Yellow Tomato Soup

Puree 1 lb peeled, seeded yellow tomatoes with 1 TBL olive oil. (I was short on yellow so I added one red one: the soup is still a rich yellow.) This will make about 3 cups of juice. Add 3/4 cup chicken stock. Strain through a coarse strainer to capture any seeds. To the puree add 2 tsp sherry vinegar and 3-4 TBL heavy cream. Chill.

Lemon Whipped Cream

*Small Recipe (for 9″ cake): Combine in top of double boiler, 2 egg yolks, zest of 3 lemons, 1/4 cup lemon juice, pinch of salt, 3/4 cup sugar and 3 TBL butter and cook as directed below.

*Full Recipe (for tube cake): Combine in top of double boiler, 4 egg yolks, zest of 4 lemons, 1/2 cup lemon juice, pinch of salt, 11/2 cups sugar and 6 TBL butter.

Set double boiler over medium heat and stir mixture continuously making sure nothing sticks to the pan. Cook for 10-20 minutes… time varies according to the temperature of the ingredients, etc. It is done when the mixture starts to thick and it coats a spoon. (It thickens more when it cools completely.) Transfer to small bowl and cover with greased plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled.

Beat whipping cream (8 ounces for small cake, 12 ounces for large) until it is thick, but peaks don’t form. Add lemon curd to taste, and beat more. Generally there will be more lemon curd than you will need to flavor the whipping cream, but it just depends on how you like it to taste.

The lemon curd keeps refrigerated up to 5 days. This is great with a fruit salad or as a filling for Lemon Cloud Cake.

Lemon Cloud Cake

A lemon chiffon cake filled with Lemon Whipped Cream.

Preheat oven to 325 F.

For 9″ cake: With mixer, beat 3 egg whites, 1/2 TBL lemon juice and (adding gradually) 1/4 cup sugar until soft peaks form. Transfer to another bowl. Combine 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 11/4 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt. In mixer beat 3 egg yolks, 3 ounces milk, 1/4 cup oil and 2 tsp lemon zest. until pale yellow.

For 10″ tube cake: With mixer, beat 7 egg whites, 1 TBL lemon juice and (adding gradually) 1/2 cup sugar until soft peaks form. Transfer to another bowl. Combine 2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 21/2 tsp baking powder and 3/4 tsp salt. In mixer beat 7 egg yolks, 3/4 cup milk, 1/2 cup oil and 4 tsp lemon zest. until pale yellow.

Add dry ingredients and beat about 2 minutes at medium speed. Fold in egg whites, blending thoroughly. Pour into an ungreased spring-form pan (9 inches is ideal). Bake about 50 minutes — don’t open oven until at least 45 minutes have passed. Cake rises and then settles back down. A finger pressed in gently into cake won’t leave a print when it’s done, and you can probably hear a crackling sound, too.

Cool in inverted pan for 30 minutes. If it’s a tube pan, rest inverted pan on a bottle. When completely cool, remove from pan, cut into layers and fill with Lemon Whipped Cream.

Chiffon cake doesn’t get hard in the refrigerator, so you can make and fill this a bit in advance.

Maple Ice Cream

Put 2 cups heavy cream, 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup Grade B maple syrup and a pinch of salt in a sauce pan. Add either 11/2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 whole vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped into mixture. Include the pod in the mixture, too. Heat until steaming, but do not let boil.

In a bowl, combine 41/2 TBL (that’s a generous 1/4 cup) of corn starch and 3/4 cup milk. Stir with fingertips to confirm there are no lumps. Remove vanilla pod from pot. Add cornstarch mixture, cook, stirring until it reaches a boil. Reduce heat to low and let cook for 5 minutes or until thick, stirring so it won’t scorch.

Strain and chill a couple of hours and freeze in ice cream maker.

Cherry Pie

Preheat oven to 425 F. Combine 4+ cups of pitted sour cherries (I prefer the bright red Montmorency cherries), 3 TBL minute tapioca, 3/4 cup sugar and 2 TBL kirsch. Let stand 15 minutes. Meanwhile, roll out pie crust and fit into 9-inch pie plate. Pour filling into crust, dot with 2 TBL butter cut into small pieces, cover with top crust and seal. Brush top with egg white.

Bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and continue baking until crust is golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes more.

Ice-Box Cake

Make whipped cream using 2 cups heavy cream, 2 – 3 TBL confectioners’ sugar and 1 – 2 tsp vanilla. Spread 1/2 TBL whipped cream on each cookie in a box of Famous Chocolate wafers, building up a stack. Arrange two 7-inch stacks next to each other (on their sides) on a plate to form a cake. Cover generously with remaining whipped cream. Refrigerate overnight. Serve, cutting on diagonal.

Cold Borscht (for 40)

The perfect thing for a hot summer night. Normal people will probably want to cut this in half or freeze some of: it freezes really well.

Peel and dice 31/2 lbs of beets (to make 8 cups). Bring to simmer in pot with 8 cups water, 1/2 onion finely grated, 2-3 cloves garlic run through a garlic press and salt. When beets are cooked — not too soft — remove from heat and add sugar (2 TBL) and sour salt (1/2 tsp) to taste. Let cool. Mix with sour cream to serve and garnish with any of the following: diced boiled potatoes, diced cucumber, diced hard-boiled eggs or none of the above.

Grilled Swordfish

Easy as can be. Get a 1-inch thick swordfish steak. Let it come to room temperature and season lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper. Get the grill hot (400 degrees F.), and grill for about 5 to 6 minutes per side. I prefer charcoal but it works just fine on a gas grill.

Corn-Crusted Soft-Shell Crabs

In a pie plate, beat together 1 egg, 1/2 cup milk and some salt. Put some very fine (Indian Head brand) corn meal in another pie plate and mix with some ground pepper. Dip each cleaned soft-shell crab in the egg mixture, let drain a bit and dredge in the corn meal (on both sides). Heat a large frying pan, melt butter and fry crabs 5 to 7 minutes per side. Serve immediately.