...*a glimse into the daily life of a chef*...

...this blog is a place for me to record and reflect the passion that i put into my everyday life.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

wHat MakEs a Salad, a SalAd?

...i love salads...not those "salad" every church gathering has that aren't really salads- you can't have a snicker salad, marshmallow dream salad, or pretzel salad...you can't just call it a salad because you want to eat it in place of a salad or because you don't know what else to call it...i even have a hard time with potato salad, egg salad and tuna salad....what makes all of them a salad, well if we have to use all of those in our search, then i would have to say, the binder. The thing that brings the whole "salad" together, the dressing. So in thinking about that i thought that I would share a few of my favorite binders-

1) Poppyseed Dressing
1/2 c. cider vinegar
1/2 c.  honey
1 tsp. mustard powder
2 T minced green onions
1 c. canola oil

2) Tahini Vinaigrette
1/2 c. cider vinegar
1 T. Honey
2 T. tahini
3/4 c canola oil

3) Avocado Green Goddess
1/2 avacado
7 leaves fresh basil
1/4 c. cilantro
2 T. chives, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. blk. pepper
1/2 c. cider vinegar
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 egg yolk
1 c. oil

Put first 8 ingredients in blender and pulse till broken down then 
add your cream,  and yolk before slowing drizzling in the oil. Blend till smooth.

2) Peppercorn "Ranch"
1 T. whole Peppercorns
2 oz. Brie Cheese
4 oz. Cheese Cheese
1/4 c. cider vinegar
1/2 c. Milk
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. fresh thyme
1/2 t. Salt
1 1/2 c. oil

Put everything but the oil in the blender and 
then slowly drizzle in the oil as the blender purees. 

4) Cumin Lime Vinaigerette
1 t. Cumin 
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1/2 c. sour cream
3 T. Cider  Vinegar
1 c. Oil

Put everything but oil in a bowl and slowly wisk in oil.

So in typing these recipes of a few of my favorites i realized that i love cider vinegar...or at least i love it in dressings. You can use fancy vinegars or red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar...but to me cider gives the cleanest flavor...don't get me wrong balsamic vinegar and oil is one of my all time favor things on salads but when i want to make a dressing and taste something other than the vinegar i like to use cider or champagne vinegar (i just never keep champagne vinegar in my house, but i am never without cider)....i love to make salads for people because many people get in a salad routine, but me i like to switch it up, don't get me wrong i have my favorite "good stuff" as my nephew calls it but i love to make cool dressings and put fun stuff in with the lettuce.  Try using the seasoned pretzel pieces by snyders (i love the honey mustard with the poppyseed dressing) or add in some candied pecans, experiment with different fruits like grapes, apple, oranges, pears, blue berries....add some fresh herbs....get creative test your taste knowledge, push the limits....go crazy, whats the worst thing that can happen...it tastes terrible? so, at least you tried and with cooking that is 1/2 the battle.  So as the sun starts to shine and the snow melts test your salad abilities...YOU CAN DO IT! ;o)

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