Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Recipes for the lazy-enclined

It is summertime, and I usually become a lazy cook during this season. It’s too hot to cook and possible to survive on summer fruit alone anyway. When I decide to make something, I usually decide on super easy meals made for my inner lazy Frenchy-tude.
So here you are below. All of these are good served cold.

Everything tastes better with caraway seeds.

You need:

Fingerling potatoes. Enough to fit about half of your skillet
2 bunches watercress
1 big salmon fillet, diced in large cubes
Caraway seeds. A lot. I usually throw in a good handful. Or two.

Wash and rinse the potatoes, cook in salted boiling water. Drain.
Wash the watercress, trim and discard the stems, and chop the rest roughly.

Heat a tiny bit of olive oil in your skillet, sauté lightly the pre-cooked potatoes. After 3/4 minutes, add the watercress. Stir from time to time, it is going to shrink (like spinach), after 3/4 minutes add the cubed salmon and the caraway seeds. When the cubed salmon looked cooked through (shouldn’t take more than 2 minutes),

Voilà! It’s ready. You can serve it either hot or cold but I prefer cold.
I usually get about 3 meals out of the quantity indicated, but if you are a 6’5”, 200 lbs giant I have an inkling this will only serve as an appetizer.

Caraway seeds are great with sautéed potatoes and any kind of stinky cheese, at room temperature or slightly melted, such as Raclette, Muenster (the real French one, please), St-Nectaire, a very ripe Brie, or even Livarot or Pont-L’Evêque, if you can find those.

Peas & mint soup.

For the super lazy cook. You simply need:

1 package frozen peas
1 bunch fresh mint, washed and trimmed.

Cook one package frozen petite peas in salted boiling water. Drain 2/3 of the water. Add the entire mint bunch, and puree with a “plunger” type of blender or in a regular one (it is messier).
This soup has the most amazing green color ever. It is good either hot or cold. With this quantity you get about 2 very large servings, of course you can multiply by 2 if you want a larger amount of soup.
I stole this picture from another blog, I usually don't bother with serving it with a spring of mint "pour faire joli", je suis trop feignasse.
But I wanted to give you an idea of the great color of this soup.

Carrots and coconut soup.

1 bunch fresh carrots
1 small potato
1 can light coconut milk
spices (curry blend, or cumin, coriander, turmeric, etc.)
1 bunch cilantro, washed and minced.

Peel and cut the carrots in slices, same with the lone potato. Cook all in salted boiling water, when carrots start to be tender, add the coconut milk and about 1 teaspoon of the spices mix you have decided on (I usually use Ras El Hanout)
Use your “plunger” blender to puree everything, Serve the soup either hot or cold, and sprinkle with cilantro (that is, if you like cilantro).

Watermelon and raspberries summer drink.

1 small watermelon
1 package frozen raspberries, or 3 small packs fresh ones
Rose water (about 1/3 cup), optional.

Cut your watermelon in large chunks, place in your blender with the raspberries and the rose water. Va-voom! Here you are, a most refreshing fruit summer drink, without added sugar. Elle est pas belle, la vie?
This also have a fabulous color, so you'd better serve it in a transparent glass pitcher.

I adore rose water, which I use to enhance my madeleines, or mixed with yoghurt, pistachios and a bit of honey, or any kind of pastries (pound cake, angel food cake, etc.). In LA it is easy to find, either at the Ralph's (usually somewhere near the kosher section) or in any Persian grocery store in Westwood.

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