Showing posts with label cucumber. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cucumber. Show all posts

Monday, September 9, 2013

Auditioning Chicken

I auditioned a chicken this week. No, it didn't sing or dance. It all started because I bought chicken livers at the farmer's market. Gorgeous, fantastic chicken livers. My mother always said to throw away pale chicken livers because they were from a sick chicken. I don't know if that's true, but I do know that livers are supposed to be a rich reddish brown color, and that I often end up tossing half of the livers I buy at the grocery store.


The farmer who sells the livers also sells chickens. So it was time to test one. Since this was an audition, I wanted to cook it as plainly as possible so I could taste the chicken without any herbs or spices disguising the flavor. I roasted the chicken. But we all know that plain chicken can be a bit ho-hum. I turned to our garden.


While this has been the worst year in memory for tomatoes (they all seem to suffer from a blight, thanks to nonstop rain here in the new rain forest), our cucumbers have loved the rain. The basket in the picture is full of cucumbers on the bottom. Not to mention the ones in the fridge and on the kitchen counter. Happily, my dogs love cucumbers. They know where they grow and pull them off the vine to snack on. If I can't find the dogs, they're usually hanging out at the garden, trying to open the gate. Two of them have figured out how.

There aren't many exciting recipes for cucumbers, so I've been throwing them into everything. I had a couple of lovely white peaches and a red pepper so I made a salsa to go with the chicken. I added a little bit of fajita seasoning for zest. The blend of sweet peaches with the fajita kick and a little salt made for a really lovely flavor combination. Great for diets, too. Loads of fiber and not an ounce of fat.

And the audition results? I think we felt better eating a chicken that came from a local farm instead of one that was shrink-wrapped in the grocery store. But in a blind taste test, I'm not sure we would have known the difference.

Peach Cucumber Salsa

2 peaches
1 small cucumber
1 red bell pepper
1 shallot
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon fajita seasoning (or to taste)
black pepper

Peel the peaches and cut into small bite-sized pieces. Cut the cucumber and pepper into small bite-sized pieces. Slice the shallot in thin rings. Combine the peaches, cucumber, red pepper, and shallot in a bowl. Toss. Add lemon juice and toss. Add fajita seasoning, a dash of pepper, and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Toss. Adjust seasonings to your taste. Serve with chicken or fish.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Welcome Guest Blogger - Carol Prisant!

Please welcome Carol Prisant to our kitchen. Carol is the author of Dog House, A Love Story: One Love, Ten Dogs, and a Forty-Two-Year Marriage. Isn't that the greatest title? She's sharing a wonderful summer soup recipe with us today, along with a few great reasons you'll want to spend a little time in her Dog House. Take it away, Carol...       ~ Cleo Coyle

In my new, hilariously funny, small and very readable new book, Dog House, A Love Story, the painful truth is, no one eats well but the dogs. And if there’s a mystery, the mystery is how my patient husband and food-adoring son put up with me.

Well, actually, I know how they put up with me: we went out to diners a lot. Now the great thing about diners is that the men can order and eat a (not very good) 12 course meal while the women – or woman – can have a big (also not very good) Greek salad.

But I have a confession. I going to “come out”, and you (however many thousand you are!) have to promise not to tell anyone . . . because these days, I might be locked overnight in a restaurant and tortured for what I’m about to admit.

I don’t really care much about food. Not the cooking of it. Not the eating of it. I was born that way.

So while I could get my husband to take us to the diner (every now and then, just for a change, we went our for a pizza. Why order in? You’ll have to wash the dishes.), we weren’t allowed, of course, to take the dogs. So guess what? I cooked for them. Nothing much, you know, just tender poached chicken breasts daily, mixed with some rice and baby peas in a little butter. (Well, they need their green veggies, right?) All this was added to some very nice kibble.

So here’s a delicious summer soup recipe that panting dogs just love. Serve it in an attractive dog bowl – maybe a piece of your grandmother’s Meissen – and don’t add the pepper or shrimp. You don’t want any night time accidents under, or on, your bed.

Cold Avocado
and Cucumber Soup

20 minutes, plus chilling


2 garlic cloves, smashed

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted and peeled
1/4 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh dill
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper and
a pinch of cayenne

1-1/2 cups fresh orange juice
8-16 boiled shrimp

Directions: In a blender, puree garlic, cuke and avocado. Add buttermilk or yogurt, 3/4 cup water, dill, salt, pepper, and half the orange juice. Add remaining orange juice in increments until you like the flavor. Serve chilled with the shrimp.

If your dogs don’t like it, try it yourselves. You will. And while you’re waiting for the soup to chill, read Dog House. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll be glad you don’t have a dog. You’ll be oh so glad you do.

~ Carol

You can find out more about
author Carol Prisant
and her books at her web site:

And now I'd like to make sure
you don't miss your chance to enter my fellow
mystery writing cook's June contest...

Win Books in Avery's
"You Be The Sleuth" Contest!

The first book in Avery Aames's A Cheese Shop Mystery series, The Long Quiche Goodbye, debuts July 6! To celebrate its release, Avery is running a contest from June 9 to July 6: You be the sleuth!

Track down the recipe on Avery's website that includes eggs, Edam, and white pepper. Enter your answer by clicking on this link: CONTEST ENTRY FORM.

One of you will win a $25 gift certificate at your favorite bookstore. Two of you will win signed copies of The Long Quiche Goodbye. Three of you will win a Long Quiche Goodbye magnet. You can ask friends for help. Spread the word and share the fun. And while you're there, consider pre-ordering a book on Avery's booksellers page. Here is the link to Avery’s website to help get you started. Good luck!

Comments for Carol welcome,
just hit the "comment" link below...