Friday, July 15, 2016

Broccoli Salad

The broccoli salad I remember from picnics is a crunchy melange of bacon, raisins, and broccoli smothered in mayonnaise. I may have enjoyed it when I was younger, but I like a lighter and fresher tasting version now. In this recipe, I've swapped out the mayo dressing for a significantly lighter lemon dressing, and blanched the broccoli to increase the vibrancy of the color while maintaining the crunch that I still find delightful. I've substituted a small amount of proscuitto for the bacon, but kept the raisins just as they are!

Ingredients:

2 cups broccoli florets
2 Tbs. raisins
1 slice proscuitto
2 Tbs. lemon salad dressing

Directions:

Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the broccoli and raisins and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, just until the broccoli turns a bright green and the raisins get nice and plump. Drain the broccoli and raisins in a colander under running, cold water. Cut the proscuitto into small bite size pieces. Heat a small non stick skillet over medium heat. Cook the proscuitto until it begins to crisp, just a minute or two. Mix the proscuitto with the broccoli and raisins, then pour the salad dressing over and serve. This may be served either warm, or may be refrigerated and served cold.

Serves 2 to 3



Stealthy Cooking Tip: I blanched the broccoli because I like the way it turns the broccoli a bright green - it's so pretty! Broccoli has so many good vitamins ... it's one of the powerhouse vegetables. It's especially high in Vit. C, K, and A, as well as folic acid. Broccoli is very perishable, storing it wet makes it go bad even more quickly. That said, store it unwashed, in the refrigerator. Wash just before use. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Snap Peas with Shiitake Mushrooms and Fennel


These snap peas go well with the Shrimp Skewers in the last post. They share cilantro along with a spicy edge. That means they can easily complement any dish that has a spicy side, whether it is one with an Asian or a Latino origin. If you don't like spicy, just omit the jalapeno and cilantro, substituting red or green pepper and parsley.

Ingredients:

1 tsp olive oil
2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 cup whole sugar snap peas
1 cup sliced fennel
2 Tbs. chopped pickled jalapeno
2 Tbs. minced cilantro
1 pinch sea salt
several grinds of black pepper

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a skillet set over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 2 minutes, until the mushrooms begin to give off some of their liquid. Add the snap peas, along with the fennel, and continue to cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, until the snap peas turn bright green and the fennel begins to wilt. Add the pickled jalapeno and cilantro. Cook and stir for another minute until the jalapeno and cilantro are well incorporated into the mixture. Taste, correcting for seasoning by adding salt and pepper.

Serves 4


Stealthy Cooking Tip: Have all the of the vegetables cut and ready to cook beforehand. This is called "mise in place" in French cuisine and refers to having everything ready and in place before you start. This is also how stir fries come together so easily. Add the vegetables as you cook, stirring as needed, then adding the next vegetable or spice.