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Memorial Day Side Salads

Memorial Day Side Salads

This year I was responsible for preparing  side salads for our Memorial Day BBQ. I used whatever I had in my fridge and this is what I came up with:

POTATO-CARROT SALAD WITH HARD-COOKED EGG DRESSING:
Ingredients:
– Four (4) Idaho potatoes, peeled
– Four (4) Large carrots, peeled
– Three (3) Large eggs
– One (1) Cup Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise
– Six (6) shakes of Tabasco Sauce
– Freshly ground black pepper
– Freshly ground sea salt

Directions:
Cooking the potatoes & carrots…
– Cut the potatoes into bite sized pieces – for my family that amounts to 1 inch x 1 inch cubes.
– Cut the carrots into 1 inch thick pieces (rounds from the skinny ends, triangles from the thicker ends).
– Cook the potatoes and the carrots in boiling water under not quite fully cooked – they should be a little hard and under done.
– Once cooked drain the potatoes and carrots in a strainer and run under cold water until cool. Then let set in the strainer for about ten minutes to let excess water drain, then place in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Cook the eggs. Here is the way I boil them to avoid over cooking and getting the yukkie green yolk…
– Place the three eggs (while still in the shell) in a 1 quart pot.
– Fill with enough water to just cover the eggs.
– Put a lid on the pot, turn on medium-high flame and turn on timer for 15 minutes.
– When the timer goes off, turn off flame, uncover the pot and let sit for 5 minutes, then run under cold water for a few seconds, remove and discard the egg shells.
– While the eggs are still warm, chop into small pieces.

Make the Potato-Carrot Salad…
– Put the still warm, finely chopped hard-cooked eggs in a small mixing bowl.
– Add the mayonnaise and mix well with a rubber baking spatula.
– Add the mayonnaise egg dressing to the potatoes and carrots making sure to evenly coat them.
– Add the six dashed of Tabasco, and mix well.
– Add freshly ground pepper and salt to taste and mix well again.
– Transfer the Potato-Carrot Salad to a glass serving bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least two hours before serving.

BEET, GREEN BEAN AND RED ONION SALAD WITH TARRAGON VINAIGRETTE:
Ingredients:
– One (1) pound fresh green beans, washed and ends cut
– One (1) 16 ounce jar pickled beets (whole or sliced)
– One (1) small red (Bermuda) onion
– Quarter (1/4) cup fresh Tarragon, leaves pulled from stems and coarsely chopped
– Four (4) cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced
– Half (1/2) cup extra virgin olive oil
– Third (1/3) cup balsamic vinegar
– Freshly ground black pepper
– Freshly ground sea salt

Directions:
Cook the green beans…
– Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan over medium flam for one minute.
– Add the sliced cloves of garlic and cook until soft.
– Add 1/2 pound of green beans, toss with the garlic, cover and cook for one minute, uncover and add the rest of the green beans, toss, cover and cook for one minute.
– Remove cover and toss again, continue cooking un covered and tossing one a minute until bright green, but fully cooked, about 5 minutes, then turn off flame and let sit for ten minutes.

Prepare the other veggies…
– Drain the beets and if whole, slice into 1/4 rounds, then cut the rounds in half and place in a large mixing bowl.
– Remove the skin from the onion, cut off the ends and cut in half, place each half of the onion face down and then cut into slivers and toss in the bowl with the beets.
– Using tongs, remove the green beans from the saute pan and place in the bowl with the beets and onion slivers.
– Take any oil and garlic pieces at the bottom of the saute pan and place in a small mixing bowl.

Prepare the dressing…
– Add the rest of the olive oil to the small mixing bowl with the oil and garlic from the green bean saute pan.
– Add the balsamic vinegar, tarragon and five twists of ground pepper and five twists of ground sea salt
– Whisk together until emulsified, then add to the veggie mixture and toss well with tongs making sure to coat evenly.
– Transfer the Beet, Green Bean & Red Onion Salad to a glass serving bowl, cover tightly with plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Enjoy these two salads with any BBQ!

 

Lemon Pepper Pappardelle w/Prosciutto & Peas

Lemon Pepper Pappardelle w/Prosciutto & Peas

Sunday dinner: Lemon-Pepper Pappardelle with Prosciutto & Peas. Many asked for the recipe – so here it is.

First, you can make this with any pasta but I do believe the lemon-pepper pappardelle greatly contributed to the flavor and texture of the dish. I purchased it at Trader Joe’s.

Ingredients:
– 1 (8oz.) package Trader Joe’s lemon-pepper pappardelle
– 2 1/4 inch thick slices prosciutto, diced (note that this is a change from the way prosciutto is usually served sliced paper thin)
– 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
– 1/4 cup grated paremsan cheese
– 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
– 1/4 lb. (one stick) unsalted butter
– 2 large eggs, yolk only
– pinch of nutmeg
– 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
– 1 tablespoon of salt (for the water you cook that pasta in) and then salt to taste

Instructions:
– Bring two quarts of salted water to boil in a covered large soup pot.
– Remove the lid and cook the pasta, uncovered, according to package directions (7-9 minutes).
– While the pasta is cooking…
– On a low flame, melt the butter in a large non-stick skillet.
– Add the heavy whipping cream and begin to whisk constantly
– When the edges start to bubble, add the egg yolks one at a time whisking constantly – this is really important becasue you don’t want the yolks to “scramble”
– After the two egg yolks are comepletly mixed with the cream and butter, add the parmesan cheese. Keep whisking to melt the cheese and mix completely.
– Whisk in the nutmeg and ground pepper.
– Add the peas, continue to shisk gently.
– Add the prosciutto, whisk gently.
– Stop whisking, drain the pasta, but keep your eye on the sauce, it shoudl be lightly bubbling aroudn the edges – but it can easily bubble over and burn if you leave it unattended.
– Once the pasta is drained, add to the sauce, salt to taste and using tongs, stir to completely cover all of the pasta with the sauce.
– Serve immediately with additional grated parmesan on the side.

Branching Out

Branching Out

Getting ready to roast a branch of Brussels sprouts but basting first with a glaze of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, fig preserves, garlic, cracked salt & pepper. Going into a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.