Gluttony Is A Sin

Finally recovered from making Mother's Day dinner.

Five courses:

  1. Cold Cucumber Soup
    One onion, chopped. A clove of garlic. Heat with some olive oil at medium heat at the bottom of the bot until translucent. Then add 58 ounces of chicken stock (four cans, or 1.25 cups more than normal, to make the soup thinner than the usual creamy soups; if you're using canned stock, chill the cans before adding to solidify any remaining chicken fat) and one medium thickly sliced potato. Simmer until the potato is done. Then add three peeled, sliced cucumbers. Simmer until the cucumbers are soft. Add lashings of skim milk and about 1 tablespoon of butter. Puree. Chill (this will take a long time; you might want to use your freezer). Once cold, add one julienned cucumber. Serve. You may want to add more cucumbers and, more importantly, substitute shallots for the onion at the beginning.
  2. Smoked Salmon Salad
    Take slices of country bread, drizzle with honey, and bake for 10 minutes in the oven. Remove from oven, put on plate, add assorted salad greens (I was going to use frisee but a quick glance at the price convinced me to go with a mesclun mix instead) and raw shallots. Add a few cherry tomatoes and top with your smoked salmon. Serve with a slice of lemon on the side.
  3. Tuna Spring Rolls
    Take one bunch of spinach. Wash, dry and trim the roots off. Then, take a pound of sushi-grade tuna and cut into roll-sized strips (the recipe I borrowed this from suggested 10cm x 2cm x 2cm, but my egg roll wrappers just weren't that big; I ended up with somewhat smaller bits of fish). Make spring rolls consisting of one piece of fish and a few leaves of cilantro. I got 18 rolls out of a pound; a more consistent approach to sizing probably would have yielded about 15 rolls. Deep fry the spinach at 350 degrees F for four to five minutes, and set aside. Then deep fry the tuna rolls for 30 seconds (more or less, depending on size) at the same temperature. Plate, cover the rolls with the spinach, and serve.
  4. Pasta with Clams and Mussels
    Chop five to six shallots and put in large pot, and a couple of garlic cloves. Add white wine to cover. In a separate pot, boil pasta until al dente. Add mussels and clams (amounts vary according to taste, but figure about 1/2 to 2/3 pounds of each per person). Steam for 7-8 minutes. Remove shellfish. Drain pasta and add to wine/shallot mixture. Over heat, toss and add pepper and other spices of choice (I just used some parsley). Mix shellfish back in, plate and serve.
  5. Roasted Nectarines
    Start with one nectarine per person. Half and pit your nectarines (which is really rather difficult and if I had to do this again, I'd use peaches or something easier to pit). Put on roasting plate. Add a little dab of butter to each half. Liberally douse with sugar. Roast in a 350 degree F oven until done (probably about 30 to 45 minutes). You can leave it in the oven to keep warm. Plate and serve with a little scoop of ice cream.