Musing with Max

Musing with Max

July 19, 2012

Cool eating

As much as I enjoy cooking and spending time in the kitchen, this heat is not amenable to standing over a stove or cranking up the oven. Central air or not a heat wave is a heat wave is a heat wave...and no not a tropical one, at least not in the very steamy northeast. We still have to eat though. So, make something cool.

Gazpacho Rojo de Sevilla adapted from Recipes from a Spanish Village by Pepita Aris
serves 6

2 slices white bread, no crusts
1 small onion, roughly chopped
pinch of cayenne
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp coarse salt
1 English cucumber, half the skin and all the seeds removed
1/2 sweet red pepper without stem or seeds
2 tbsp sherry or red wine vinegar
3 cups tomato juice

Cover the bread with water, then squeeze it out. Put the bread onion, garlic and cayenne in a blender with the oil and salt and puree. Add the cucumber sweet pepper, vinegar and tomato juice. (May have to be done in two batches).

Chill, preferably overnight or put in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

Before serving dilute with ice water if it's too thick (I never do)

Garnish with croutons, or whatever pops into your head.

Tortilla a la Espanola adapted from Tapas: The little dishes of Spain by Penelope Casas

1 c olive oil, or a mixture of olive and other vegetable oil
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/8-inch slices
1 large onion, thinly sliced
Coarse salt
4 large eggs

Heat the oil in an 8- or 9-inch skillet and add the potato slices one
at a time so they don't stick together.  Alternate layers of potato with the onion slices and salt the layers lightly.  Cook slowly over medium heat (the potatoes will really "boil" in the oil rather than fry), lifting and turning the potatoes occasionally, until they are tender but not brown.  The potatoes should remain separated, not in a "cake."
Drain the potatoes in a colander, reserving about 3 T of the oil.  (The
onion and potato give the oil a wonderful flavor, so save the rest for
some other use.) Wipe out the skillet, scraping of any stuck
particles.  (If this is difficult to do, wash the skillet.  It will be
used again to set the omelet and must be completely clean to avoid

Meanwhile, in a large bowl beat the eggs with a fork until they are
slightly foamy.  Salt to taste.  Add the potatoes to the beaten egg,
pressing the potatoes down with a pancake turner so that they are
completely covered by the egg.  Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes.

Heat 2 T of the reserved oil in the skillet until it reaches the
smoking point.  (It must be very hot or the eggs will stick.)  Add the
potato and egg mixture, spreading it out rapidly in the skillet with
the aid of a pancake turner.  Lower the heat to medium-high and shake
the pan often to prevent sticking.  When the eggs begin to brown
underneath, invert a plate of the same size over the skillet and flip
the omelet onto the plate.  Add about 1 T more oil to the pan, then
slide the omelet back into the skillet to brown on the other side.

Lower the heat to medium and flip the omelet two or three more times
(this helps to give the omelet a good shape while it continues to
cook), cooking briefly on each side.  It should be juicy within.
Transfer to a platter and cool, then cut in thin wedges. 

or maybe you do need to fire up the oven

Hot tomato adapted from The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins

Serves 6

6 tomatoes, ripe but firm
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels, thawed if frozen
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, minced
1/4 cup scallions, chopped
1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
3 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp fresh coriander
4 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp yellow cornmeal
1tbspn unsalted butter

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
2. Slice off the top quarter of each tomato. Set tops aside. Scoop out the centers of 3 of the tomatoes leaving a thin shell and put into a bowl. Scoop out the pulp from the other tomatoes and discard. Drain the tomato shells on paper towels.
3. Add the corn, jalapeno, scallions, pepper, basil, cilantro, cheese, salt and pepper to the tomato pulp. Toss until mix and fill the tomato shells with the mixture.
4. Sprinkle each tomato with 1/2 tsp of cornmeal and dot with 1/2 tsp butter. Arrange on the baking sheet.
5. Bake until the crumbs are golden and the tomatoes are cooked through, about 25  minutes. Place the tops back on before serving.

OK, since it's so hot serve it inside

Unless you can think of a better place

OK, maybe tomorrow.


  1. Your recipes always sound and look so delicious!

  2. Ok your spanish omelete, perhaps you would like my Salmorejo ,Marina from Jerez in the south of Spain