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Greekamole: Greek Guacamole

Greekamole: Greek Guacamole

Did I ever tell you about the time I was on a boat halfway between Italy and Greece and had my first Greek salad? I was just out of college, completely broke, and had nearly smuggled myself on board an overnight cruise ship. Although I was supposed to stay on the lower deck, I wandered up to the dinning room, looking for whatever I could afford on my tiny daily food budget. I found these small Greek salads that had all those great flavors found in a Greek salad but with no lettuce. And when you have cucumbers, Kalamata olives, Feta cheese and a lemon vinaigrette, you have no need for any lettuce.

Greekamole: Greek Guacamole

I spent the rest of the night playing "Italian Poker" on the top deck with a father and son from Naples who spoke no English (I, consequently, speak no Italian). Somehow, we managed to communicate, and for hours we played the poker I was familiar with but only used cards ranked 7 and above. They continued to order me those Greek salads, as well as cup after cup of the strongest espresso I have ever had.

I don’t remember parting ways with those two, although I’ll never forget them, but I do remember stumbling off the boat in the wee hours of the morning, in Cofu Greece, rattled by the Espresso Shakes and being handed a shot of Ouzo as I got into port.

Since then I can’t get enough of that magical combination of ingredients. Since you all already know my deep love of the avocado  it was only a matter of time before I made a greek version of guacamole. This was so good I ate the entire bowl for lunch, and then made it again over the weekend.

Greekamole: Greek Guacamole

 

Asparagus Pale Ale Soup

Ingredients

  • 3 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 large sweet white onion, chopped
  • 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
  • 5 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup pale ale

Directions

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven heat the butter over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook until slightly darkened, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the broth and cook until asparagus has softened, about 10 minutes, remove from heat.
  3. Using a blender, food processor or immersion blender, puree until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in cream and return to heat, brining to a gentle simmer. Remove from heat, stir in beer.
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How To: Make Roasted Garlic Butter

I’ve been smearing this stuff all over pretty much everything this weekend. The growing list of food that has been slathered with roasted garlic butter at my house include: steak, chicken, asparagus, potatoes and just plain 'ol bread. I have a wicked addiction to garlic, and now that it’s in spreadable form no food is safe in my house.

Roasted Garlic Butter

1 head garlic

2 tbs olive oil

1 stick of unsalted butter, softened

1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 400. Cut the top off of your head of garlic and expose the cloves. Place it on a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with the olive oil.

Fold the foil up tight around the garlic, place on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until soft.

Place the stick of butter in a food processor. Squeeze the head of garlic into the food processors, pushing the softened cloves out of the head. Be careful not to get any papery skin into the butter mixture.

Add the salt.

Pulse until combined.

Garlic butter can be served softened, or chilled. To chill the butter, place on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a log.

Refrigerate until chilled and then cut slices and serve over warm meat, seafood and vegetables.