wine reduces by half, about 5 minutes. Next, add tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of parsley, thyme, and reserved pasta water or clam juice. season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
3. Add linguine and clams to the sauté pan and cover. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until the clams open. Discard any clams that do not open.
4. Garnish with the remaining parsley, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and a pinch of sea salt. Serve immediately. Pass the cheese…

Reef Spaghetti (also known as Scoglio)

One of our favourite restaurants in Merida, Yucatan Il Caffe Italiano serves this wonderful seafood dish. We usually pop in after Sunday afternoon symphony. This is one wonderful dish and makes a little seafood go a long way! If you are buying fresh seafood, just purchase TWO pieces of EACH seafood PER PERSON.

Reef Spaghetti – Spaghetti allo Scoglio

Ingredients

  • fresh clams (although I used frozen and they were just fine)
  • fresh mussels (frozen is fine)
  • shrimp (frozen is fine) De-veined and tails removed!
  •  2 or 3 plum tomatoes chopped (I would use more next time)
  • bunch of parsley
  • basil
  • 1 clove of garlic OR MORE
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • spaghetti (dependent on how many people)

Preparation

If using frozen seafood, first thaw them in the refrigerator in cold salted water for  about 30 minutes. Thaw each seafood separately. Salt a pot of water for the spaghetti and set it to boil. Heat 2 T. of oil in a broad skillet with the garlic. When the garlic is browned, remove it (and eat it if you want..LOL). Add the drained clams and mussels. Cover and cook over a brisk flame, shaking the pan every now and then until the shellfish have opened. Turn off the flame and let them cool slightly. Remove empty or unopened shells. Do NOT try to open closed shells as they are already dead and eating them could make you quite sick!!!

Start to boil the spaghetti!!

In a separate deep skillet add more oil and garlic. Add the chopped tomatoes. and shredded basil leaves.Salt. Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes. Stir in all of the shellfish (including the shrimp), adding some of the white wine (to your taste) Simmer another five minutes.

Transfer the drained, cooked spaghetti to your serving dish, add a little olive oil and ground pepper. Toss and then stir in the sauce with the seafood. Serve with some crusty bread to soak up the sauce…and don not forget more wine…to drink, of course!!

Tuscan Bread and Tomato Soup (Pappa al Pomodoro)

Several years ago we were in Fiesole, just outside Florence when we stopped for lunch at a small restaurant – Perseus. The special of the day was Ribollita, traditionally made with day old bread, tomatoes and cannelloni beans. Alas, it was not very memorable as it was mostly bread.

I just came across this version which had less bread, no beans and lots of tomato-ey flavour! We thought it was awesome and certainly worth making again. Heres a view of Fiesole –

757_5714And now here is the recipe I found with a few alterations…

Tuscan Bread and Tomato Soup

Ingredients

Extra virgin olive oil, plus high quality finishing oil, for garnish
1 large red onion, diced
Kosher salt
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, smashed and finely chopped
1 cup white wine
2 pounds ripe summer tomatoes, diced (Substitute two cans of chopped tomatoes)
10 basil leaves, half whole and half cut into chiffonade
2 cups tomato juice
2 cups day-old Italian bread, crusts removed and cubed
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Directions

Coat a large wide pot with olive oil over medium heat and add the onions. Season with salt and crushed red pepper, to taste, and cook until the onions are soft and very aromatic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Toss in the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. Add the wine and cook until it has reduced by half. Stir in the tomatoes, season with salt, to taste, and cook until the tomatoes are really soft and juicy, about 12 to 15 minutes. Toss in the whole basil leaves.

Working in batches, carefully puree the tomatoes in a blender*. Return the tomato puree to the pot and add the tomato juice and the bread. Cook the soup over medium heat for until the bread has completely lost its shape and the soup is really thick, about 20 minutes. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning, if needed. (I usually skip this process as I like my soups chunkier, which means I just dd the bread to the pot. You decide!)

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve garnished with grated cheese, basil chiffonade and a drizzle of big fat finishing oil.

*When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.

Recipe courtesy Anne Burrell

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/anne-burrell/tuscan-tomato-and-bread-soup-pappa-al-pomodoro-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Baked Shrimp Scampi…BONUS – Orange Rice with Celery!

So today you get two for one recipes. These went so well together I decided to share them together. First up is the baked scampi, breaded with lots of garlic and butter and a lemony flavor. It goes well with the orange and garlic in the rice, with a touch of crispiness from the celery. I see no reason why you could not substitute asparagus pieces for the celery…peas would not cut it in this recipe…LOL

Baked Shrimp Scampi (Ina Garten – Food Network)

Ingredients

2 pounds (12 to 15 per pound) shrimp in the shell

3 tablespoons good olive oil

2 tablespoons dry white wine

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)

1/4 cup minced shallots or green onions

3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 extra-large egg yolk

2/3 cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)

Lemon wedges, for serving

Directions Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Peel, devein, and butterfly the shrimp, leaving the tails on.

Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss gently with the olive oil, wine, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.

Allow to sit at room temperature while you make the butter and garlic mixture. In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolk, panko, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper until combined.

Starting from the outer edge of a 14-inch oval gratin dish, arrange the shrimp in a single layer cut side down with the tails curling up and towards the center of the dish.

Pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the shrimp.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until hot and bubbly. If you like the top browned, place under a broiler for 1 minute. Serve with lemon wedges. …and now for the Orange Rice

Orange Rice With Celery (Rio Caliente Hot Springs Spa – Guadalajara)

1 cup brown rice (I used Jasmine)

1 cup celery chopped

½ cup green onions chopped

2 cloves garlic chopped

2 T sunflower oil ( I used avocado oil)

1 cup water

1 cup fresh orange juice

Brown the rice, celery, green onions and garlic in the oil. When vegetables are tender, add water and orange juice. Cover. Cook 40 minutes, covered, over LOW flame. Let stand for 5 minutes. This rice dish goes so well with fish, etc.

Turkey Divan

With US Thanksgiving fast approaching, as well as Christmas (44 days), thoughts turn to turkey. I have previously posted a great recipe for preparing turkey which originated with Emerill Lagasse — check out Funky Brined Turkey elsewhere on the blog. Its awesome and I have used it for many years. AFTER US Thanksgiving and Christmas, there will undoubtedly be some leftover turkey. You could make pot pies, but who wants to fiddle with a crust? Turkey Divan is the perfect answer for leftovers!! The following recipe was adapted from Anna Olsen, Food Network Canada.

FYI, if you don’t have leftover turkey, just head down to the deli and get a precooked roasted turkey breast and either bring it home to slice or have the butcher cut thick pieces. Don’t use turkey lunch-meat!!! You could also substitute chicken… enuf said…hope you enjoy this one.

Turkey Divan by Anna Olsen Food Network Canada
Ingredients (my changes in red as always)

3 cup fresh broccoli, cut into florets (and peeled stem pieces)
4 Tbsp. butter
1 medium onion, diced into ½-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, diced into ½-inch pieces
5 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp chopped fresh savory (I could not find any here)
1 tsp each thyme and oregano
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 cup chicken stock
½ cup half-and-half cream
½ cup dry white wine
2 cup Jarlsberg cheese or Manchego if in Mexico
salt & pepper
1 lb. cooked turkey breast meat (not luncheon meat), sliced
2 Tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
½ cup dry breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Directions
1. Blanch broccoli in boiling salted water (or steam) until just tender, then shock in ice water to halt cooking. Drain broccoli and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 400 F.
3. In a large sauté pan with sides melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until almost translucent, about 4 minutes.
4. Add diced pepper and sauté 3 minutes more. Sift flour over vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes, until a faintly nutty aroma is emitted, but flour does not brown.
5. Stir in mustard, savory and zest. Stir in chicken stock, ½ cup at a time, blending well after each addition (this will prevent lumps). Bring liquid up to a simmer, then stir in cream.
6. Return to a simmer and stir in wine. Reduce heat to low and stir in 1 ½ cups Jarlsberg or Manchego cheese until melted. Season to taste.
7. Stir in broccoli and turkey, adjust seasoning if necessary, stir in parsley and pour into an 8-cup casserole dish.

This can be prepared to here and refrigerated until before dinner when you can apply the topping before baking. I usually put the refrigerated dish on the counter to warm it up a little before baking.
8. Sprinkle top with remaining ½ cup cheese mixed with breadcrumbs and olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes, until sauce is bubbling along the sides.
9. Serve over cooked rice or buttered noodles.
10. Alternatively, the half-and-half cream can be replaced by ½ cup mascarpone cheese, for a more decadent version.

Serve it with a great Jasmine rice!

 

Shrimp and Artichoke Linguini

Always great to have dinner with longtime friends. Made even better by this great tasting dish! Know you will enjoy it. Test out some of the optional ingredients at the end…

Shrimp and Artichoke Linguini a la Chuck

This recipe is great for pasta and shrimp. I think I might even try the sauce over cooked chicken, served with rice!

500 grams linguini pasta

2 T olive oil

1 large onion chopped

4 cloves garlic crushed

1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined

 

Sauce:

1 can artichoke hearts

½ cup white wine

4 T lemon juice

4 tsp. lemon zest

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

½ cup chicken stock

Corn starch

4 T fresh chopped parsley

 

Optionals: 1 T capers and/or ¼ cup diced red peppers and/or 1 T Dijon mustard and/or crushed red pepper flakes

 

1.       Cook pasta in boiling water.

2.       Sauté onion and garlic (and red pepper) in oil for about 5 minutes while pasta is cooking. Remove to a bowl.

3.       Add shrimp to drippings and cook for about 3 minutes. Stir in artichoke hearts, wine, lemon juice, zest, salt, pepper and cooked onion and garlic. Heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to simmer, cover for 4 minutes.

4.       Thicken with cornstarch.

5.       Toss with pasta and parsley. Serve immediately.

 

Potato and Leek Soup

Not always easy to find fresh leeks in the grocery store, but et voila…this week they were there, along with fresh horseradish (a rarity here). This recipe does not use the latter! Just mentioned it in passing, as I bought some and carefully washed it and took some online advice and froze them whole. At a later date I can grate them for use in my seafood sauce! FYI…I do the same with fresh ginger…. Hope you will enjoy this soup from the kitchen of Emeril Lagasse!

Potato and Leek Soup

  • 1 large or 2 small leeks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 20 black peppercorns
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme (or use dried)
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 strips bacon chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 to 1 1/4 lbs. russet potatoes diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (Can substitute with plain yogurt)
  • chopped chives (optional)

Trim the green portions off the leeks. Using a sharp knife, slice the leek lengthwise and rinse well under cold running water (leeks can be full of sand!). Slice thinly crosswise.

In a large soup pot, melt the butter and add the bacon. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally until the bacon is very soft. Add the chopped leeks and cook until wilted…about 5 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil.

While it boils, pour yourself a glass of the wine just to make sure it is a good year…LOL.

Add thyme, pepper, chicken stock and potatoes, and more salt if you prefer. Bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to simmer for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.

Have another glass of wine!

At this point you can put everything in a food processor (I do not as I like this chunky)or an immersion blender. Serve with a dollop of heavy cream or the yogurt.

Pour into soup bowls (after you have finished the bottle of wine…LOL).

Chive the snips……oops…snip the chives over top!

Oriental Pork OR Chicken Stroganoff

This recipe was another I picked up from my daughter. It has always been a favourite because of its simplicity.

Oriental Stroganoff

what you need

  • 2 pork tenderloins cut into 1/2 inch rounds or chicken strips
  • 2 tsp sambal oleek (found in the imported foods section of most grocery stores)
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 small onion cut in half horizontally and in strips
  • 1 green pepper cut into strips
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 c white wine
  • 3 green onions thinly sliced
  • 1/3 c sour cream
make it
Stir sambal, ginger, soy, sesame into large bowl. Add pork or chicken. Heat 2 tsp oil. Add half ‘meat’ Cook 2-3 minutes and remove. Cook second half. Heat 1 tsp oil. Add peppers and white onion. Stir 1 – 2 minutes. Add white wine. Return ‘meat’ to pan. Boil, then simmer 3 minutes. Stir in sour cream and some green onions. Serve over rice or noodles.