Showing posts with label Salads. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Salads. Show all posts

Monday, September 26, 2016

Grilled Pattypan Squash with Hot Chorizo Vinaigrette – Almost Stuffed

Michele does a fantastic, sausage-stuffed pattypan squash, which was actually how these were supposed to be prepared, but someone, and we won’t name names, didn’t pay attention to buying ones of a uniform size, which is kind of a big deal if you want them to bake evenly. Okay, it was me.

In an attempt to redeem myself, I decided to grill them instead – a cooking method where any size will work – and top them with a hot chorizo vinaigrette. It’s something I’ve wanted to try for a while, and it really turned out to be a wonderful combination.

The ingredients below are just a rough guide, and you’ll have to figure out your own amounts, depending on how much squash you grill, but I do recommend a 1-to-1 ratio of sherry vinegar to olive oil/rendered chorizo fat.

I used a veal chorizo, which was very lean, so I had to add a good amount of olive oil. If you use pork chorizo, you’ll have a lot of rendered fat, so you may want to drain off most of it, keeping a few tablespoons, before adding your oil and vinegar.

Speaking of oil, don’t put any on your squash before you toss it on the grill. I used to do this myself, because it seemed logical, but it’s a bad idea. The dripping oil causes flare-ups that can make your veggies taste like gasoline, which is not good eats. Other than that, not much can go wrong with this simple summer dish. I hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 portions
8 pattypan squash
kosher salt to taste

6-8 ounces fresh, raw chorizo sausage 
(crumbled fine, and browned well in olive oil)
*you want to leave about 2 tablespoons rendered chorizo fat in the pan
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup sherry vinegar (or, use any vinegar you like)
splash of water to maintain moisture level if needed
1 tablespoon freshly sliced mint leaves
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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A Waldorf Salad by Any Other Name

As I joked about in the video, a fruit salad has to be pretty damn good to actually get a name, and the venerable Waldorf salad is certainly worthy. 

I realize that there are a small group of you who won’t be able to wrap your heads around mayonnaise with fruit, and that’s a shame, since it means you won’t get to enjoy one of the great combinations of all time. By the way, if you are one of the aforementioned people, but like mayo slathered all over your sandwich, containing slices of sweet, ripe tomato, and caramelized onions, then you have some explaining to do. Also, coleslaw. I rest my case.

Embellish this as you see fit, but I really like it best with just the four ingredients seen here. Things like dried cranberries can add a nice seasonal touch, but for me, the chewy fruit gets in the way of that addictive crunchy/crisp texture. I really hope you give this old-school, but timeless Waldorf salad a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 1 cup dressing (enough for 2 Waldorf salads below):
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup crème fraiche or sour cream (I used CF)
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch freshly ground black pepper
pinch cayenne
1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon

For 2 large or 4 appetizer sized Waldorf salads:
2 large crisp, sweet apples, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup small cubed celery root
1 cup quartered seedless grapes
1/2 cup toasted walnuts pieces
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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Grilled Shrimp Louie – Dressing Up a Classic

I don’t do a lot of salad dressing videos, since it’s pretty much just adding things to a bowl, but when that dressing is going on a grilled shrimp Louie, I’ll make an exception. By the way, this is usually done with crab, but I think the smoky, grilled shrimp are a great summertime twist.

This is my take on a classic Louie dressing, and as with all such recipes, you’ll need to taste and adjust for acid, salt, and heat. Just be sure to wait until the dressing is nice and cold before tasting. You’ll get a more accurate reading, since that’s the temperature we’re going to be serving at.

If you do grill the shrimp, don’t toss it with the oil and lemon until right before you grill. This isn’t a marinade, and we don’t want the shrimp to start “cooking” in the acid. I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 1 3/4 cups:
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup crème fraiche
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 packed teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons minced green onion
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley

For the grilled shrimp:
2 pounds peeled and deveined shrimp
1 tablespoon olive oil
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

This Tuna Poke is No Joke

There are many of foods I’ll stand in line for, and/or pay too much for, but Hawaiian-style tuna poke isn’t one of them. I can’t make a world-class croissant at home. I can make a decent one, but not a perfect one, so I’ll happily queue up at a boulangerie that does.

However, when it comes to poke, the technique is so basic that even the most inexperienced cooks can get something pretty much identical to what they’d get out. There’s one catch though. You have to use only the freshest possible tuna, even if that means it’s frozen.

Hopefully you’ll be able to get a hold of some fresh, sushi-grade tuna, but if you can’t, frozen will work. What many people don’t realize, is that most of the fish they enjoy at their favorite sushi restaurants has actually been frozen beforehand anyway. Google it, it’s true.

So, as long as the tuna is Grade A, or sushi grade, the frozen variety will work. Above and beyond that, all the other ingredients, except for the soy sauce, are optional. So, please use this video as merely a guide to the technique, understanding that this will work with so many different ingredients. I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Makes 4 portions Tuna Poke:
1 pound sushi-grade ahi tuna (aka yellowfin), cut into about 3/4-inch cubes
1/4 cup high-quality soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 tablespoons roasted macadamia nuts, crushed
1 tablespoon finely crumbled dried seaweed
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
Other delicious additions include (add to finished poke, not the marinade, otherwise you may lose that gorgeous appearance):
- seasoned rice vinegar
- lemon or lime juice

* Toss tuna with marinade, and chill for 2 hours in the fridge before serving.
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