Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Andrew's turn

This week Andrew dazzled us with his soup skills. He took a Middle Eastern approach, and it was fantastic. Afterwards we watched Taking Woodstock, I wish I could say the movie was as good as the meal. I fell asleep, but I also blame the wine.

Cucumber Salad
Shrimp and Vegetable Kabobs
Creamy Chickpea Soup with Chorizo and Pita Bread
Baklava with Whip Cream and Pistachios.

Cucumber Salad

2 cup cucumber, diced
2 cup tomato, diced
1 cup vidalia onion, diced
1 cup mint, finely chopped
1 cup parsley, finely chopped
3 tbs. lemon juice
3 tbs. olive oil
salt and pepper

Combine diced cucumber, tomato, and onion with chopped mint and parsley in a large bowl. Add lemon juice and olive oil, season with salt and pepper.

Shrimp and Vegetable Kabobs

1 lb shrimp
2 zucchini
2 yellow squash
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 red onion
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
salt and pepper

cut zucchini, yellow squash, and red onion into large chunks. Combine in a bowl with shrimp and tomatoes. Add a generous amount of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, in equal parts. Season with salt and pepper. Let the ingredients marinate, the longer the better, but no more than 12 hours. Depending on whether you bought cooked or raw shrimp, skewer the shrimp separately. Because cooked shrimp will need less time on the grill, skewer them apart from the vegetables. Otherwise skewer everything together.

Heat a grill pan, or an outdoor grill if you have the energy, and place skewers onto it. The vegetables should take about 3 minutes to cook, raw shrimp takes about the same, and cooked shrimp takes just about a minute.

Creamy Chickpea Soup (serves 8)

3 cups cooked chickpeas
2 yellow onions, diced
4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
3 celery stalks, cleaned and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, deseeded and diced
5 cups vegetable broth
2 tbs. red wine vinegar
½ cup heaving whipping cream
1 tbs. thyme
salt and pepper
½ cup chives
½ lb chorizo

Heat oil in a large pot at medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, and jalapeno. Cook for about 8 minutes, just until the vegetables begin to brown. Stir occasionally. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add chickpeas, thyme and broth, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes the chickpeas should be very soft. Using an immersion blender, blend soup until creamy. Add cream, vinegar, chives, and a generous amount of salt and pepper.

Cut the chorizo into coins. Heat a grill pan, and place chorizo onto it. Cook chorizo until no longer raw, about 5 minutes.

Ladle soup into bowls, add chorizo if wanted. Serve with pita bread

Baklava with whip cream and pistachios

Beer and Wine served

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