Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Best Turkey Burger I've Come Across

I'm not a huge fan of turkey burgers but a friend of mine showed me this method.

It's simple. Saute finely chopped celery, (a stick of so) for about 3 minutes in a tablespoon or so in olive oil, add some chopped mushrooms, (about a cup for 2 burgers), another 5 minutes or until they are soft. Add to ground turkey. Spice how you like, pepper, salt, Worcester sauce etc. Grill.

I've found these organic, panko crusted, non trans fat onion rings, (baked), that goes great with the burgers


Looks Like A Keeper, trying this tonight.

Here's the Link, from WHOLE FOODS site.

Serves 2
Fresh spring fruits and veggies deserve respect and good company. This simple salad takes care of both and can add a wow factor to any meal. Feeling fancy? Drop the raw sliced asparagus into ice water for a minute or two and it will curl into ribbons. In a hurry? Cut the asparagus into thin coins instead. In the dressing, the avocado provides its natural healthy fats for smooth and creamy results. Nobody will know it's a health-promoting, no-oil-added dressing!

3 green onions, trimmed
1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted
1/2 cup orange juice
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
3 ounces spring greens or mesclun mix
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and sliced into strips with a vegetable peeler

Puree green onions, avocado, juice, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor until smooth to make a dressing. In a large bowl, toss greens, strawberries and asparagus together. Transfer to plates, drizzle with half the dressing and serve. Extra dressing will keep one day refrigerated.

Bulgarian Shokska Salad

FROM MY FRIEND DEAN. Gonna try this soon. Thanks Dean

Subject: Dinner!
Hey there, Jamie! Love the idea for summer food. My Bulgarian boyfriend and I have this salad a lot. It's a traditional Bulgarian salad called Shopska Salad. It is probably the most common salad in Bulgaria and is served at the beginning of a meal with a small glass of rakia, which is a sort of Bulgarian grappa.

Equal amounts of:
Tomatoes, chopped
Cucumbers, chopped (peel, if desired)
Green peppers, chopped (or red, orange, yellow, cubanelle, or whatever you like)

1 red onion chopped
Fresh parsley, chopped
Sunflower oil, enough to moisten
Red-wine vinegar to taste
Salt and black pepper
1/2 cup Bulgarian feta cheese, crumbled or shredded

Chop vegetables into bite-sized chunks. Slice the onion in as small or large pieces as you like. Same with the parsley. Throw all of these into a bowl and add the oil and vinegar. You don't need too much dressing. Shred the cheese on top, toss, and add salt and pepper to taste.

If you don't have sunflower oil, use any mild-tasting oil. Olive oil is probably too strong-tasting for this salad. Canola, safflower, whatever you have on-hand.

Bulgarian feta is pretty commonly available in the US and is less sharp than the more common Greek. However,feel free to use whatever feta you prefer.

Feta tip: store feta in a tight container in water. Some of the salt will leech out of the cheese into the water, and the flavor of the cheese will be less sharp and the cheese will be softer as well.

Stone Fruit Salad with Toasted Almonds

Submitted my Melinda Mosely from Cooking Light

Almond oil adds subtle nutty flavor to the dressing. You can use olive oil, if you prefer.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups salad, 2 teaspoons cheese, and 1 teaspoon almonds)
1 cup riesling or other sweet white wine
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon almond oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
8 cups mixed salad greens
3 plums, sliced
2 peaches, peeled and sliced
2 nectarines, peeled and sliced
2 apricots, peeled and sliced
3/4 cup pitted fresh cherries, halved
1/4 cup (2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
Heat wine in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced to 2 tablespoons (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat, and stir in vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper.

To serve salad, toss salad greens and fruit with dressing. Sprinkle with goat cheese and sliced almonds. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tomato Avocado Blue Cheese Salad

I made this one up last night for Jill and Jerry. They invited me up for dinner and Jill said bring a tomato salad. Here it goes.

Serves 4

3 to 4 ripe tomatoes

2 ripe avocados

1 small Vidalia onion.

Blue cheese crumbles

Our vinegarette dressing posted on this blog or any dressing you prefer. Newmans Oil and Vinegar would work well with this salad


Slice tomatoes thick. Cut Avocado in half with a large spoon scoop each half out whole. Place flat side down and slice. Slice onion very thin.

Place 2 to 3 slice of tomato on a salad plate, lay 2 to 3 slice of avocado on top of the tomato.

Flash fry the onion in very hot oil, vegetable is best. About one minute

With a slotted spoon pull out the onion and place on top of the salad.

Add a tablespoon of the cheese.

Cover with dressing, about a tablespoon or two.

Caesar Salad Supreme

I've been making this Caesar for years. Doug and I will grill a chicken breast marinated in this dressing, slice it and half it for the top of the salad. Another one dish meal/salad.


6 cloves garlic, peeled
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon of anchovy paste
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cups day-old bread, cubed
1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces

Mince 3 cloves of garlic, and combine in a small bowl with mayonnaise, anchovies, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cut the remaining 3 cloves of garlic into quarters, and add to hot oil. Cook and stir until brown, and then remove garlic from pan. Add bread cubes to the hot oil. Cook, turning frequently, until lightly browned. Remove bread cubes from oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Place lettuce in a large bowl. Toss with dressing, remaining Parmesan cheese, and seasoned bread cubes.

Warm Spinach Salad with a Fire-Roasted Corn and Crispy Pancetta Dressing and Crumbled Goat's Cheese

We really love this one. Excellent when corn is in season. It's a main dish for us a lot of the times in the summer

2 ears of fresh sweet corn

drizzle of olive oil


freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon olive oil

6 ounces chopped pancetta or bacon

2 cups thinly sliced onions

2 teaspoons chopped garlic

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

6 cups fresh baby spinach leaves, washed and patted dry

2 ounces crumbled Goat's cheese


Preheat the grill. Season the corn with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the corn on the grill (you can also use either an open gas burner or roast the corn in the oven) Grill the corn for 10 minutes, turning the corn every 2 minutes. In a saute pan, heat the olive oil. Add the pancetta and render until crispy, about 6 minutes. Add the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the corn from the grill. Scrape the kernels from the cob. Add the corn to the pancetta and onion mixture. Continue to saute for 1 minute. Stir in the garlic and vinegar. Continue to cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Place the spinach in a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add the dressing to the bowl and toss the salad completely. To serve, mound the greens in the center of each plate. Crumble the cheese over the top of the salad and serve.

Vinegar Dressing

This is our nightly house dressing. It leaves lots of room for interpretation. The trick here is to use the vinegar, lemon juice and oil to taste. Use the recipe below. Then add one of the three until you get the taste your after.

2 Tbs of Olive Oil

2 Tbs of White Wine, Red Wine, or Rice Wine Vinegar

1 Tps of Dijon Mustard

1 small clove of garlic, minced

1 Tbs of lemon juice

1 Tps of mayonnaise, more or less, I use a little less

Pepper to taste

Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients. I use a small food processor or mixing wand to blend completely.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Salad Lyonnaise

This is Mark Bittman's traditional Salad Lyonnaise. He is a constant source of all sorts of recipes for me.

This is traditional salad Lyonnaise. Lyonnaise in Burgandy, France is a combination of bitter greens and a warmed dressing topped with a poached egg. Doug's has been looking for a salad that has a poached egg on it for I don't know how long. We added a teaspoon of lemon juice to the dressing. After we finished, as we always do, we broke it down to determine what could be added, taken away, accompaniments etc. We came up with this.

A drop of Tabasco put on the table might be an option for some. Also, we thought a side of 3 or so raw oysters on the half shell would be a great side.

We're usually red drinkers at dinner so a Pinot Noir is a good accompaniment as it's from the Burgandy region. I think a Macon Village, (chardonnay) would be a nice pairing as well. Cheers and enjoy. Let me know your results, tweeks, accompaniments etc. Cheers.