Showing posts with label Salads. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Salads. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Couscous Salad

We have been traveling around California, Nevada, Utah and Oregon.  We even crossed over the northeastern tip of Arizona.  We covered a lot of miles and really enjoyed ourselves.  We visited with cousins in Las Vegas and Palm Springs.  We saw a dear friend who recently moved from Las Vegas to St. George, Utah.  While in Oregon we visited with my sister and her husband.  Then we traveled to Eureka, Ca. to visit with our youngest son and his family, as well as my Mom.  Now, we are home but leaving tomorrow to pick up our teenage grandson.  He will be visiting with us for about a week.  We will see if he is up to playing in Grammy's Kitchen.

Food is always on my mind and we ate very well on this trip.  Thank you to everyone who cooked for us and suggested places for us to try. They were all wonderful and I would visit each of them again.  I came home with so many things on my mind and it has taken me time to organize my thoughts and to get something posted.  You all know I love Costco and that I like to buy their rotisserie chickens.  I wanted to make a chicken salad but I ended up making a Couscous Salad that is very yummy, with or without the chicken.  Oh, I should tell you that I also have a thing for Mangos.  Add this recipe to your collection of salads to serve your guests.  I think I may be making it for our Holiday Party this year, if I can find ripe Mangos then.  Oh, the best way to know that your Mangos are ripe is to gently squeeze them in your hand.  They should have a nice give to them and feel like a ripe Avocado, not squishy.




                                             Couscous Salad

2 cups Cooked Couscous (prepared according to instructions on package and cooled)

Dressing:
Zest from 1 Lime
Juice from 2 Limes
1 clove Garlic, chopped fine
2 fresh Serrano Peppers, with seeds removed and chopped fine
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.  Pour dressing over Couscous and toss lightly.

Add in:
2 Mangos, cut in medium size cubes
1/2 cup fresh Cilantro, chopped fine
1/2 cup Red Onion, chopped fine
2 cups Cooked Chicken chopped in medium cubes (I use the rotisserie chicken from Costco)
Ripe Avocado, sliced for garnish on top
Toss everything together lightly and refrigerate until chilled.  This salad can be prepared a day ahead and keeps well for 2 days.  I served mine on a bed of Butter Lettuce and with a little Sour Cream Sauce as a garnish.  

Sour Cream Lime Sauce Garnish:
1/2 cup Sour Cream
Juice from 1/2 lime
2 teaspoons Milk (to thin the sauce)
Combine these ingredients and put into a plastic squeeze container with a small opened tip - like catsup or mustard containers.  Of course, you can use a spoon if you don’t happen to have a container.   

Serves 4 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Macaroni Salad

Here in northern California we have had some really nice weather lately.  It's the kind of weather that makes me want to eat grilled ribs and Macaroni Salad.  This is my favorite Macaroni Salad recipe.  I really do like to use fresh herbs, since I usually have them growing in pots on my patio.  You can always use the dried herbs available at the market and you can substitute your favorite herbs for variety.    Sometimes I even use green onions instead of the red onion, that is one of the wonderful things I like about a salad like this.  Oh, I also want to mention that I sometimes add salad shrimp and maybe some sliced black olives to this salad.  I hope you enjoy this easy and basic old fashioned salad, your way.


                                 

 Macaroni Salad

16 ounces (approx. 2 cups) uncooked Salad Macaroni, cooked as directed on pkg.
1/2 cup Sweet Pickle Relish
2 tablespoons Red Onion, chopped fine
1 cup Cheddar Cheese, cut into 1/4” cubes
1 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Ground Pepper
1 teaspoon Granulated Sugar
2 teaspoons fresh Chives, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh Tarragon, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh Thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh Parsley, chopped (I prefer the broad leaf kind)

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked Salad Macaroni with all of the other ingredients.  Mix well.  Adjust seasonings to suit your taste.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Remember that the salad will absorb most of the liquid as it cools.  Stir before serving.  

Makes 8 large servings

Macaroni Salad with salad shrimp added





Friday, March 8, 2013

Potato Salad

I would say that I have made tons of potato salad in my time.  Last year we made a potato salad to serve 100 guests at our oldest Granddaughter's wedding reception.  When I did a little catering, this potato salad was on nearly every buffet table we did.  It has always been a family hit.


                                             Potato Salad

6 - 8 medium size baking Potatoes, boiled until tender, peeled and then cubed
1/2 cup Sweet Pickle Relish
4 hard boiled Eggs, peeled and chopped
2 Green Onions, chopped (greens and whites)
1 cup Mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Yellow Mustard
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
Fresh Parsley, chopped (optional garnish)

While the potato cubes are still warm, combine them with the pickle relish.  Stir in the remaining ingredients and stir well.  Here’s a little technique that I use, stir salad enough to start breaking down some of the potatoes.  This will give you a nice creamy texture with some potatoes still holding their shape.  Taste your salad at this point.  Add more mayonnaise if it seems too dry, you don’t want it to be too wet either.  Add a little more pickle relish if you want a little more of the sweet pickle taste.  Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley on top.  Chill salad before serving.

6 - 8 servings



Stirring together a Potato Salad for 100 people is a big job!  Thank you John for being my Muscle Man!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Tortellini Salad

This is a very popular salad when we do our Holiday Open House.  The lemon, herbs and veggies combine to give a very refreshing flavor.  It's one of a few salads, of mine, that don't require mayonnaise in the dressing.  Of course, you can vary the veggies you use in your salad and be sure to let it marinate in the dressing for full flavor and always stir before serving.  I like to use my pretty serving bowl when I serve this one, it's so pretty!




                         TORTELLINI SALAD

1 pounds fresh tortellini
1 tablespoons olive oil  plus 1/2 cup
2 tablespoons chopped tarragon leaves
3 tablespoons basil leaves - chiffonade cut (roll leaves and slice)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves (I prefer flat leaf)
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup cubed mozzarella cheese
2 cups pear or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 can pitted black olives (cut in half the long way)
1/2 cup pimento stuffed green olives (cut in half the long way)
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups baby spinach, cleaned and dried

Bring a very large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Cook the tortellini according to the package instructions.  NOTE:  the tortellini will float to the top of the water so be sure your pot is very large and keep stirring until the tortellini are cooked.  When fully cooked - al dente, drain the tortellini and put into a large bowl.  Toss with the 2 tablespoons olive oil and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a glass mixing bowl, combine the herbs, onion, lemon juice, zest, cheese, tomatoes, olives and remaining 1/2 cup olive oil.  Add salt and pepper to suit your taste.
When the tortellini is cooled to room temperature, toss with the dressing.  

To serve, line a large bowl or platter with the spinach leaves and gently spoon the salad in the center.  Chill for at least an hour or up to a day before serving.  Serves 10 - 12,  generous portions!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Coleslaw

When we go out to eat and there is a choice of sides on the menu, my hubby almost always chooses coleslaw if it is one of the choices.  I'm not such a big fan.  Actually, I almost never make that choice.  Hubby John loves coleslaw but don't even begin to think he's not picky about it.  I will sometimes take a taste if he says it is good.  Well, I have pretty much figured out what he likes and now I make coleslaw once in a while.  We had it the other night with the baby back ribs he grilled.  I don't like to bother with the slicing and dicing of the cabbages and carrots for the two of us so I buy the already sliced bags in the grocery store.  We like the mix of green and purple cabbages and carrots.  What a time saver!  We both like the dressing to be tangy with not too much sweet.  I have found that I like the taste of organic blue agave sweetener, but you can use granulated sugar if you prefer.


                                             COLESLAW

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Agave sweetener or granulated sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 pound shredded cabbage (about 6 to 7 cups)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Whisk all the dressing ingredients together.  Toss dressing with about a pound of shredded cabbage.  (you can cut your own or use a bag of already shredded coleslaw mix from the grocery store - found with the bagged salads)   You can adjust the sweetness and vinegar to suit your own taste.  Chill for at least an hour.

Serves 6



Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Broccoli Salad

The recipe that I use for my Broccoli Salad was given to me by a dear friend several years ago.  She said that it was one of those things that all her friends asked her to bring to gatherings.  She liked it because you can put whatever you choose, or not, into it.  I started making it and realized that it is one of the easiest salads you can make.  I usually leave out the bacon and the raisins because of family preferences.  I do like mayonnaise so a lot of my salads have mayonnaise based dressings on them.  You can make this salad a day ahead of your serving day and leftovers keep for a couple of days in the fridge.  You can cut this recipe in half or double it and it always seems to work.




                                    BROCCOLI SALAD

1 large head broccoli (about 4 cups chopped pieces) 
6 to 8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled - optional
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/3 cup raisins - optional
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese - optional
1/2 cup sunflower seeds - optional
Dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Trim off the large  broccoli leaves.  Remove the tough stalk at the end and wash and dry broccoli head thoroughly.  Cut the head into bite size florets and the stem into bite-size pieces.  Place in a large bowl.  Add the crumbled bacon, onion, raisins, and cheese. 

In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients, stir well.  Pour over the broccoli mixture and toss gently.  

Sprinkle the sunflower seeds (or any nut you might like) over the top of the salad just before serving. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Candle Salad from A Child's First Cook Book - 1950

When I was around 7 years old (in 1952) I received my first cookbook.  The copyright date is 1950.  I remember thinking I was so grown up to have my very own cookbook.  I made lots of the recipes, you can tell which ones were my favorites because those pages are well stained. I remember my favorite was Candle Salad and second was Lemonade.  My younger brothers would drink the Lemonade and eat the cherry off the top of the Candle Salad.  I think this is a fun salad for kiddos, with a little modernizing.  You could use fresh pineapple and prepared topping (Cool Whip) on top instead of the mayonnaise.  Maybe I will show you other recipes later.


Isn't that an interesting can opener.  Even I don't remember those, and for a child - what were they thinking??



You can see that I was printing my name on all my belongings.  What a treasure this book is - to me.