Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Mango Avocado Salad

1 large mango, peeled, pitted, and diced
1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
1 cup peeled and diced jicama
2 tablespoons chopped, toasted almonds
1 tablespoon dried cranberries
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
   Toss the mango, avocado, jicama, almonds, and cranberries together in a medium bowl. Drizzle the lemon juice and olive oil over the fruit, toss gently to combine and serve immediately.

   Originally from Asia, mangoes were brought to South America in the fifteenth century. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the mango regenerates the bodys fluids, stops coughs and strengthens digestion. Indeed, they are especially rich in digestive enzymes and help detoxify the body. Mangoes also help strengthen the metabolisms function, which encourages weight loss and benefits cardiovascular health, helping to prevent high cholesterol, high blood pressure and insulin resistance. Mangoes have been found to have incredible anti-inflammatory properties, hormone-regulating vitamin E, blood-building iron and bone-strengthening minerals.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Cream of Asparagus soup with Morels

   4 Servings
8 Thin green asparagus spears
6 Fat green asparagus spears, about 10 cm (4 in) long
1 Shallot, medium-sized
100 g Fresh morels (3 1/2 oz) or 15 g (1/2 oz) dried ones
100 g Unsalted butter (3 1/2 oz)
200 ml Double cream (scant 1/2 pint, Salt, Pepper, Cayenne
   Clean the asparagus spears and cook the thin ones for about 5 minutes and the fat ones for about 10 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain both kinds and reserve the water in which they cooked. Cut off the tips of the eight thin spears and set them aside for the garnish.
   Peel and chop the shallot finely. Wash the morels CAREFULLY and cut them into quarters (if you are using dried ones, soak them in water for at least half an hour before this step).
   Heat half the butter in a saucepan. Add two-thirds of the chopped shallot and colour in the butter. Add the six fat asparagus spears and 200 ml (a scant 1/2 pint) of their reserved cooking water. Bring to the boil.
   Add the cream and reduce it by boiling fast for 2 minutes. Liquidise the soup with 30g (1 oz) of the remaining butter. Wash out the saucepan. Strain the liquidized soup through a fine sieve. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne, and return it to the cleaned saucepan. Set it aside.
Reheat the thin asparagus tips by warming them through in a little of their cooking liquid. Reheat the asparagus soup. Put the morels, the rest of the chopped shallot and the remaining 20 g (3/4 oz) butter into a small saucepan. Season with a little salt and cook gently. The morels will excludea little liquid. Leave them to cook until they have given off all their liquid, at which stage they will be done. Take them off the heat.
Put a ladleful of the soup into each soup-plate. Garnish the centre of each one with a share of morels and two asparagus tips.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Smoked Red Bell Pepper Soup

   Hickory chips, soaked in water 30 minutes and drained
8 medium red bell peppers (about 3 pounds)
6 cups (or more) chicken stock
1 1/2 pounds whole chicken breasts with ribs
2 tablespoons butter
2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium onion, diced
4 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
2 cups whipping cream (or milk) salt and freshly ground pepper
   Prepare covered barbecue grill with medium-low fire on one side of grill. Sprinkle hickory chips over coals. Place disposable aluminum pan under grill rack on side away from fire. Grease grill rack and arrange peppers on rack over pan. Cover and smoke peppers until cooked through, turning every 15 minute and adding more chips as necessary, about 1 1/2 hours. Peel, core and dice peppers.
   Bring 6 cups stock to boil in medium saucepan. Reduce heat so liquid is barely shaking. Add chicken breasts and simmer until firm to the touch, about 12 minutes. Drain, reserving stock. Skin and bone chicken, then dice. Refrigerate.
   Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add celery and onion and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add peppers and stir 3 minutes. Add reserved stock, thyme and bay leaf and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 4 cups, about 1 hour.
   Add cream to soup and simmer until reduced to 4 1/2 cups, about 40 minutes. Remove thyme and bay leaf. Puree soup in blender. Strain through sieve into medium saucepan. Season with salt and pepper. Rewarm over low heat, adding more stock if thinner consistency is desired. Add diced chicken and heat through. Serve immediately.

Pumpkin Soup

1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. minced shallots
1/2 c.onions
3 c. chicken stock
2 c. cooked pumpkin puree
1 t. paprika
1/2 t sugar
1/8 t. crushed dried chilies salt and pepper to taste
1 c. cream
   Saute shallots and onions in butter until golden.
Add stock everything else but the cream and simmer 15 minutes. Cool slightly and puree in batches in blender.
Return to saucepan add cream taste and adjust salt and pepper. Simmer 5 min. but do not boil.
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with paprika.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Swordfish with Red Potatoes

   Makes 2 servings
2 T + 11/2 T lemon juice
1 t + 1 t olive oil
1 t herbal salt substitute
4 bay leaves
2 swordfish steaks, 3/4 to 1" thick
2 red potatoes, partially cooked and halved
1 t snipped fresh parsley
   In a shallow baking dish, combine 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of the oil, the herbal seasoning, and the bay leaves. Add the fish and turn to coat both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate, turning occasionally, for 2 to 4 hours.
   Coat the grill rack with cooking spray. Grill the fish and potato halves over medium heat, brushing with the marinade, for 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until the fish is cooked through and the potatoes are tender.
   In a cup, combine the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice, the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil and the parsley. Drizzle the seasoned juice over the fish and potatoes before serving.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Tuna Steaks with Chive and Dill Sauce

   Makes 4 servings
2/3 c fat-free chicken broth
1 T finely minced fresh chives
1 T finely minced fresh dill
or 1 t dried
1 t coarse-grain mustard
1 T olive oil
4 tuna steaks, 5 oz. each
   In a large nonstick skillet, combine the broth, chives, dill and mustard. Bring to a boil over high heat, whisking frequently. Continue to boil and whisk for about 3 minutes or until the sauce has been reduced to half its volume. Transfer the skillet to the side of the grill rack to keep the sauce warm.
   Rub the oil over the surface of each steak. Then grill about 5 1/2" from medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until the fish is opaque throughout (test with a sharp knife).
   Remove from the grill, then drizzle the sauce over the tuna.