Recipes from Chef Hans Rueffert

CURE, Winter 2009, Volume 8, Issue 4

Gastric cancer survivor and chef Hans Rueffert shares a few of his one-of-a-kind recipes.

Gastric cancer survivor and chef Hans Rueffert shares a few of his one-of-a-kind recipes. Enjoy!

2 cups okra pods, capped and halved

1 fat clove of garlic, rough chopped

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp coarse ground pepper

2 tbs honey

2 tbs olive oil

Heat the olive oil on high heat and fry the garlic until it just starts to brown. Add okra, cumin, salt, and pepper and toss until just heated through. Turn off heat and add honey, tossing to cover. Serve immediately. When you cook it this fast, it doesn't have a chance to get slimy and it has a great crunch. For a twist, add a solid dash of your favorite hot sauce. The combination of sweet, hot, and crunch is downright addictive. Give it a try...

For the Soup

3 heads of roasted garlic (discard the papery husk and roots)

1 quart chicken stock

3 cups fire-roasted crushed tomatoes (canned are just fine)

2 cups of rough torn bread (preferably dense, chewy farm bread or sourdough)

1 tbs minced fresh garlic

1 tbs sea salt

Coarse ground pepper to taste

In a large, heavy pot, combine the chicken stock, garlic (both types), and the torn bread. Bring the stock to a slow boil, allowing the bread to become totally saturated. Using an immersion blender (or a food processor), blend the stock until the bread is completely dissolved and the garlic is thoroughly pulverized. Next, add the crushed tomatoes, salt, and pepper. I like to have small chunks of tomato in the soup, but if you prefer it smoother you can add the tomatoes before you blend the soup. Adjust your seasonings and enjoy. The soup will last in the refrigerator for several days and is actually quite good served chilled with a dollop of sour cream.

For the skillet croutons

2 cups bread, cubed (preferably the same bread used in the soup)

1 tsp minced garlic

Chopped garlic chives or scallions

Sea salt

White truffle oil (or high quality olive oil)

In a large skillet over medium heat, add cubed bread, garlic, a sprinkle of sea salt and a drizzle of oil. Toss the bread around in the skillet until they’re nice and crunchy on the outside and the garlic has started to caramelize. When you’re happy with them, turn off the heat and add your garlic chives or scallions. The heat of the croutons and the pan will help them to release a bit of their volatile oils without overcooking them. Pile them on top of your soup while their still warm and you’re good to go. I usually eat about half of them while they’re cooking, so you may want to start with a bit more than 2 cups!

To learn more about gastric cancer survivor and chef Hans Rueffert, visit www.hanscooks.com, or read his blog at hansrue.blogspot.com.