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A Cold Dinner

Jul 29, 2010

There's a running joke in my family that I do not and will not stand to eat a cold dinner.  When my brother and I were young, we were dropped off at Mimi and Grandpa's house, our maternal grandparents, for dinner and a sleepover.  Sitting down for dinner, we surveyed the spread and immediately gave each other a quizzical look.  Pasta salad.  Potato salad.  And cold cuts.  A cold dinner, as Mimi explained it. 


Accustomed to steamy plates of penne rigate with broccoli rabe and sausage, mushroom stuffed pork chops with crispy potatoes, or veal cutlets, this was not something we were about to eat.  Dinner is hot.  And so we protested eventually going to bed hungry.


That was my introduction to a cold dinner and the start of a longstanding joke at Mimi's dinner table.  I have since given the cold dinner a try on more than one occasion and last night was perfectly suited as the temperatures climbed to the upper 90s. 


A single sip of cold cucumber dill soup will instantaneously cool you off on a steamy day.  This slightly tart and extremely creamy soup was the perfect use for the ten remaining cucumbers I had in my refrigerator.  Not to mention that it was incredibly easy to make -- a one pot wonder!


Simply peel, halve, seed and dice ten cucumbers and then set them aside.  In a hot pan, saute diced onions and garlic until translucent.  When cooked, add the cucumbers and stir in about 1 1/2 cups chicken stock.  Bring to a simmer and then add a dash of lemon juice, honey, nutmeg, and pepper.  Cook for another ten minutes or until the cucumbers are soft.  Salt to taste and then add your dill.  Remove your pot from the burner and blend thoroughly.  Stir in about 2 tbsp of Greek yogurt per serving until well combined.  Refrigerate or serve warm.  Top with dill and enjoy!


 Article and photo(s) copyright of Michelle Cimino.


We live, learn, and move onward. Too damn hot to cook fabulous dinners, even though I had barbequed brisket, corn bread, pinto beans flavored with home cured butt bacon, sliced tomatoes, and honeydew melon last night. This recipe came just as I was wondering what to do with some cucumbers that are producing abundantly. Wanted something cold and refreshing, but different from the raw sliced cucumbers I've been enjoying. Not ready to put up pickles yet. I'll try this recipe tonight. Stay natural, David

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