Egg Salad with a Touch

It’s fun looking for new tastes to wake up old standards. A nice summer staple around here is egg salad. A great use for left-over hard boiled eggs. And rather than settle for bland eggs and mayo, let your adventurous side take over. Sometimes it takes over our of curiosity, like when you’re getting bored of the same-old, and sometimes out of necessity, lite when you want to use something that’s been hanging around a while. Well this afternoon both of these conditions conspired to make the following zippy sandwich:

 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Two large hard boiled eggs
  • Two tablespoons of light mayo
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • Two tea spoons of whole ground mustard
  • Salt and pepper

 

Simplicity itself, peel the eggs and mash them up with your fork. Add the other ingredients and mix well. Toast two slices of pumpernickel bread. Then, place some lettuce on the bread, add some egg salad, pour a glass of iced tea and enjoy. You should be able to get two sandwiches out this.

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Summer Salmon and Couscous Salad

As the weather warms up thoughts turn towards picnics. Yeah, picnic season is upon us and I’ve been working on a couscous and salmon salad just right for bringing to a spread out blanket. This is still early in the development stage. It combines a Moroccan style French couscous with an Israeli Tune Couscous salad. But for what it’s worth let head down to the lab and see what’s on the slab…

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped shallots3 cups water
  • 2 cups of couscous
  • 14 oz can of salmon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pitted, oil-cured black olives, coarsely chopped (3 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup jarred roasted red peppers, medium-diced (4 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 1 cup chopped scallions (6-8 scallions)
  • 1/4 cup julienned fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
  • Juice of 1/2 lime

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium-size saucepan. Add the couscous and reduce the heat to very low. Cover the pot and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until the couscous is just tender. (I pull the pot halfway off the heat.) Drain in a colander.

Meanwhile, combine the salmon, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, capers, olives, red peppers, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper in a large bowl. Pour the hot couscous into the mixture and stir well. Cover and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Just before serving, stir in the scallions, basil, juice of the 1/2 lime, and 1 more teaspoon of salt. Taste for seasonings and serve warm or at room temperature.

I like to garnish this with wedges if lime, so you might as well serve this with tequila coolers!

couscous01

Spring Potato Salad

For this potato salad I like to use the new potatoes. These are the small potatoes with the thin skin. I use them for salads because they have a high moister to starch content. These low starch potatoes work well with a quick boil because you don’t have a lot of starch to break down. This also means that you need to keep an eye on them as they do boil quickly.

 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 pounds small potatoes
  • 5 eggs
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, or to taste
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 stalks celery, minced
  • 1 medium red onion finely diced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place the potatoes in a pot with enough water to cover, and bring to a boil. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and cool.

While doing that, place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover, and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, and place in a bowl of cold water to cool.

And while doing that, cook bacon slices until crisp.

Peel the eggs, and place 3 of them into a large bowl. Reserve the rest for later. Mash the eggs in the bowl with a fork. Stir in the mustard, mayonnaise, celery, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Crumble 2 of the bacon slices into the mayonnaise mixture. Reserve the rest for garnish.

Peel and chop the potatoes, and stir into the bowl until evenly coated. Slice the 2 remaining eggs, and place on top of the salad. Crumble the remaining bacon over the eggs.

SpringPotatoSalad

Tangerine – Lime – Tequila Dressing

I was working in the lab, late last night. Or at least that’s what I tell myself. And its going to be a lot more spring-like this weekend and perhaps a simple spring greens salad would be nice. These are plenty of sales in the produce down at Sweet Pea market. While I was there, I found a small pint size bottle of tangerine juice. Now that got me thinking about tangerines, and limes, and with limes… tequila! Now, how about those greens with tangerine – lime – tequila dressing.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • ¼ cup tangerine juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Silver Patron tequila
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Combine the ingredients and mix well… serve on top of those greens of course.

Tequila- Patron-Silver

Tomatoes Stuffed with Crab

Hazy Hot and Humid… So, yesterday I mentioned making a chicken salad stuffed tomato. Well, I decided to stop off at the fish shop on the way home and got a great deal on crab meat. So, instead of chicken salad stuffed tomatoes, I made crab salad for them. I like to make these easy meal items that go straight from the fridge to the plate on these hazy, hot, humid days.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 fist sized ‘slicing’ tomatoes
  • 1 pound crab meat
  • 1 lime
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 rib celery
  • 2 spring leeks
  • two tablespoons mayo
  • sea salt and pepper

Start by cutting the crab meat into modest chunks. Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice over the crab meat. Take a butter knife and shave off some of the lime pulp into the crab meat. Combine this thoroughly. Then add the minced celery and onion, then cut the leeks lengthwise and chiffonade and add the shreds to the crab. Now, add the mayo and mix thoroughly.

Take each tomato and hollow them out. I usually fine that one of those serrated grapefruit spoons works well for this task. Save the innards for making salsa, or chunked into a side salad. Now, stuff the crab salad into the tomato and store them in the fridge till you are ready to serve them up.

Tomato Stuffed with Crab

Fresh Fruit with Fresh Lime Dipping Sauce

Hazy Hot and Humid… just a perfect day for a platter full of fresh juicy fruit to snack on. You’ll find this platter to be delicious, refreshing and a healthy alternative to salty, high fat snacks. Serve this along with the chicken salad stuffed tomatoes (tomorrow’s post) for a cool lunch with which to beat the heat. Oh, did I mention that Western Beef had a great sale on limes.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 Granny smith apples peeled, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into wedges
  • 1 Honey dew melon, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges 2 to 3 inches wide
  • 2 pounds watermelon, rind removed, and fruit cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges 2 to 3 inches wide
  • 1 small pineapple, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into wedges
  • 1 ripe papaya, peeled, seeded and sliced crosswise
  • Creamy Lime Dipping Sauce

Creamy Lime Dipping Sauce

  • 1 container (6 ounces) vanilla fat-free yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 jalapeño pepper minced

To make the Creamy Lime Dipping Sauce combine all ingredients in small bowl; mix well to combine. The important thing to remember is to remove ALL of the white pith and seeds from the jalapeno. Nearly all the capsaicin, the acidic source of the pepper’s heat, comes from the rind. The rind, once the pith is removed has a strong fruity flavor.

So make a patio picnic of it and whip up a couple mojitos

Mojito

2 oz White Rum
.75 oz Simple Syrup
.75 oz Lime Juice
Fresh Mint
Soda

Take the leaves off of one of the sprigs of mint and put them in your mixing tin along with the simple syrup and the lime juice.  Muddle the mint gently.  Add the rum and some ice and shake well.  Strain (you should double-strain) into a glass filled with cracked ice.  Top with soda, garnish with the remaining mint.

mojito ingredients – combine with caution

Apple and Celery Root Slaw

Picnics are a perfect time to perfect those chilled salads and slaws that remind us that it’s too warm for hot food. So, with picnics in mind I put together two great tastes that should go well together and blended them with a variation of the creamy coleslaw dressing I like to whip up. So lets try the Apple and Celery Root slaw.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons chopped tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 bulbs (about 1 pound) celery root , peeled and cut into small matchsticks
  • 2  sweet apples (I use Macintosh) apples, cored and cut into small matchsticks
  • 1 large egg, hardboiled and finely chopped

Combine the mayonnaise, tarragon, lemon zest, salt, and horseradish in a medium bowl. Toss the lemon juice, celery root, and apples together in a large bowl and stir in the mayonnaise mixture and egg. Let sit at least 45 minutes before serving.

Crab Salad w Spring Leeks

From the sustainable seafood section; here’s a salad that works well by itself, or as a filling for a picnic sandwich. It uses those wonderfully sweet spring leeks that seen so plentiful at H-Mart, the local Asian market, and the crab meat on sale at Western Beef. So, grab some crab and a lime and lets get cracking.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 pound crab meat
  • 1 lime
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 spring leeks
  • two tablespoons mayo
  • sea salt and pepper

Start by cutting the crab meat into modest chunks. Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice over the crab meat. Combine this thoroughly. Then cut the leeks lengthwise and chiffonade. Add the shreds to the crab. cut the red onion into fine shreds and add this too. Now, add the mayo and mix thoroughly.

A simple salad that stands on its own, or nestled inside a kaiser roll. Take it along on your next picnic.

 

Post Memorial Day Waldorf Salad Variant

I know it’s a day after Memorial Day, but I’m still not done. Another great summer treat is Waldorf salad. We are working on a variation on a theme and I think the theme is picnic food. I like light, easy, pack-n-go salads for picnics. This particular salad is vegan friendly, but I will check with my vegan friends and confirm this. I do know that no animals were present in the making of this treat.

 

Here’s what you’ll need:

 

  • 3 granny smith apples
  • 3  tablespoons of cider vinegar
  • 1 cup mayo
  • Sea salt and Pepper
  • 2 ribs of celery
  • 2 teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ of a small red onion shredded
  • Boston lettuce

Chop three apples granny smith, cause I like granny smith apples, into small chunks. Then wash them in 3 tablespoons cider vinegar. This prevents browning. Then fold these into one cup of good quality mayo, add a pinch of seal salt and a grind or two of pepper. This is the basis, a well balanced basis of the salad.

Now, for the variation, add to this base; 1 cup raisins, 2 tea spoons of curry powder, 2 ribs of celery, and ½ of a red onion shredded. Fold each item into the salad till its well mixed. Finish with a garnish of chiffonaded mint leaves and you are certainly good to go.

The waldorf salad is traditionally served on lettuce leaves, and for this I have a personal preference for Boston lettuce leaves as they are particularly ‘bowl-like’ in shape.

Braised Red Cabbage w Bacon

This side goes well with the crock-pot pulled pork. A nice head of red cabbage and good thick cut bacon are the real stars of this dish. As always, I highly recommend the thick cut bacon from Western Beef (now where’s my check for product placement!). This is also one of the sides that’s great a room temperature, even if that room is outside. The weather is fantastic way are you not picnicking.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 medium red cabbage shredded
  • 6 rashers of bacon chopped
  • 1 medium red onion diced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Duck Walk red wine
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp caraway or rye seeds

In your cast iron pot, brown the bacon  then saute the onion. Te crispiness of the bacon is up to you, i tend to prefer mine non-crispy more chewy. Add the cabbage and the caraway, or rye, seeds and season with a little salt and pepper ‘to taste’.

Toss this until the cabbage wilts down, about four minutes or so. Then add the water and wine, cover and turn the heat to low. Let this simmer about 15 minutes.

Add the vinegar, cover and cook until the cabbage is tender. As this is a personal test for done-ness, I prefer firmer, crunchier cabbage so I only cook this for an additional five minutes or so.

Extract the cabbage with a slotted spoon and pack it for your picnic.