Sunday, July 29, 2012
Friday, July 27, 2012
No, not “salad days” as defined by my trusty Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary: “time of youthful inexperience or indiscretion, when ‘I was green in judgment’” or “heyday”… but, literally, days to eat salads.
Now, I’m not one of those people who likes a lot of rabbit food. I do like a good chicken Caesar, cobb or chopped salad for lunch, but I can’t remember a time EVAH where I wanted or ordered a salad for dinner (until...). I mean, why?
Well, some time ago our friends Chris and Sandy had us for dinner. It was hot summer night and after an array of cheeses and appetizers, Sandy served a salad for the main course and changed my whole way of thinking green.
The salad was made with chopped/shredded cabbage (see there is more use for cabbage besides a boiled veggie to go with corned beef on St. Patrick’s day), sunflower seeds, grilled chicken and whatever else you want to put into it… Richard adds dried cranberries and shaved carrots. But, it’s the dressing that makes it stand out. It’s light and as lemon-y as you want.
So now that the hot weather is here and the stew pots have been put in the back of the pantry, I welcome these salad days. I even crave this cabbage salad (don’t tell Paula Deen) – so much so, Richard made it for me the other night.
Join me in my cabbage heyday.
Raw cabbage – chopped or shredded
Grilled, broiled boneless or baked, skinless chicken breast (or try it w/ grilled/sautéed shrimp)
Roasted sunflower seeds
Put everything in a bowl and toss.
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt to taste
Note: Use more fresh lemon juice if you like it really lemon-y. Richard usually eyeballs it and gives it the finger-lick test.
Directions for dressing:
Put all ingredients in a bowl and whisk away.
Tip from Sandy: Mash garlic w/ salt first in a mortar & pestle. This reduces the harshness of the garlic.
Tip from Richard: Heat garlic in milk for a few minutes in a small sauce pan, then drain (this takes away the sharp bitterness)
Pour on top of cabbage mixture, toss and serve.
A slice of crusty, country bread and chilled glass of chardonnay or rose are the perfect complements.
Welcome to the salad days!
Monday, July 16, 2012
(no, not Fredo Corleone’s half-brother)
Recently Michigan cousins I’d never met were in Los Angeles and I invited them for dinner. Now, as we all know, ‘breaking bread’ with relatives can be an iffy thing, especially if the wine is flowing – but ever the gambler, I threw caution to the wind. I’m so glad I did.
Richard, of course, was cooking and he planned his menu with care. Among the appetizers was the faux chopped chicken liver, always a favorite.
(He also baked dates stuffed with blue cheese and marcona almonds that I’ll tell you about another time. Absolutely delicious!)
For the entrée, he made Giada DeLaurentiis’ fabulous salmon in lemon brodetto w/ a pea/mint puree…
But, it was a recipe he found in a Family Circle magazine while hanging out in a doctor’s waiting room waiting for me that was the icing on the ice cream cake… as it were. The perfect summer evening dessert.
A lovely dinner for truly lovely people and my good fortune, they’re family! I hope to see them again.
Family Circle Magazine
1 pint lemon ice cream (such as Haagen-Dazs)
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon honey
2 drops yellow food coloring (optional)
1 package (6 ozs) fresh blueberries
14 lemon or short bread cookies, coarsely crushed *
Soften ice cream on counter for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, coat a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line pan with plastic wrap.
In large bowl, beat cream and honey to stiff peaks, about 3 minutes.
Beat ice cream mixture into whipped cream.
Beat in food coloring, if using. Fold in berries and 2/3 cup of crushed cookies.
Transfer ice cream mixture to pan. Tap gently on counter to release air bubbles.
Press remaining cookie crumbs on top to adhere.
Cover with plastic; freeze at least 4 hours or overnight.
Use plastic to lift loaf from pan and invert on serving tray.
After 15 minutes, slice and serve.
*Richard used the thin lemon cookies from Trader Joe’s that are crunchy and delicious.
Makes 10 servings
238 calories per serving; 16 g fat (9 sat.); 3 g protein; 23 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 66 mg sodium; 58 mg cholesterol