Column: Beat the heat by only cooking with a blender

Alexandra Troy
Blender Cucumber Avocado Soup

When it is so hot out, I think of using recipes that do not make my kitchen any hotter than it already is by using a little ingenuity, a blender and a few supermarket store convenience items, you may easily create a menu that works for a weeknight meal or is even special enough to entertain your guests.

The following recipes may be made as a meal or added to your repertoire and mixed and matched.

I especially love serving the serve the Blender Roasted Red Pepper Dip as it is so easy to prepare and delicious with all kinds of great crudites that are available at farm stands this time of year.

The soup is a family favorite in my house. I usually garnish it with a “squiggle” of cooling creme fraiche for a super easy dramatic presentation.

The salad is also a family favorite as the deli department of your supermarket does most of the work.

If you do not eat red meat, substitute sliced turkey breast or the meat of a rotisserie chicken. The Quick Homemade Ice Cream is a great base for your imagination. Add in Reeses peanut butter cups, M & M’s or even plump raisins. Be creative…

Try these recipes and give your blender a whirl; your air conditioner will not have to work overtime, but your taste buds will!

Menu
(Serves 4)

Blender Roasted Red Pepper Dip
Blender Cucumber Avocado Soup
Roast Beef Salad
Quick Homemade Ice Cream

Blender Roasted Red Pepper Dip

12 oz. roasted red peppers in a jar, plus 1 tblsp. liquid from the jar
1 garlic clove
1 tblsp. balsamic vinegar
4 oz. goat cheese
1 tsp. paprika
Vegetables and/or Pita Chips

1. Put all of the ingredients in a blender. Pulse to combine.

2. Adjust seasoning. Refrigerate until serving. (Keeps 2 days.)

3. To Serve: Place in a bowl and serve with your favorite “dippers”.

Blender Cucumber Avocado Soup

2 English cucumbers, peeled and cut into chunks
1 avocado, peeled and cut into chunks
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 1/2 cups plain whole milk Greek yogurt
1 peeled garlic clove
Salt and Pepper to taste
Garnish of choice

1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender. Puree until smooth. Check seasoning.

2. Refrigerate until serving. (Keeps up to 24 hours.)

3. Garnish with dill, a basil leaf, a tomato slice, a dollop of yogurt, or a squiggle of creme fraiche.

Roast Beef Salad
This recipe uses the deli counter of your supermarket as your oven

1/2 small red or white onion, sliced thinly
1/2 5 oz. container organic baby kale and Spring mix
1/3 cup best quality blue cheese dressing-(if I am not making my own I use Marie’s)
1 lb. thinly sliced deli roast beef
3 oz. chunk Parmesan cheese

1. In a large bowl, toss the Spring mix with the blue cheese dressing until well coated, then place on a large serving platter.

2.Tear the roast beef into ribbons over greens. Top with onion. With a vegetable peeler, shave the parmesan over the salad.

Quick Homemade Ice Cream

6 ripe bananas, peeled and cut into chunks and frozen (I put mine in a ziploc bag the day before I make this..)
2 tblsp. honey
1 tsp best quality vanilla
1/4 cup salted peanuts (optional)
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Place bananas, honey and vanilla in a blender and blend until smooth. Place banana mixture in a sealable plastic container.

2. Fold in peanuts, if using, and chocolate chips. Freeze until firm, about 4 hours. (Keeps at least 72 hours.)

Alexandra Troy is owner of Culinary Architect Catering, a 35 year-old Greenvale-based company, specializing in private, corporate and promotional parties. Need help making your parties delicious and stress-free, CALL 516-484-7431 and you will be a guest at your own party! If you make any of these recipes, send me a photo at party@culinaryarchitect.com.

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Alexandra Troy

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