Monday, August 31, 2009

Gin Gimlet + Don Draper - Cucumber Saladita

Laundry, no-stove cooking, a gin gimlet and the latest episode of Mad Men.

Monday night has been heaven, dear readers.

And when Don Draper skillfully hopped over that bar to make a couple of Old Fashioned's? My heart may have skipped a beat or two. I mean (for those of you who watched it) how good was that episode? Best one yet, I think. The look on Joanie's face when she played her accordion at the dinner party! If someone doesn't give that girl an Emmy I'll spit!

Have I mentioned that I love this show?

I could go on of course. For those of you who haven't yet watched it, I highly recommend checking it out. It makes folding one's laundry so much more bearable. I like how I have to give myself incentives to actually make it all the way through my chores these days. Put the clothes in the wash before I start Mad Men, a glass of wine after I finish the dishes, a little nap before I make the bed. I'm really becoming quite indulgent. I'll have to work on that. Perhaps become a little more selective with the incentives. But Monday is through, Mad Men has been watched and my laundry is dry and neatly folded. Well done, I say, well. done.

This is my no-cook summer dinner. Cucumber Saladita. Vegetarian and easily adapted to become vegan, just omit the feta. It's fresh, delicious and happens to be another installment of the "frugal me" meal plan. So far that $20 has spread itself out quite well (as long as you don't count that dinner at Burma Superstar or the sandwich at the Healdsburg Bar and Grill yesterday...which I don't!). This is a great addition to any BBQ.

Cucumber Saladita
Saldita - A colorful mixture of chopped vegetables
Can easily be made vegan by ommiting the cheese
Serves 6

2 cups fresh corn kernels
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
¼ cup diced red bell pepper
3 tablespoons finely diced poblano chile
¼ teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons very finely
minced red onion
1 pinch salt
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
3 large cucumbers, preferably English seedless
2 medium firm, but ripe, avocados
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup crumbled feta cheese

In a medium bowl, combine the all the ingredients from the corn through the cilantro, and mix well. Cover the bowl and set in the fridge to marinate for 1/2 hour to an hour before using. Meanwhile, halve the cucumbers lengthwise, scrape out the insides with a spoon and discard the seeds. 15 minutes before serving, remove the salidita and let it come to room temp. Dice the avocados and add them to the saladita, mixing gently. Add pepper to taste.

Fill each cucumber half with about 1/3 cup of the saladita mixture. Garnish with the feta and serve cold or at room temp. There will be lots of leftover saladita mix, eat at will!

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