“Spanish Influence” Chilled Soup: Fire-Roasted Chiles, Marcona Almond, Amontillado Sherry

Cold Fire-Roasted Chile Soup
“Spanish Influence” Chilled Soup
with
Fire-Roasted Chiles, Marcona Almond, Amontillado Sherry
Fried Tortilla, Roasted Corn, Bay Shrimp, Cilantro, Almond Oil

The chilled chile & almond soup has been a favorite around here for over a decade – a star of a cold soup that’s hot, smoky, and nutty. If fact, I entered it in a contest at the Los Angeles County Fair years ago, and it won second place. I’ve updated the soup recipe, now using fat luscious Spanish Marcona almonds and Spanish Amontillado sherry that has a whisper of sweetness. The basic soup can be simply garnished with a drizzle of Mexican crema and a few cilantro leaves. Or for entertaining, go all out and add sweet bay shrimp, roasted corn, freshly fried corn tortilla strips, chopped Marcona almonds, and a splash of toasted almond oil – your guests will surely be delighted.

“Spanish Influence” Chilled Soup
with Fire-Roasted Chiles, Marcona Almond, Amontillado Sherry RECIPE

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Chèvre Chaud Salad, Limoncello Dressing

Chèvre Chaud with Grape Arugula Salad, Limoncello Dressing
Chèvre Chaud over a Salad of  Arugula, Grapes, and Marcona Almonds
Limoncello Rosemary Dressing

How did this fall off my radar? Often, I would serve a Salade de Chèvre Chaud at dinner parties. It’s been years  – but now, fried goat cheese back. This time with arugula, grapes, marcona almonds, and a zippy limoncello rosemary dressing.

Food Network is featuring grapes this week, so I was thinking about foods that might pair well: goat cheese, almonds, lemon, rosemary, arugula, alcohol… Alcohol? Yes – like wine, cognac, brandy, rum. How about limoncello? The dressing is bold, lemony, and definitely zippy.  It adds unexpected character and balances the rich fried cheese. All the ingredients just came together and voilà – this bodacious “adult” salad was born.

Chèvre Chaud Recipe

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Summer’s Chilled Soup ☆ STAR ☆

chilled summer soup for entertaining

Chilled Marcona Almond & Poblano Chile Soup with Sherry
Crab Salad Pillar with Avocado
Diced Watermelon, Feta and Mint
Borage Blossom Garnish

The 5 Star Makeover Cooking Group hosted by Natasha the 5 Star Foodie & Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks! is an outstanding monthly event for sharing ideas and creating gourmet makeovers of selected classic dishes or flavor combinations. June’s summery theme is CHILLED SOUPS.

The chilled almond & chile soup has been a favorite here for over a decade – a STAR of a cold soup that’s hot, smoky, and nutty. If fact, I entered it in a contest at the Los Angeles County Fair years ago, and it won second place. I’ve updated the soup recipe, now using sweet Spanish Marcona almonds and dry Spanish sherry. The basic soup can be simply garnished with bay shrimp or a drizzle of Mexican crema and a few cilantro leaves. Or for entertaining, go all out and build the crab pillar, your guests will be delighted.

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Oloroso Sherry/ Mini Bundt Cake/ Marcona Almonds

One signature of our Sunken City Supper Club is a Sherry Course. We’re in love with Sherry! We tested this mini sherry Bundt cake with sherry glaze, garnished a sprig of rosemary, paired it with roasted and salted Spanish Marcona almonds as we sipped Oloroso sherry. Bingo!  Sweet, salty, crunchy, nutty, creamy, toasty…

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Grilled Rack of Lamb, Haricot Vert Amandine

Grilled Rack of Lamb with Herbed Hawaiian Red Salt
Mint Vinegar Sauce
Haricot Vert Tossed with Roasted Walnut Oil, Marcona Almonds

A special thank you to Peter of Kalofagas blog, and ultimately Bobby Flay, for the idea to crust the lamb with herbed salt. Here I took fresh mint, parsley and dill and blended in a food processor with Hawaiian Red Salt.

Hawaiian Red Salt
A small amount of harvested reddish Hawaiian clay called alaea enriches the sea salt with iron-oxide.
The traditional red salt originated on Kauai, where red volcanic clay mingled with sea salt during heavy rains. Evaporation created Hawaiian Red Alaea Sea Salt.
The herbed salt looked like little jewels, watermelon tourmaline crystals to be exact. Beautiful!

The rack was removed from the refrigerator about an hour before cooking. It is massaged with fresh ground pepper and the herbed salt. (You can also wrap each bone with strips of aluminum foil to keep them from blackening).

Place lamb rack on the hot grill with a remote thermometer inserted into the meat. Close the lid and turn the fire to medium. It is important to watch as there may be fire flare-ups. If so, douse with a sprinkle of water. Turn the rack over once. When the temperature reaches 140 degrees (for medium-pink) remove the lamb from the grill and let it rest. Once the lamb was removed from the heat the temperature went up to 155 degrees while resting, then when it came back down to 140, it was sliced. I like to use the temperature to determine when the meat is ready to be sliced.

Very little of the juices were lost when slicing by waiting for the temperature to come back down. This method gave us juicy and smokey medium-pink chops exceptionally well-seasoned with the herbed salt and pepper.

In the meantime it is a snap to make a tasty mint vinegar sauce to complement the lamb. And to whomever it was that came up with the idea to pair not just mint, but vinegar too, with lamb, thank you very much.

The haricot vert are steamed then tossed with Hawaiian red salt, roasted walnut oil, and Spanish marcona almonds.
If you haven’t cooked a rack of lamb on the grill, you just might want to give this smokey version a try!