Tag: Salad

Walnut and Avocado Salad, Seeing Double & Mysteries Solved

When is a salad not a salad?  When it comes from The A-Z of Cooking.  There is no way in the world that I would call this a salad.  It’s much more of a dip.  But The A-Z calls it a salad so, Walnut and Avocado Salad it is.  Even if we all secretly know it’s a dip.  

Walnut and Avocado SaladThis was kind of….meh.  And you know what?  I strongly recommend that you make guac instead.  Because a good guac is awesome!  But first, there is an elephant in the room and it needs to be addressed.  You may be thinking that because we have labelled something a salad when it is quite clearly a dip that we have reached S.  Not so fast there Speedy.  We’re actually still at R.  How so?  Refreshing Salads.  Yeah,  I know I should  have ceased to be surprised at the randomness of The A-Z by now.  But it’s ONE letter..it’s at the back of the Chapter, right next to the start of the S’s. Couldn’t they have?  Shouldn’t they have? Why didn’t they?

Walnut and Avocado Salad2But wait, there’s  more.   When I turned the page over to “Refreshing Salads” my eye was caught by the words Greek Salata.  Now, I LOVE a Greek Salad.  Feta, olives, tomatoes….bring it on!  My mouth was already watering as I contemplated making eating one. In my mind, a Greek Salad should look exactly like this one from the Food Network:

So imagine my horror when my eyes were what can only be described as assaulted by this disgrace:

Oh. My. Lord.  Have you ever seen anything quite so hideous in your life?  Sadly, I have.  Because even as I was recoiling in horror, I realised I had seen something quite so hideous before.  In fact I had seen something exactly as fugly before because I had not only seen but posted on that very picture.  Right here.

WTF?  To paraphrase Lady Bracknell, to use this picture in one book may be regarded as misfortune; to use it in two looks like a blatant disregard for the eyes of one’s readers.  But then I was intrigued.  So, I went back to The Hot Weather Cookbook and flicked through it and there were six other photos IDENTICAL to those in The A-Z of Cooking!  They share a publisher, Octopus Books but neither book acknowledges that content previously appeared in the other. 

Now, it also just so happens that one of the photos that was replicated in both books was the mysterious Mango Mousse which I spoke about here.

Mango MousseNow I know that the mystery of what that is a picture of, seeing as it is quite clearly NOT a mango mousse has been keeping all of us awake since I first posted it back in March of 2015 (and yikes, has it really taken me over two years to cook through this book?).  And who knew that I had the key to the mystery within my grasp the entire time?  Because, if you look at page 113 of the Hot Weather Cookbook where the same recipe for Mango Mousse appears, there is a reference at the bottom of the page to the pictures contained overleaf  – Orange Soufflé (page 114).  Which is our mango mousse picture.

And, if we flick back to the recipe of Orange Soufflé?  Oranges, passionfruit, cream eggs….I’m totally ignoring the random bananas but  I think we have a contender!

Orange SouffleMystery solved.  I feel like a culinary Mulder and Scully.  I have been tossing up as to whether I should take up one of those Hunt A Killer subscriptions I keep hearing about on all my podcasts.  After this bit of sleuthing I am a step closer to putting my detective skills to the test.  It’s damn expensive to get it shipped to Australia though!  Is anyone else doing it? If you are, please let me know!

BTW, just to take us back to the Avocado and Walnut Salad?  The bread shown with it is the Cheddar and Apple Foccacia from The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook by Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez.  And it was delicious!  This is a wonderful book too!

Have a wonderful week!  Next up, I’m taking a bit of a break from The A-Z and making some lovely old-fashioned biscuits, perfect for afternoon tea!  Why not pour yourself an Earl Grey and join me?

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Cowboys, Caviar, Casseroles and Cocktails

Dear readers

I had such high hopes for this post.  Then they were totally dashed by a twist of fate that…well…I guess if I’d seen it coming it wouldn’t be a twist would it?  But I’m jumping ahead of myself.  First, I was totally delighted when Greg from Recipes4Rebels asked if I would join in a cookalong for Cowboy Day!  This event occurs on the fourth Saturday of July each year and is celebrated all over the world! 

Cowboy Caviar 1Obviously, this is not the fourth Saturday in July, however, as I will be sunning myself on the beach at Sanur in Bali that day, with Greg’s blessing I am posting my ventures into Cowboy Cookin’ early!  And it’s a three course meal y’all. (Because 1 that’s how cowboy’s talk and 2 cocktails are a course aren’t they?  This one is almost a meal!  But again, getting ahead of myself!)

So now onto my foiled grand plans.  My idea was that I would find a cocktail called a Bali Cowboy – possibly a more tropical version of this cowboy cocktail and I would make it for my post and then, on the day itself, I would tweet another picture of me in Bali with with my Bali Cowboy and it would in a glass as big as my head and it would be blue and loaded with umbrellas and pineapple wedges and all the other tropical cocktail paraphenalia. 

Cowboy Caviar 2A quick google soon showed me that there is such a thing as a Bali Cowboy.  It is NOT a cocktail.  Turns out that a Bali Cowboy is a male prostitute who hangs around Kuta Beach willing to sell his services to any rich (ie all) Western women who care to pay for them. So, whilst I’m not 100% ruling out a photo of me with a Bali Cowboy on Cowboy Day, the likelihood of it happening has dropped significantly!

So, new ideas had to be found.  Starting with some caviar.  Because we’re classy cowboys!  It’s Cowboy Caviar of courseCowboy Caviar 4Where has this salad / dip been all my life?  If this is what cowboys eat, then I want to be a cowboy.  It’s all kinds of beans and corn and tomatoes and avocado . Truly delicious!  I loved this! 

So, for the second course, I went straight to the top.  And by that I mean Mr John Wayne himself.

John wayne casserole recipeTurns out The Duke and I share a love of eggs, cheese and chillies.  Now, just one thing about the John Wayne casserole…. To my mind, when you combine egg yolks to beaten egg whites with other stuff, in this instance cheese and chilli and you them put that in an oven and cook until it’s all puffed up and golden, that’s not so much a casserole as a soufflé. 

You be the judge:

John wayne casserole1I’ll sit quietly over here and let my case speak for itself. 

By the way, cooking this for an hour would be way too much.  You are seeing about 35 minutes and I think it was over.  I would cook this…half an hour max.  Also, the tomato didn’t do much.  I would actually leave it out and cook this for 20 minutes total. 

John Wayne casserole2The soufflé casserole was good but I think I was so blown away by the Cowboy Caviar that it kind of paled by comparison.  I will definitely make it again though!

John Wayne casserole3And now for my grand Cowboy finale, I am turning to to person who started all of this, yep, Greg.  This cocktail /dessert  is A-MAZING!  So, so good.  Cowboys and cowgirls, can I present, the Giant Martini! 

Giant Martini2There is no other word for this but absolutely divine! The giant in the Giant Martini doesn’t refer t to it’s size (but you could scale it up very easily)  but to the fact that it was created on the set of Giant by Liz Taylor and Rock Hudson.

Git along little doggie, this cocktail is all mine!

Giant MartiniAnd you too!

Giant Martini3jpgAh yes, Greg’s site on the PC, a cocktail in front of me and The A-Z of Cooking behind it.  Just a regular day round these parts!

Many, many thanks to Greg, this was so much fun!  Thank you so much for including me!  I always say this but you hear so much about the internet being a a horrible vicious place, I am always delighted and totally honoured to make new friends, like Greg, on here. 

Ok, I’ve gotta go, 5:30am start tomorrow!  But I’m loving and leaving you with some some super rhinestone cowboy singing!

Find out all about the Cowboy Day Cook A Long here.  Hopefully my attempts will inspire you to bigger and better things on the day!

The recipe for Cowboy Caviar I used came from Cookie and Kate.

The Giant Martini recipe is here.

Kiss me and smile for me, I’ll be back here in a couple of weeks but if you can’t smile without me, I’ll be tweeting and instagramming from Bali throughout.

Loving you, leaving you, now!

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Pear and Blue Cheese Salad: 1977 v 2015

Last time we spoke I was making a mad mix of ginger beer pickled pears for my Christmas Day Pear and Blue Cheese Salad.  If you follow my Instagram, you would already know how this turned out.  If not, take a look!

Pickled Pear & Blue Cheese SaladI am amazingly proud of this.  It looks so pretty and festive and it tasted just as good as it looks! 

The ginger beer pickled pears were great. They were so tasteless raw, it was like chewing cardboard.  The ginger beer pickle not only  added some flavour but also made them taste more pear-y.

 Pear & Blue Cheese Salad2

For the salad, I used a supermarket bought mixed leaves, toasted walnuts, some crumbled blue cheese and some red currants to add some festivity!

I kept the skin on the pear during the pickling but took it off for serving. 

For the dressing I mixed some of the pickling liquid with some olive oil.  And then promptly forgot to take it to mum’s.   She had some bought dressing which we used on the day but I actually think the one I made was better.

Pickled Pear & Blue Cheese Salad3My Pickled Pear and Blue Cheese Salad was inspired by a recipe in the A-Z of Cooking for a Pear and Blue Cheese Salad.  I didn’t copy it totally first because of the issue with the pear.  But also I felt that the combination of blue cheese and mayo would make my salad too heavy.  We have been in a heat wave and so for me the lighter dressing kept the salad more lean and the increased acidity worked well in the heat. 

Here is that recipe, you’ll find my recipe for the Pickled Pear and Blue Cheese Salad at the bottom of the page.

Pear and Blue Cheese Salad collageI may be am totally biased but I’m calling my 2015 version of a Pear and Blue Cheese Salad the winner in this bout of retro v modern.  I absolutely loved it.  But you know what?  Try them both and let me know what you think!

Meantime, I have half a jar of saffrony-gingery-chilli-ish pickling liquid left over.  Fruit and sugar and vinegar  =  a shrub does it not?  I’m researching as we speak.  This could be the gift that keeps on giving.  It’s a dirty job but someone is going to have to taste test cocktails made with the pear and ginger shrub to find out which booze it goes best with.  I think it can go three ways – keep it lean with some vodka, make it sparkle with some prosecco or play to the spicy notes with some spiced rum.That’s where I’m heading anyway. 

Pickled Pear Juice and Dressing.Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions will be gratefully received. 

I’ll try to get it right before NYE.  Speaking of which, what are your plans? The fussiest eater in the world is working so it’s me on my lonesome.  Which is perfectly fine by me.  I am working during the day so will use the evening to prepare a Bridget Jones curry buffet for the following day when my friend Ali is coming over for what has become a New Year’s Day tradition. 

Hopefully,the ratio of cooking vs shrub testing stays on the right side and I don’t end up  doing the full Bridget Jones couch routine!

Have a fabulous week! 

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

Here is my recipe:

Pickled Pear and Blue Cheese Salad

Pickled Pear and Blue Cheese Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 pear, cored and thinly sliced, peel on
  • 1 birdseye chilli
  • 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup ginger beer
  • a pinch of saffron threads
  • 2 cups mixed leaves
  • 50g blue cheese crumbled
  • 50g walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil for salad dressing
  • red currants to garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • Toast the walnuts until golden. Set aside.
  • Combine the gingerbeer and the vinegar in the a small saucepan.
  • Add the chilli and bring to the boil.
  • Add the pears and the saffron.
  • Lower the heat and poach the pears in the liquid for around 5 minutes. The pears need to be cooked through but not at all mushy. If they are not cooked in the 5 minutes, turn the heat off but keep the pears in the hot cooking liquid until they achieve the right level of doneness.
  • Once done, drain the pears but keep the ginger-vinegar liquid. Place the pears in the fridge to cool down while you make the rest of the salad.
  • Spread the mixed salad greens over a plate.
  • Sprinkle over the walnuts and the crumbled blue cheese.
  • Remove the peel from the pears and spread the slices over the greens.
  • Top with the red currants, if using.
  • Make a dressing by mixing 1/2 tbsp of the ginger-vinegar liquid with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Season to taste and pour over the salad.
  • Enjoy!
http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2015/12/29/pear-and-blue-che/

 

American Salad

I feel like I have been neglecting the The A-Z of Cooking recently and like a typical errant parent, I’m back and about to smother my booky child with a level of attention bordering on overkill.  Otherwise known as posting a few quick items to get us back up to speed. 

We’re starting off with a look at F.  Which is not neither fish nor fowl or frying or fricasseeing but Frozen Food Shortcuts.  Of course.  Because that’s the first thing that we need to know about when it comes to the letter F in cooking.  All those things I mentioned are just piffle.

American Salad2

And, we’re starting with an item immediately springs to mind when we think of frozen food –  salad.  Yep.  About as obvious as the frozen food short cuts really.   You have already seen a glimpse of the frozen food, aka American salad in the post on the Devilled Chicken Skewers.  And you know what?  It was not nearly as bad as the idea suggests.

American Salad3

The recipe uses frozen corn and green beans.  I used fresh green beans because I had them in the house, but the corn was frozen. I am also not overly fond of red pepper so I subbed in some radishes. 

I tend to think of potato salad as being the “typical” American salad.  Followed by Caesar and Waldorf.  I have no idea why this is called American Salad.  Maybe the corn?

American Salad

Overall, this salad was colourful, had lots of crunch and a good mix of tastes and textures.  Big tick from me on the American salad!  Way to go America!  And the A-Z of Cooking for turning something that sounded as if it should be revolting into something I will probably make lots more of.  This would be a great salad to take to bbq’s in summer as there is not much to go soggy. No wilting lettuce here.  The salad went very nicely with the chicken but, would be awesome with a steak.  And for those of you of a non-meat persuasion, this would be super as a filling for a baked potato, with maybe a little cheese sprinkled over the top if you are not vegan.

American Salad

American Salad

Ingredients

  • 100g / 8oz frozen green beans
  • 100g / 8oz frozen corn kernels
  • 1 red pepper pith and seeds removed, finely diced
  • 8 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • handful of black olives, stoned
  • For the Dressing!
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Cook the beans and corn according to the directions on the packets.
  • Cool.
  • Once cook mix with all the other ingredients except the olive oil and vinegar.
  • For the dressing!
  • Mix together all the ingredients, season to taste.
  • When ready to serve, pour the dressing over the salad and mix to combine.
http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2015/12/05/american-salad-and-fish-and-bacon-whirls/

I would love to know from my American readers if this salad is something you are familiar with?  

Have a lovely weekend!

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

The Dishiest Dish – Chicken Tortilla Soup

What a week it’s been!  It was so much fun cooking for the Vincent Price cookalong but there were also many other meals to make.  My meal plan also got thrown out of whack because there was more chicken leftover than I had assumed there would be so I had to quickly find something to use it all up.  Enter Tortilla Soup!

 Tortilla Soup3

I can’t believe I have not come across this before.  Adding chips to soup?  Brilliant! You are supposed to use tortilla chips but I had some Doritos in the house.  Given this was a dish made mostly from leftovers and pantry items I decided to use them instead of having to buy more stuff. I loved the idea of being able to add your own crunch and avocado and herbs.  It reminded me of eating pho when you get the big plate of herbs and chilli and lime alongside your soup to add per your desire.

The other highlight was the Gourmet Traveller Cucumber, Pistachio, Grape and Feta salad.  It was so flavourful and beautiful to look at.  The recipe called for green grapes but I used black grapes.  I added some rocket (arugula) as well. It went superbly with some roasted salmon. 

Cucumber, Pistachio, Feta & Grape SaladThe biggest disappointment of the week was the saffron and pistachio kulfi.  I am always so excited when the warm weather rolls around and I can bring out the ice-cream maker but something in this recipe did not work.  You had to mix milk powder, custard powder and cornflour into buttermilk and one (who knows, possibly all) didn’t really dissolve even though I heated it exactly as directed.  The texture was grainy and it was bland to boot.  I added some dried cranberries which helped but it was still not ideal. If anyone has a kulfi recipe that works, please send it my way!

This week I am looking forward to cooking:

Starter /Lunch / Salad  – Sweet Potato Wedges with Chimichurri and Speck from Bon Appetit

Main Event – Slow Roasted Chermoula Lamb

Sweet Treats – Passionfruit and Coconut Custard. 

In Other News I Am

Listening To

The Message Podcast was good.  I have listened to the first two episodes and am enjoying it a lot. 

Playing

I am by no means a perfectionist but I have found a new game to play whilst waiting for my Candy Crush lives to regenerate.   It is hitting all my OCD buttons!

http://tappsgames.com/app/the-perfectionist/

Reading

I have finished Orphan #8 and am about to start The Reckoning.  This is the November book club selection.  Autobiography is not a genre I am overly fond of so I have mixed feelings about it.  We’ll see.  I am also not a fan of hard back books as most of my reading is done on the train and they can be heavy to carry.  Also I can hold up a paperback in one hand and read if I don’t get a seat but find it harder to do with a hardback. Because I’m weak. 

I found a two new blogs to follow.  In one of my first ventures into blogging I cooked food that was inspired by or mentioned in the books I was reading.  It was pretty dismal as I found that either no food was mentioned or it took me too long to read the books or the food was stuff I did not like.  Occasionally I think about bringing it back and go through phases where I start sticky noting food in the books I read.  Reading these both inspires me to get back into it.  And depresses me because these ladies do it so much better than I ever did!

Alison’s Wonderland Recipes

Little Library Cafe

Also, I have been reading this for a while now and I think she is one of the most hilarious people on the internet:

Bitches Gotta Eat

Reading/Listening

I have finished the Jon Ronson (loved it).  And have started on the audiobook for

The Faithful Couple

Watching

To celebrate a belated Halloween we watched You’re Next.  I had one scream out loud moment and it was pretty scary.  But we decided the overriding message was “Don’t mess with Australian girls”. Amen to that!

I am also about to start Season 3 of Orphan Black.

Making

Someone (not me thank Goodness) dropped our olive oil pouring bottle which smashed on the tiles.  He then quickly McGuyvered up a temporary replacement from an old wine bottle.  I really like it.  So it may be staying permanently.

Oil BottleHere’s the Tortilla Soup Recipe. 

Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped finely
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 400g can of tomatoes
  • 1.5 litres of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 chilli finely sliced
  • 1 cup leftover chicken, diced
  • 1 400g can of five bean mix
  • 1 310g can of corn
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • handful of tortilla or corn chips
  • Sliced chili / red onion (optional)
  • Lime wedges

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin and cook until the garlic is soft, about two minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, stock, salt and sugar, and chilli and bring to the boil.'
  • Add the chicken, beans and corn and allow to heat through, about 10 minutes.
  • Spoon the soup into bowls.
  • Have bowls of corn chips, chopped avocado, chopped coriander, chilli, red onion and lime wedges on the table so eaters can help themselves to what they want.
http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2015/11/11/the-dishiest-dish-chicken-tortilla-soup/

What’s cooking in your kitchen?    What was the best thing you made this week? What’s your favorite thing to do with leftovers?

What are you looking forward to making next week? 

What are you reading, watching, listening to?

Please share!

Have a fabulous week everyone! 

Happy Cooking!

 Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

 

 

 

 

 

Follow
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com
Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers:

Optimization WordPress Plugins & Solutions by W3 EDGE
%d bloggers like this: