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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Honeydew Cucumber Soup

Soup’s Chillin’!
Let's DishHoney Dew Melon And Cucumber Soup

Honey Dew Melon And Cucumber Soup (2)

I love all the little toppings that go on top of a delicious soup as a garnish.  I also like to use certain garnishes to let you know what’s in a particular soup. Today I’m making a cold  Honeydew Cucumber Soup With Fresh Mint. I am displaying a variety of garnishes just to give you some ideas of what would really be delicious and pair well with this soup. You could use all or any combination of these toppings you like.

I think cold soups are underrated and not used nearly enough. They are really refreshing, and super healthy too!  You can use this as an appetizer, served in shot glasses, or as a first course.

I’m going to be using fresh mint from my garden for this recipe today.

 

First, I want to set aside the ingredients that will give my soup lots of texture, and also can be used as toppings or garnish.   Using my food Mandolin that you see in the picture above will make the perfect tool for thinly sliced cucumbers. I have some other goodies up my sleeve too!

 

To contrast the sweetness of the soup, I’ve crisped up some Pancetta. Pancetta is Italian bacon. It’s cured but not smoked and filled with peppercorns, and sometimes pistachios, delicious!

 

 

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: chill for 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Equipment: Blender or food processor, food mandolin, Melon Baller
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:
1 to 2 melons (not over ripe) yielding 8 cups of  large dice honeydew melon, 1 heaping cup of melon balls for garnish
1 English (hothouse) cucumber peeled and diced, 1/2 cup small dice, reserved for garnish, 12 very thin slices ( using food Mandolin) of cucumber reserved for garnish
1/4 cup of fresh mint leaves plus 4 small sprigs for garnish
12 slices of crisped Pancetta
4 tablespoons of Greek yogurt (keep refrigerated until ready to serve)
1/2 cup of pistachios
2 tablespoons of Agave nectar
1/4 cup of water
1 lime juiced
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Directions: First, is to get the ingredients you’ll be using for the garnish and toppings prepared. The pistachios,  small diced cucumber, melon balls, and crisped Pancetta.

Directions For Pancetta:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place the pancetta slices, evenly spread out, on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper. Bake for 8-10 minutes and let cool. Set on a plate lined with paper towel, set aside.

If needed, do this step in batches. In a food processor, add mint, lime juice, diced melon, diced cucumber, Agave nectar, water, cayenne pepper, Kosher salt. Pulse all the ingredients together, until a smooth consistency. Refrigerate for a few hours.

To serve,  divide equally among 4 bowls. To each of the bowls, I like to add 1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt, small diced cucumber, and melon balls.  Finally, garnish with cucumber slices and a sprig of mint.  Crispy pancetta and pistachios are optional. They will give that sweet and salty flavor combination, delicious!!!

 

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Spicy Grilled Chicken Over Pesto Bow Tie Pasta

Spicy Grilled Chicken Over Pesto Bow Tie Pasta.jpg

I love using a pesto as a sauce for pasta. Pesto doesn’t over power any dish but it’s a freat condiment for pasta and adds so much flavor. I’m going to top the pasta with a spicy grilled chicken breast. The chicken is marinated in a the Greek yogurt flavored with blackened seasoning.

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Above is a picture of a similar pesto I’d made earlier. It’s my sweet pea and mint pesto. The same process is followed to make this version.
Ingredients:
1-15 ounce package of thawed frozen peas
1/2 cup mint leaves
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup grated Pecorino cheese
1/3 cup E.V.O.O. ( may vary slightly)
Directions For Pesto Below:

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Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Equipment: indoor grill, food processor

Ingredients For Pesto:
1 can Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 small jar roasted red peppers, drained
1 1/2 cups arugula leaves
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
1 lemon juiced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/3 cup E.V.O.O. may vary slightly
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 box of cooked bow tie pasta, well drained

Ingredients For Spicy Grilled Chicken:
2 skinless-boneless chicken breast, butterflied then sliced into 2 breasts each, yielding 4 thin chicken breasts.
2 cups Greek Yogurt
2 1/2 tablespoons blackened seasoning
1 clove garlic grated
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon Agave nectar
Parmigiano-Reggiano shaving for garnish

Directions For Toasted Pine Nuts:
In a large dry sauté pan, on medium heat. add the pine nut. Toast until the nuts become fragrant. Remove from heat.

Directions For Pesto:
In a food processor, add the Cannellini beans, roasted red peppers, lemon juice, garlic, Kosher salt, black pepper, arugula. Drizzle in the E.V.O.O.through the feed tube around 6-8 times. Remove the lid, add the grated cheese, pulse a few more time until cheese is combined. Add more E.V.O.O. if needed. The finished pesto should have a smooth consistency. Transfer to a bowl. Cook the bow tie pasta according to the box instructions. Drain well. Toss the pesto with the hot pasta and set aside.

Directions For Spicy Grilled Chicken:
In a large bowl, add Greek Yogurt, Agave nectar, blackened seasoning, Kosher salt, and grated garlic, mix well. Add the 4 thin chicken breasts. Make sure all the chicken is coated well with the seasoned yogurt. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and transfer the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat indoor grill pan on med-high heat. Have the oven set on 250 degrees F. Place the chicken breast on grill pan. Grill the first side for 3-4 minutes, flip the chicken and grill for another 3 minutes. Transfer the grilled chicken to a sheet pan and place in the oven to stay warm. Cook pasta, drain well. Transfer the pasta to a large mixing bowl, add the prepared pesto and toss.

Remove the chicken from the oven. On a cutting board for meat, slice chicken on the bias. Add the pasta to a large serving bowl, top with sliced grilled blackened chicken. Garnish with shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Serve hot.
 

 

 

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Semi-Homemade Biscuits

Semi-Homemade Biscuits (2)

 

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These Semi-Homemade Biscuits are so easy to make, I promise you’ll be making them again and again. They are golden on the outside and tender and delicious on the inside.

Cook Time: 10-12 minutes
Equipment: 9 x 13 casserole or baking dish, rolling pin, square biscuit cutter
Yields: 18 biscuits

Ingredients:
4 cups of Bisquick mix
1 cup of Sprite or 7-Up
1 cup of plain Greek yogurt at room temperature
1/2 a bar of room temperature cream cheese ( 4 ounces )
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
Pinch of kosher salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425-degrees F.
Melt the butter and pour into a 9 x 13 pan. In a large bowl, mix all the wet ingredients and the salt together. Finally add the Bisquick mix slowly, DO NOT over mix. The dough will be sticky. Flour your surface and rolling pin. Add a little flour to the top of the dough making it easier to roll out. Roll out the dough into a rectangle, about a 1/2 inch thick. Using a square biscuit cutter, cut the dough into 18 biscuits and place into your melted buttered baking dish, arranging them side by side. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

While the biscuits are hot, brush the tops with melted butter. Serve immediately.

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Crab Rangoon Dip With Wonton Chips

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I have to believe, everybody loves Crab Rangoons, they’re so delicious! The luscious lump crab and cream cheese wrapped up in a wonton wrapper then deep-fried, so yummy!  I’m sure there are a lot of recipes out there for Crab Rangoon, but I’m biased. My Crab Rangoon Dip is one you’ll really enjoy.

Yields: 2 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
1 pound lump crab meat
1 8-ounce bar cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup of Greek Yogurt, plain
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon confectioner sugar
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 tablespoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons freshly chopped chives (reserve 1 tablespoon for the top)
2 cups of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (reserve 1/2 cup for the top)
1 cup of bread crumbs, plain

Directions:
First, preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
In a large bowl, place the cream cheese, plain Greek yogurt. Add Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, lemon zest, freshly squeezed lemon, confectioner sugar ( to balance the acidity), Old Bay, garlic powder, freshly chopped chives, (reserving 1 tablespoon back for the top),  and 2 cups of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (reserving half a cup back for the top). Mix to combine

Finally, double check the lump crab for any shells. Fold in the lump crab meat so it doesn’t break up too much. You want to have large pieces of crab meat running through the dip. Spray a casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Add the crab mixture into the dish spreading it evenly throughout.

Sprinkle the reserved grated cheese all over the top. Next, evenly sprinkle the bread crumbs all over the top of the grated cheese. Finally, the reserved chives. Drizzle the top with olive oil so it browns nicely.  Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.

Directions For Wonton Chips:
Simply take wonton wrappers and cut them into triangles, spray them on one side with non-stick spray, lay them out on a baking sheet, bake at 350 for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with crispy wontons.

Serve hot with a side of the wonton chips.

Note: To double the amount of dip, double the ingredients.

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