Guacamole

Guacamole originate from the Aztec and became popular in Spain.  The name Guacamole comes from an Aztec dialect, ahuacatl means avocado and molli means sauce.  Branca made this very popular dipping sauce to go with her home-made Tortillas.

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Guacamole is creamy by the ripe avocado, fragrant by the cilantro and a hint of tanginess from the lime juice.  It is a very nutritious dip rich with good monounsaturated fat from the avocado.

Here are some tips on buying avocado:

  • choose black ones
  • it should be lightly tender to touch
  • if you buy unripen avocado, wrap them in newspaper and place them at a warm place to speed up the ripening process
  • you can also place the avocados next to some apples to speed up the ripening process
  • if you would like to keep them for a while, refrigerate them

Ingredients

  • Ripe avocados
  • red tomatoes, diced
  • onion, finely chopped
  • cilantro, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • freshly squeeze lime juice
  • finely chopped serranos (optional)

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Red Salsa

Blanca also made a Red Salsa in the South Arm Community Kitchen.  The primary ingredient in the Red Salsa is tomatoes which give it the red colour.  However, the day we made the Red Salsa, it did not turn out very red as the cilantro’s green colour seemed to dominate the red of the tomatoes.

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The Red Salsa can be made just like the Green Salsa, i.e., boil the ingredients first, then blend and reboil.  However, Blanca showed us another way which blends the ingredients first, then boil.

Ingredients

  • Tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • rough chopped onion
  • chopped cilantro
  • serranos (optional)
  • salt to taste

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Tomato Soup Chowder

This Tomato Soup Chowder recipe is from Joyce Gerein. Lorna and Carol made this chowder in the South Arm Cooking Club for seniors. Tomatoes is rich in lycopene, an antioxidant and the storage and temperature affects the amount of lycopene in the fruit. Below is an extract of a hand out from Stella which explains the best way to harvest lycopene.

Lycopene is an antioxidant that gives tomatoes, watermelon, and red fleshed grapefruits their rich red color. Temperature is an important factor in the development and availability of lycopene in the above said fruits. According to Penelope Perkins-Veazie, Ph.D, a plant physiologist who conducted the watermelon study; the normal biological processes in watermelon that produce lycopene are strong at room temperature, while cooler temperatures slow them down. Perkins-Veazie recommends letting a whole melon sit on the counter for up to five days to fully ripen and develop lycopene. Then place it in the fridge to chill before enjoying (unless the melon has been cut, in which case it should be refrigerated immediately). It will taste sweeter and crisper if it’s cold and if stored for two days or less you will not lose any of the lycopene gained wihole the melon sat out.

In the case of tomato, the benefits are actually better when they’re processed. Lycopene in tomato is located inside cells. when the cell walls are broken during processing, lycopene is released and can be absorbed. According to Steven J. Schwartz, Ph.D;, professor of food science at Ohio State University in Columbus; heat alters lycopene’s molecular structure, making it two to three times easier for our bodies to absorb than raw.

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This Tomato Soup Chowder is a hearty soup and it’s very filing too, with the potatoes in it. You can have this for brunch with some biscuits for dipping.

Ingredients

For Soup:

  • 2 cups potatoes, cubed
  • 3/4 cup onions, diced
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 28-oz, can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups boiling water

For Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dry parsley

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Tomato Egg Soup

The second dish which Lucy showed us in the Gilmore Park Community Kitchen is called Tomato Egg Soup. This is her family’s common soup. This soup has similar texture like the sour and spicy soup you get at most Chinese restaurants except that it’s not sour and spicy. It is a thick soup.

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We enjoyed this Tomato Egg Soup as it is not too heavy in flavour. You can incorporate your own favourite vegetables into the soup but I like the texture of the cloud ear fungus. Enoki mushroom, bamboo shoots and tofu are good incorporations for this soup too.

Ingredients

  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons diced green onion
  • a few cloud ear fungus, reconstituted, chopped
  • 4 fresh shiitake mushroom, chopped
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • corn starch
  • 6 cups of water or chicken broth

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Tomato Soup

During our weekly Cooking Club, we take turns showing two dishes. Earlier last week, it was Andreas turn. I have blogged about the Beef and Noodle dish earlier. This one is about her other dish which she called simply Tomato Soup.

This soup goes well with some crusty bread or crackers.

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Ingredients

  • 1 or 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 2-3 lbs tomatoes
  • 2-3 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)
  • 2 carrots, cut into coins
  • 1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

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