Grilled Tomato Gazpacho

Grilled Tomato Gazpacho

Grill the vegetables for this refreshing soup earlier in the day or even the night before. We sometimes serve the gazpacho in clear Spanish wine tumblers to show off the rich color.


  • 2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes
  • 1 small red bell pepper
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and seeded, divided
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh or day-old country bread, crusts removed
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 2-3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon piment d’Espelette or hot Spanish paprika or pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  2. Grill tomatoes and bell pepper, turning a few times, until they soften and the skins are blistered and charred in spots, about 8 minutes. Transfer the pepper to a plastic bag and let it steam until cool enough to handle. Peel off the skin; cut the pepper in half and discard the stem and seeds. Place one half in a blender. When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, core and roughly chop. Add the tomatoes, skins and all, to the blender.
  3. Add half the cucumber to the blender along with bread, garlic, vinegar to taste, parsley, piment d’Espelette (or paprika or cayenne), salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Add oil and blend until well combined. Refrigerate until room temperature or chilled, at least 1 hour.
  4. Before serving, finely dice the remaining cucumber and bell pepper; stir half of each into the gazpacho and garnish with the remaining cucumber and bell pepper.

Tonight, I’m serving with crusty bread, garden salad and fruit compote.


Chicken & Sun-Dried Tomato Orzo

Chicken & Sun-Dried Tomato Orzo

8 ounces orzo, preferably whole-wheat
1 cup water
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes, (not oil-packed), divided
1 plum tomato, diced
1 clove garlic, peeled
3 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram, divided
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4  boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed (1-1 1/4 pounds)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 9-ounce package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
1/2 cup finely shredded Romano cheese, divided


  1. Cook orzo in a large saucepan of boiling water until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse.
  2. Meanwhile, place 1 cup water, 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, plum tomato, garlic, 2 teaspoons marjoram, vinegar and 2 teaspoons oil in a blender. Blend until just a few chunks remain.
  3. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent burning, until golden outside and no longer pink in the middle, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; tent with foil to keep warm.
  4. Pour the tomato sauce into the pan and bring to a boil. Measure out 1/2 cup sauce to a small bowl. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes to the pan along with the orzo, artichoke hearts and 6 tablespoons cheese. Cook, stirring, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Divide among 4 plates.

Slice the chicken. Top each portion of pasta with sliced chicken, 2 tablespoons of the reserved tomato sauce and a sprinkling of the remaining cheese and marjoram.

Tonight, I,m pairing with a field salad and fruit compote.



1 tbsp. butter
1 onion, chopped
1/4 c. green pepper, chopped
1 lb. kielbasa (cut in 1 inch slices)
1 (16 oz.) can red kidney beans (Drained)
1 (10 oz.) can condensed beef broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 c. Minute Rice

In a large skillet, heat butter. Sauté onion and pepper until soft, about 5 minutes. Add kielbasa slices and sauté with onion and pepper, turning over slices as they brown.

Add beans, broth, garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil; add Minute Rice; stir, then cover skillet. Remove from heat and allow to rest 5 minutes. Serves 4.

Tonight, I’m serving with homemade potatoes chips, green salad and fruit compote.

Plum Delicious Pork Cutlets

Plum Delicious Pork Cutlets

1lb boneless pork cutlets, ½” thick
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 (8 oz.) jar plum jelly or preserves
½ onion
¼ c. wine vinegar
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. ground ginger

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
Brown cutlets on both sides.
Add remaining ingredients.
Cover and simmer 10-12 minutes.

Tonight, I’m serving with whole wheat fettuccine, fresh garden salad and fruit compote.



4 skinless boneless chicken breasts cut into strips
1/2 lb. fresh asparagus cut into 1 inch lengths
1 med. carrot cut into strips
1 onion, sliced
2 tsp. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. tarragon vinegar
2 tsp. lemon juice

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Tear off 4 lengths of aluminum foil. Place chicken in center of lower half of foil, season chicken. Top with asparagus, carrot and onion.

In bowl combine butter, lemon juice and tarragon. Pour over chicken. Fold foil over chicken making folds with enough room for air expansion. Place foil packets on a baking sheet in a single layer. Cook 18-20 minutes.

Tonight I’m serving with jasmine rice, garden salad and fruit compote