Avocado Soup with Citrus-Shrimp Relish


Avocado Soup with Citrus-Shrimp Relish
Botanically, avocados are in fact a fruit, and if you have any doubt of their sweet flavor, try squeezing a lime over an avocado half and eating with a spoon―makes a great breakfast. This soup is thick and creamy, and a meal in itself with its topping of lemony shrimp, but it weighs in at less than 300 calories a bowl.

Ingredients

Relish

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped red onion
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces peeled and deveined medium shrimp, steamed and coarsely chopped

Soup

  • 2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 3/4 cups chopped avocado (about 2)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup rinsed and drained canned navy beans
  • 1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
  • 1 small Jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled queso fresco cheese

Preparation

  1. To prepare relish, combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl, tossing gently.
  2. To prepare soup, combine broth and next 9 ingredients (through jalapeño) in a blender; puree until smooth, scraping sides. Ladle 1 1/4 cups avocado mixture into each of 4 bowls; top each serving with 1/4 cup shrimp mixture and 1 tablespoon cheese.

Spaetzle


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. In another mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the egg-milk mixture. Gradually draw in the flour from the sides and combine well; the dough should be smooth and thick. Let the dough rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large pot, then reduce to a simmer. To form the spaetzle, hold a large holed colander or slotted spoon over the simmering water and push the dough through the holes with a spatula or spoon. Do this in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pot. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the spaetzle floats to the surface, stirring gently to prevent sticking. Dump the spaetzle into a colander and give it a quick rinse with cool water.
  3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the spaetzle; tossing to coat. Cook the spaetzle for 1 to 2 minutes to give the noodles some color, and then sprinkle with the chopped chives and season with salt and pepper before serving.

6 servings

The Ultimate Cuban Sandwich


You can do this in a regular Dutch oven, but for convenience and time use a pressure cooker.

Cuban Pork:

  • 1 pound boneless pork shoulder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and gently smashed with the side of your knife
  • ¼ teaspoon dried red chili flakes
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 long Cuban bread roll
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 8 thin slices Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup bread and butter pickles
  • 8 thin slices deli ham
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  1. Begin by braising the pork shoulder. Tie the shoulder in 4 places with kitchen twine so it will hold its shape while being cooked or ask your butcher to do this for you. Season the pork with salt, pepper, cumin and oregano. Set the base of a pressure cooker over low-medium heat and add a 2 count of olive oil.
  2. Add garlic and chili flakes and as the oil heats up it will become fragrant and infuse the oil. Add the pork. Add onions around the pork and brown slightly before adding orange juice, lime juice, stock and bay leaves.
  3. Secure the lid of the pressure cooker and cook for 20 to 25 minutes depending on the size of your pressure cooker. The pork should be tender when done. When done allow to cool in juices before removing twine and slicing.
  4. To prepare Cuban sandwiches, split bread in half then layer the sandwich with mustard, cheese, pickles, ham, pork then cheese again (the cheese glues everything together). Season with salt and pepper in between the ham and pork layers. (Optional: drizzle a little of the pork braising liquid over the meat as well).
  5. To cook, heat a large cast iron skillet or grill pan over medium heat and lightly coat with olive oil. Place the sandwiches on the skillet and top with another heavy skillet and a couple of heavy weights (bricks, or cans of tomatoes work well). Press down firmly and cook for 5 to 7 minutes per side until the sandwich has compressed to about a third of its original size and the bread is super-crispy. Serve with beans, rice and plantain chips.

4 to 6 servings