Goodcookbecky's Blog

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


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Old Fashioned Potato Salad

IMG_9625There is something about the recipes of Ina Garten – when I make them it always is very good.  This Old Fashioned Potato Salad recipe is no exception to that rule. The dressing consists of mayonnaise, buttermilk, mustard, fresh dill, and other ingredients that work together in harmony with the red potatoes.  My husband thought the potatoes should be cut smaller, but it has very good flavor!  I will make this potato salad again and again.  This recipe is from her Barefoot Contessa At Home cookbook.  I made a smaller amount since it was just for my family, using 2 lbs of potatoes instead of 3.  I also reduced the amount of dressing because of that.

Old-Fashioned Potato Salad

adapted from Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa at Home (p 86)

Serves 10

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs small red potatoes
  • kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1.5 oz buttermilk
  • 4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tsp whole grain mustard
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup small diced celery
  • 1/2 cup small diced red onion

Instructions:

Place the potatoes in a large pot of water and cover with cool water.  Add 2 tablespoons of kosher salt to the water and bring it to a boil.  When it comes to a full boil, reduce the heat to medium low , cover, and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes.  Drain the potatoes in a large colander.  Off heat, place the colander over your empty pot and cover the potatoes with a clean kitchen towel and steam the potatoes for 10 minutes longer.

Meanwhile prepare the dressing.  Stir together the mayonnaise and buttermilk, Dijon and whole grain mustard, dill, salt, and pepper.  Set aside.

Chop the celery and onion.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into halves and quarters (or smaller if you desire).  Place them in a large bowl.  Add the celery and onion to the potatoes and pour the dressing over the potatoes. Stir to combine the potato salad.  Taste and adjust the seasonings (salt and pepper).  Cover and refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

NOTE:

Next time I will make additional dressing to add to the potato salad, because it does absorb into the potatoes as they sit.

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Cool and Creamy Macaroni Salad

IMG_9603This recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen.  With Independence Day quickly approaching, I wanted to try a new recipe for macaroni salad.  The ingredients caught my attention because of the addition of lemon juice.  I followed the recipe exactly – and what I liked was that the dressing was not overly thick.  The lemon added a nice fresh flavor to the salad.  What I did not like is that it seemed to be lacking something else.  I thought the parsley was overpowering.  I would change that to something like basil – and I bought a ham steak, diced it up and added about 1 cup to the salad.  It was now much better!  It still is not my most favorite recipe, but it is a nice change from the same old same old.  I also added about 1/2 tsp of Spike seasoning to the salad.  It is a seasoning I use in my Hawaiian Potato Mac salad and really like the flavors that it adds.

Cool and Creamy Macaroni Salad

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced basil (originally parsley)
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp Spike (optional)
  • 1 cup diced ham steak

Instructions:

Bring a large pot of water to boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water and cook the elbow macaroni according to the package directions.  Do not overcook the pasta though, you want it to still have some texture once you add the dressing.  Drain the pasta.  Rinse the pasta in cold water and give it a quick drain (you want to keep a little of the moisture of the water in the pasta – it will keep the dressing from becoming overly thick.

Combine the chopped red onion, chopped celery, chopped basil (or parsley), lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, cayenne pepper in a small bowl and add these to the cooled macaroni salad.  Stir together and allow to sit for 2 or 3 minutes to allow the flavors to absorb.

Add the mayonnaise to the pasta and stir to combine.  Season with Spike if you think it needs more flavor.  Add the chopped ham to the pasta salad and stir. Chill until serving.

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Mediterranean Chopped Salad

IMG_8936Here is another lovely salad that I made.  I found this recipe in my America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook on page 74.  I love most of the recipes that I have tried from America’s Test Kitchen.  They are on TV on PBS as well.

Mediterranean Chopped Salad

adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook pg 74

Serves 6  Calories: 180/serving

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 10 oz cherry tomatoes, cut in half (I love Cherub brand cherry tomatoes)
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into pieces
  • 1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup pitted  kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1 head red leaf lettuce, washed, dried, and chopped into bite size pieces
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Dressing:

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Combine the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl.

Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.  Pour over the salad and gently toss the salad.

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Vegetable Bounty Quinoa Salad

IMG_8216 IMG_8218

Tri color Quinoa by Bob’s Red Mill had this delightful salad recipe on the back of their package.  It sounded interesting enough to try.  I am finding quinoa to be something that I need to acquire a taste for.  I am not there yet, but this did have some good flavors that made it interesting.  The dressing has an Asian taste to it.  I substituted honey for sugar and increased the honey a little to give the  dressing more sweetness.  Here is my adaptation:

Vegetable Bounty Quinoa Salad

adapted from Bob’s Red Mill Tri-Color Quinoa Package

Serves 6

Dressing:

  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3-4 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 1 1/2 tsp toasted dark sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 pinches black pepper

Salad:

  • 2 – 3 cups cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 1 (14 oz) can white beans (or kidney beans etc)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups diced seeded cucumber
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions:

Prepare the quinoa according to package directions and cool.

Prepare the dressing, coming the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.  Adjust the honey to your personal preference.

Combine the salad ingredients and pour the dressing over the salad.  Serve cold or at room temperature.

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Hawaiian Potato Macaroni Salad II

IMG_7001This is my second recipe for Hawaiian Potato Macaroni Salad that I have made to replicate the salad I had at a Luau in Maui last year.  My husband and I both agree that this is the better recipe of the two Potato Mac Salads.  I received this recipe from an acquaintance on a food forum, who lives in Hawaii.  It is a winner!  I think the key ingredient that makes this recipe great is the Spike Seasoning.   You should be able to find it at your grocery store.  There was also 1 teaspoon salt added to this recipe, but I think I would omit it next time it makes it very salty.  If you feel it needs more salt though by all means add it.

Hawaiian Potato Macaroni Salad

Serves 6

adapted from Bill’s Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup dry elbow macaroni
  • 3 large eggs, hard boiled and chopped
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, grated
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 medium carrot peeled and grated on the finest grater
  • 1 Tbsp sweet pickle relish
  • 2 tsp spike seasoning (look for at grocer)
  • Mayonnaise, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp mustard

Instructions

Cover the potato cubes with cold salted water and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and cover, continuing to cook the potatoes for 12 to 15 minutes.  Drain immediately and set aside to cool completely.

Cover the eggs with cold water, bring to a boil.  Turn heat off, cover and allow the eggs to cook in the hot water for 10 minutes.  When the 10 minutes are up immediately shock the eggs in water with ice cubes added to them.  This prevents the eggs from developing a green ring around the yolk.  Peel and chop the eggs once cooled.

Cook the elbow macaroni according to package directions.  Drain and rinse with cold water to cool them off and stop the cooking.

Grate the sweet onion and carrot with a grater and place the grated vegetables in a large salad bowl.  Add the frozen peas (don’t worry they thaw quickly – just make sure they are not super icy or you will add water to your salad too.. if it is frosty you can rinse them in warm water first).

Add the potato, elbow macaroni, boiled chopped egg to the vegetables.  Then add the sweet pickle relish, spike seasoning, enough mayo to make it creamy (to taste) and mustard.  Stir gently with a spatula to fold the salad together and not break the potatoes up too much.

Chill or serve immediately.  If you do chill it you may need to add more mayonnaise just before serving.

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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!