So, last week Cookieee, our SGOTW hostess, posted that the number drawn was #141. In my Excel spreadsheet, #141 comes out to be Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant. This is yet another book in the Moosewood collective series, this one focusing on regional and ethnic cuisine. Each chapter starts off with a summary of a particular region - India, Japan, The Caribbean and the British Isles to name a few - with the author often sharing experiences of their own family heritage and/or their experiences traveling to these particular regions. The summaries are followed by a sampling of recipes from each region.
I have to admit that I am practical above all else and I tend to prefer that cookbooks be organized by course - appetizers, main dish, desserts, etc. - so it took me a while to get used to having to thumb through each region to see what recipes were offered. It is interesting to see a sampling from various parts of the world, though, and this is a great cookbook to actually sit down and read. I've skimmed here or there, but I really need to go back and take a good look at it.
As I scoured the cookbook for interesting recipes, I kept being drawn in the by the soups and had a very hard time deciding on one to make, so many of them sounded so wonderful. I finally decided on something that sounded unusual and different - a chilled avocado soup, from the Caribbean. This soup has a very short list of ingredients and comes together in just minutes. Although I am a huge fan of curry powder, I held myself back to 1 teaspoon and this ended up being the right decision - 1 teaspoon gives the soup added taste without overpowering the delicate flavor of the avocado.
I have to admit none of us were quite sure what to make of this soup - we liked the taste quite well, but it just didn't seem quite like a soup to us - almost more of a dip - or at the very least, it was soup to be eaten in very small portions. I don't know if thinning it out with a bit more stock would have made a difference or if it just wasn't the soup for us. Or perhaps a bit of garnish such as chopped tomato or toasted, spiced tortillas strips? We did decide that it would make a fantastic dip for shrimp fondue.
Green Bean and Tomato Salad
(Ensalada de Porotos Verdes)
(Ensalada de Porotos Verdes)
In addition to the soup, we were able slip in another very simple recipe from this book to make use of some beautiful green beans I scored at the Farmer's Market last week. The recipe I chose also made use of my best Farmer's Market find - fresh, ripe, juicy, delicious tomatoes. From the region of Chile - this was again, simple and delicious, making great use of summer's bounty.
I'm getting behind on sharing recipes - stay tuned for blueberry ice cream, blueberry french toast, blueberry cookies and an excellent tandoori chicken recipe..........