Orange Salad

We had a food function at work to say goodbye to a colleague. Someone brought a salad made of oranges, fennel, and green onions. Someone said it was a Sicilian Orange Salad. Whatever it was, it was tasty. And simple to make. In my version to try it out I used a can of mandarin oranges instead of fresh oranges. I made a citrus salad a few years ago and it did not keep well. Let’s see about this one.

Salads, like soup, do not require exact quantities. It is often about what is on hand and what the preferred taste is.

  • 1 15-ounce can mandarin orange, drained, and rinsed if in a syrup
  • 1/2 large fennel bulb, chopped
  • green onions, chopped into one inch pieces
  • splash of orange juice
  • hefty sprinkling of dried oregano
  • olive oil

The tops of my green onions were somewhat wilt-y so I have a bit more of the white part than I had planned. Because I used canned oranges instead of fresh, I splashed in a bit of OJ and I think I poured on a bit too much olive oil.

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I added a bit of the fennel fronds for interest. I liked it. Haven’t served it to Hubby yet. I’ve been able to take it in my lunch for several days.

 

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Southwestern Quinoa salad

I threw a side dish together one evening after work. I thought we needed something in addition to whatever we were eating from the grill. I also had this spare cob of corn. Most likely the main dish was grilled chicken with a dry rub and finished with sauce but it could have been cheeseburgers or grilled Italian sausages. This dish turned out very tasty and the leftovers were perfect to take to work for lunch.

 

  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • chop a small onion
  • dice a few small peppers
  • blanch one ear of corn; cut kernels from cob
  • chop a few jalapeno peppers, as many as you like for “heat”
  • cook your quinoa; I found this “boil in bag” recently and think it is a fabulous thing. Cook as much for how many servings you would like.
  • dice some grape tomatoes
  • make a lemon or lime vinegrette
  • chop some cilantro

Mix all of the above together. Initially it is tepid due to the warmth of the cooked quinoa but this does not detract from the deliciousness. Leftovers are cold and are just as delicious.

 

 

Not Tuna Salad

We were going to make tuna noodle salad to have for dinner on one of these hot summer evenings. Hubby likes to put raw onion in these salads; I can do without. But we have Vidalia sweet onions in the pantry and these are easier to eat raw. Hubby says to let him make the salad as he knows how to. I abide by his wishes and agree to just cook the elbow noodles so they would be cooked and chilled for his return home from work.

But this did not turn out to be tuna noodle salad made with elbow pasta…

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So first of all, I found no elbow pasta in my pantry. I had two whole boxes in there recently, or so I thought. I did have these curly pasta, cavatelli, capatelli, something like that. I cooked all of that up; it was almost the entire pound package.

Hubby comes home and I start looking for the tuna. We have no tuna in the pantry; we have only one can in the Camper. This is not enough so he searches through the fridge for his ingredients. He leaves the tuna out altogether.

Can you guess what is in there? I have no clue what spices and herbs he used. But it was a very tasty dish and we had it for two suppers.

I do know some of the ingredients. He used broccoli, green pepper, Vidalia onion, shredded cheese, chunks of cheddar cheese, chunks of a beef summer sausage, and carrots.

 

 

Tabbouleh

I am making cold salads to eat all week since it is hot, humid, and hazy. First was the standard and ever popular tuna noodle salad, and now Mediterranean Tabbouleh. This is an adaptation from the recipe on the back of the grains package.

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What you do not see in the picture above are the fresh herbs I added: 3-4 sprigs parsley and leaves from two large Greek oregano sprig.

The package recipe was for Bulgur but I only had enough for 1/2 cup so I used 1/2 cup of the barley mix as well. Cook the grains as directed on the package. I doubled the vegetables and added the feta and olives.

  • 1 cup Bulgur wheat or mixed grains, cook as per package; these quick cooking grains from Aldi cook in 10 minutes.
  • 1/2 English cucumber, sliced and diced
  • 1 large plum tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 large green onion, greens and white parts, chopped
  • 8-12 roughly chopped pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup crumbles feta cheese
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • fresh herbs, about 1/4 cup minced, I used parsley and oregano.
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

After the grains are cooked, stir in the chopped vegetables, herbs, zest and juice. Add the olives and feta cheese and drizzle with the olive oil. Stir together and serve. I served this over a bowl of torn romaine leaves.

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The whole grains make this nice and filling. I was going to serve sliced avocado with it as well, but we saved that for dessert and mixed it with a bit of sour cream, more diced tomato, garlic powder, lime juice and ate it with tortilla chips!

 

Millionaire’s Shortbread and Citrus Salad

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For this weekend’s dessert bake I made Millionaire’s Shortbread from the Cook’s Illustrated magazine. I had never really heard of these. They are apparently a rich British cookie.

I selected this recipe because I actually had all the ingredients called for exactly. This is a rare thing for Cook’s recipes and my pantry. I also followed the recipe verbatim. This is very unusual for me. When cutting the bars I did get cracked chocolate so I am not sure what happened there.

This recipe is from the November & December 2016 magazine. I tried to get the link but one has to subscribe to get this recipe. I have the magazine and it is on page 14-15. It’s a possibility that I can subscribe on-line because I have a subscription to the magazine but I have no clue as to how. Oh well! That being said, I don’t know if I should actually share the recipe? It’s not really mine to share!

A tray of these will go with Hubby to work to share with his co-workers, and I will take a plate as well to share with mine. The rest we will keep to nibble on for a bit of sweet during our week.

Speaking of Cook’s Illustrated, I did make their Citrus Salad with Arugula, Golden Raisins and Walnuts. The link is here, Citrus Salad. This was labor intensive to prepare the 2 grapefruits and 3 oranges. One had to peel, take all the pith off, remove seeds and slice. I used regular raisins because that is what I had on hand. It looks really nice.

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I used green onions in the dressing instead of scallions. I dressed the fruit and then spooned it on the greens. I thought then that I could have a nice citrus fruit salad to serve with cottage cheese for lunch or breakfast on the following day. But noooo…

Ingredients for the dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • several green onions, white and green parts
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup toasted, chopped walnuts
  • a pinch of salt

The dressing was very nice. The salad was refreshing the evening I served it.But the next day the fruit tasted odd. Not good. Odd, as in maybe it went bad, odd? Next time I will keep all three parts separate and mix together only when ready to serve and only what will be eaten at that particular meal. I will make the dressing alone and use that for salads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

French Carrot Salad from an American kitchen

In my everlasting love of cooking and reading I have the charter edition of Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Magazine. You will recognize him from America’s Test Kitchen. There are some interesting recipes in here, one of which was grated carrot salad. I have several recipes for this and have made it, adding Craisins in the past and sometimes crushed pineapple. Having matured in my food tastes I can now understand the addition of olive oil. Before I would only add the fruit juice, lemon or orange or combination of both.

Having carrots in the house I thought I would try this. I, naturally, did not have all of the necessary ingredients. I don’t have white balsamic vinegar, nor fresh tarragon. I never let any of these problems stop me, do you? I use a fresh lemon and dried tarragon. So this is not really the recipe from the magazine, but is definitely inspired by it.

  • juice from one lemon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • handful of fresh parsley

Using my food processor with the shredder blade, I shred the carrots. I mix the first five ingredients to make a dressing. Mix that into the shredded carrots. Then chop the parsley, leaves only, and stir that into the salad. Voila!

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Hubby describes it as “hmmm, what did you season it with? Oil and herbs?” Yes! And they like it. And it’s probably good for us, too!

 

Lunch

Sometimes good food is not about recipes and cooking but about eating.

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Hubby found a store that stocks Daisy Cottage Cheese. Yay! Real ingredients: cultured skim milk, cream, and salt. No guar gum, carageenan, sodium dioxide, etc. Happy us!

My neighbor gave us some little heirloom tomatoes that he is growing. The string beans are also of his crop. A friend of mine gave me some cucumbers from a friend’s garden. Fresh vegetables and I did not have to grow them. Yay!

A simple lunch for a weekday at work: slice the cucumber; quarter the tomatoes; trim the green beans; pile onto a dish of cottage cheese; sprinkle with black pepper; eat.

Absolutely delicious!