Archive for the ‘Salads and Dressings’ Category

Pork belly with honey mustard greens

Pork belly with honey mustard greens

Hot and sour vinaigrette reducing

Hot and sour vinaigrette reducing

Sometimes the very first flavor in a  meal is the dressing on the salad. They are the strength of this course. We’ve recently been having crisp pork belly salads around the house. Here are two simple and very different preparations.

Hot and sour vinaigrette– this is a hearty and versatile dressing. Use as a condiment with the pork belly as an entree or as a dressing on a salad course. Leftovers can be used with crisp calamari or shrimp.

1 cup braising liquid from the pork belly
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 Tablespoon sliced garlic
1 teaspoon diced fresh very hot pepper or crushed red pepper
1 Tablespoon fish sauce
2 Tablespoons vinegar( we use black vinegar, try using a hearty one yourselves, balsamic is probably not appropriate)
1/4 cup mirin
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 bunch scallions, chiffonade

Lightly sautee the garlic, ginger, and hot pepper in a few drops of oil. Add the pork stock and reduce by 1/2. Add remaining liquid ingredients save the sesame oil and reduce for some time until thickened. Finish with sesame oil, scallion and salt and pepper to taste. Cool completely before using. Good Stuff!

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette– This, also, is a very versatile dressing. The garlic and shallot make it hearty and capable of holding up to game flavors.

1 teaspoon minced shallot
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon fine mustard
1/2 teaspoon parsley chiffonade
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons honey

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Serve cold and often. Good Stuff!

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Hail Caesar!

A finished caesar in the mixer    One of my oldest and dearest recipes, assembled and adapted from a union of my Father’s and his Sous Chef, Bobby’s collection. This recipe has been tweaked and perfected, loused up and neglected, for decades. Here is the most recent incarnation.

3 egg yolks
1 package anchovies or anchovy paste
3 garlic cloves
Paste of anchovy,garlic, mustard,egg1 teaspoon dijon or other flavorful mustard
2 cups vegetable oil, olive oil may be used, but your dressing will taste like it.Slowly add oil to anchovy mixture
3 lemons, juiced and strained

     Puree first four ingredients well in food processor. It is helpful to mince the garlic before this step. We use the microplane. Once thoroughly pureed, transfer to a mixing bowl. This is actually easier done with a hand whip, but we’ve practice and use the tabletop mixer. Have the oil in a pitcher so it can be easily poured very slowly into the dressing base while vigorously whipping. This is called mounting the dressing and can be notoriously difficult. Remember to add the oil very slowly and constantly whip. You will be able to see the oil “mount” into the emulsion. If you add the oil too fast, it will begin to gather on top. If this happens stop adding oil and continue to whip. You will end up with a lovely mayonnaise. If the mayo gets too thick before you add all the oil, add a few drops of lemon juice.

If the dressing fails to mount, it is considered “broken.” This is just as it looks, a disaster. To fix it, in a new bowl combine 1/2 teaspoon mustard and 1 teaspoon mayonnaise (the white condiment from your fridge.) Slowly add the broken dressing to the new bowl. In effect you are mounting the mayo/mustard mix with the broken dressing. Good luck and Good Stuff!

Build a Caesar

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Comfort with assorted Asian ingredients can help to introduce a whole new horizon to your lunch and dinner tables. These days almost any ingredient you desire can be obtained at your local grocery or gourmet store. If you are so lucky as to have an Asian or West Indian grocery nearby, you will find much more attractive prices on these items. Good Stuff!

Black Bean Vinaigrette

We like to serve this with the season’s best tomatoes and sharp salad greens, like arugula or mizuna. The fermented black bean sauce is an emulsifier and readily binds this dressing.

1 Tablespoon minced ginger

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 Tablespoon Mirin

1/4 cup oil (Olive oil can be used, but will impart an olive flavor. Grapeseed oil is flavor neutral.)

1/4 cup fermented black bean sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

honey to taste

Combine all ingredients and sweeten with a light amount of honey to taste.


Yogurt Curry Dressing

This is a subtly curried dressing we use for chicken salad or with raw vegetables.

1 cup yogurt

2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon fresh squeezed lime juice

2 t toasted curry powder ( toast over low heat in a nonstick pan and allow to cool completely. )

2 Tablespoons Mirin

1 Tablespoon honey

Combine all and reserve refrigerated for several hours before use.


Here, also, are two complete salads using Asian ingredients.

Ginger-Carrot salad

1 pound carrots, shredded or julienned

1 clove garlic, minced

2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 Tablespoon sesame oil

1/2 cup carrot juice

1 teaspoon ginger juice ( puree ginger in a press or processor and squeeze through a cloth.)

1/2 teaspoon soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

Reserve carrots. Combine rest of ingredients, add to carrots and refrigerate for at least a half hour before service.


Sesame noodles

This dressing keeps, and improves, for more than a week. Dress your noodles as you wish and save any remaining dressing for another meal. Spaghetti works for this salad, but we try to use udon noodles.

1/2 cup tahini

1/4 cup peanut butter ( optional to accommodate peanut allergies.)

2 cloves chopped garlic

1 Tablespoon chopped ginger

1/2 teaspoon minced lemongrass

5 Tablespoons soy sauce

2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 Tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon hot sauce

Combine all in food processor and puree well. Refrigerate well before use. Apply to chilled, slightly oiled, cooked noodles for best results. Garnish with julienne spring onions, red bell pepper, black sesame, and/or peanuts. Good Stuff!

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