food for thought

by michelle

Archive for the ‘salad’ Category

minced chicken salad

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Loosely based on Thai Larb, this minced chicken salad makes a tasty summer meal.

lao-style-chicken-salad

To cook the chicken you will need some Thai chilli paste in soya oil. Add 3 tablespoons of the paste and some of the oil to a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Add 450g (1 lb) of minced chicken thigh meat and cook, mixing well and breaking the mince into small pieces. If necessary add a little water. When the chicken is cooked set it aside to cool. In a bowl make a salad of finely shredded celery, finely sliced red onion, julienned carrot, plenty of chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) and mint, bean thread noodles (cooked for 2 minutes and shocked under cold running water), chopped cucumber, chopped tomatoes, finely chopped fresh red chilli and chopped roasted peanuts. When the chicken has cooled add it to the salad and season with fish sauce and fresh lime juice to taste.

Written by michelle picker

April 17, 2017 at 5:51 am

carrot salad

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This Turkish salad was a perfect way to enjoy our home-grown carrots.

carrot-salad

Shred or finely julienne approximately 5 cups of carrots. Heat some olive oil in a saucepan and add the carrots, stirring until they are just starting to wilt and change colour. In a bowl whip 1 cup of thick natural yoghurt with 2 crushed cloves of garlic and ½ a teaspoon of salt. Combine the yoghurt and carrots adding fresh herbs of your choice (I used mint and parsley) and mixing well. This salad makes a great side dish for any Turkish or Middle Eastern meal. We enjoyed it with left-over roast lamb (fried souvlaki-style with onions and Baharat spices), a green salad and Greek pita bread.

souvlaki-plate

Written by michelle picker

March 12, 2017 at 5:44 am

baked whole snapper + bean sprout salad

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Here’s a Japanese recipe for baked fish.

baked-snapper

After cleaning and drying, cut some slits into the sides of your fish to allow the flavouring to penetrate. For a 1 kg (2 lb) fish, mix 2½ tablespoons of sake, 2 teaspoons of soy sauce, ½ a teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of finely grated fresh ginger. Place some slices of onion and carrot into the banana leaves, foil or paper in which you’ll bake the fish. Oil the fish on both sides and lay it onto the onions and carrots, topping with some more onion and carrot slices. Pour over the soy mixture and close the parcel tightly. Cook in a moderate oven or on a barbecue until the fish is cooked and flaking.

I served mine with a bean sprout salad.

bean-sprout-salad

Slice some carrot and red pepper in to fine strips. Bring a pot of water to boil and add ¼ of a teaspoon of salt. Add the carrots and cook for 1 minute. Add the bean sprouts and peppers and allow to come to the boil before removing from the heat and shocking under cold water. Make a dressing of 1½ tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of white rice vinegar and 2 teaspoons of sesame oil. Toss the cooled and drained vegetables in the dressing, adding some finely sliced green onions. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

Written by michelle picker

February 16, 2017 at 5:52 am

watermelon and feta salad

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I waited far too long to try this salad. Sweet and salty, easy to make and perfect for a hot Summer’s day.

watermelon-and-feta-salad

Cut some watermelon into bite-sized chunks and add some finely sliced red onion. Crumble in a generous amount of a good feta cheese and some sliced fresh mint. Drizzle with olive oil, toss and serve.

Written by michelle picker

January 11, 2017 at 5:47 am

sous vide beef ribs

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Having just acquired an Anova Precision Cooker, I decided to experiment with some beef ribs. This very useful page at chefsteps helped me choose a temperature and timing. After 24 hours of cooking at 70ºC (158ºF) the result was moist and tender meat, not falling apart but coming away from the bone cleanly. Of course you can still cook great ribs without this equipment, but the Anova allows you to set and forget and to concentrate on the other parts of the meal without being distracted.

beef-ribs

While the meat is cooking make a barbecue sauce. In a saucepan combine ½ a cup of dark brown sugar,½ a cup of  ketchup, ¼ of a cup of cider vinegar, ¼ of a cup of tomato passata or purée, ¼ of a cup of molasses (treacle), 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, 1 tablespoon of Frank’s Hot Sauce, 2 teaspoons of onion powder, 2 teaspoons of garlic powder, 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire Sauce and 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard. Cook over low heat for 20 minutes. When the ribs are cooked remove them from their vacuum bag, dry them and place them on some baking paper on an oven tray. Brush on generous amounts of barbecue sauce and grill on all sides under a hot grill.

ribs-cut

I served my ribs with extra barbecue sauce, oven potato and sweet potato chips, vinegar-dressed cole slaw, and cucumbers in a sour cream and dill dressing.

ribs-plate

Written by michelle picker

November 6, 2016 at 5:39 am

broad bean and feta salad

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These lovely young broad beans came fresh from our garden.

broad-bean-and-feta-salad

Steam 450g (1 lb) of fresh broad beans until just tender.  Drain and shock them under cold running water. In a bowl combine the beans with a generous amount of fresh mint, 60 – 80g (2 – 3 oz) of feta cheese and the finely grated or chopped rind of half a lemon. Squeeze the lemon juice into a small bowl. Add 4 times as much olive oil and plenty of freshly ground black pepper then whisk to emulsify. Add this dressing to the beans and toss to combine.

Written by michelle picker

October 25, 2016 at 6:08 am

chicken with cardamom rice + spinach salad with dates

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Two fragrant dishes from JERUSALEM by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.

This one-pot chicken and rice dish is wonderfully spiced, rich with caramelised onions, tangy with barberries and fresh with herbs.

chicken-with-onions-and-rice

First put 2-3 tablespoons of sugar into a small saucepan with an equal amount of water and heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat, add 25g (less than 1 oz)  of dried barberries and set aside to soak. Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a large sauté pan which has a lid. Fry 2 finely sliced onions over medium heat until quite brown. Remove from the pan and set aside. For this recipe you can either cut a whole chicken into pieces or use portions. Place them in a bowl and season well with 1½ teaspoons of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Add 10 bruised cardmom pods, 2 broken cinnamon quills, ½ a teaspoon of whole cloves and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and mix well with your hands. Heat the pan again and sear the chicken pieces on each side for a few minutes then remove from the pan. Now add 300g (10½ oz) of basmati rice to the pan along with the caramelised onions, the strained barberries, 1 teaspoon of salt and more freshly ground black pepper. Stir well then push the chicken pieces into the rice. Pour in 550ml (18½ fl oz) of boiling water then cover the pan and cook over very low heat for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and quickly replace with a tea towel or paper towels under it. Allow to stand for a further 10 minutes. Garnish with 15g (½ oz) of chopped herbs consisting of equal parts parsley, dill and coriander (cilantro).

This baby spinach salad with dates and almonds has a wonderful balance of fresh, tart, sweet and crunchy elements.

spinach-salad-with-dates

In a small bowl combine ½ a finely sliced red onion, 100g (3½ oz) of pitted and quartered Medjool dates, a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. Mix well and allow to marinate for 20 minutes. Meanwhile heat 1½ tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a fry pan. Add approximately 100g (3½ oz) of torn pita bread and 75g (2½ oz) of roughly chopped whole almonds. Cook, stirring, until the pita pieces are crunchy and golden brown. Remove from the heat and add 2 teaspoons of sumac, ½ a teaspoon of chilli flakes and ¼ of a teaspoon of salt. Set aside to cool. When ready to serve, place baby spinach leaves, the pita and almonds and the drained dates and onions in a salad bowl. Add a little olive oil, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and some salt to taste. Toss and serve immediately.