A throw-together chicken salad

Faced with hunger, laziness at the end of a long workday, and the start of warm-weather don’t want anything heavy to eat feeling, I was foraging in the refrigerator. I discovered that I had just enough of the dark chicken meat that I had cooked in the Instant Pot to make something like chicken salad, but a bit different.

Add to the shredded dark meat a drizzle of garlic-infused olive oil , a drizzle of  baklouti green chili fused oil, just a few drops of honey-ginger white balsamic vinegar, and some cilantro. Add some diced radishes for crunch. Toss and eat.

(I will admit to cheating on the cilantro: I used Dorot frozen cilantro instead of fresh since I didn’t go to the store to get fresh. It’s not a good looking as fresh, but the flavor is good. (Cilantro and celery are major frustrations for me in cooking for one; I always end up composting a bunch of it.)

…and no, I don’t have any affiliation with Dorot Gardens except that I like the quality and the convenience of having the herbs in the freezer.

—Ô¿Ô—

…..

Crudités

After my last visit to my physician for my 100,000-mile maintenance check, I was appalled at the numbers I read on the scales when I weighed in. Arrrggghhhhh! So it time to do something about those numbers. Obviously, more exercise–and I’ve actually Radish Varietiessuccumbed to a fitness device that will make me (horribly) aware of how inactive I can be, especially during working days.

Along with trying to get my butt out of my office chair even on work days, I’m trying to get more veggies and fruits into me. As the weather gets hotter, I want cool things so crudités are appearing often. Most often served with a dip of some sort but I was looking for something to add a bit of zip and zing to raw (or lightly blanched) vegetables: celery, radishes, zucchini, jicama, kohlrabi, etc.

As you all know by now, Bull City Olive Oil is one of my favorite places to find tasty stuff (like truffle salt for popcorn). In addition to olive oil and salts, there is a grand array of balsamic vinegars. I’ve discovered that some of these make a marvelous “dip” for all these veggies–without adding any oil–so that it keeps my cruditès low calorie but still never boring.  Some of the ones I use are honey-ginger, blackberry, blackberry-ginger, black mission fig, and lemongrass-mint.

And–the dark chocolate! Just a few drops with berries or fruit makes a wonderful treat–as does the passionfruit, or the lavender.  All very low cal, but so tasty! I suspect that the coconut white balsamic would be pretty darn good with fruits and berries too. So many possibilities for good taste–and there are always new ones to try–and healthy eating, too.

A son gôut!

—Ô¿Ô—

Green salad with tuna

It’s been a day when I feel like I’ve accomplished nothing–but I really ran a lot of errands and went computer shopping (yes, the “old” laptop that is my main indexing computer seems to have given up the ghost).  After a day like this, and when the temperature is getting to summer levels here, I wanted something easy, and light, for supper.  After perusing the refrigerator and the pantry, I settled on a leafy green salad with tuna.  (No, not tuna salad–salad with tuna.)

The contents of the fridge included some lettuce foraged from the garden of a friend who gardens seriously.  I had some green oakleaf and some red lettuce–a good start towards my veggies for this evening.

I’ll admit to a fondness for tuna–even the canned–so long as it’s good canned tuna, and packed in olive oil.  I simply don’t “do” water-packed tuna! Preferably the kind that isn’t cooked twice and all mashed and smushed into a paste. Of course, I’d rather have my own tuna confit, but I’m waiting for a manager’s special on the fresh tuna to replenish my supply of that for the summer.  Good canned tuna is a pantry staple for me–winter or summer–yes, I like tuna melts, and tuna noodle casserole, too.

I took my lovely fresh lettuce, added fresh herb leaves: French tarragon, epazote, spearmint (leave out chocolate mint), shiso, oregano, cutting celery, dill, and some parsley leaves.  (Just as good as the packaged stuff from the grocery that has the herbs in it), added some cherry tomatoes, a Persian cucumber, and the drained tuna (that was packed in olive oil). Add two walking onions (didn’t have green onions in the veggie bin in the fridge), and it’s a salad.

For a dressing I used lemon juice, freshly ground black pepper, a tad of salt, and some Sicilian olive oil to make a vinaigrette.  I used my favorite “gadget” to make the vinaigrette quickly–a Ball/Mason jelly jar, and some vigorous shaking does it–no need to clean even the the immersion blender.

One large, fresh green salad with tuna and fresh herbs–enjoyed sitting on the deck watching the hummingbirds, with a glass of white wine.

Eggs, egg salad, etc

It’s amazing what you find whilst skulking about on the internet. The latest “odd” thing was a novel method of making lots of hard-cooked eggs at one time: in the oven.  It sounds simple–I may have to try it just to see if the texture is as good as reported.

But one thing leads to another–I guess that’s why it’s called browsing. On a chilly, rainy day with a big mug of not cocoa in hand, it’s not possible to simply check one link, so this one relating to cooking eggs lead me to a link on pickled eggs and other eggy links, including “All About Eggs” which covers eggs other than chicken, as well as information about color and size, and printed stuff on the carton, just in case you want to know about cage free or natural.

 

6-Pack-Chicken-EggsEggs (and milk) seem to be among the necessities in my kitchen. Whether working–or have a lazy hiatus between jobs–eggs get used in so many ways. Some of the less frequent uses include deviled eggs and pickled eggs. If I’m in a mad rush to meet a deadline an egg (or two) are easy to turn into a quick meal in so many ways. Omelettes, scrambled, poached, egg salad, or just added to soup or as a “dressing” for veggies.

 

Although I don’t make deviled eggs often, I do collect recipes for those occasions that call for them. Mostly deviled eggs call for mayonnaise. I’ve got no problem using mayo in them but I like some options for flavoring.  Following the Food52 link lead me to a recipe calling for yoghurt which sounds kind of interesting (though it does include some mayo).

I almost always have mayonnaise in the fridge–but a recent reluctance to venture out in the rain to go to the grocery store left me without mayo and a need for some quick egg salad, which like deviled eggs seems to almost always call for mayo.  I had the onion and celery, and capers so I decided to “wing” it: chopped up my eggs, and carefully, bit by bit while tasting added Arbequina extra-virgin olive oil (again from Bull City Olive Oil–love that place) that is a medium intensity but still rather delicate, and then just (again by taste) a bit of apple cider vinegar, and finished with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Definitely not southern-style egg salad, but very good. It’s likely that I’ll do it again even if there is mayo in the fridge. (I did eventually find an egg salad recipe using olive oil.)

That little experiment got me looking for other recipes for egg salad made without mayonnaise–some recipes that I found just use mustard (I do sometimes put some mustard in egg salad), others used Greek yoghurt (though I don’t “do” non-fat–and I use Skyr as starter for my homemade). Another recipe that I found interesting was one using avocado for the “fat” part of the egg salad–so intriguing that I may have to try that when next I have a ripe avocado on hand. And then, the delightful post from Food52 on “How to Make Egg Salad Without a Recipe” which I think will elicit a smile (at least) if you’re an egg salad fan. If you want to really take your egg salad to another level, take a look at “Mediterranean Egg Salad” or “Egg Salad: The True Breakfast of Champions“.

Why my foray into egg salads? Well, hot weather is approaching, and I know I’ll be looking for more meals involving minimal heat–and I really like eggs, but always looking for new ways to use them–maybe even graved eggs!

Wondering about other things to do with eggs? Try here.  A son gôut!

from wikipedia

 …..Ò¿Ó…..

..

 

Red Cabbage and Beet Salad

It is probably obvious that I consider beets and cabbage both to be under-appreciated vegetables. After making  cabbage steaks this recipe for Warm Roasted Red Cabbage and Beet Salad from Will Frolic for Food just really clicked with me.

It’s not  complicated, nor does it take that long even with the separate preparation for the beets and the cabbage–but well worth doing. It’s a veritable symphony of flavors with the roasting providing all sorts of additions to the flavor. This has been added to my list of awesome recipes!

I’d agree it could be a meal with the chickpeas added. I omitted the chickpeas with part of it and used it as a side (only the one) for both roasted chicken leg quarters, as well as for griddled pork steak and I’d do it with lamb steak, too.

If you have not got red cabbage on hand, it’s worth doing with plain old white cabbage–though not quite as striking in color–still very tasty!

IMG_6035

Duck breast salad

For my Christmas Eve supper I fixed pan-seared duck breast–there were two in the package and that meant leftovers. I could have had a second meal had I not been a bit greedy and 20170107_182359eaten part of the second one. So leftovers–just enough for a salad.

A very simple salad made with arugula and radicchio for the greens (just a bit of bitterness to counter the fat of the duck),  Fuyu persimmon, pecans, and the thinly sliced duck breast.

For the dressing, I decided that the leftover sauce that was used for the cabbage and rutabaga side dish for Christmas dinner could make a second appearance–with a little help from an infused oil from Bull City Olive Oil. (Yes, I’ve gotten into infused oils since I discovered some quality ones.) The sauce was lime juice, lime zest, and buckwheat honey but I needed something more–I tasted it with plain (but very good olive oil). That gave me an excuse to go back and do some more tasting and shopping. I tasted several infused oils and decided that the chipotle infused oil would add just the right bit of spark to the leftover sauce.

I made a vinaigrette using about 2:1 proportions of oil and sauce, tossed the greens, persimmon, and some pecans with it; making a perfect bed for the sliced duck breast that was quickly warmed in a skillet. The finishing touch was just a bit more chipotle oil–just a few drops–on the sliced duck breast.

Yum! A great light supper from recycled leftovers, although I’d be more than happy to serve a freshly cooked duck breast this way as well.

Ò¿Ó

 

Heirloom Tomato Panzanella

Hot weather, summertime, tomatoes, and panzanella is just a natural.  It’s worth looking for heirloom tomatoes to make this salad. There are so many different flavors–it’s not just “tomato”.

This post from Savory Simple brings up an issue that we should all be aware of: we are moving toward homogeneous taste as we give up the heirloom varieties.  Check out Save the Flavors and Seeds of Change.

Heirloom Tomato Panzanella.

Watermelon Pecorino Salad

This is such an awesome salad–I’ve used feta, but I think the pecorino would be great as well. The combination of mint and salt and melon. . .

the chef mimi blog

It’s been a long time since I’ve purchased a cookbook. I’m a little embarrassed at how many I own, although I do use them. So I promised myself I’d wait a while. And then there it was.

I was in a cute shop while on vacation, and the cookbook practically screamed at me. The cover was beautiful, but I’m not one to only judge books by their covers. Especially with how sophisticated food styling and photography have become.

But this book was a little different in that there was cheese in the cover photo, which always gets my attention! And right there were two of my favorites – Humboldt Fog, bottom left, and a Foja de Noce wrapped in walnut leaves, top left, a Pecorino that I discovered from the last cheese book I purchased. In any case, I couldn’t resist the book, called “The Cheesemonger’s Seasons.”
download

The recipes are…

View original post 373 more words

Beet salad with feta

I’m in a work rush with a close deadline on a book that I’m indexing and that means that any heavy duty cooking (anything that requires turning on the stove, or pushing a button on the microwave) is out for the next few days. In need of lunch, I perused the fridge contents.

There was a package of Melissa’s Produce steamed, peeled, baby beets that I  brought home from the  supermarket produce section; toted home and put in the vegetable bin (sometime ago, and not yet used) so I made the easy beet salad from Chef Mimi’s blog this afternoon. This was a great light, quick,  warm-day lunch.

The beets are vacuum sealed in heavy plastic.  The texture is perfect–just like I’d steamed and peeled them myself–and they have a long shelf-life so I can always have them around without feeling that I absolutely HAVE to have beets today, or even tomorrow.

It’s not that cooking beets is difficult, but when there’s a really pressing deadline and I need lots of work time, I go for convenience and speed  but I don’t want to sacrifice taste. That usually rules out canned vegetables (except for beans and tomatoes) though I admit to not have checked out canned beets in ages because I really never liked the taste;  I can see that I need to revisit the canned ones again, too.

These vacuum packed ones just moved beets right up with canned beans as a convenience item in my pantry.

(Let me be clear about my comments on any products mentioned in my posts:  I have no connection (except as a consumer) with Melissa’s Produce, nor with Stahlbush Island Farms (mentioned below.  I get no remuneration for comments or use of these products.)

Now, I tasted the beets straight from the package and then made my salad.  I didn’t spiralize them, so my salad wasn’t as pretty as that pictured on Cher Mimi’s blog, but it was tasty.  I doubt that I could tell those vacuum-sealed, pre-cooked beets from ones that I had steamed and peeled myself (unless I looked at the color of my hands).  You could put those in a bowl and serve as a vegetable without anything except warming them and adding seasoning of your choice.

I have one more “convenience” product that I want to check out:  Stahlbush Island Farms sliced frozen beets that I found in the frozen food section at my local Harris Teeter.  I didn’t go to the frozen foods section expecting beets (probably the farthermost thing from my mind just then–I was looking for chopped kale) but right next to the Stahlbush Island Farms chopped curly kale, were sliced beets. As slicedbeetswebyou’ve probably gathered, I’m incapable of leaving something like that in the store.  So, I have those in the freezer to try next.

One of my other summer favorites is beet soup. I can certainly speed up making that if I use one of these products!  I can replace the beet greens with Swiss chard–maybe even find it frozen as well.

One of the appealing things about the frozen beets is that I can use some and put the remaining ones back in the freezer without having leftover veggies.  Since they are sliced, but uncooked, I have more flexibility. With the vacuum packed ones or a can, you have to do something with  the rest of the beets so that they don’t linger too long in the fridge and grow interesting colors of mold, and eventually find the way to the garbage.

My only “regret” with the Melissa’s beets was that I really like  beets roasted instead of steamed.  The first way I’ll try the frozen ones is roasted as suggested on the website.

ÒΔÓ

Until I found these products in the frozen food section, I’d never heard of Stahlbush Island Farms, but after looking at the website and the products, I’ll certainly follow up to check out some of the grains and legumes that are frozen, as well as fruits. (Again, no connection, except as a consumer, and picky at that.)

I noticed black raspberries on the product list. I’m a fanatic about black raspberries–there’s a big difference in flavor from the red ones that we see in the stores, not that those aren’t good, but black raspberries are what I grew up with, and thus my idea of what raspberries should be.