Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bratwurst and Summer Soup

It seems everyone I know has either gone on vacation, is about to leave, or will be going away soon.

This year, I'm going on vacation vicariously: I'm staying at home and hearing wonderful stories about friends' trips, and on my beside table is The Geography of Bliss, a great armchair travel read.

I'm also doing a lot of simple, easy, summer-vacation style cooking, along lines of the two dishes I posted earlier in the week -- an entree with a salad.

And after all the talk of grilling last week, I picked up continental, fully cooked bratwurst (pic below) shopping at Whole Foods yesterday, with the intention of grilling them for the evening meal.

I loved continental brats when I was a kid. But I don't tend to buy them these days (I avoid veal for ethical reasons), however the disclaimer on the back of the pack caught my eye:

"Veal Certified Humane, raised with shelter, sufficient space & the ability to engage in natural behavior."

I decided to buy the brats, despite that they contained veal, because of the happy, natural existence the calves had had before they were slaughtered for human consumption. (I hope you read irony in that comment.)

Anyway, I grilled the brats and a couple corn cobs, removing the shucks at the last minute to slightly brown the kernels.

I made a simple side salad of greens, tomatoes and olives, dressing it with olive oil and lemon juice. The brats, which I dipped in grain mustard mixed with ketchup, plus the succulent corn coated in ghee were delicious.

This weekend it's the major holiday of the American summer: The fourth of July. A wonderful picnic day and a big grilling day.

If you're grilling, I can highly recommend the meal above, and if you're entertaining at home this year, you might like to try my colorful, July 4th watermelon soup, especially since watermelons are abundant and often on sale at this time of the year.

Watermelon-Cucumber Soup with Vodka
1) Scoop flesh from 2 mini or 1 regular-sized chilled watermelon(s).
2) Toss flesh into a blender with a few sprigs of mint and a peeled, pitted and chopped cucumber.
3) Pour in a shot of iced Vodka per person.
4) Whizz ingredients in blender till smooth.
5) Serve immediately, otherwise watermelon will separate.

To Serve: Pour soup into individual shallow bowls, top with a scoop of plain yogurt, a few blueberries and or raspberries, plus a couple thin slices of cucumber, garnish with a sprig of mint.

No comments: