Goodcookbecky's Blog

Letting the juices of life (or food) drip from my chin!


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Chopped Salad

IMG_6995My husband took me to Duane’s Steakhouse (@ the Mission Inn) for Valentines Day and we had a great meal that included a chopped salad.  It was unlike any other we had ever had. It had lettuce, hearts of palm, bacon crumbles, blue cheese, red onions, sliced green olives with pimentos, tossed in a garlic vinaigrette dressing. I went overboard in adding the green olives this time, but know to adjust that for next time.  It is a delicious combination that I will make again and again… now to replicate the dessert we had there.. wishful thinking – maybe we will just have to go back!

This salad is inspired by Duane’s Steakhouse (@The Mission Inn in Riverside, CA)

Chopped Salad

by goodcookbecky

Serves 2

  • 1/2 head lettuce, washed, drained and chopped
  • 4 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/3 cup sliced green olives and pimentos
  • 1 can hearts of palm, drained and sliced (Roland brand is good)
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 oz crumbled blue cheese

Garlic Vinaigrette Dressing:

  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions:

Prepare the Garlic Vinaigrette by combining the olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic paste (or 2 cloves minced), salt, pepper and whisk to combine.  Allow to sit while you make your salad, and mix the dressing again just before adding some of it to the salad and toss (do not use all the dressing, use as much as needed to dress the salad without overwhelming it. I used about 1/4 cup of the dressing and reserved the dressing for another time).

Prepare the chopped salad, combining the chopped lettuce, sliced hearts of palm, chopped red onion, sliced green olives, bacon crumbles, blue cheese crumbles.  Toss together.  Pour some dressing over the salad and toss again.  Start with about 2 tablespoons of dressing and add more after tasting to see if you like it and add more if desired, tossing again after adding more.

Divide the salad up between two bowls and eat immediately.

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Asian Slaw with Spicy Peanut Dressing

IMG_6889Pinterest strikes again… I made this Asian Slaw yesterday for lunch, but the dressing did not impress me.  Today I made it again, but used a dressing I made with  Yard House’s Norwegian Salmon.  It was perfect. The dressing yields about 2 cups, so I save the dressing to use with chicken later in the week. This recipe is inspired by:

http://www.scalingbackblog.com/savory-bites/day-3-crunchy-cabbage-salad-with-spicy-peanut-dressing/

and

http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/shortorder/2009/06/yard_house_recipe_for_ginger_c.php

Here is my rendition:

Asian Slaw with Spicy Peanut Dressing

goodcookbecky  Serves 4

For the Slaw:

  • 1/2 head Napa Cabbage, cut thinly
  • 1/4 head medium size red cabbage, cut thinly
  • 1 cup sugar peas
  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts
  • 1 avocado. diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, optional

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped ginger
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

Combine the slaw ingredients in a large salad bowl.

Prepare the salad dressing by combining the ingredients in a food processor or blender (or use an immersion blender) and process until smooth.
Refrigerate until needed.

Toss slaw with 1/2 cup dressing and serve.

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I will be making this one again – and again!


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Christmas Tea Salad

Okay okay, I know you have been sitting on pins and needles have you not?  Probably not, but in case you want to know.  “Becky, what is the salad for the tea going to be?” Well, it is neither of the previous posts… HAHA right? Well, not entirely!  What we will do is make the Blue Cheese Pear Salad and add the thin strips of red or yellow peppers and also use the dressing from the Claim Jumper Salad.  I hope it is a happy union!  I have salad coming out my ears now, because I have all these leftovers, but I’m not complaining.  It truly is okay!

In case you are interested what the third salad was that we tested it is Trisha’s Festive Tossed Salad.  The dressing is very potent though, so we decided not to go with it.

2010 Christmas Tea Salad

Serves 6

Salad Ingredients:

  • 6 cups Spring Salad Mix
  • 1/2 pear, cored and chopped
  • 3/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1/2 avocado — peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup red or yellow bell pepper strips

Candied Pecans:

  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecans

Citrus Dressing Ingredients: (halved from the original)

  • 1 1/2 cups soybean oil
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 ounce dehydrated onion
  • 3/4 teaspoons dry tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder

Directions:

Dressing: Whisk dressing ingredients well and refrigerate to allow the flavors to develop.
Before serving, whisk well to combine again.  Serve 2 Tbsp of dressing with each serving of salad.

Candied Pecans: Heat a skillet over medium heat, stir 1/4 cup of sugar together with the pecans. Continue stirring gently until sugar has melted and caramelized the pecans. Transfer  the nuts onto waxed paper. Allow to cool, and break into pieces.

For the salad: In a large serving bowl, layer lettuce, pears, blue cheese, avocado, bell pepper strips,and green onions. Pour the dressing over salad, sprinkle with candied pecans, and serve.

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Feta Pear Salad

Here is another great salad that I submitted for Christmas Tea consideration.  Avocados add a wonderful creamy texture to the salad, but I was not sure that we would be able to find enough avocados to feed 600.  Just as I was saying that, one of our church members volunteered the avocado tree in their yard.  What a wonderful donation. Here is hoping they will be ripe when we need them (and enough for 600).  Thank you Esther.

I wish I could remember where I first found this recipe.  I collected so many recipes over the years and wish I could give credit where credit is due.  I have changed a few things to reflect personal taste, but it is a great recipe.  Thank you whoever you are!

Feta Cheese Pear Salad
Serves 6
Salad Ingredients:

  • 6 cups Spring Salad Mix
  • 1/2  pear, cored and chopped
  • 3/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1/2 avocado — peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

Candied Pecans:

  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecans

For the Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp Red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp prepared mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Black pepper, to taste

Instructions

Directions:
Candied Pecans:Heat a skillet over medium heat, stir 1/4 cup of sugar together with the pecans. Continue stirring gently until sugar has melted and caramelized the pecans. Transfer  the nuts onto waxed paper. Allow to cool, and break into pieces.
For the dressing, blend the oil, vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, mustard, chopped garlic, salt, and pepper.
For the salad: In a large serving bowl, layer lettuce, pears, feta cheese, avocado, and green onions. Pour the dressing over salad, sprinkle with candied pecans, and serve.

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Asian Pear Salad

I recently tested a few salads to submit as food ideas for an upcoming Christmas Tea.  Yes, that’s right I said Christmas and you are thinking, “Um Becky, it’s July!” But ponder this: My life will be consumed by Christmas this year –  two other great cooks and I are heading up the food committee for a Christmas Tea that is a production:  192 people at three different Tea Times (near 600 total) – four courses! (What did I get myself into?)  That is a lot of food…This salad is special enough to eat at Christmas, but really refreshing in the summer too.  So here is candidate number one: Claim Jumper’s  Asian Pear Salad with Citrus Dressing.  I found the recipe online and it was posted by a Claim Jumper Chef.  Follow the link to this site. Claim Jumper is one of my favorite places to eat and I am thankful to be close enough to enjoy them from time to time.  Check them out if you have never been: Claim Jumper

The dressing makes a whole lot (Restaurant Size- approx 6 cups!)  I halved the recipe and I should have even reduced it more, but it keeps nicely in the refrigerator for a few weeks (2) and you can whisk up the dressing before using and tastes lovely.  The salad: Spring Salad Mix, Blue Cheese, Asian (or other) Pear slices, Candied Pecans (easy to do yourself if you don’t buy the ones already candied), and Pepper Slices.  We will be using this dressing for the tea (and doubling or tripling the amount because it’s for 600 people). Because Raspberries are seasonal and expensive in the Winter months, we have omitted them, but feel free to add some.

Asian Pear Salad – adapted from Claim Jumper’s Asian Pear Salad with Citrus Dressing

Serves 4-6

Salad Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces Spring Salad Mix
  • 2 ounces candied pecans or walnuts (see Candied Pecans)
  • 1 Asian pear, sliced
  • 1 ounce blue cheese, crumbled
  • 3/4 ounce red bell pepper or yellow bell pepper, Julienne

Directions
Combine ingredients for salad.
Toss and serve with 2 oz. Citrus Dressing.

Citrus Dressing Ingredients: (halved from the original)

  • 1 1/2 cups soybean oil
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 ounce dehydrated onion
  • 3/4 teaspoons dry tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder

Directions
Whisk dressing ingredients well and refrigerate to allow the flavors to develop.
Before serving, whisk well to combine again.  Serve 2 Tbsp of dressing with each serving of salad.

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Festive Tossed Salad

Here is a salad I had at a friend’s house and just HAD to have a copy of the recipe! It has a strong dressing, but is quite delightful! I have to say though, it can upstage your main course — so if you are not eating it as a main meal – which you could, serve it with something like Spaghetti and Meatballs – not your elaborate meal. It is really good. I have an immersion blender which makes the dressing a snap to make – a regular blender would do the job too though! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

The combination of spiced nuts, feta cheese, Craisins and the dressing is really outstanding! The kids may not care for the dressing though — serve it on the side – it is a good idea anyway that way you don’t overpower the lettuce greens… Start with a couple of teaspoons of dressing and toss and see where it takes you.. you can always add more, but not take it away!


Trisha’s Festive Tossed Salad

Serves 4 Main Dish Portions or 6 Side Salads

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Pecans — coarsely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 12 cups Mixed Baby Salad Greens — torn
  • 3/4 cup Craisins
  • 4 ounces Cheese, Feta — crumbled
  • 1/4 cup Vinegar, Red Wine — Dressing ingredient
  • 1/4 cup Oil, Vegetable — Dressing Ingredient
  • 1/2 cup Parsley, Fresh — Dressing Ingredient
  • 1/4 cup Onion, Red — chopped Dressing Ingredient
  • 2 cloves Garlic cloves — Dressing ingredient
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano, Dried — Dressing Ingredient
  • 1/8 tsp Salt — Dressing Ingredient
  • 1/8 tsp Pepper — Dressing Ingredient

Instructions

In a skillet, cook and stir pecans in butter until toasted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in sugar, pepper and salt. In a salad bowl, toss the greens, cranberries, cheese and walnuts.

Place the dressing ingredients together in a blender; cover and process until smooth. Drizzle desired amount of dressing over salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

(Word to the wise, the dressing is quite potent so use with caution.) This salad was renamed “killer salad” by my family. I always have requests for it when I bring it to potlucks or have company over.

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