Willie Flocko’s COUNTRY KITCHEN: Summer Salads

Editor’s 1993 Note: Mr Flocko, at last report, was vacationing in Scotland, and on the verge of a nervous bengecookbreakdown. This office received a scratchy trans-Atlantic phone call from our hapless food editor, who was having a difficult time of it, learning to drive on the left (or “wrong” side of the road, as he put it.)

The agency from which he rented his car has required him to triple the liability insurance, and there is some question if he will be allowed to continue driving.

Hopefully, Flocko will be able to complete his vacation without further incident and return safely to Moab and the Zephyr in the near future. Meanwhile, here are some recipes he prepared for you, his loyal readers, before departing.


Flocko’s Cold Cucumber Soup

This recipe is exceptionally easy, very refreshing and is as useful in dieting as it is filling…very low in calories.

Pour one quart of buttermilk into a bowl. Grate one (1) cucumber into the buttermilk. Add black pepper and a sprinkle of either dill or mint. Chill and serve.

Lobster-Grapefruit Salad With Green Peppercorns

4 lobster tails (about 1 pound each in the shell)

if unavailable, jumbo prawns may be substituted

1 cup white wine

2 large pink grapefruits, cut into fillets (see note)


2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced

1 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons grapefruit juice

2 tablespoons champagne vinegar

2 ½ tablespoons green peppercorns, bruised

Salt, to taste

2 firm heads endive, trimmed and slivered

Using kitchen scissors or a very sharp knife, remove the lobster meat from the shells. Save the shells for making stock or discard. Place the lobster meat and the wine in a shallow saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to moderate, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the lobster is just done. Do not over cook the lobster meat. Remove with a slotted spoon and cool to room temperature, reserving the wine.

When the meat is cool enough to handle, slice it into 1/2-inch rounds and arrange around the innter edge of a large plate. Arrange the grapefruit fillets between the slices of lobster.

To make the vinaigrette: Place the shallots in the reserved wine and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil until liquid is reduced to 2 tablespoons. Place in a large bowl and cool to room temperature. Using a wire whisk, incorporate small amounts of the olive oil, whisking all the while. Slowly add the grapefruit juice and vinegar, whisking all the while to form a smooth emulsion. Add the peppercorns; mix well and season with salt

Place the endive in a bowl and dress with half of the vinaigrette; mix gently. Arrange endive in a mound in the center of the lobster and grapefruit. Drizzle the lobster and grapefruit with the remaining vinaigrette, and serve at room temperature.

Note: To cut citrus fruits into fillets, use a very sharp paring knife to first peel the fruit, taking care to remove all the pith. Then cut between the fibers that separate each section in order to remove the pulp, leaving behind the white membrane. Gently lay each fillet on a flat surface as you remove it from the whole fruit.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Gazpacho with Corn and Zucchini

2 to 4 ears of corn on the cob

2 pounds fresh, red, ripe tomatoes

1 onion, preferably a red onion, coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

2 cups peeled, coarsely chopped cucumber

1 ½ cups tomato juice

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

½ small zucchini, peeled

1 cup finely diced cucumber

3 tablespoons finely minced fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried

Drop the shucked corn into boiling water to cover Cover and when the water returns to the boil, remove it immediately from the heat. Let stand 5 minutes, no longer. Drain. Let the corn cool. Cut off the kernels. There should be about 1 cup.

Drop the tomatoes into boiling water to cover. Let stand 12 seconds and drain immediately. Pull the peel from the tomatoes, using a paring knife. Cut away and discard the core. Coarsely chop the tomatoes. There should be about 4 cups.

Put the tomatoes into the container of an electric blender. It may be necessary to do this in two or three steps. Add the onion, garlic, the coarsely chopped cucumber, and tomato juice. Blend thoroughly in one or two steps, depending on the blender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the mixture into a bowl and add the olive oil and vinegar.

Cut the zucchini into fine dice and add it. Add the corn. Add the diced cucumber and basil. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Chill thoroughly.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


Cold Garlic Soup

1 quart rich chicken broth

2 large cloves garlic

2 cups heavy cream

4 egg yolks

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg or to taste

1 ½ cups garlic croutons (see recipe)

Pour the broth into a 2-quart heavy casserole.

Peel the garlic and crush each clove slightly. Add it to the broth. Simmer 10 minutes.

Blend the cream and yolks and add the mixture to the broth, stirring rapidly. Bring just to the boil, stirring constantly, and remove from the heat. Add salt and pepper to taste and the nutmeg. Serve very cold with a garnish of croutons on each serving. (Can also be served piping hot.)

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

Garlic Croutons

2 cloves garlic

4 tablespoons butter

1 ½ cups bread cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Peel the garlic and crush each clove slightly.

Heat the butter in a heavy saucepan, and when it is hot, add the garlic and bread cubes. Cook, stirring and shaking the skillet, until the cubes are golden brown all over. Drain the cubes and discard the garlic.

Yield: 1 ½ cups


Avocado Salad

3 pkgs. Lime Jello

4 tablespoons lemon juice

2 cups hot water (boiling)

1 cup whipped cream, after whipping

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup diced cucumber

½ cup sliced olives (stuffed)

1 cup sliced avocado

1 cup avocado pulp

½ teaspoon salt

When liquid cooks and begins to thicken, put in solids.

Serves 12.


Burgundy Punch Sherbet

Mix in a blender four each of peeled oranges, lemons, and limes, two large cans of frozen orange juice concentrate, one small bottle of Rose’s lime juice, four small cans of frozen cranberry juice concentrate, a fifth of Burgundy, and half a quart of black cherry soda. Whip it all together, let it freeze, whip it again, and place it back in the freezer for another hour or two until it freezes up. Serve in Burgundy glasses.

Summer Snow

Mix in a blender the meat from one melon (cantaloupe, honeydew, or Cranshaw,) one cup of cran-apricot juice, half a cup of Rose’s lime juice, the juice of two lemons, and about a cup of honey. It should not be too sweet, but on the tart side. Blend until smooth, pour into trays, and freeze. Serve scooped into champagne or Burgundy glasses. Serves 6.

Lime Applesauce Sherbet

Put into a blender one whole lime, one small container of frozen orange juice concentrate, two small containers of frozen limeade concentrate, a pinch of sweet basil, about a half a cup of honey, one cup of milk, a small bottle of Rose’s lime juice, and the juice of two lemons. Puree until smooth, blend it into eight cups of applesauce, and freeze it for about two hours. Take it out, whip it again, and refreeze until it’s time to serve. The amounts given will make enough sherbet to serve at least 8 people. It should be very tart—this sherbet is wonderful with cold pork or cold smoked fish, or as a relief to any dinner, or by itself.

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