Saturday, May 19, 2012

Tomato Salad Mom's Way with a Smile

When most think of salad, lettuce always comes to mind.  But I have learned that salad is more than lettuce.  My Mom would make it out of just about anything and it was called salad.  I will slowly introduce some of her favorite ingredients that went into her summer salads that go beyond the lettuce leaf.

3 1/2 minced shallots
3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon of salt (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
5 large tomatoes cut into 1/2 inch slices ( Mom used beefsteak type tomatoes that are ripe)
2 tablespoons of capers
Pepper to taste
Fresh Basil (12 leaves cut in half)

Mix together your shallots, vinegar and salt and sugar. Slowly whisk in oil to  blend and set this vinaigrette dressing aside.

On a large serving plate arrange your  tomatoes add your capers and season with salt Top with basil, whisk your vinaigrette dressing and drizzle over your salad.

You can also add slices of mozzarella to this dish to add more color and taste.  This makes a wonderful summer salad to eat alone or with sandwich or make for a summer outing.

Potato/Egg Salad & Pickles

2 pounds of medium red skinned potatoes peeled (about 8-9)
1/2 cup of your favorite mayonnaise 
1/4 cup of pickle juice from a jar and 10 sweet pickle chips from that jar
1-1/12 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
5 large hard boiled egg yolks
2 tablespoons of red onion
2 tablespoons of parsley dried is fine (I recommend fresh to give it that special flavor
Paprika to color
Salt teaspoon (optional)

Place potatoes in a large pot and add water covering by about 2-3 inches.  Bring to a boil, them reduce to slow boil at medium heat, cooking the potatoes until tender for about 25-30 minutes. once cooked drain and place your potatoes into a large bowl and let cool until slightly cold.

Make dressing, while potatoes are cooling whisk mayonnaise, your pickle juice, mustard, sugar pepper, salt (optional) in a small bowl which

Use a wooded spoon, and mash your potatoes kind of coarsely, making sure to leave a mixture of small and large size potatoes as well as some that are mashed.  Now its time to add your dressing and egg yolks (that have been hard boiled and separated from the egg white) coarsely smash your egg yolks into your potatoes and toss all well to coat.  Add onion and parley, slowly and gently mixing to incorporate all. Now season to your favorite taste with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with paprika to add color and add the sweet pickle chips to decorate.

This can be made a day ahead.  This is great for a summer outing or a side dish summer dinner.

Roasted Vegetables

1 pound of spring and summer veggies (asparagus, carrots, radishes, small baby onions, snap peas, yellow squash)  use any of your favorites.

5 medium size unpeeled garlic cloves
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Salt (optional)  and pepper for flavor

Preheat you oven at 450 degrees

Combine all your veggies garlic and olive oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Toss well to coat, then spread  single layer on a baking sheet.  Roast stirring halfway through, until tender and golden brown for about 20-25 minutes.  Serve at room temperature or warm. Makes 4 servings

This is great to serve for a summer barbecue or a dinner 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Tuna Steaks Italian on the Grill

Fish marinade
1/4 cup of oil
1 teaspoon of oregano
1 tablespoon of Mrs Dash Italian
2 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice 
1 large cloves garlic

Mix above in a deep bowl, then marinade your fish for 45 minutes in refrigerator.  Cook for 10 minutes on each side. Serve with a salad and a glass of your favorite white wine. Serves 2

Eggplant Parm

1 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-slices
2 eggs beaten well
1 1/2 cups Italian bread crumbs
3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1 Jar of your favorite sauce, or homemade sauce, or hunts sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
 Mrs Dash (Italian)

Put a baking sheet in oven and heat oven at 350 degrees.  Dip eggplant into beaten eggs, then dip in breadcrumbs.  Sprinkle the olive oil on the baking sheet and place the eggplant on it. (Single layer) Baking for 15-20 minutes, then turn and bake other side for another 10-15 minutes.  Then turn oven up to 375 degrees.
Prepare a baking dish, layer it with pasta sauce, then eggplant, top with cheese, sprinkle with pepper, parsley, and Mrs Dash.  Repeat until all eggplant is covered. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden and cheese is melted.