Sunday, June 19, 2011

Avocado Gazpacho

I am on Avocado high these days and experimenting a lot with this wonderful and nutritious fruit, trying out new things.

In fact, there was a time when I never used to buy avocados - funny looking fruit, I often wondered then, wondered about it's taste and wether I would be able to do anything with them, and generally conveniently ignored them at the fruit counter. Well, things have changed now, so has my taste, and we now have something or the other with avocados at least once a week. 



Which brings us to today's recipe. The inspiration came from a TV show. However, my timing was bad and I just managed to catch the finished dish which was "Cold Avocado Soup with Prawns", which immediately registered in my mind and I made this soup the very next day, and served it with tomatoes and mozerella. 



Ingredients

For the vegetable stock

600 ml - water
1 - small onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1/4 cup - red bell pepper, chopped
1 - bayleaf
4-5 - whole black pepper
3-4 - cloves
salt 

For the Soup

1 -  ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and roughly chopped
1 1/4 tbsp - lemon juice
2 tbsp - coriander leaves
2 tbsp - low fat yogurt
2 tbsp - olive oil
2 - cloves
salt and pepper to taste
a few thyme leaves
vegetable stock


4 pieces - baby mozerella
5 - cherry tomatoes
2 inch - ginger
1 - dried red whole chilli
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/4tbsp - olive oil
sprigs of thyme leaves

Method
  1. Put all the ingredients for the vegetable stock into a big vessel and bring to a boil. Boil for approx 5 minutes. Sieve and let the stock cool. 
  2. Put the avocado pulp, lemon juice, coriander leaves, a few thyme leaves, yogurt, olive oil, salt, pepper powder and the vegetable stock into the mixer and blend well. Sieve with a strainer and let the soup chill in the refrigerator. 
  3. Heat the oil in a pan together with a few sprigs of thyme leaves. Add salt, pepper powder, ginger piece and red whole chilli. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook on a medium heat until the tomatoes are slightly tender. (I foolishly gave a cross cut on the tomatoes but would advise you not to). 
  4. Arrange the mozerella and the tomatoes on to a skewer. Serve the cold soup with the tomato-mozerella skewer and a sprig of thyme leaves. 

Enjoy!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Almond Mint Drink

The weather in this part of the world is pretty decent these days, warm and sunny, with interspersed bouts of clouds and some rain. Both my husband and I spend our free time, whenever we can, in our small garden. Last Sunday, when we were having our evening tea and enjoying the nice sunny day in the garden, we suddenly saw a reddish-brownish flurry of movement - it was a large squirrel, a cute little furry thing, on about its search for nuts and other eatables. It hopped about from one place to another and inspected our garden. And finally found something to eat and decided to stay still for a minute in one place...Quicker than the squirrel, my hubby ran off to get the camera, to capture this beautiful little thing. He did manage to get a few good photos. 


 Isn't it cute? :-) 


This drink was made one such warm sunny day last week and was indeed quite refreshing. A perfect way to beat the heat. 


The mint and almond combination in a drink is unique in it's own way and the taste is great. Thanks to my mom for this recipe - moms are the best cooks, aren't they?

Ingredients

1/2 cup - mint leaves, chopped
1/8 cup - almonds
3 pieces - cloves
3 pieces - cardamom
1 1/2 tbsp - sugar (adjust according to your taste)
1 1/2 cup - water + a little to soak
almond slivers to garnish

Method
  1. Soak together the almonds, cloves and cardamom for 3-4 hours.
  2. Remove the water. 
  3. Grind together the almonds, cloves, cardamom, mint leaves and sugar using  some water. 
  4. Sieve/press through a muslin cloth and extract all the liquid and keep aside. Reserve the residue.
  5. Put the residue back into the mixer and grind again using little water and sieve again.
  6. Put the drink in the refrigerator to chill.
  7. Garnish the drink with the almond slivers and serve.
Serves : 2


Enjoy!

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