Roasted garlic salad dressing
April 23, 2013, 11:06 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

Ok, the last post was a Proceed At Your Own Risk sort of thing.

This one involves the same ingredient- roasted garlic, but with MUCH happier results.  The recipe was taken from Epicurious.com, found during a search for a broccoli salad recipe that didn’t involve raisins or cheese. I didn’t make the salad exactly as the recipe said, but I did make the dressing as such and I must say it’s probably the tastiest dressing I have EVER made. Ever. Even better than the garlic and lemon peel and black pepper sauteed in olive oil and blended with rice vinegar, which is my favorite for fresh salad greens from the garden in May.

This stuff. Wow. Rarely (with the exception of a friend’s coconut pie exchanged for sewing services) have I wanted to take something and sit on the kitchen floor, assume a defensive posture hunched over it like some sort of hyena guarding an antelope carcass, and eat it with a spoon. Calories be damned. This is so good it’s worth a little cellulite.

Creamy and amazing and OF COURSE there’s no PICTURES. But, you know what mayonnaise looks like. And buttermilk. Imagine the fresh Spring chives cut from a pot on the patio, and pepper from a grinder on the kitchen counter.  Imagine a couple of golden heads of roasted garlic, oily and gleaming in a pie pan. Close your eyes and breathe in the aroma. Now imagine a 23 year old outside, manning the grill and tending the beefsteaks cooking on it. But the salad is the star of the show, no doubt. As per usual, I didn’t make the exact salad it called for. I never do. BUT, as it was a broccoli salad I was looking for, that is what was made.

I don’t really like broccoli, unless it’s in a salad with a delicious dressing, or drowning in a cheese soup. Broccoli has unpleasant childhood recollections attached to it. I was forced to eat it, and I don’t like being forced. However, if it had been presented with this stuff on it, I would have eaten it and asked for more.

Creamy Roasted Garlic Dressing.

2 heads of garlic

a little bit of olive oil

1 cup mayonnaise…c’mon, use the good stuff. I like Duke’s but that might be a regional thing.

1/2 cup buttermilk

1-1/2 tablespoons of minced fresh chives. yes. Fresh. not dried. please. Not dried.

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon celery seed (Epicurious recipe said 1-1/4 teaspoons celery salt but I never use the stuff and have to watch the salt anyway)

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground (yes, please) black pepper. I have no idea how much I put in. Probably more than that but I like the stuff.

Cut the garlic heads in half through the middle (how do I explain that?) so each clove is cut in half…get it?  Drizzle each cut side with a bit of olive oil and wrap them all together loosely with aluminum foil, or (like I did) put them in a cake pan and cover with a pan lid.. Roast at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. Check after that to see if they’re soft and turning golden. If not soft yet, put the lid back on and put them back in the oven, heat turned off, for about 10 minutes.

Put all the other ingredients into a blender (ok, Epicurious said get all fancy and precious and mix everything by hand blah blah blah) and whiz up (or mix gently by hand with a wire whisk made by Turkish metalworkers who’ve been doing it for generations and using methods passed down from their ancestors…whatever). When the garlic is done, pop each clove out (SO EASY!) from the papery skin and drop into the blender with the other stuff. Whiz it up again.

Taste it and adjust with salt and pepper and try to restrain yourself from hiding in a closet with it and a spoon and eating the whole blender full then serving the salad with a disappointing Ranch dressing from a bottle.

Now, the salad I made was 1 head of Romaine lettuce (Epicurious said use a bunch of overpriced hearts of Romaine but I am feeding Philistines who wouldn’t know a heart of Romaine from a bag of iceberg), chopped kind of small. I hate big pieces of lettuce. Also 2 heads of broccoli, florets cut VERY small then the stems shredded like cole slaw, and a fresh spring onion (from the garden of my 14 yr old) chopped fine.  It could possibly have been improved with the addition of something like sunflower seeds or pepitas, but I didn’t have any of those.

Admittedly, I probably ate too much salad, if such a thing is possible.
“too much salad”…did I just say that?

I will probably reek of garlic tomorrow, as will Himself, but if both people in a romantic relationship eat too much garlic, no one who matters will notice.

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Oh Lord this is so easy, and tasty in that “not really made from fresh ingredients” sort of way
June 13, 2012, 1:05 pm
Filed under: Philosophical, Poultry, Quick and Easy, salad, Vegetables | Tags: ,

I live in the Deepest of the Deep South, near Savannah, Georgia. It’s not close enough to the coast to get the breeze off the Atlantic, and not near enough the mountains to enjoy a cool stream. It’s the heart of Wiregrass Country, that means flat, and cotton fields, and pine trees dripping sap on your clothes when it gets hot.  It means that sometimes the thought of opening the oven door or standing over the stove, or even lighting the grill is…well…Not The Thing To Do.  Even changing clothes and going to a nicely chilled restaurant seems too much effort, because the humidity is hovering around 90% and it feels like if you spit it would tip the balance and water would simply fall out of the air. It is too tired and dense to do something as active as rain, it is just apathetic humidity. It does rain nearly every afternoon,around 4:30, when there’s still a solid 4 hours of sunlight left to steam things up again.

Last night, I didn’t want to cook. The very idea of anything more interesting than a huge tumbler of minty iced tea caused culinary ennui.

I keep things in the pantry, canned things, stuff that I usually philosophically scorn as inferior, for just such an evening.

And I was too apathetic to take pictures, too. Surprised?

This is a recipe I got from the person real cooks love to make fun of, with her multitude of color coordinated Kitchen Aid Stand Mixers and gawdawful Tablescapes:

Sandra Lee.

There. I said it. I got a recipe from Sandra Lee and I LIKE IT.  So does everyone else in the house. But what do they know, they like frozen pizza, too.

Anyway, if I lived in Atlanta, and had ready access to The Dekalb Farmer’s Market where I could buy fresh bean sprouts and bamboo shoots and water chestnuts, I would. I am certain this salad would be far superior with such things. But I do not live in Atlanta so I make this the Sandra Lee way. And I am ok with that.

Not Really Asian Chicken Salad

The 1/2 of the rotisserie chicken left over from Sunday (or 2 cans of chicken. Sandra Lee used cans. I might compromise on some things but not on chicken), chopped

1 can each (or a generous handful if you’re fortunate enough to have access to the fresh stuff) bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, sliced water chestnuts, baby corn

1 bag (let’s call it 4 cups worth) shredded cabbage slaw mix (with the carrots in it)

1/2 cup bottled Asian Sesame Dressing

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 can of chow mein or rice noodles

a handful of toasted almond slices

Mix together the chicken and vegetables.

Mix together the dressing and mayo. taste it. If you want to, add some soy sauce, rice vinegar and a bit of sesame oil to kind of boost it up, depending on how strong the bottled dressing is.

Mix the dressing with the salad and sprinkle the noodles and almonds on top.

See there, no stove was used in the making of this salad.