Tag Archives: Palmer Park

Gazpacho

1 Sep

GazpachoIt’s the perfect season for gazpacho! Fresh tomatoes and cucumbers abound, and the heat makes it a good time for a cold soup.

I have a former neighbor, Rob Musial, to thank for this recipe. In the late 1970s, we lived in Detroit’s Palmer Park apartment community, and the citizens’ council published a cookbook, What’s Cooking in Palmer Park. Rob contributed this gazpacho recipe. Because the Ponchartrain Wine Cellar was a classy Detroit restaurant at the time, and because Ponchartrain Drive was a main street in Palmer Park, he called it Ponchartrain Drive Wine Cellars Gazpacho Soup.

I flip to the recipe so often, that page has come loose from the book’s plastic spiral binding.

I usually cut the tomato, cucumber, celery and scallion into large chunks and pulse them a few times in the food processor to chop finely. Don’t puree — you want to keep some crunchy bits.

Ingredients:

1 large onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 fat cloves garlic, minced
2 large tomatoes (or 3 medium ones), peeled and well chopped
1 large regular cucumber or 1 small English cucumber, peeled, seeded and well chopped
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 dash of Tabasco sauce (or a few more if you like a little more spice)
3 Tbs. vinegar
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 cup chopped scallions
2 celery sticks, finely chopped (optional)
5 cups tomato juice
croutons for garnish (optional)
sour cream for garnish (optional)

Directions:

In a soup pot, saute the onion in the oil until they are tender.
Add the garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn heat off.
Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds.
Add the tomatoes, cucumber and all the remaining ingredients except croutons and stir well. If using a food processor, cut the vegetables into large chunks and pulse until the soup has a chunky consistency, then add the spices.
Refrigerate for several hours. Serve chilled, garnished with croutons and/or sour cream if desired.

Guacamole

1 Feb

ImageJust in time for the Super Bowl — and a good recipe to take advantage of cheap avocados. At least in Detroit they’ve been cheap — we got some this week for 49 cents each!

When we moved to Detroit in 1976, we lived in the Palmer Park, an apartment community inhabited primarily by young professionals and graduate students. The citizens’ council published a cookbook, What’s Cooking in Palmer Park. This recipe was contributed by Rob Musial, who called it Holey Moley Guacamole Dip and Neat Tree Trip – because after the recipe, Rob told readers how they could grow an avocado tree by sticking toothpicks in the avocado pit and suspending it for a few weeks with the pointy half in water; after it starts to sprout, you can plant it. Seems like everyone in the mid-70s had an avocado tree in their living room!

This was the first guacamole I ever made, and it’s among the best I’ve ever tasted. I altered the recipe only slightly. Rob’s recipe called for the inclusion of MSG, which I never use. And I like to add in a little chopped tomato.

Ingredients:

1 large avocado or 2 small ones
2 Tbs. lemon (or lime) juice
1 Tbs. minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
(¼ cup chopped ripe tomato)
8 drops Tabasco or other hot sauce
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. chili powder

Directions:

Thoroughly mash the avocado. Sprinkle it with lemon juice (or lime juice if you prefer) and stir well. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Chill for 1 hour before serving. Serve with corn or tortilla chips.