Saturday, September 23, 2006

Menu for Family Gathering

I love to cook and I love to give parties and have get-togethers. There's nothing more satisfying to me than to cook a great meal that is much appreciated. This menu is one I created recently for a family lunch at my grandmother's home.


Salmon Poached in Olive Oil
(from The Slow Mediterrenean Cookbook)

Basque Chicken
(from my Cordon Bleu notebooks)
Buttered Rice

Apple Pastis with Vanilla Ice Cream
(from The Slow Mediterrenean Cookbook)

I made everything, except the Salmon and Pastis, a day before. The Pastis is a pie made of crisp layers of filo and thinly sliced apple compote, had I made it a day before the filo would have become soggy so I made the compote a day before and assembled and baked the pie the morning of the luncheon. As for the salmon dish, it needed to be cooked fresh because reheating would have made it tough. The salmon came out meltingly tender and flavorful.

All the ingredient may be altered to suit your tastes. I myself prefer more garlic...

12 juicy red tomatoes, large dice
6 cucumbers, peeled and seeded
2 red peppers, coarsely chopped
2 green peppers, coarsely chopped
2 onions, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup Arengga vinegar or cider vinegar

Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour. After an hour the vegetables should be covered with rendered tomato juices. Puree vegetables in a blender, not too smooth, the soup should be slightly coarse.