Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Shepherds

#5 in a series
 
Now, the shepherds.  It's hard to imagine the fear and awe of the shepherds when the angel came and announced the birth of the Prince of Peace.  There they were, minding their own business, just watching sheep  and looking out for dogs and thieves.  Then BAM!  An angel appears and tells them that everything would be different since a child had been born, the Son of the Most High.  "And you will find Him dressed in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger."  Surely they were confused, but, they went and found the Child and, like you and I, did not fully comprehend.  Then they fell down and worshiped Him.
     For the shepherds?  Roast lamb would be nice, but remember red meat was only served on High Holy Days. (and the shepherd didn't usually own the sheep he tended).  He would have lived on a diet more customary for the time.   Let's start with bread dipped in wine.  No mystery here, just get some good crusty French bread and dip it in your favorite red wine.  This would have been very common in the ancient world, and its a great way to have bread without butter.
     Then I think green olive soup.  This is what you need
2 cups pitted green olives
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
4 cups of chicken stock
1 cup whipping cream
3 more tablespoons of olive oil
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
freshly ground pepper  (NO SALT-the olives are plenty salty)
4 shots of Tabasco
1/2 cup dry sherry

Garnish
sliced pimeinto stuffed green olives
garlic bread croutons

Soak the green olives in cold water for 1 hour.  Drain and coarsely chop.  Heat a frying pan and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the onion, and garlic, along with about two thirds of the olives.  Saute until the onion is transparent.  Puree the mixture in a food processor with 1 cup of the chicken broth.
    In a 4-quart saucepan, combine the puree mixture with the remaining stock. Simmer for 20 minutes and add the cream.  In a small frying pan, cook the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the flour together to form a roux.  Whisk the roux into the sop and simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened.  Add black pepper to taste, the remaining chopped olives, the Tabasco, and sherry.  Heat and serve with the sliced olive and croûton garnish.
Stay Hungry
Peace


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