HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.
Showing posts with label Dinner Salads. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dinner Salads. Show all posts

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Roasted Shrimp Salad with Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes and Avocado


        Last Sunday, we gave a pool party for our god-daughter.  It’s an annual event to celebrate her birthday for the four of us who are called “The Uncles”.  Andrew and I and Terry and Shawn have watched Olivia grow up and we’ve been there for every birthday.  It’s the perfect time to break out the Rosé and the pool toys—this year a gigantic swan Olivia named “Gloria Swanson”.  It’s also the perfect occasion for this salad.   I was drawn to a recipe from Ann Burrell, the Food Network’s wild-haired woman who, it turns out, is a summer visitor to the Hamptons.  In her original recipe which appeared in Hamptons magazine, Ann used our perfectly ripe heirloom tomatoes as the basis for a shrimp salad.  I took off from there.  First, I have to thank Ina Garten, who, as almost everybody knows, lives in the next town over full time.  From Ina, I learned that roasting shrimp is the best way to capture all their flavor.  Far superior to boiling shrimp, roasting them seems to bake all the flavor into the shrimp.  The tomatoes were a no-brainer. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Grilled Sirloin Steak Salad with Seasonal Vegetables and Asian flavors


         My dear friend, Cate, who bears more than a passing resemblance to the other Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, came to lunch over the weekend.  Cate, of course, asked that I not go to any trouble.  So I really didn’t. Still I wanted to give her treatment worthy of her namesake, so I went on the hunt for a great salad to serve.  Cate is not your seafood salad type—she’s deadly allergic to shellfish.  So that was out. But what was in was steak.  And so off I went in search of steak salad recipe that would take as much advantage as possible of the avalanche of perfect vegetables all grown within a mile of our house.  And boy, did I find one!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Strawberry Spinach Salad

 
Did you know May is National Strawberry month?  Neither did I. But a couple of weeks ago, I was left with a clamshell half-filled with beautiful Driscoll strawberries that I didn’t want to see going to waste. Driscoll is not a species of strawberry. It’s a privately held company in Watsonville, California that’s been owned by the same family for over 100 years now.   It has a huge payroll, employing over 40,000 people around the world developing, growing and harvesting all kinds of berries: Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberries and, of course, Strawberries both organic and conventionally grown.   It’s also a company with a shining history of giving back:  After World War II, Driscoll’s helped Japanese Americans, newly released from the internment camps they were held in, become sharecroppers for the company.  And Driscoll is a major supporter of Natividad Medical Center in Salinas, CA where it provides translators for speakers of Central America’s indigenous languages: Zapotec, Mixteco and Triqui. Driscoll is one of those companies I feel privileged to buy from. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Cosmo Goss' Beer-Braised Pork Belly and Arugula Salad


        
Chef Cosmo
Goss "Hop Chef"
Gail Collins, the columnist who calls the New York Times Opinion pages home, loves a good name.  One of her all-time favorites is Butch Otter, the Governor of the great state of Idaho about whom Collins wrote: “ That is not really the point (of her editorial) but I always enjoy writing “Gov. Butch Otter”. For me, there's a chef's name that I enjoy writing too: "Cosmo Goss". But unlike Ms. Collins, I have a really good reason to write it.  He created a dinner salad that I've made twice in a week. And not because I ruined it the first time.  I just wanted more. Cosmo Goss is a chef at Publican restaurants in Chicago. Cosmo was recently named Brewery Ommegang’s “Hop Chef”, as winner of a cooking contest centered on--you guessed it--beer. This wonderful salad is also a salute to Pork Belly.  As if it needed one: Pork Belly is everywhere.  And proof of its popularity is its ever-escalating price.  Mine came in at 4.99 lb. When ground pork is 3.69, you have to wonder why 4.99 for something that looks very much like extremely fatty bacon.  However, one taste of this salad, with its sweet and slightly spicy dressing, golden slices of sauteed pear, tangy arugula and pork belly braised in an artisan ale will convince you that 4.99 is a very little price to pay.  Once you’re over that hump, onto the next one, which is the cost of the requisite ale. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Saga of Thousand Island Dressing and the Original Recipe for it!

        

I just came back from the Thousand Islands, a natural wonder that occurs where the Great Lakes pour into the St. Lawrence River.  These islands range in size from tiny outcroppings in the river to islands where there are farms and dozens of families living on them year ‘round.   Most, however, are home to seasonal summer homes accessible only by boat.  There are well over a thousand of them, 1864 to be exact, scattered along a fifty mile downstream stretch from Kingston, Ontario.  To qualify as an island, the land must be above water level all year round, have an area of at least one square foot and support at least one living tree.  Those islands that are not a part of the province of Ontario are all located in New York State.  Boat tours leave from both sides of the border, pointing out the homes of the rich and famous, who summered here at the turn of the 19 th century.  Among those is one of the greatest rock piles I’ve ever seen, Boldt Castle.  It’s the subject of much legend and romance.  And it’s part of the intrigue surrounding Thousand Island Salad Dressing.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Lobster Cobb Salad with Buttermilk Basil Dressing


         
       

My first Cobb Salad was the first of many I ate on the terrace of the Polo Lounge in the Beverly Hills Hotel.  It was irresistible with its mosaic of ingredients that arrived at the table beautifully arranged on the plate.  The tomatoes glistened, there was crisp bacon, diced chicken breast, hard cooked eggs, beautiful Roquefort blue cheese and of course, this being California, a diced avocado.  The lettuce – a mix of iceberg, watercress, endive and romaine – was finely chopped—something I’d never seen before.  The waiter would toss all these ingredients together and dress the salad with a French dressing.  It was so perfectly Californian and almost as sunny.   Devotees of the salad can thank the Hotel for keeping the recipe alive because its birthplace, a Hollywood shrine if there ever was one, closed years ago.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ina Garten's Italian Seafood Salad


        
Ina's Italian Seafood Salad minus the Mussel shells....
and with them served on a bed of lettuce
It’s houseguest season and that means food. Lots of it.  By my count, between Friday and Sunday, there are total of 6 meals to offer: 2 dinners, 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches.  If that all seems overwhelming, don’t kill me for saying it doesn’t have to be.   The more you get done before the guests arrive, the easier your weekend will be.  This dish could not be a better example.  You make the whole thing in all of an hour in the morning, stick it in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours and you’ve got a superb dinner or lunch whenever you want it.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Farmers' Market Salad with Buttermilk-Chive Dressing from "flour, too" by Joanne Chang


Our Farmers' Markets are brimming with more and more produce every week.  The carrots and beans, tomatoes and radishes are in and the Red Bliss potatoes are still baby-sized and beautiful.  So you can imagine my delight at opening Joanne Chang’s latest cookbook, “flour,too” (Chronicle Books 2013) and discovering the perfect recipe to put them all together.  Joanne Chang’s recipes are a regular feature on Chewing the Fat.  Pastry Chef Chang’s takes on classic American desserts from homemade Oreos http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2012/03/joanne-changs-recipe-for-homemade-oreo.html to the most recent post featuring Strawberry shortcakes http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2013/06/joanne-changs-balsamic-strawberry.html are extremely popular, not just with Andrew but with all our readers.  Now, in “flour, too” her recipe files have been expanded to include savories from her Flour Bakeries and Cafes in Boston.  This is huge boon to savory cooks like me.  But fear not.  Chef Chang's new cookbook includes enough sweetness to satisfy both the baker and the cook in our house. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Watermelon Salsa served 2 ways: In Fish Tacos and a Blackened Swordfish Salad



         For the last few summers, one of our salads of choice has been the Watermelon and Tomato rendition first published here in July 2010: http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2010/07/watermelon-and-tomato-salad.html.  Nothing says 'cool off' like watermelon and this salad combines the sweetness of the fruit with the tang of ripe tomatoes, a jolt of red onion and a splash of red wine vinegar.  It’s a perfect accompaniment to almost anything grilled, truly a dish that has summer written all over it.  So when I spotted a recipe for Fish Tacos with Watermelon Salsa, I couldn’t wait to try it.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bay Burger’s Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing, Tomatoes And Red Onion.



         I frequently take part in surveys about where I eat and what I eat and when.  It goes with the territory when you write about food. Inevitably, there’s a question about how long ago I’ve visited a fast food restaurant.  I invariably answer “Never” because I gave up fast food over ten years ago.  That’s also when we ousted as much processed food from our diet as we possibly could.  While I am still not making my own Ketchup or Mayonnaise, I’ve been very successful in keeping things fresh around here.  Then how do I explain my attachment to Bay Burger, the Sag Harbor Hamburger Emporium at 1742 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike Sag Harbor, NY 11963 (Phone: 631.899.3915)?  In certain circles it would be classified as Fast Food faster than you can say McDonald’s.  But it isn’t. Not by a long shot.  For one thing, have you ever been to a McDonald’s that operates as a Farmer’s Market on Saturdays all winter?  Does your local McD’s have jazz nights every Thursday?  Does your fast food restaurant make its own ice cream with the fantastic tagline: “It’s from the Hamptons so you know it’s rich”?  And one summer they even made the most incredible ham sandwich. ( I do hope they bring that one back.) And how is the food there ?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Fresh Asparagus Salad with Buratta, Pancetta, Pine Nuts, Raisins and Bread Crumbs and Tiny Tomatoes


The Creamy Burrata is completely hidden under the Asparagus

  
The Bounty of the Comfort Family Farm on
Lumber Lane in Bridgehampton starts
with their first Asparagus crop of the season.
         The first Asparagus of the season arrived last weekend out in Bridgehampton. I was driving along past one of the farm stands we go to all summer, when I saw the first spears standing totally alone on what is usually a cart laden with produce. As you can see in this Fall picture, the Comfort Family’s farm grows all kinds of good things. But there are few things in life I look forward to more than the arrival of those first tender shoots of asparagus.  The delicious flavor of the vegetable is matched by the glorious green color it takes on when cooked.  We’ll have plenty of it for the next month. And then it will disappear until next Spring.  I’ll buy it in the off-season but those spears will pale when compared to the delicious fresh flavor of the local stuff.  Now, how to make it a whole meal?  A complete dinner for two?  It was actually very easy.

Monday, January 30, 2012

White Bean and Roasted Shrimp Salad with Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette



         If ever a cookbook cover said it all, it’s this: Brilliant Simple Food to Make Anytime.  That’s what Tyler Florence’s “Tyler’s Ultimate” (Clarkson Potter 2006) says and it couldn’t be more true.  Take for instance this deliciously satisfying dinner salad.  It would be appropriate to serve in the dead of summer but it was a wonderful treat in January.  It could be the centerpiece of a ladies lunch but we used it as dinner for the two of us men.  And as far as ‘simple’ goes, it calls for just two baking sheets and is on the table in a half hour.  Now that’s brilliant.

Monday, July 11, 2011

An encounter with Wolfgang Puck and his recipe for Chinois Chicken Salad


       
      I was fortunate that, for most of my Advertising career, I traveled very frequently and almost inevitably, first class.  My clients generally hailed from places where great restaurants were few and far between.  Whenever they would get to world-class cities, they reveled in staying in the best hotels and eating at top-rated restaurants.  It was heaven on an expense account.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Crab Louie



        While I was making this terrifically easy salad, I winced.  It was so ladies-who-lunch, I half expected to have to put on a large hat to eat it.  But it was beautiful to look at and so perfect for right now, that I realized it doesn’t have to be confined to the lunch hour.  It would be a perfect supper.  And aside from the hard-cooked eggs, it involves no cooking.  It uses great fresh produce that’s to be found everywhere at the moment.  And you could pick up everything you needed on your way home tonight.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Coconut Shrimp Salad



Too often for my liking, I get into trouble with a recipe that’s just too much food for two people.  Try as I may, cutting back on volume isn’t always the easiest task.   Things that say they are for four people are relatively simple to divide in half.  It’s when you get to recipe for 6 or 8 servings that I start having problems.  Math was never my strong suit to begin with.  So you can imagine my intimidation when I saw this recipe from Specialty Food Magazine.  It was for 24 (8 ounce) portions.  But two things stirred me into action. The first was that I cannot get enough coconut--or shrimp for that matter.  The second is that summer is always in need of a great new salad recipe.  And this one is.
Specialty Food Magazine is hardly a regular resource for recipes for me.  Especially since its recipes are really for people who are running restaurants and, in this case apparently, take-out counters.  The 24 portions were said to have a shelf-life of 3 days.  But not wanting to set up shop or start a Coconut Shrimp stand on the street, I cut the recipe back mightily. We still had some leftovers but of a totally manageable size.  This recipe is now a respectable serving for 4 people.  And hopefully, you won’t have to worry about it shelf life since my guess is it will disappear at one sitting.
Coconut, in all its forms—as coconut water, milk, palm sugar and flakes—is very easy to find.  I got every one of them at Whole Foods.  Coconut water is now prized for its health food benefits. It’s low in carbs, 99% fat free and low in sugars.  Coconut milk on the other hand is quite caloric and I’d go with the light versions. Coconut Palm Sugar is hardly a health food but it does have a very low carb profile and it has an absolutely phenomenal taste—far deeper and more complex than brown sugar which it resembles visually.   Finally there are the coconut flakes.  Toasted, these golden brown shreds give your salad a wonderful texture.  
If you love coconut, what’s great about this dish is that the whole thing is perfumed with it and cooked with coconut at every stage.  The cooking water for the rice is the starting point.  Then there’s the coconut palm sugar in the dressing for a slight sweetness and the coconut milk which makes it creamy.  The coconut flakes in the salad give it crunch.  Finally the whole thing takes 45 minutes prep time and you can make it ahead of time thanks to that advertised 3 day shelf life.  Here’s the recipe:
Recipe for Coconut Shrimp Salad adapted from Joanna Pruess’ recipe in Specialty Food Magazine:
 1 1/2 cups coconut water

1 cups jasmine rice

¼ cup vegetable or coconut oil

16 peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp

1/2 cups peanut butter

1/4 cups coconut milk

1 freshly squeezed lime

2 tbsp. Thai fish sauce

2 tbsp coconut palm sugar

1 ounce fresh ginger, chopped

1 Jalapeno pepper, chopped, plus 1 tbsp. red chile flakes

2 cloves garlic

4 thinly sliced scallions, including most of the green parts

1 1/2 ounces chopped pistachios, plus extra to garnish
1 ounces coconut flakes, toasted, plus ½ ounce for garnish

1 cup fresh basil leaves, finely julienned, plus extra for garnish


1. Combine coconut water, rice and ¼ cup of oil in a saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat, then cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Turn into a large strainer, rinse with cold water and drain well. Transfer to a large bowl.

2. Meanwhile, cook shrimp in skillet until just done, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool. If jumbo shrimp, cut in three pieces and add to the rice.











3. In the jar of an electric blender, combine peanut butter, coconut milk,  lime juice, Thai fish sauce, palm sugar, ginger, 1/2 chopped jalapeno, red pepper flakes and garlic; purée until smooth. With the motor running, add 1/4 cup of vegetable oil and let it emulsify.

4. Add scallions, pistachios, coconut flakes, basil leaves and the remaining jalapeno to the rice. Pour about two-thirds of the dressing over the salad and toss to blend. Add remaining dressing and additional lime juice, if desired. Transfer to a serving platter and add remaining pistachios, coconut flakes and basil leaves as garnishes.