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Trying a New Vinaigrette

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This, ladies and gentleman, is one of the best salads I’ve made and had in a very long time. Tired of the mundane oil & vinegar or ranch that I often eat, I was ready for something fresh and different. I browsed around on the net and came across a couple of salads that looked yummy. Of course, based on what I had and what I liked, I combined and modified them. The salad has a multitude of flavors, combining far east, the South, Southwest and turning into nothing less than American. Here is the end result of my experiment.

Ingredients for the salad:

butter lettuce
spinach
corn
avocado
bleu or gorgonzola cheese
blueberries

As usual, there is very little measuring with me. I just put each salad together on the plate rather than tossing it and prepared it for either one, two, or three people at a time. I put the greens down first, then sprinkled the rest of the ingredients on top.

You can roast the corn on the grill or on the stove top. I chose the stove top. The kernels went into a medium hot dry iron skillet and were stirred occasionally to obtain the blackened edges. Do not use any oil, butter, or liquid. The purpose is to brown, not cook/fry the corn. Keep an eye on it. You want the kernels to be darkened but not burned to a crisp. They can go from browned to burned in a flash. The day I took this picture, I used frozen corn. A different day, I used fresh, but just made sure to have as little liquid as I could in the skillet.

Here is the dressing. It can be halved or doubled at your leisure. It should not be a problem.
1/2 c. olive oil
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar (or white balsamic vinegar)
4 Tbsp. lime juice
2 Tbsp. honey
2 tsp. chili garlic sauce (Sriracha)
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin

Mix and drizzle over the top of the salad. You could toss it in a big bowl as well, but the presentation seems prettier when the ingredients aren’t damaged in the toss.

This would be a great addition to a low carb diet. There is very little sugar in this. The greens, avocado, and blueberries are loaded with nutrients and the berries with antioxidants. The addition of [local] honey and the chili garlic sauce will help with sinuses and allergies.

A couple of good variations would be adding some toasted nuts or seeds or changing up the fruit. Other berries or citrus would be a yummy substitute.

Probably my favorite part of this salad is the avocado and the Sriracha. The little bit of heat is such a nice addition. It makes so many things so much better or so different! I could go on and on. That’s a post for another day.

Enjoy! Let me know how it goes for you. Olivia

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2013 in Food

 

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Jalepeño Cornbread

Growing up, my mother always made cornbread and I must say, has been very good at it. On occasion she would make Mexican Cornbread. I’m not sure how she came into making it, but I always enjoyed it. As I remember, she would add a can of Mexican style canned corn to the batter and occasionally a chopped onion. The burst of the corn kernel and the crunch of the onion always appealed to my senses as a child.

Last night, while making chili, I wanted something different to accompany it. So Mexican cornbread it was. Not having the recipe or being able to get my mother on the phone at the moment, I went to the internet to find a good substitute. Of course, who did I find there? Ina herself. If there is another woman in the kitchen that I love besides my mother, its Ina Garten. After looking no further than the Barefoot Contessa recipe, I was ready to go. Jalepeno Cornbread sounded close enough and better. As it turns out, I decided to marry the two recipes and what a wonderful product I ended up with.

Here’s Ina’s recipe. Link to Food Network.

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread 2006, Barefoot Contessa at Home

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra to grease the pan
  • 8 ounces aged extra-sharp Cheddar, grated, divided
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts, plus extra for garnish, 3 scallions
  • 3 tablespoons seeded and minced fresh jalapeno peppers

Directions

Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and butter. With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until most of the lumps are dissolved. Don’t overmix! Mix in 2 cups of the grated Cheddar, the scallions and jalapenos, and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking pan.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining grated Cheddar and extra chopped scallions. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into large squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Here are my modifications:

First and foremost, this is a giant recipe.  I cut it in half right from the start.  She says that her’s makes 12 large pieces and she isn’t kidding.  In half, it filled a standard iron skillet for me.
In addition to the scallions, I had a little white onion left over from my chili and I wanted to add that.  So, I added about 1/4 of a cup. I added 2/3 of a cup of canned corn (or half of an 11 oz. can). Her recipe calls for 3 extra large eggs. I used 2 large for the half recipe.
In hindsight, I wish I had added the seeds of the jalepenos.  The extra heat would have been a welcomed addition.
I must say, this was truly some of the best cornbread I’ve ever eaten.  The recipe called for much more flour than meal, which is more Northern for sure. We didn’t mind one bit. The texture was cake like and fluffy.  Brandon (the bf) and I walked into the kitchen and said at the same time “Oh my god, that smells so good.” Believe me when I say it- it was so good.  He and I both forgot to take a picture of it when it came out of the oven because we were dying to eat it.  We couldn’t even wait for it to cool at all- which you will see by the crumbs and broken pieces below!! At any rate, I am exceptionally happy with this recipe.  I will probably play with it a little more and I’ve even thought about making some sort of stuffing out of it to accompany some pork. MMMMMM.  Stand by for that.
Cheers.  Olivia

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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Food, What's For Dinner?

 

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