Making the Perfect Avocado Salad — November 17, 2020

Making the Perfect Avocado Salad

  •   Bowl of avocado salad The perfect avocado salad is simple—fresh avocado, thinly sliced red onion…different from standard guacamole in that it has way more depth of flavor and creamy chunks of avocado.

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Ingredients for Salad

  • 3 large avocados…peeled, pitted and diced
  • 2C English cucumbers…chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2C cherry tomatoes or 1 large ripe tomato, chopped
  • ½C radish, halved, cut into ⅛-inch thick slices
  • ½C red onion, cut into thin slices
  • 2tsp minced jalapeno pepper
  • 1/3C corn
  • 2Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 3/4tsp salt
  • 1/8tsp pepper

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Ingredients for Salad Dressing

  • 2Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4C olive oil
  • ¼C lime juice
  • 1Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2Tbsp honey

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Instructions

  • Make the Dressing…Stir all of the dressing ingredients except for the olive oil. Now very slowly drizzle in the avocado or olive oil, constantly whisking to break the fat into small droplets. This will help create a thicker salad dressing.
  • Combine salad ingredients…Stir your salad ingredients together in a second bowl.
  • Drizzle the dressing over the avocado salad.
Making the Perfect Avocado Salad — June 9, 2020

Making the Perfect Avocado Salad

 

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The Ingredients

Avocado...4 large, ripe avocados…about 2C cubed…peeled, pitted, and  cubed or chopped about the same shape and size of the cucumbers

 

 

Cilantro and Other Herbs.…Any tender fresh herbs are great additions to your avocado salad—such as cilantro, dill, oregano, cumin, parsley, chives, and basil. If using fresh herbs—such as  fresh cilantro, parsley, basil, dill or a combination—use 1/2C chopped. If using dried herbs, use 2Tbsp chopped

 

Cucumber...1 cucumber, sliced in half lengthwise and then slicedChoose thin-skinned, seedless cucumbers—such as English, hothouse, or Persian cucumbers—instead of regular garden cucumbers. If you are using garden cucumbers, peel off some or all of the tough skin and scoop out some of the seeds before adding to the salad.

 

Garlic…Garlic is an optional ingredients, but if you do decide to use garlic, use either a small garlic clove or 1/2tsp minced.

 

Jalapeño…This is another optional ingredient, but will add some zip to your salad. If you are going to use jalapenos in your salad, make sure to first remove the seeds and white membrane from the pepper.

 

Lemons or Limes…The lime dressing is what makes or breaks this simple salad. You can use either limes or lemon. If using limes, use 3Tbsplime juice or squish a couple of small limes. If using lemons, use 2Tbsp lemon juice or the juice of one medium lemon.

 

Olive Oil…Using 1Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil makes the salad dressing well-rounded and luxurious.

 

Onion...1/2C red onion…could also use ½Vidalia onion, if available…very thinly sliced…Soak the sliced onion in water for a few minutes before adding to the salad. This will preserves the flavor but get rid of the harsh, lingering aftertaste.

 

Tomatoes...You can use either a pint of cherry tomatoes that have been cut in half, a large ripe beefsteak tomato that has been chopped, or 1# Roma tomatoes that have been seeded and chopped. Cherry or grape tomatoes will probably be the best choice because they are almost always sweet—even when out of season. The important thing is that the tomatoes you choose are juicy and ripe.

 

Other Options...Along with these “expected” ingredients, feel free to experiment with other veggies and cheeses also…such as bell peppera oe feta.

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The Instructions

Combine avocados, tomatoes, cucumber, and whatever produce or cheese that you have decided to use in a large serving bowl.

 

Whisk together the dressing ingredients—lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, herbs or spices—in a small bowl.

 

Pour the dressing over the top.

 

Toss everything together gently until the  avocado and cucumber are well coated in the dressing.

 

Sprinkle feta on top.

 

Taste to see if you need to season the salad even more…by drizzling more olive oil or lime juice on top of it, sprinkling salt and pepper on top, or adding your favorite hot sauce.

 

Since avocados brown so quickly, it is best to serve the salad immediately.

 

You could also cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to one day.

 

In fact, you may want to wait and add the avocado right before serving the salad.

 

Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one day. Even though the avocado will brown slightly and the vegetables will become more liquidy, the salad will still taste delicious.

Making the Perfect Potato Salad — June 18, 2019

Making the Perfect Potato Salad

Just in time for all the upcoming summer cookouts—such as the 4th of July—next on the perfect potato recipe agenda is making the perfect potato salad.
The perfect potato salad will be super creamy with the perfect potatoes creamed with the perfect dressing and combined wit just the right amounts of boiled eggs, sweet onion, sweet pickle relish, celery, and anything else you might like to add.
The following potato salad recipe is very simple to make and will make sure that the potato salad that you serve at all the upcoming summer festivities with be truly delicious and the perfect accompaniment to your hamburger, grilled ribs, and anything else on the menu.
(Before we even get started though, let me remind you that you need to make your potato salad ahead of time so that the flavors can all meld together.

 

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What kind of potatoes should I use…and how many?

You will need about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds,…about six,,,Yukon gold potatoes…

Avoid using russet potatoes…they tend to fall apart.

Yukon Gold potatoes are the best potatoes for making potato salad for many reasons, such as the facts that they…

  • are creamier
  • are sweeter
  • cook quickly
  • have a thinner skin, which means that they are easier to peel
  • hold their shape well after cooking

 

 

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How do I cook the potatoes?

  1. Do not cut or peel the potatoes before cooking them…cook them whole. This will help them maintain more of their flavor and natural sweetness.
  2. Add the potatoes to cold water and then bring to a boil  This will give you a better consistency than if you had added the potatoes to hot, boiling water.
  3. Add a tablespoon to the water. This will give the potatoes more flavor. Adding salt to the cooking water brings out the flavor of the potatoes.
  4. Cook the potatoes for 10-15min or until you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork.
  5. Drain the potatoes.
  6. Set them in a bowl of ice for a couple of minutes to keep them from cooking even more.
  7. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them and cut into large diced pieces.
  8. Put the warm potatoes to a large bowl.
  9. Stir in a few hearty splashes of a vinegar-y liquid—such as white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, or dill pickle juice—the potatoes are still warm  This will give your potato salad a subtle flavor punch
  10. Allow the potatoes to cool for at least 15min before adding your dressing.

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Dressing,,,Mix the following together…

  • 1-1/2C mayonnaise
  • 1/4C yellow mustard
  • 1 1/2tsp celery seed
  • 2tsp sugar
  • 1/2tsp onion powder
  • 1/4C sweet pickle relish
  • salt and pepper according to taste

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Extra ingredients….Once you have your cooked and chopped potatoes coated with your dressing, it’s time to add anything else that you would like in your salad, such as…

  • Boiled Eggs…5 eggs peeled…This will add texture and extra creaminess.
  • Celery…2 large stalks, diced…Celery adds a nice crunch.
  • Dill or Sweet Pickle
  • Onion…6 diced green onions or half of a sweet onion…This will add sweetness and crunch …but make sure that the onion doesn’t overpower the the flavors of the rest of the salad ingredients. You can help take the raw edge off the onion by putting the chopped onion in cool water for about ten minutes.

Finally you might want to add fresh Herbs…Herbs most commonly used in potato salad include…

  • chives
  • cilantro
  • dill
  • parsley
  • tarragon

Finally after combining the potatoes, the dressing, and the “stuff”…sprinkle some paprika on top….just because that’s probably how your grandmother and mother would have done it…not sure it actually adds anything to the salad except for color, right?

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Now cover your salad with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least four hours.

Your potato salad will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days…assuming it hasn’t been eaten by then, of course…

 

Weiner Schnitzel — April 27, 2019

Weiner Schnitzel

Authentic Wiener Schnitzel Recipe

Perhaps the best known schnitzel and the one that first comes to mind whenever the topic of schnitzel comes up is weiner schnitzel.

There is nothing like a perfectly breaded, perfectly fried, and perfectly crispy wiener schnitzel, complete with a juicy interior. I have eaten them many, many times.

 

 

But the truth is that I’ve never been able to cook a wiener schnitzel nearly as the ones that I ate whenever we were stationed in Germany.

You would think that this would be so easy…especially since the recipe is so darn simple…

But getting that perfectly breaded, perfectly fried, and perfectly crispy wiener schnitzel all boils down to technique.

SInce we are talking about cooking methods, or techniques, let’s take a look at how to supposedly make wiener schnitzel that honestly doesn’t taste like cafeteria food.

The Meat

Wiener Schnitzel” is actually a geographically protected term in Germany and Austria and can only be made with veal.

If what you yourself would call Weiner Schnitzel actually isn’t made from veal, but some other type of meat—such as pork loin or chicken—cooked in the same style…it should technically be called “Schnitzel Wiener Art,” not wiener schnitzel.

Remember that regardless which type meat you choose to make your wiener schnitzel, or any other simple dish like this, it is especially important that you choose quality ingredients.

And regardless what type of meat you decide to use, the meat must be very thin.

It is important that you meat be thin because you will frying it at high heat for a short period of time, and you want to be sure to get that perfect crispy crust without leaving the middle of the meat raw.

Pounding your meat will not only make your cut of meat tender, it will also tenderizes it.

Getting your cut of meat thin enough to make wiener schnitzel can be done with the help of a meat mallet.

To do this, lay your cutlet between two pieces of  Saran Wrap. Then pound the meat with  the flat side of a meat tenderizer, an empty wine bottle, or a small pot until it is about 1/4″ thick.

Once your meat is thin enough, lightly season both sides with salt and pepper.

 

 

 

Breading

To make four wiener schnitzel, you will need the following ingredients… 

  •  1/2C flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4C breadcrumbs

First pour about 1/4″ of oil into a frying pan and start heating your oil.

You should not let the meat sit once breaded. Otherwise your schnitzel will not turn out as crispy.

Now, just like when we have been breading any of the other foods so far, lay out your work station, which should consist of…

  • a cookie sheet for your uncooked meat
  • three bowls for your breading “stuff”—a bowl for your flour, a bowl for your eggs, and a third bowl for breadcrumbs
  • another cookie sheet for your breaded meat

Once you have your work station set up, dip the chops in the flour, the egg, and the breadcrumbs, making sure to coat both sides and all edges with each ingredient.

When you are dipping your meat into the breadcrumbs, be careful not to press the breadcrumbs into the meat.

 

 

 

Cooking

You want to start cooking the schnitzel as soon as you get it breaded. If you wait, the schnitzel will not turn out as crispy.

First preheat your oven and place a cookie sheet in the oven. As the schnitzel are fried, you will be putting the cooked ones on this tray while you finish cooking the rest of them.

Now before adding your meat to the skillet, check to make sure that your oil is hot enough.

Your oil should be at a temperature of about 325°F to 350°F. If the oil is too hot, the crust will burn before the meat is done. If the oil is not hot enough, the crust will be soggy.

Once you know that your oil is hot enough, start placing cutlets in the pan, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.

Fry the schnitzels until they are golden brown, about four minutes per side, flipping them only once so that the breading will be more likely to stay on.

Watch your schnitzel carefully as it is cooking so that it doesn’t burn.

 

Also swish the cutlets around a little with your fork as you are cooking them to make sure that the schnitzel isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Once a batch of schnitzels is cooked, put them in the oven on the baking sheet while you finish cooking the rest of them.

Serve immediately with slices of fresh lemon and parsley sprigs.

 

 

 

Side Dishes

Obviously, you could have whatever side dishes you want with your schnitzel but there are a few side dishes that are commonly served along with schnitzel at most German restaurants.

Sing A Ballad to the Salad — January 16, 2019

Sing A Ballad to the Salad

So now that we all know how to make the perfect soup…

Now what?

 

 

Well, since my goal is to work my way through the Raw Foods pyramid in an effort to learn how to cook more healthy for the sake of my newly-diagnosed diabetic husband,

and the base of the Raw Foods yramid is leafy greens…

 

It only goes to reason that eventually we’d talk about salad, right?

 

…but salad can get so very boring…especially when you are constantly eating  bagged salad night after night after night.

 

So let’s see what’s required to make a salad actually worth eating, and then sing ordinary baggad salad a farewell ballad.

In the next few posts, we’ll be taking a look at…

  • Leafy green
  • Vegetables
  • Add-ins
  • Dressing your salads
  •  

So let’s get ready to all raise the bar on our at-home salad bar, ready?