Tarator (Bulgarian Cold Cucumber Soup)

This is one of Martin’s favorite soups.  Since he has moved to NYC I am moving some recipes he enjoyed at home to the front of my blog. Simple and Delicious!

Tarator

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Ingredients

1 cucumber, peeled, deseeded and diced or grated. (I generally grate)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk greek yogurt (not low fat or no fat, use the real stuff please)
1 – 2 cups water (depends on the consistency you like. I generally use 1 cup)
2 Tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
1 Tablespoon oil (I use vegetable, olive or sunflower oil depending on what is in the pantry)

Directions

1.  Mash the garlic and salt together in a large bowl.
2.  Add grated cucumber to the garlic and salt mixture.  Mix together.March 17 2013 321
3.  Add yogurt to above and mix together
4.  Add water.  It should be the consistency of whole milk.
5.  Add dill and season with more salt to your taste.
6.  Serve chilled.

Enjoy!

Cucumber Smash – Fogo de Chao

Went to Chicago for 4th of July weekend.  Kent and I went to Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian Steakhouse for dinner.  I asked the bartender what he would recommend for a refreshing drink.  He made me a Cucumber Smash.  I have not tried this yet at home.  I thought I would post the recipe for those who would love to make a simple and delicious drink at home. I hope to make a few of these before the summer ends.  Here is the recipe;

Cucumber Smash

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Ingredients

1 Cucumber (cut two ½ inch slices, then quarter. Cut three 1/16 inch slices for garnish)
1 fresh mint sprig
½ oz. Lemon juice
1 oz. Simple Syrup
1 ½ oz. Hendricks Gin (This is the secret.  You HAVE to use Hendricks Gin)

Directions

1. Place cucumber, mint, and lemon juice into shaker. Muddle the ingredients well. (He did say I need to buy a muddle)
2. Add simple syrup, Hendricks Gin, and crushed ice. Top shaker with shaker glass and seal. Shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
3. Place sliced cucumber in bottom of glass.  Top with crushed ice. Strain the drink into your glass and top with a mint leaf.
4. Serve at once, and enjoy!

Note: If you do not have crushed ice, get a clean towel and place ice into the towel and hit it with rolling pin or hammer to crush the ice.

Can’t wait to make this one.  Had to post so I don’t forget to make this refreshing cocktail!!

Israeli Salad

So simple and so delicious.  Great for the summer.  Go to your farmer’s market and make this quick salad for lunch!

Israeli Salad (This is DELICIOUS!)

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Ingredients

1 cucumber, seeded and diced
1 Roma tomato, seeded and diced
1/2 large red pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 cup green onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 Tablespoon mint, chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice (from real lemon)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Directions;  Mix all together and that’s it!!  This is so refreshing.  Feta, Parmesan, cheddar or any cheese is also a great addition. Personally, plain with a piece (or two) of fresh baked bread works for me. LOVE it!!