Our Daily Dinner

Our Daily Dinner

June 13, 2011

Four Summer Meals

I had hardly finished my litany about the heat and how I handle our dinners, when the weather changed and turned cool. However since we are only at the beginning of summer, I know there be other dog days ahead, so herewith my solution.

Summer arrived with a vengeance. In fact, we are in the middle of a heat wave. Shopping in this heat is torture and never mind cooking. After a few mishaps I’ve developed a system that seems to work. First of all, I shop early in the morning, preferably before 10 AM. Ideally, I shop for three to four meals. Dishes should either be served cold, or to be made ahead of time. It’s like being back in the restaurant days when everything had to be planned.

Here is my hot weather dinner line up:

Dinner # One

Buttermilk Soup
Poulet Maison*
Wine: Moulin a Vent
Dessert: Chocolate Yogurt

The recipe for the buttermilk soup was given to me by my friend Alice who, in turn, copied if from Dorothy Rodgers' Summer Soup. I had no idea how this dish would come out. To my delight George liked it a lot and, since I did too, I’ll incorporate it into my repertoire.

Recipe Butter Milk Soup

8 medium-sized shrimp, cooked and peeled
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, dissolved in a bit of buttermilk
1 small cucumber, diced
Fair amount of fresh dill, snipped
Pinch of salt and sugar

I reserved 2 of the cooked shrimps for garnish. I diced the remaining ones and mixed them into the buttermilk, together with the rest of the ingredients. I refrigerated the soup and adjusted the seasoning just before serving, placing one shrimp on top of the soup.

*Poulet Maison

For recipe see my blog of April 15, 2010. This was one of our most popular
dishes at La Colombe d’Or. It must be prepared ahead of time and then takes only 10 to 12 minutes to cook.

Dinner # Two

About every second week, we place an order with Fresh Direct: primarily cleaning material, paper goods, Snapple, coffee, and George’s favorite cheese Roquefort, plus some of Terrance Brennans’s frozen dishes.

Terrance Brennan: Fettuccini w/Shrimp, Tomato Confit & Pesto
Spinach with Garlic
Wine: Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Dessert: Grapes

It took 8 minutes to get this meal on the table. Terrence Brennan’s dish looks appetizing and is tasty. The spinach was perfectly cooked. I just added a bit more garlic and oil.

Dinner # Three

Deviled Eggs
Tuna Fish/ Cannellini Salad
Carottes Râpées (carrot salad)
Wine: Rosé Chateau d’Oupia (Minervois) 2009
Dessert: Valrhora Chocolate

Recipe Tuna/Cannellini Salad

The salad is very satisfying, easy to prepare and fool proof.
1 can tuna fish packed in olive oil (I use imported “Genova Tonno”)
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped
Pinch of dried oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and black pepper

Break tuna into coarse pieces. Then mix all ingredients together and serve at room temperature.

Recipe Carottes Râpées
3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon dried cranberries, optional

Grate the carrots in a food processor. In a bowl, combine grated carrots with garlic. In a separate bowl combine the lemon juice with olive oil. Pour over the carrots. Add cranberries if desired. Season with salt.

The salad can be prepared a day ahead of time. Cover and refrigerate. Return to room temperature before serving.

Dinner # 4

Chilled Tomato Soup with Crabmeat and Chives
German style potato salad
Cole slow
Wine: Willm, Pinot Gris, 2008
Dessert: Cantaloupe and Strawberries

Since I attended a meeting, we had dinner later than usual and I wanted everything to be ready the minute I got home. The tomato soup recipe is from my “Life of A Restaurant” cookbook. It is so easy to prepare that a child could whip it up. The wonder is that it tastes as if a professional chef had toiled over it.

I don’t understand why people buy strawberries out of season. They are woody and have zero flavor. The greenmarket is now featuring the season’s first strawberries. They are relatively small, deep red, juicy, and altogether yummy. I don’t even bother to remove the stems.

Recipe Tomato Soup

1 pound ripe plum tomatoes
1 14-ounces can good-quality tomato juice (I use Sacramento)
Salt and black pepper
Pinch of sugar
1 tablespoon crabmeat or surimi
1 teaspoon snipped chives

Core the tomatoes. Purée them in a food processor or blender, adding tomato juice to thin to a medium thick consistency. Season with salt, pepper and sugar. Refrigerate to chill. When ready to serve, spoon the soup into individual bowls. Float some crab meat or surimi on top, and garnish with chives.

George’s Favorite Sandwich

I bought all the ingredients at Schaller & Weber, prepared the sandwiches ahead of time, and popped them into the toaster oven to warm up just before serving.

Our 2 Sandwiches

6 ounces low sodium ham, shredded
3 slices cream Havarti cheese, sliced fairly thick
Balsamic vinegar and olive oil, Dijon mustard
Dill pickle, cut into thick slices
2 Kaiser Rolls

I moistened one part of the rolls with the Balsamic vinegar and oil and spread some Dijon mustard on the other side of the rolls. I alternated one layer of cheese and one layer of ham twice. Closed the rolls tightly, cut each in halv, and wrapped in Saran wrap till ready to serve.


Robert said...

Thanks. A lot of riches here. Preparation is always better; it's disheartening not to have ideas or stuff to cook at 6:30. I'll definitely give the carrot and tuna salads a try. Always looking for new ideas for salads.

Our Daily Dinner said...

Thanks. The Tuna/Canellini salad is almost a meal in iteself. Carrots Rapees tasted better in France than her. Don't know why.

Robert said...

Carrots Rapees taste better in France? I know why. The same reason a ham and cheese sandwich does.
- peggy