Saturday, August 2, 2008

Chilled Cucumber-Lime Soup, Mexi-Chicken Salad Sandwich & A Musical Meme

Generally I am not a huge Rachel Ray fan--she falls a bit too high on the "perkiness" scale for me most of the time, but I do sometimes like to read her magazine. I saw a recipe for a Cucumber Soup in the August issue and the addition of lime juice and coconut milk made it look all the more refreshing.

Chilled Cucumber-Lime Soup
by Daisey Martinez, Everyday with Rachel Ray Magazine
Serves 6 / Prep 15 min / Cook 25 min
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 3/4 cups canned coconut water
1 cup canned coconut milk
Juice of 3 limes
1 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp chopped fennel fronds (optional)

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the cucumbers and celery and cook until softened, about 8 minutes (don't let them brown). Add the coconut water, cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.
Using a blender, puree the soup.
Strain the mixture.
Pressing to extract any liquids; discard the solids.
Stir in the coconut milk and lime juice; let cool. Stir in the buttermilk, season with salt and refrigerate. Top with the fennel fronds, if using. Martinez recommends you make it the day before serving as "it only gets better."

(If you are wondering why the soup looks "frothy" I had it in a Tupperware jug in the fridge to save space and rather than stir it before I poured it in the cup, I shook it like an idiot--oh well it still tasted good!)
I decided to serve the soup with a sandwich and to play off the Latin flavors by making a quick Mexican-style chicken salad. I used yogurt as the base, added cilantro, toasted pine nuts and a bit of leftover tomatillo salsa (that I bought to make Prudy's delicious dressing here--I'll be posting about that later). I served it open-faced on a whole-wheat crumpet.

Mexi-Chicken Salad
serves 2
1 cup chopped, cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup plain, Greek yogurt (or drained regular yogurt)
2 ribs celery, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (plus a bit more to garnish)
1 Tbsp salsa (I used a green, tomatillo salsa)
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts* (plus a few more to garnish)
Mix all ingredients together. Serve on a tortilla, bread or English muffin. (*Toast nuts in a dry non-stick pan over medium heat, stirring or tossing frequently to prevent burning until lightly browned).
Results: The soup was cold and refreshing, the buttermilk and lime added a subtle tang, the coconut milk added a delicate creaminess and the cucumber flavor came through nicely. I didn't have fennel fronds so I garnished it with some chopped cilantro and a slice of lime. The flavors in the sandwich complimented the soup well. I really liked how the celery and the toasted pine nuts in the salad added a nice crunch. A good light summer lunch or dinner on a hot day.

A Musical Meme:
I was tagged by the wonderful Veronica at Supermarket Serenade for a musical meme. If you don't know her site, its a fun one with great recipes and good product reviews. I love anyone who is as obsessed with grocery stores as I am!
The rules for the meme are:
List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now, shaping your summer (or whatever season). Post these instructions in your blog along with your 7 songs. Then tag 7 other people to see what they're listening to...
Some people are very talented and have made play lists you can listen to or already have music on their blog but unfortunately I am not so talented. (I consider it a major accomplishment to even have play lists on my Ipod!). So we will do this "old school" with a list of seven songs from one of my play lists that say summer to me:

"So Nice" (Summer Samba) / Bebel Gilberto

"(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" / Otis Redding

"Is This Love?"/ Bob Marley & The Wailers

"Put Your Records On" / Corinne Bailey Rae

"Smooth" / Santana & Rob Thomas

"Banana Pancakes" / Jack Johnson

"Somewhere Over The Rainbow" / Iz (Israel Kamakawiwo'ole)

Although this is a fun meme (I love music!) I am going to have to break the rules a bit and not send this out to a specific seven people. I don't know that many people out here yet and of those I do know, many have completed this meme and the others I just sent another meme to (and I don't want to piss them off by sending another request so soon!). So if you are reading this and want to play along and post your seven songs please considered yourself tagged and do so! Thanks Veronica for thinking of me!


  1. sounds really refreshing! btw, I tried the ahi towers, loved it, will post about it tomorrow :)

  2. Oh-yum! I boiled some chicken for chicken salad today. I'm trying to decide what direction to go with it, so thanks for the ideas. I forgot to make cold cucumber soup this summer. OK-it's on my menu for this week.

  3. Kat--yea! I'll come check it out.

    Prudy--Glad I could help! ;-)

  4. songs I'm into right now??
    Let's see.

    1. Life with Me, Bif Naked
    2. Nightmare, Artie Shaw
    3. Love & Hope, Ozomatli
    4. I'm the Man Who Murdered Love, XTC
    5. Photograph, Def Leppard
    6. Please Don't Eat the Daisies, Doris Day
    7. Rainbow Connection, Kermit the Frog

    Eclectic, eh?

  5. That lunch looks so good and refreshing. I forgot to mention that I am coveting your Asian dishes from your truffle post.
    What music is in my head this summer?
    Well, I just saw the movie Mama Mia with my mother so everthing Abba is stuck in there.
    As I saw Leonard Cohen earlier this summer I'd have to say everything Leonard - especially Gypsy Wife.
    Blind Melon - No Rain
    Harry Nilsson - Lime in the Coconut
    Jimmy Buffet - Margaritaville, Grapefruit/Juicyfruit.
    Don Maclean - American Pie

  6. Stephanie--love the list. I love Kermit and Doris too--how fun! I have a boxed set of Rock & Doris movies that I love!

    Natashya--An excellent summer music list! I almost had Jimmy on mine and I love a little Lime in de Coconut too. I have a feeling we could set up a kitchen store or two if we combined our dish collections!

  7. Nice! You have good taste in music too! The more I get to read (and know) about you the more I like ya! It's so sad, I have never ever made a chicken salad, nor even had one. Yours sounds good! I think I'll have to try it! RR is way too perky for me too, but I do secretly like her magazine(don't tell LB...)

  8. Michelle--you have never had a chicken salad sandwich--oh my! You are missing out!


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