More than simple Greens!

Salads to me are something that I can eat every day and often as my entire meal. Relatively quick to put together, salads can take you in any direction and are only bound by your creativity. A few weeks back I taught a class at Compleat Cook on this very topic and I’m sharing 4 of my favorite salads with you here.

Roasted Corn & Spring Mix Salad w/Creamy Citrus Dressing & Manchego Cheese

For the corn:

Corn on the cob, trimmed        6 ears of corn

Olive oil                                  3 tbsp

Kosher salt                               pinch

Black pepper                            pinch

  1. Set oven to 375f
  2. Toss the trimmed corn with the olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roasted until corn begins to turn golden brown. Approximately 5-6 minutes.

For the creamy citrus dressing:

Mayonnaise                3tbsp     (optional: substitute with Vegan mayo)

Grainy Dijon               1tsp

Fresh lime juice          30ml

Lemon juice               30ml

Honey                        1tsp

Kosher salt                 to taste   

Black pepper              to taste

  1. In a bowl, combine roasted corn with all the ingredients for the dressing.
  2. Toss together well and adjust seasoning as needed.

Garnishes:

    Spring mix

    Manchego cheese, shredded

Catalan Salad

For the romesco vinaigrette:

    Roasted red pepper

    Pan roasted almond slivers

    Dijon

Garlic clove

    Red wine vinegar

    Extra virgin olive oil

    Kosher salt

    Black pepper

  1. Combine all ingredients, minus the oil, in a bowl and whisk well.
  2. While whisking, pour the oil in a slow and steady stream.
  3. Adjust seasoning as needed.

For the salad:

    Cherry tomatoes, halved

    Red Onion, julienned

    Celery, thinly sliced on the bias

    Green olives, sliced

    Avocado, sliced

    Roasted red pepper, julienned

    Kale, washed, trimmed & medium cut

    Romesco vinaigrette

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss together well.
  2. To serve, make a bed of kale and arrange remaining ingredients over it.

Optional garnishes:

    Iberian ham slices

    Serrano ham

    Chorizo sausage

    Hard boiled eggs

Orange & Fennel Salad with Poached Lobster

For the lobster:

    Lobster tails & claws, de-shelled

    Water

    Kosher salt

    Whole lemons, halved

  1. Using kitchen shears, carefully cut the shells open to remove the lobster meat.
  2. With the water at a rolling boil, place the lobster meat in and cook until it turns color.

For the salad:

    Fennel, julienned

    Orange, segments

    Fresh orange juice

    Red wine vinegar (optional)

    Olive oil

    Honey    (optional)

    Fennel fronds, chopped

    Kosher salt

    Black pepper

    Cooked lobster meat, coarsely chopped

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and adjust seasoning as needed.

Kombucha & Hibiscus Berry Salad with Vanilla Whipped Cream

For the vanilla whipped cream:

Heavy cream                ½ cup

Vanilla pods                  3

Granulated sugar          2tsp

  1. Combine all ingredients in an electric mixer and whipped at high speed to hard peaks.

Raspberries                                250g

Blackberries                               250g

Blueberries                                 250g

Strawberries, quartered             250g

Kombucha & hibiscus rose tea    ¼ cup

Wild hibiscus flower syrup          ¼ cup

Granulated sugar                         1tbsp

Fresh mint, chiffonade


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My Last Meal!

If I could eat just one thing before dying, it would be Gallo en Chicha. A traditional Salvadorean dish, slow braised rooster (using mature chicken in the recipe here), in a rich sweet & sour tomato broth, perfectly balanced. Every time I eat it I’m reminded of my grandma, sitting at her table for some epic family meals. Thankfully, my grandma shared her recipe with my mom and after moving to Canada, this was yet one more thing to remind us of El Salvador. This dish is rustic, flavourful, soulful and just straight up, my epitome of comfort food. I can think of no better introduction than to share with you my favorite thing to eat in the world.

Mature chicken, and even rooster, if you’re feeling adventurous enough to try this, are a little bit difficult to find but not impossible. For both, I would suggest contacting your local butcher or meat provider and get them to check with their sales reps, usually a little bit of a higher price but it’s definitely worth it. The reasons you want to use an older bird are simply texture and flavour. The muscles are stronger and can withstand a longer marinating and cooking time and can develop a deeper flavour because of it. For those of you that are willing to go through the extra steps to find the necessary birds, I can assure you that it’s worth it. Now, if you would like to try this dish with the much younger birds found at your local grocery store I would suggest skipping the marinating process altogether and going straight to the braise.

With many of the recipes that you will find on this site, unless baking, the ingredient amounts are more of a guideline. We all have different palates and have preferences to different flavours. In this dish, the main thing you are looking for in regards to flavour, is a balance between the sweet, the sour and the salty. My suggestion for this, play with the amount of prunes, manzanillo olives & capers before adjusting seasoning with salt and pepper.

Most of the ingredients on this recipe should be easy to find except for dulce de panela, an unrefined whole cane sugar, obtained from the boiling and evaporation of sugar cane juice. You can find this at your local Latin American market, in Calgary you can look for it at Unimarket or La Tiendona.

panela

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