Monday, April 19, 2010

Sherry Onion Almond Soup, Grilled Halibut with Sauce Vierge ~ Guest Post

Jess and I are blessed with great friends who are amazing cooks, seriously amazing cooks!  What follows is a beautiful meal we shared at Larry and Margo Shallcross's home.  In addition to fantastic food and a lovely table, we always have a great time!  Lively and interesting conversations and finally getting a chance to catch up, were all on the menu.  We promise each time we get together, we won't wait so long to do it again.  This particular evening, they orchestrated an entire meal that was both delicious and healthy!  You would love these people, Larry is an accomplished attorney whose practice includes business, family and equine law. 
Nicole (their daughter), Larry and Margo

Speaking of equine, look at this beautiful picture of Margo!  Margo travels all across the world to judge horse shows.  She is such a beautiful woman, a fantastic friend, and just a little nuts (our favorite part), we just don't get to see enough of her.

Margo, a horse show judge, pictured showing "The Black Stallion,"

The recipes that follow were given to me by Margo to share with you.  It was all incredible with my favorite probably being the soup which can be served hot or chilled.  Mmmmmmm, delicious and pretty too!  You know I am a huge fan of sauces, the Vierge Sauce for the halibut was perfect!

We started the evening with a Soup of Sherry Onion and Almond

Serves 6 small portions

3 tbsp. butter
2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
pinch of saffron strands (about 12)
2 oz. of blanched almonds, toasted and finely ground
3 cups of good chicken stock
3 tbsp of dry sherry (I served extra on the table to add as desired)
salt and ground pepper
2 tbsp sliced almonds, toasted and chopped fresh parsley to garnish

Melt the butter over low heat and add the onions and garlic, cover and gently cook for 15 to 20 minutes until soft and golden.

Add Saffron, cook 3-4 minutes then add the ground almonds and cook additional 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the stock and sherry, season. Bring to boil, lower and simmer for 10 minutes.

Process in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return to a clean pan and reheat slowly, stirring as needed, do not allow to boil. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Can be served chilled or heated. Garnish with almonds and parsley.
Grilled Halibut with Sauce Vierge was, main course for my diet conscience friends:

Serves 6

9 tbsp olive oil
2/3 tsp of each: fennel seeds and celery seeds
1 tsp of mixed peppercorns
1-1/4 tsp of each: fresh thyme leaves, rosemary leaves and oregano (all chopped)
6 thick cut halibut (about 2-1/4 lbs)
coarse sea salt
lemon wedges
The Sauce:

3 tomatoes
9 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and juice of 1-1/2 lemons
2 garlic clove, finely chopped
1-1/2 tsp of small capers
2 drained canned anchovy fillets, chopped
1-1/2 tsp of each: chopped fresh chives and fresh chervil

Directions for the Sauce:

Plunge tomatoes into boiling water until skins split, immediately refresh in cold water-peel the skins, remove the seeds and finely dice the flesh. Set aside.

Meanwhile, Heat grill and brush with olive oil.

Mix fennel and celery seeds with peppercorns in a mortar than stir in sea salt to taste. Place mixture in large flat dish, add the herbs and the remaining olive oil. Add the halibut pieces and coat, place on preheated grill with dark skin up. Cook about 7 minutes, turning once until skin is brown and fish is cooked through.

Combine sauce ingredients, except the herbs, in a pan and heat gently until warm but not hot. Gradually add the fresh herbs.

Spoon sauce over the halibut to serve.

I have also cooked the halibut on the stove and broiled for a minute if my grill is not available.


Fresh asparagus, bacon with mixed leaf lettuce.
Trimmed and steamed 1-1/2 lbs of medium asparagus spears
Fried 6 oz. of maple cured, thick bacon. After cooling I cut into small pieces
Cleaned and a package of mixed leaf lettuce.

The dressing was a store bought: French Buffalo Cheese. Any light an slightly tangy dressing or a light blue cheese is works well.

My apologizes to Margo and Larry, my photos did not come out of this tasty dessert.  You will just have to make it again for me :-)


Mango and Lime Fool

2--14 oz. cans of sliced mango's (Do NOT use frozen)
Grated rind of 2 limes
Juice of 1 lime
1-1/3 cup low fat cre'me fraiche
12 tbsp of low fat Greek yogurt
Fresh mango slices to decorate (Optional)

Drain the canned mango slices and place in a food processor or blender. Add the grated lime rind and lime juice. Process until it forms a smooth puree.

Pour the cre'me fraiche and Greek yogurt into a bowl and whisk until it is thick then quickly add the mango puree. Pour into 6 cups and chill for 1-2 hours. Just before serving decorate with fresh mango slices.

I also found some mango filled wafer cookies at the store and they were delicious with this dessert (not part of the diet plan).

My friends were kind in letting me try all this Low-Carbohydrate Food on them.
Margo Shallcross

Margo Dear, you and Larry can try anything on us anytime you want to!!!

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  1. I would love to give the sherry onion soup a try. Your friends sound like lovely people to be with. Glad you had a wonderful evening together.

  2. Sounds like a wonderful dinner with great friends. You're a lucky gal!

  3. the soup looks divine..great recipe


  4. Everything looks delicious. The soup definitely sounds unique and I'd love to try it. In addition, I love the addition of the capers in the sauce for the halibut - yum!


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