Category Archives: Salad dressings

Ashley’s Easy Honey Mustard ~ Lowery Approved

For those of you who aren’t glued to your TV’s on Wednesday nights geeking out culinary-style, I must apologize for hijacking this blog for our Top Chef purposes. As a peace offering, I’m going to share a recipe that is one of the easiest and best I’ve found in a long time.

This recipe surfaced as I was researching sauces to top Pork Tenderloin a la Grosshans for the Lowery-Long engagement shindig. Sidenote: That tenderloin requires NO topping. The marinade makes an amazing sauce, and it is a hugely refreshing twist from the usual tenderloin marinade.

Anyway, if you’ve ever met Emily, you know everything she eats is accompanied by Reduced Fat Wheat Thins and covered in Honey Mustard. (“Not that stuff from a bottle. Ew! It’s just not right.”)

So I tried my hand at some homemade HM, and it is stupid easy and delish. The secret here is that most of it is neither honey nor mustard; it’s mayonnaise. Yup. All you mayo-haters out there can stick it because that is what makes this creamy, tangy perfectness. Get right with it.

1/2 cup mayo (Duke’s!)
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp yellow mustard
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

  1. Whisk together, chill and drizzle/dip your heart out. Simple as that.
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Filed under Salad dressings, Sauces, Toppings

Wild Mushroom and Leek Wild Rice Salad

I have not posted in a while, but that is because I have not been making new recipes recently.  We have so many great recipes on this site, and I had fallen into a trap of cooking the same 4 or 5 things because they are so tasty.   Yesterday I decided to browse my list of “to make” recipes and came across one that for months I kept meaning to make.  When it came down to buying the ingredients, it always just looked a little too healthy.  Since the holidays are around the corner, I thought it best to start getting the health in now.  This is a recipe for mushroom and leek wild rice I saw on Closet Cooking, with my own tweaks.  It is so tasty and surprisingly filling.  It reminds me of a healthier version of my mushroom and leek risotto recipe!  I highly recommend making this.  I served the rice over a bed of baby greens and added a couple slices of skirt steak for extra protein (quickly marinated in a soy, garlic, onion, sugar mixture and grilled).  
Wild rice takes longer to cook then regular rice so start it first!  The mushroom, leek, herb, rice mixture is tossed with balsamic vinaigrette.  Feel free to use your favorite recipe, I wrote down a standard one below.– ts

1 cup wild rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon oil
2 – 3 leeks green and white parts cleaned and sliced
2 cloves garlic
8- 10 ounces mushrooms (sliced) – I used a mix of cremini, shiitake and oyster
1 teaspoon thyme (chopped)
salt and pepper to taste
a large handful chopped pecans
about a 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below)

  1. Simmer the wild rice in the broth on medium-low heat, covered, until it is tender and it has absorbed all of the broth, about 50-60 minutes and remove from heat.  Drain excess liquids.
  2. Heat the oil and melt the butter in a large dutch oven/pan.
  3. Add the leeks and saute until tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  5. Add the mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper and saute until the mushrooms are just starting to caramelize, about 10-15 minutes.
  6. Mix the wild rice, mushrooms, pecans and balsamic vinaigrette
Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1-2 large cloves garlic minced
chopped herbs (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1. Mix/shake everything together

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Filed under Main Course, Rice, Salad dressings, Side dishes, Veggies

Lobster Caprese Salad ~ Fancy 4th of July 2K11

Well corporate America, it’s almost quittin’ time on our most hallowed of holiday weekends. And nothing’s more American than using company time to do entirely personal things on a Friday afternoon, so that’s what I’m doing here.

This recipe is obviously of the rich and famous variety (because we clearly are SO VERY both), and it is as good as you think it is. The Chef made this in honor of our last dinner with The Grosshans (while we were still official Memphians, that is), and sitting on a porch eating this with a cold glass of white wine and good company is about as close to perfection as you can get. While you’re outdoors in Memphis in June, anyway.

The freshness of the tomatoes, the sweetness of the lobster and the bite of the balsamic make this dish truly addictive. So if you’ve decided to turn in your hot dogs for fancier fare this Fourth of July, this is a recipe not to be missed. (I obviously will not be doing that because hot dogs and me are an American love affair for the ages, but it’s your life.)

Lobster:
2 lobster tails
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of butter
1 lemon

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Season lobster with salt and pepper and dab one tablespoon of butter on each tail.
  3. Roast for 10 to 12 minutes.
  4. Once done place in a ice bath to cool.
  5. Once cool dice and squeeze the juice of one lemon over them.

Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction:
2 yellow tomatoes, diced
2 orange tomatoes, diced
2 roma tomatoes, diced
salt to taste
Basil Vinaigrette
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 cup balsamic vinegar

  1. Take one cup of balsamic vinegar and cook in a pot on low heat for thirty minutes or until it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Season tomatoes with salt and toss with Basil Vinaigrette.
  3. Top with  goat cheese and lobster. Drizzle balsamic reduction over salad and serve. (Makes 4 servings)

Luxuriate. That’s the only word that does this justice. And justice is American as hell.

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Filed under Appetizers, Salad, Salad dressings, Sauces, Seafood, Shellfish, Special Occasion

Lemon Sesame Vinaigrette

It’s Monday, and due to the fact that I spent the better part of my Sunday sitting in traffic on I-40, all I want to do today is watch Netflix and play on Facebook as I normally would on Sunday. Unfortunately I have this stupid job thingy that’s totally ruining my plans.

So I’m giving my brain a break and posting something simple and fresh that I wish I’d had for lunch instead of the cold chicken fingers I actually ate. The Chef served this vinaigrette over roasted shrooms and carrots, and I must say between this and the baby carrot recipe, he’s actively proving that they aren’t just lame ranch-covered OM-related snacks from my childhood.

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 sesame oil
1 bunch of scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup of toasted sesame seeds

  1. Whisk together.
  2. Dress your veggies.
  3. Intake.

The Chef says this also works well as a marinade for lamb or beef. I cannot, however, vouch for lamb yet as that is one of the foods he has yet to make for me in an attempt to prove that it doesn’t, in fact, taste like dirt and barnyard like I think it does. I’ll keep you posted on that one.

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Filed under Marinades, Salad, Salad dressings, Sauces

Zucchini Crudo ~ a.k.a. Zucchini Summer Salad

As many of you know, I started a new job this week, and I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing. And as it turns out, I’m not good at being clueless. At work, that is. I’m great at it on the weekends (See: the black eye I gave myself from tripping over Emily’s computer last Friday).

Photo from kissmyspatula.com

Anyway, my confusion over words and acronyms I don’t understand stops now, which is why I chose to dumb-down The Chef’s title of this post from “crudo” to “salad.” That is the speed I’m running on, people, so shift back a gear.

This salad reminds me of a simpler time when my biggest worry was what kind of wine I was going to drink alongside my Chef-prepared farm fresh MFM veggies… also known as  last week. Seems like a year.

Anywho, this salad was fresh and fantastic, and it was the perfect side to the Seared Scallops with Mango Vinaigrette. The adorable baby carrots we had with it didn’t hurt either (recipe coming soon).

Lemon thyme vinaigrette:
1 shallot, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp fresh thyme

  1. Combine all ingredients except oil.
  2. Slowly add oil while whisking.

Zucchini Crudo:
2 lbs zucchini, sliced as thin as possible (a mandoline or the slicer on your food processor is perfect for this)
2 tbsp crushed walnuts
shaved parmesan cheese, about 6 thin slices
salt to taste

  1. Place zucchini in a strainer and sprinkle with salt.  Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
  2. Toss zucchini with dressing and add walnuts. Top with parmesan cheese. Serve cold. With lots of white wine.

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Filed under Italian food, Marinades, Salad, Salad dressings, Sauces, Side dishes, Veggies

Seared Scallops with Mango Vinaigrette

So as it turns out, mangoes are kind of amazing. As in you know you like them but you’re not sure how much until they’re all dressed up in their killa heels and slinky black dress.

And I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but combining mangoes with the fresh scallops from Paradise Seafood is simply and surprisingly blissful. I don’t know how, but all of their seafood that tastes like tiny sweet little lobsters. You put a perfect sear on one and hit it with this vinaigrette and you are dunzo.

Mango Vinaigrette:
2 ripe mangoes, peeled and rough chopped
1 lime, juice and zest
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon, fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon honey
salt to taste
1/2 cup of olive oil

  1. Place all ingredients except oil, 1 mango in a blender or food processor.
  2. Slowly add oil. Once blended, you are good to go.
  3. Toss the chopped avocado and mango together and reserve to top scallops with.

Seared Scallops:

  1. Heat a non stick skillet on high heat.
  2. Dry off moisture from scallops. The Chef places them in between 2 paper towels.  Usually on Bonnie’s counter instead of a plate like a normal person, but it’s your life. Do what you need to do.
  3. Salt and pepper scallops. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon of butter to the skillet.
  4. Add scallops to the pan and be sure not to mess with them or they will stick. Patience, my dear.
  5. Sear 2 minutes on each side for medium rare.  “Cook longer for you and Bonnie,” says The Chef. Yes, I will eat meat that is still mooing, but for seafood I prefer it well done.
  6. Top scallops with mango vinaigrette and serve with mixed greens. Refreshing and tangy. Nothing better.

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Filed under Fruit, Salad dressings, Sauces, Seafood, Shellfish, Special Occasion, Toppings

Pan Roasted Red Snapper with Chile Citrus Vinaigrette

Aside from tuna, I know very little about fish. I know that I will order it if it’s served over mashed potatoes or comes covered in butter. Other than that, I am completely unprepared to make any educated decisions.

For example, I thought I knew what red snapper was, and I was pretty sure I liked it. I realized, however, that I was very confused when The Chef brought it out and it wasn’t red. The scales are, of course, but the actual meat is white.

(For those of you who knew that, enjoy a good laugh at my expense. I watch 5 hours of the Food Network a day and am still apparently Simple Jack when it comes to seafood.)

Anyway, I like most varieties of firm, white fish, and this is my new favorite. And not just because I braved the cold, rainy morning to get it from Paradise Seafood at the Memphis Farmers Market (I had to walk all the way across the street, y’all). Pan searing is super easy, and this vinaigrette is so fresh and tangy it will make you want to eat it straight out of the bowl.

Furthermore, the dude who own Paradise is crazy nice (I’ve since learned his name is Don), and he’ll let you pick our your own fillet for a very reasonable price. Plus he named his business after Jimmy Buffett’s “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” and that just spells good people.

Picture borrowed from Richard Swiecki Food Photography because my camera has the flu.

Fish:
2-3 red snapper fillets
flour
splash of white wine
salt and pepper to taste

Vinaigrette:
juice of 1 lime
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 1 orange
1 tsp of sugar
salt to taste
1/2 cup of olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, minced

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. To make the vinaigrette:
    1. Combine all ingredients except oil.
    2. Whisk in oil slowly until emulsified.
  3. To make the fish:
    1. Heat oil in saute pan on medium high heat. Salt and pepper fish and dredge in flour (flesh side up, only dredging one side).
    2. Place fish flesh side down in pan and saute until golden brown.
    3. Turn fish and add wine. Then place in oven for 3-4 minutes.
    4. Remove and top with Chili Citrus Vinaigrette. Lots of it. Trust me, you’ll want it.

Sidenote: We also had some head-on shrimp from Paradise that were so good they tasted like little lobsters. Recipe coming soon.

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Filed under Fish, Fruit, Main Course, Marinades, Salad dressings, Sauces, Toppings