Sunday, June 24, 2007

Something Fresh

My friend Elke is driving her husband Michael crazy.

He does most of the cooking, but looks to her for inspiration.

Lately, whenever he asks what she'd like to eat for dinner, all she says is,

"something FRESH."

[I could go to such a naughty place with this post... but that's not what I'm going to do, you Gutter Mind! I am going to a WHOLESOME, FRESH place.]

When asked to explain or define "fresh," she only offers,

"You KNOW, something with vegetables in it."

Michael is expected to reinterpret this direction every evening and come up with a meal that will satisfy her request.

help Michael, friends.

It's summer time.

There is an abundance of "fresh" available.

What should we eat?

I'll post a recipe and then you post one, okay?

[If you want, I mean, you know, I'm not BOSSY or anything.] [Love

[My mom is laughing at me denying that I'm bossy. I'm so bossy.]


If you post a recipe for feeding Elke in the FRESH way, please link back to this post so that Michael (and anyone else) can benefit from the whole of the freshness.

Feel free to post a photo of yourself enjoying the freshness.

Like this --


Without further rambling, here's my FRESH recipe for Michael...

[I'm calling this recipe "Jackass Gazpacho" as a private joke for Grandma Seattle.]

Here it is...

Jackass Gazpacho

Two carrots
Two stalks celery
One cucumber
Two Anaheim peppers
One bunch radishes
One small-to-medium yellow onion
Worcestershire sauce
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
One quart tomato juice

Cut vegetables into small chunks and feed into a blender one handful at a time, with half a cup of tomato juice to lubricate the mixture.

Grind vegetables at medium pulse setting -- for a chunky texture, do three or four pulses of no more than a second or two each. The longer the pulse, the closer to puree you'll get. You'll have to experiment to see how you like it. (One option to the blender method, which will guarantee the consistency you want, is to take a very large, VERY sharp butcher knife and dice them by hand.)

After all the vegetables have been ground up and put in a glass bowl, pour in any remaining tomato juice. Season with 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, two tablespoons olive oil, one teaspoon Tabasco sauce, some of that
Worcestershire sauce and salt/pepper to taste.

Two other recommendations: Use a glass pitcher to store it in the refrigerator, OR a plastic pitcher that you can designate as your permanent gazpacho pitcher. If you put this stuff in plastic, it will smell like gazpacho forevermore. Second, let it sit in the fridge for a day or two so tastes meld a bit (and the onion taste mellows out; it can be sharp at first.)

Sometimes I pour it into a glass and drink it. A more elegant presentation at dinnertime is to put it into a shallow soup bowl, and decorate it with stripped green onion, cilantro and a small dollop of sour cream. I've also occasionally added very thinly sliced strips of pre-ripe avocado -- a nice touch.

To make it more of a meal, toss in diced chicken, shrimp or tofu.


Veronica said...

I have a recipe for white gazpacho with almonds that is quite tasty. Maybe I'll put it up sometime.

Woman with kids said...

Oh geez, my cooking leaves something to be desired. Like takeout. But here's something even the boys will eat...

Mom's Non-Take-Out Dinner:

Steak, whatever cut that's good for grilling
Red, orange, yellow bell peppers
Olive oil, salt and pepper

Mix it all up and throw on the grill. When it's burned? I've left it on too long.

Kyla said...

Your photoshop skillz are a gift to the world. Truly. *lol*

Misa Gracie said...

I will offer what kitchen wisdom I have and come up with a "Fresh" recipe for your friends!

*running off to kitchen for inspiration*

Jenny said...

I adore you but I'm not eating anything I have to "lubricate".

For the Love... said...

One summer at the lake we realized we had not exactly gotten anything for I made a little something out of this and that:
3 chicken breasts cooked and shredded (the first time I made this I used leftover baked chicken, use what you have on hand.)
3 large tomatoes, chopped
1 large onion, diced
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil
1 can black olives
Feta cheese
Linguini noodles
Cook noodles according to package directions. In a large skillet add 2 Tbs of olive oil and sauté onions for about 4 minutes then add tomatoes. Toss a in a pinch of Kosher salt and continue cooking until the onions are translucent. Toss in your shredded chicken and 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar; continue cooking on a medium heat until the tomatoes are totally soft and separating from their skin. You may need to add more olive oil to keep the mixture moist.
Toss chicken mixture and drained black olives with cooked, drained pasta. Cover and chill. Before serving you will need to re-toss and will probably need to add a little more olive oil and balsamic. Top each serving with feta cheese.
This keeps very well and is actually better the day after it is made. Plus you can change it up in any number of ways depending on what you have on hand..I have made it with artichoke hearts, and instead of just topping the servings with feta have added chilled cherry tomatoes and fresh sweet basil. Serve it with some nice crunchy French bread and you can’t go wrong…..

PunditMom said...

Mmm. I'm going to start a-cookin'!

Mimi said...

We love Grilled Veggies! I marinate them in lemon juice, a bit of EVOO, oregano, sometimes chicken stock (if I have it), crushed red pepper and whatever else I feel like for about an hour, then stick on skewers and grill. Veggies I like grilled:
Grape tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, peppers, zucchini and yellow squash, but you could use anything. I serve it with grilled chicken and grilled potatoes (par boil first, then drizzle EVOO,salt & pepper, skewer up, grill and yum!)

Circus Kelli said...

Order a veggie pizza from the local pizzeria (that delivers) and call it done. ;)

Paige said...

I got a recipe I'm about to post. It's awesome.

And you've inspired me to make a habit of inflicting my culinary genius on people on a regular basis.

flutter said...

Jess, Have you ever felt not so fresh?

Queen Heather said...

I've never had gazpacho but just because you put the word Jackass in front of it makes me want to make it.

Ortizzle said...

My gazpacho recipe is from years of living in Spain... and it's... very, very different. For a start, no tomato juice is used at all: that comes from fresh tomatoes + water + olive oil, etc., whizzed through the blender with the other ingredients. Hmmm... So maybe I will come back and post it later, as an alternative version. (I never measure it, so I have to ponder the quantities).

Omaha Mama said...


I want to make that now! It sounds good.

I will start thinking fresh for my own addition.

But I can't help thinking of Will Smith with all this talk of fresh. And I love Will Smith.

I digress.

mom2EmnRoo said...

cooked pasta (any shape), steamed fresh veggies (any kind), olive oil, Balsamic vinegar, Parmesan cheese... toss together and chow down

CamiKaos said...

I'm gonna make that gazpacho!!

As much as we cook here in Koas House we needed a blog for the info, I'm letting Mr. Kaos handle it but there are recipes (more like directions) over at

Aliki2006 said...

Here's my favorite way to do fresh in the summer--"build your own tortilla night":

Get a bunch of "fresh" veggies from the store--peppers, zucchini, red onion, corn, whatever grabs your eye. Also buy some tortillas, some lettuce (always fresh), salsa, ripe tomatoes, sour cream, cheese.

Chop up everything at home, cut the corn off the cob, throw it all in a skilelt with the onion and stir fry briefly so that the veggies are softened but still crisp. Put out lots of bowls with salsa, sour cream, chopped up lettuce, tomato chunks, black olives, whatever. Each person then piles what they want into their tortilla, wraps it all up, and enjoy.

theotherbear said...

I like warn BBQ'd veggies - cut up what you like, eg zucchini, capsicum (bell peppers), mushrooms, onion, eggplant, whole green beans, asparagus, snow peas. Grill meat of your choice on the other side of the grill. I go for lamb rumps or pork chops. Then toss the veggies in a home made dressing - mix a little oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, lemon juice. Crumble with feta cheese and serve. Yum.

Jenifer said...

Cold soup,, not something I have been able to wrap my head around. We used to get a show on the Food Network called Calling all Cooks which I loved and the secret ingredient for Gazpacho was Clamato juice. I have no idea why I remember this.

Hubby saw this post and says he loves this soup, who knew! So perhaps, I will try it after all.

I was planning on posting about my recent cooking escapades so if I do I will try to link back to your post.

BOSSY said...

Bossy is hehehehehehe, hahahahahahaha - speechless. (rare. hehehehehehahahahahaha)

BethGo said...

Your pics are so funny. Is your hubby the photographer?

And I luuuurve me some Gazpacho. MMMMMMM!

Little Miss Moi said...

Dear jessica. Sounds yummy - the only time I've had gazpacho is at Kyiv's finest restaurant, where they serve it like an aperetif in a very tall shot glass! With a fresh prawn in it. It tasted so good, I couldn't help but wonder why they didn't add a slug of something and make it into a bloody mary with a prawn in it. I'll post a recipe as I'm loving the fresh food available, but it will probably be later this week as today, I have to be a good little FUN MONDAY-er.

Mrs. Chicken said...

We don't do "fresh" around here. Do homemade deep-fried French fries count?

theotherbear said...

Oh LMM, what a bloody good idea. I have tomato juice in the fridge. Must go buy prawns!!!

jaybirdiscrafty said...

Corn & Avacado Salad

4 cups fresh or frozen(thawed)corn kernels
1 tablespoon fajita seasoning
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Saute these three in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.

1 red pepper, diced
1/2 jalapeno, diced and seeded
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 ripe avacados, diced

Mix these ingredients with the corn combo.

Yummy as a salad or as a salsa with your favorite corn chips.

JoeinVegas said...

You left out the quart of vodka.

Jenifer said...

I have no idea how to make the link to your post! Gah. Why I can't figure it out is beyond me...

I just posted a nice an easy turkey chili recipe using nice fresh veggies and my very easy (read I am so lazy) pasta salad.

If you want to link be my guest.

Biddy said...

ooo ooo i'll have a yummy one later! stupid work interfering with my blogging!

QT said...

You know what is strange about gazpacho? I love it, but only when someone else makes it for me.

I know, I am a pain in the ass.

I will see what I can come up with in the "fresh" category!

The Expatriate Chef said...

I got your fresh ... RIGHT HERE.

Just point poor Michael to my site for what's in season right now, tons of veggies and easy to prepare. I'll be posting four new recipes this week, and have over 50 others, all original, on the site.

I made a great salad this weekend with four kinds of green beans, tomatoes, lettuces, new potatoes, capers, caramelized onions and a red wine mustard viniagrette. Give me a couple days, that post will be up.

The Expatriate Chef said...

Okay, salad is up. It's fresh. It's good. Give poor Micheal my regards.

Alpha DogMa said...

I am a lemming - see whats I got to say!

glass dinner plate said...

This sounds like a great simple recipe i love cheese and pancakes and with shrove Tuesday coming up in going to have to try this.. thank you for another great recipe!