As promised, here are the recipes from this past Wednesday’s Mah Jongg lunch. This was a really easy lunch to make with great rewards. I usually have step-by-step photos but not this time. However, not to worry – these really are wonderfully simple recipes.

I have had a number of emails about the dishes I used for this luncheon – I will post information about them on Sunday.


The Chilled Cucumber Soup with Shrimp makes a lot of soup – you easily can serve 9 or 10 people with this recipe. And the good news is that I made it the day before and it was still yummy today so that means it is a soup that keeps well (in the refrigerator) for a couple of days.

This is a really huge bowl and fortunately for me, it just fit into my refrigerator (barely)!


As you will see in the recipe, just before serving you stir in the lemon juice and then add the shrimp, dill, and lemon slice. I like to have everything all measured out and ready to add which is what a real chef might call mise en place.  I love French cooking terms!



2 (17-ounce) containers Greek yogurt
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
3 hothouse cucumbers, unpeeled, seeded and chopped
3/4 cup chopped red onion
9 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (6 lemons)
3/4 pound cooked large shrimp, halved horizontally
Thin slices of lemon, halved, for garnish
Fresh dill, for garnish

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yogurt, half-and-half, cucumbers, red onion, scallions, salt, and pepper. Transfer the mixture in batches to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until the cucumbers are coarsely pureed and then pour into another bowl. Continue processing the soup until all of it is pureed. Fold in the dill, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until very cold. (I made the soup the day before and let it chill for close to 24 hours).

Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice. Serve chilled, garnished with the shrimp, lemon, and fresh dill.


The crab salad was really good and along with it I cut up a crusty baguette and had three different kinds of cheese (Piave, D’Affinois, and Humboldt Fog – the perfect trifecta of cheeses: a hard cheese, a creamy and soft cheese, and a blue cheese).

PIC’S FRESH CRAB SALAD WITH LIME ZEST (Patricia Wells and the Barefoot Contessa)
4 servings
1 pound fresh lump crabmeat
2 limes, zest grated

1 t. fresh lime juice
5 or 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground white pepper to taste
Several lettuce leaves or thinly slice cucumbers, for garnish

Lime wedges for garnish
In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise with the lime zest and lime juice. Gently fold in the crabmeat and season with salt and pepper.
Arrange lettuce leaves on a platter or plates and mound the crab salad on top. Garnish with lime wedges and serve.
The crab salad can be refrigerated for 4 hours. Mound it on the lettuce and serve cold or lightly chilled.

Dessert was another quick and easy – and pretty! – recipe. I made the raspberry sauce the day before so that it could chill for 24 hours. I bought small meringue disks but you could make the meringue yourself, if you were so inclined.  I just figured, why take the time to make the meringue when I could pick up these pre-made disks in advance and they are just as good as the home-made versions (another trick I have learned from Barefoot Contessa!).

ETON MESS (Mah Jongg)

Serves 9

6 (6-ounce) packages fresh raspberries, divided
1 ½ cups plus ¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1½ tablespoons framboise liqueur
2½ cups cold heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
5-6 (3-inch) bakery meringue shells, broken in pieces

Pour 3 packages of the raspberries, 1½ cups of the sugar, and the lemon juice into a 10-inch sauté pan. Crush the berries lightly with a fork and bring the mixture to a full boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is syrupy. Fold the remaining 3 packages of raspberries and the framboise into the hot mixture and refrigerate until very cold.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream, the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, and the vanilla together on medium-high speed until it forms firm peaks.

In decorative glasses, layer a spoonful of the whipped cream, a spoonful of the raspberry mixture, and then a few meringue pieces. Repeat once or twice, depending on the size of the glasses, until the glasses are full, ending with berries and a dollop of cream. Serve immediately or chill for an hour, until ready to serve.


Let people make their own Eton Mess. Bring out bowls of whipped cream, the raspberry sauce, and the broken-up meringues.


Lastly, K brought treats for Lizzie and I guess she wanted more – K’s purse holds great fascination for my sneaky little pup…

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