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Friday, October 8, 2010

Avgolemono and Nut Wedges- Comfort Food for a Friend






































Hi All!

So sorry for missing yesterday- I MUST have had a bad day to miss Foodie Friday! 

Surgery is Tuesday and it appears there's a tiny glitch. An abnormal test result now has everyone scrambling to get some more testing in before the pacemaker is implanted. MRIs are problematic afterward :)

One of my former clients and a dear friend called me yesterday and she sounded AWFUL. I was so touched that in the throes of the flu she was calling to check on me. 
When I was very young and felt bad, my Nonna went straight for the soup pot. One of my favorites was her Avgolemono- a rich, creamy chicken broth thickened with egg and lemon. Along with her Stracciatella her reputation as a healer was sealed.

It was only years later when I was older that I found out that my Nonna's soup wasn't an Italian cure-all. It was actually Greek!  No matter where it originated, this is comfort, and love, and healing in a cup.

I've seen "fancier" versions with chicken pieces and vegetables thrown in, but this is simple and basic. The only concession I make to modern times is using my stand mixer to beat the eggs- I think it makes for a thicker, richer soup. I love this soup hot, but traditionally it can be served either hot or cold



Avgolemono

6 cups chicken broth- preferably homemade
3/4 cup orzo
3 large eggs
generous 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
salt and white pepper
2-3 tblsp chopped fresh parsley or dill

In a large saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Add orzo, reduce heat, cover and simmer till tender (10-15 minutes). In the meantime, beat eggs till light and thick, then whip in lemon juice and zest. When orzo is cooked, pour about 1/2 cup of hot broth into eggs with mixer running- beat 5 seconds and add another 1/2 cup the same way. Add one more 1/2 cup and beat 5 more seconds. Skim off any foam and pour eggs into saucepan with orzo and broth. Heat, stirring till thickened and creamy- DO NOT BOIL- eggs will curdle. Remove from heat and stir in chopped parsley or dill. 





















I made some tarts for a fundraiser this week and had some pastry dough left. Rolled out and filled with a honey and lemon infused ground nut filling, it made a lovely sweet treat to send along with the soup


Nut Wedges

1 double crust recipe sweet pastry dough- see below
1 cup very finely chopped nuts
1/3 cup sugar
2 tblsp honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp shortening

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Divide dough in half and roll out each half to a 10-12" round (roll out between 2 sheets of lightly floured waxed paper). Transfer 1 round to a parchment lined cookie sheet.
In a small bowl, combine nuts, sugar, honey, cinnamon and lemon juice. Spread on  the pastry round which is on the cookie sheet leaving a border. Top with the other round, press  edges to seal, and trim with a fluted pastry cutter. Prick top with a fork and brush lightly with milk. Bake for 20-25 minutes till lightly golden. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes before cutting in wedges with a pizza cutter. Melt chips and shortening together (I do it in a ziplock bag in the microwave) Snip the corner of the bag and pipe onto wedges





As Always,

Buon Cibo, Buon Amici,

Pattie and Allie

21 comments:

  1. You weren't the only one who missed Foodie Friday! It's been a busy week here. How nice of you to cook for your friend who isn't feeling well. The soup and nut wedges both sounds wonderful! Soup is my go-to when I'm not feeling well too. It's soooo comforting. Hopefully, you kept some for yourself too while you're recuperating and I hope all goes well with the additional testing!

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  2. I'm not Italian or Greek but I discovered the effects of avgolemeno soup years ago. I love to add a little orzo:D

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  3. Pattie

    with all thats going on in your life, you still have time to make soup for a sick friend...you are a very special person and I am proud to call you friend! I love Nonna's soup, simplicity is sometimes best, and those nut wedges look delicious!
    Hope everything is ok for your surgery....as always you are in our prayers.
    Dennis

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  4. Pattie you are so thoughtful! I've always loved avgolemono, and your nut wedges looks so pretty and I bet they are delicious!

    I wish I could send you some home made soup when you are recovering from getting the pacemaker. I hope that will go on as scheduled so you will feel better and get back to normal sooner. Keeping you in my prayers!

    ♥ Pat

    PS: Thanks so much for your best wishes! We are so thrilled to be thinking pink!

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  5. Hi Pattie,Sending prayers for you. Of course I love Avgolemono soupa.Your dessert is a great compliment .This is a staple in Greek kitchens.I hope that you feel better and your recovery is short and sweet. God Bless,Emelia.

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  6. What a lovely simple soup. Thinking of you lots. Take care and hang in there. Blessings...Mary

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  7. c'est délicieux et riche en saveurs, j'aime beaucoup
    ps: j'ai des prix pour toi sur mon blog
    bonne journée

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  8. The little tarts look delish..We really loved your acorn squash~

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  9. Pattie,
    You have to be the sweetest person. This looks and sounds delicious. You must have brightened her day!
    Take care of yourself.
    Wendy

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  10. Patty-If this pacemaker gives you more enerygy, you are going to be running in circles! You do so much and for so many! This soup sounds wonderful, but I bet homemade stock makes all the difference. Hope you are taking care of yourself. A friend's husband just had one put in and she said it was a snap and made a world of difference--I will pray the same for you.

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  11. Pattie, Thinking of you and hope all goes well on Tuesday. The soup looks delicious.

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  12. I love this soup. Goodness - now you have me craving it. And those nut wedges would go down pretty well right now. You have the loveliest blog! Here's hoping that all goes smoothly from here on in - no glitches! Many thanks for the visit!

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  13. Pattie-
    First, and foremost, please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you...
    Secondly, I can't believe it's been so long since I've visited your delicious blog! Since I'm now cooking more:) I will have to spend some time here today. I hope the printer has paper!

    hugs and prayers to you,
    joan

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  14. I'm praying for you Pattie! Maybe Allie will post a little update after the procedure tomorrow.

    Blessing to you my friend,
    Patricia

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  15. Patti: I hope that all goes well with your procedure tomorrow and that you are soon on the road to good health.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  16. Dear Pattie -- You truly are the most amazing girl. I am holding my breath waiting for your procedure to be over and you on the mend.

    I hope the extra test didn't show anything else alarming -- PLEASE know that I've come to really care for you through our "virtual" friendship, and therefore I am just going to insist that your procedure be textbook and uneventful, and you are back cooking and being your wonderful self in the blink of an eye.

    I'm praying for wisdom and skill for your doctors and nurses -- and patience for you, because I think if you have to take it easy afterward for awhile, that's what you will need most!

    The recipes? Fabulous. I've got some lemons that need using -- I know what their fate will be.

    Hugs, prayers, love -- Cass

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  17. Chicken soup is always good for what ails you!

    I am sending you a little virtual chicken soup, Pattie.

    Praying all goes well for you tomorrow and in the days ahead!

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  18. How nice of you to do that. The soup sounds great! Here's wishing you the best of luck with your procedure tomorrow!

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  19. Looks delicious, Pattie!
    Praying all goes well!

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  21. I am sending you a little virtual chicken soup, Pattie.

    Praying all goes well for you tomorrow and in the days ahead!
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