Best Ever Strawberry Spinach Salad from theslowroasteditalian.com

Candied Pecan Ingredients
1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup pecan halves
pinch salt

Dressing Ingredients
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup extra light tasting olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Salad Ingredients
10 ounces fresh baby spinach – rinsed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces
1/4 small red onion sliced
1 quart fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 avocado, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 (5 ounce) package blue cheese crumbles

Place a silpat mat or a sheet of parchment paper on the counter top to dry the pecans.

In a small skillet over medium heat melt butter. Add pecans, sugar and salt. Stir until pecans are well coated. Stir until the sugar caramelizes, about 3-5 minutes.

Spread onto silpat or parchment paper. Separate pecans. Allow to cool.

Meanwhile: in a pint size mason jar combine dressing ingredients. Seal and shake until well combined. Set aside on the counter.

In a large bowl combine the spinach, onions, strawberries and blueberries. Pour about 1/2 of dressing over salad, and toss. Top with avocado, cheese and candied nuts. Serve remaining dressing on the side.

Refrigerate for 15 minutes before serving (or serve immediately).

Serve with the remaining dressing on the side. Enjoy!

Chipotle’s ‘secret’ Guacamole recipe

fwx-chipotle-guacamole-recipeThe recipe is not earth-shattering—
2 Hass avocados
2 teaspoons of lime juice
2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2  chopped jalapeño
1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt

Choose the right avocado. It should feel squishy yet firm (like the palm of your hand), and be a nice dark green color on the inside.
2. Cut the avocado in half and the remove the pit (carefully!)
3. Scoop the avocados and place in a medium bowl.
4. Toss and coat with lime juice.
5. Add the salt and using a fork or potato masher, mash until a smooth consistency is achieved.
6. Fold in the remaining ingredients and mix well.
7. Taste the guacamole (over and over) and adjust seasoning if necessary.

 

Crab Louie Salad – A West Coast Classic for 100 Years

Dungeness-Crab-Louie-Salad-1-1024x681
Crab Louie Salad may have been born in San Francisco, Portland, or even in Spokane. Written history informs us that it was being served at Solari’s in The Golden Gate City as early as 1914. A cookbook by Victor Hetzler, chef at the St. Francis Hotel, included a similar salad he called “Crabmeat a la Louise” in 1910. Some attribute its creation to Louis Davenport who built the Davenport Hotel in Spokane. An amusingly unorthodox source is The Neighborhood Cook Book, compiled by The Portland Council of Jewish Women in 1912.

Today, in-the-know diners flock to The Swan Oyster Depot in San Francisco for this famous salad, and it’s their dressing recipe I use here. It’s a simple version of Thousand Island Dressing.
Like most salads, Crab Louie is constructed from a few basic ingredients: Dungeness crabmeat (use blue crab if you cannot find fresh Dungeness), iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, asparagus, and avocado served with a creamy dressing like Thousand Island or Russian. I added curly topped scallions, hard boiled eggs and crisply fried bacon.

I’ve seen it presented neatly constructed with the ingredients side by side à la Cobb Salad. I prefer the Jackson Pollock method, scattering them pell mell over the lettuce while allowing the star ingredient to assume center stage. Because the crab has a delicate and sweet flavor, I prefer to serve the dressing on the side.

Speaking of dressings, many have a way of maturing and developing deeper flavors if allowed to rest in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight, so make ahead of time if you can.

For the dressing:
2 cups (480 ml) of mayonnaise
1 cup (240 ml) tomato catsup or chili sauce
½ cup (120 ml) sweet pickle relish
½ cup (120 ml) black olives, chopped
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped or grated
Method:

Mix all ingredients until combined and let rest in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

Note: I can see many subtle ways to adjust the flavor of this dressing: a dash or even a wallop of Sriracha in the catsup could provide a surprising kick. Let your imagination do its magic here.

For the salad:
1 head of iceberg lettuce, chopped (I firmly believe that iceberg lettuce is a must for the cool, crisp texture)
½ to ¾ pound (227-340 g) of fresh crabmeat, picked over to remove any shell or cartilage
½ pound (227 g) fresh asparagus, cooked and chilled
3 tomatoes, sliced into wedges
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
8 scallions, trimmed with 3 inches (7½ cm) of the greens remaining (to make the green ends curl, slice them with a sharp knife or scissors from the beginning of the dark green color to the cut ends and place in an ice water bath)
4 hard-boiled eggs, halved or quartered
4 slices of bacon cooked until crisp and chopped do not use
8 peppadew pickled peppers (Peppadew – a brand name of sweet piquanté peppers: look in the olive bar of your supermarket or on the shelves for jarred peppers)

Place some of the lettuce on a plate as a bed for the remainder.
Artfully place the remaining ingredients and serve with the dressing on the side. For 4 servings

Guaca-chi The Washington Post, August 7, 2013

This marriage of kimchi and guacamole isn’t anything close to traditional, but it’s what happened when Food editor Joe Yonan was called upon to make a quick appetizer for a group of hungry people while he was staying in an unfamiliar house.

Don’t mash the avocados the way you would when making guacamole; they’re best left in chunks. The dish is best served just after it has been made.

Serve with tortilla chips or crackers.  Makes 1 3/4 cups (4 appetizer servings)

  • Flesh of 1 ripe avocado, cut into large chunks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)
  • 1/2 cup homemade or store-bought kimchi, preferably spicy, with its liquid
  • Sea salt (optional)

Toss the avocado chunks with the lime juice in a serving bowl.

Chop the kimchi if the pieces are bigger than bite-size, then gently toss it and all of its liquid with the avocado. Taste, add salt if necessary, and serve.