In 1976 and ’78 Cuisinart provided a wonderful little wire-bound cookbook called “New Recipes for the Cuisinart Food Processor and it was written by James Beard and Carl Jerome. Unfortunately, it is out of print and my copy (I lost my original) came from a garage sale.  Buy it if you can find it; the recipes are magnificent.  And here is the wonderful Green Goddess Recipe.  If you are squeamish about making your own mayonnaise, substitute with Best Buy’s, Trader Joe’s or another good mayonnaise.  This recipe needs to be made in a food processor, not in the SaladSuccess shaker.

Green Goddess Salad Dressing – makes 2 cups

1 ¾ cups mayonnaise

6 anchovy fillets

3 green onions (scallions) chopped roughly

2 shallots halved

2 tbsps of a good white vinegar such as tarragon, balsamic or apple

10 sprigs parsley with stems removed

2 sprigs fresh tarragon leaves or 1 tsp dried tarragon leaves

Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions

With the metal blade in place, add mayonnaise, anchovy fillets, green onions, shallots, vinegar, parsley and tarragon to the beaker.  Process until mixture is evenly chopped, about 30 seconds.  Taste and season with salt & pepper.  Process for 5 seconds.

Optional ingredients: A bunch of chives (coarse chop), 1 tsp of Worchestershire sauce, chopped fresh cilantro, lime (for Southwestern Cobb Salad) dash of cayenne pepper.

Salads: Cobb, Southwestern Cobb (add freshly cooked corn, black beans and taco strips), Spinach with Egg, and Mixed Greens.

Green Goddess Dressing recipe courtesy of James Beard and Carl Jerome

I’ll start with appliance hell.  Our dishwasher from Hell (Frigidaire) died about a year ago, and we finally got fed up of hand washing.  Why did we put off the decision to buy a new dishwasher for so long?  Easy, we did buy a Bosch but it wouldn’t fit in the cabinet.  Years ago I hired a tiler to redo my kitchen floor and he tiled in the dishwasher.  Contractors in California are interesting, many got started in their trade to support a drug habit.  Now they are all reborn, but definitely brain cells are missing especially when tiling kitchen floors.

For a year we angst’ing whether to pull out our tiles from around the dishwasher, which I have no replacements of the old tile, or to pull out the old dishwasher by making a hole through our stucco wall.  Both solutions were expensive and imperfect.  Finally we decided to get a shorter dishwasher that would fit our space.

Now our choice was limited, shorter dishwashers are ADA-compliant, and for the most part, hard to buy since no one keeps them in stock.  Plus they are either super-expensive such as Miele or Asko, or have an old fashion design.  I really wanted a stainless steel front, steel tub, low noise and lower water usage, plus a hidden control panel.  All that was left in my price range was a Blomberg, a brand similar to Bosch, but not well established in the US.  With a leap of faith after reading the reviews (no one brand stands out), I ordered the Blomberg at HomeEverything.com.

One month later, no dishwasher.  I called HomeEverything.  “Yes, it will be here in 7 to 10 days”.  Two weeks later, (total of 6 weeks) same old story.  In fact until yesterday, the lovely guys at customer service were singing every two weeks the same song.  Yesterday, I called again and found out that there was a “Master” back order.  “What is a Master back order”, I asked Mr. HomeEverything customer serviceman.  “Well, it seems that there is a major amount of product that is overdue”, said the calm voice on the phone.   “And does this mean that I should expect my dishwasher in SEPTEMBER?” I said with a slight panic in my voice.  “No”, said Mr. HomeEverything, “but it will probably take another 2 to 4 weeks”.

That’s it.  These guys at HomeEverything have been stringing me on the line for 3 months.  They have totally lost their credibility with me.  I’ll never try buying anything from them again. Tomorrow I’ll go talk to the guys at Sears (you can haggle with them and the warranty is good) and get a Bosch.  Do you have another idea that might work?  Comments are really appreciated.

On another subject, here is the recipe for Shrimp and Celeriac Remoulade.  Celeriac (Celery root) is a celery bulb, a hairy, incredibly unattractive object that is wonderfully mild.  You’ll need to peel it with a very sharp knife, like a pineapple and use a food processor, a god-send to cooks around the world, to make the thin strips.  I first had remoulade at the Carlyle Hotel during a Sunday Brunch.  It was one of those perfect weekends in NYC, caught the evening show at Café Carlyle with Bobby Short, drank lots of champagne and luxuriated in a room at the hotel.  I felt like an adult “Eloise at the Plaza”, only I was at a better hotel, the Carlyle.

I like to add poppy seeds to my remoulade and you can substitute the shrimp with crab or lobster.  This 5 minute recipe is delicious, exotic and elegant.  But it ain’t cheap so make it for a special occasion.

Shrimp and Celeriac Remoulade – Serves 4 – 8 people.  Prep time:  10 minutes,  inactive refrigerator time:  ½ hour.

1 lb of cold cooked and peeled shrimp

1 – 2 peeled bulbs of celeriac – bulbs are usually slightly under 2 lbs each

1 cup of good mayonnaise – I use Best Brand or Trader Joe’s Organic

2 lemons – make sure that they are full of juice

2 tsps white vinegar such as white wine or white balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard

1 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp freshly grounded pepper

1 tsp poppy seeds

Directions

Using the food processor and the shredding disk, feed chunks of the celeriac thru the machine.  You can also use a mandoline on a matchstick setting.  Place the celeriac shavings in a large bowl, add the lemon juice and kosher salt, mix well, and allow mixture to stand for 30 minutes to soften the bulb and add flavor.

In a small bowl whisk mayonnaise, white vinegar, Dijon mustard and pepper.  Pour over celeriac mixture, add cold shrimp and poppy seeds.  Refrigerate until serving time.  Garnish with additional poppy seeds.

This dish makes a delightful cold main course, with a light dry white wine, good bread, steamed asparagus and a light green salad with a shallot vinaigrette. Don’t forget to use your SaladSuccess Shaker!

Looking for something different and spring-like, but don’t want to indulge in off season produce?  Try this salad for a change of pace.  Warm and delicious, this will tempt the most demanding palates.

INGREDIENTS

2 red onions finely sliced

Olive oil

2 tsp cumin seeds

2 crushed, pressed or finely chopped garlic cloves

2 tsp grated ginger root

1 ½ cup split lentils – I use the common red lentils that you can find in any grocery store

3 cups vegetable stock or bouillon

2 tbsp chopped fresh mint

2 tbsp chopped cilantro

4 – 5 cups spinach

2 avocados, pitted and sliced

1 tsp hazelnut or walnut oil

4 tbsp Greek or strained plain yogurt – greek has a richer texture

Fresh ground pepper

DIRECTIONS

In a large skillet over medium heat with enough olive oil to cover the bottom, sauté onions until soft, for about 10 minutes.  Add cumin seeds, garlic and ginger root.  Sauté for 2 minutes, constantly stirring.

Stir in lentils; add stock at a ladleful at a time and constantly stirring, until the stock is absorbed – about 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in herbs.

Toss spinach in hazelnut or walnut oil, then divide among 4-6 salad plates or one large serving plate

Mash goat cheese with yogurt in a small bowl (you can also use a stick or mini-blender but don’t puree) and season with fresh ground pepper.

Place lentils among salad plates or serving plate and top with avocado slices and goat cheese mixture.

Courtesy of Salad by Love Food

Now SaladSuccess is not only providing the best salads and dressings to make with our SaladSuccess shaker, but now will provide the measurements if you only want to make enough dressing for one salad.

The bones of this recipe are from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa with changes to the proportions.  I love this combination on a bed of lettuce since there are so many calories in a single avocado.  Most grocery stores sell very unripe (hard as rock) avocados – I’m lucky that my local farmers market carries avocados.  Unless you have a specialty shop, often Costco avocados are ripe or will ripen in the next few days.

Ingredients for the SaladSuccess Shaker

  • Freshly squeezed lemon to the 1/3 orange line of SaladSuccess Shaker
  • Olive oil to the top orange line of SaladSuccess Shaker
  • 1 large spoonful of  Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Ingredients for a single salad dressing

  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Ingredients for the Salad

  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 2 large red grapefruits
  • Mesclun lettuce or arugula

Just before serving, cut the avocados in quarters, remove the seeds, and peel off the skin. Cut each quarter into 2-3 slices. Whisk all the vinaigrette ingredients and oss the avocado slices in the vinaigrette to prevent them from turning brown. Peel off the grapefruits slices (removing all the white pith), then strip the membranes to release the grapefruit sections.

Arrange the avocado slices around the edge of a large platter lined with mesclun lettuce or arugula. Arrange the grapefruit segments in the center. Spoon the remaining vinaigrette on top and serve.

Courtesy of Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa.

INGREDIENTS – for a single salad or use the Sherry-Shallot Vinaigrette in Salad Success container
1 minced shallot
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 heads Belgian endive, halved lengthwise, cored, and very thinly sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)
3 small fennel bulbs, halved lengthwise, cored, and very thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
1 large Fuji apple, halved lengthwise, cored, and very thinly sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Whisk together shallot, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a wood, or glass salad bowl. While constantly whisking, add oil by pouring in a thin stream down the side of the bowl. Whisk until all oil is incorporated. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

Add endive, fennel, and apple slices to the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Taste again and adjust seasoning as desired. Serve.

Courtesy from Chowhound, Recipe of the Day, 2/3/2010

During the later part of the fall and into the winter, local area beets are readily available.  They are very easy to grow and stay crisp in a refrigerator for months.  I always love their sparkling colors and crispy taste.  This recipe guarantees that beets will be a big hit with you and your family.  You can cook the beets ahead of time. If you want to boil the beets, I suggest cooking them in the microwave (10 minutes on high with a microwavable lid and ½ cup of water on the bottom of the container) , otherwise cooking beets takes about one hour.  For this recipe the beets can be boiled  (one hour  – cover with a lid) or even better, roasted for a more complex taste.

INGREDIENTS

5-6 medium size beets

Olive oil

3 hard boiled eggs – sliced or chopped

Blue cheese dressing made in the SaladSuccess container but replace blue cheese with  gorgonzola cheese

¼ cup chopped walnuts –  optional

1 apple such as Fuji, peeled and chopped (optional)

Lettuce to line the salad bowl – mesclun, Boston or Romaine

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Wash beets, scrub skins and remove greens (use for stir fry.  Place beets in a baking dish, and drizzle olive oil on the beets.  Toss the beets to cover all sides with the olive oil.  Bake until a knife can easily cut the beets, usually for 45 – 60.

Line a bowl or a platter with salad greens.  Slice beets and place on top of greens. Add eggs, walnuts and apples.  Pour dressing over salad.

fenwichWhen I was a kid, I use to spend a week or two with my family at my cousin’s beach cottage at Fenwick Island, MD.  Usually my cousin Sharon, her brother Jerrold, Tata Esty and Uncle Vic would join us.  It was the perfect vacation; few chores, hot, hot weather, refreshing ocean water and tons of reading books.

We kids had one major chore: crab fishing on the lagoon outside of the cottage.  There is no great science to be a  crabber. We’d go to the local market, get some string, metal bolts for weights, chicken necks, and a big net to scoop up the crabs from the water.  It looked like a tennis racket.  Then in the still of the early morning, my brother Scott and I would tie the chicken neck to the string (with a bolt) and drop it into the lagoon.  Couple minutes later, a little tug on the line, and voila, a tasty treat for the lunch pot.  Once the chicken necks were gone, we knew we had enough crabs for lunch.

My aunt and mother would boil the crabs along with hefty dose of Old Bay Seasoning and spend the entire afternoon eating crab.  After one or two crabs, we kids had burnt lips from the seasoning, and were bored of picking out tiny pieces of crab meat from our catch, but those two ladies would go at it for hours.

At Fenwick, my mother would often make lunch, and bring it to the beach.  Wise parents know that when kids are at a beach, they forget some simple rituals, like eating.  Mommy would bring cold chicken and a various assortment of salads.  My favorite was Tuna Noodle salad which is made up of cold noodles, mayo, tuna and cucumbers.  This is cooking at its lowest form, and I could never get enough of that tuna noodle salad.

Food memories brings back our childhood;  Proust with his madeleines, me with crab fishing.  But until this weekend, I didn’t share a favorite with my family.

This weekend we had family tickets to see Mid Summer’s Night Dream at Shakespeare Santa Cruz.  Since it has been very hot (an anomaly for the central coast of California), I decided to make an assortment of easy salads especially since I didn’t want to face a hot stove.  Suddenly, I remembered my old friend, Tuna Noodle Salad, and quickly made a large container’s worth.  Would my family love Tuna Noodle with the same passion?  Was it as good as I had remembered?

The answer was “YES”, wildly across-the-board “YES”.  “Yes” like “can we make this tomorrow Mom and can you show me how to make it” “Yes”.  Home run “Yes”.

So my friends, food does bring the past closer, and those old simple recipes are as wonderful today as they were yesterday.  Try going back in your memory and see what tasty delights you can recall.

Tuna Noodle Salad

INGREDIENTS

A box of elbow noodles

Two to three cans of tuna fish

Three peeled and chopped cucumbers

1 cup of mayonnaise (I like Best Foods)

Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Cook and cool the noodles

Put noodles in a large bowl

Add cucumbers, tuna, mayonnaise and seasoning

Mix well with love and refrigerate until use.

Surprise, a salad that doesn’t need a dressing.  Or really a recipe.  And if you use a low-fat cottage cheese, you can even lose weight eating this wonderful combination.  Filling, cool and delightful especially if the ingredients come from your garden.

Slice about 6 radishes

Chop 1/2 orange, red or yellow pepper (I don’t like the green ones)

Chop 1/2 cucumber

Chop 2 scallions

1 cup of cottage cheese – I like the no-fat Trader Joe’s and the Nordic brands

Salt & Pepper to taste

Mix the ingredients and serve immediately.

Sorry, not every salad needs vinaigrette or the SaladSuccess Vinaigrette Shaker.

tomato-salad-721I’m a Jersey girl, and to me, summer eating is about freestone peaches, Silver Queen corn, and tomatoes.  The worth of any New Jersey homeowner is in the size and bounty of her tomato plants.  No one worth their salt would ever buy a tomato.  And if you went to someone’s house to socialize, you would always bring a lovely assortment of your finest tomatoes.  I remember my mom and dad constantly watering, tying the stems, and blowing some incredibly white powdery toxic poison on those plants.  Our family’s honor was tied into those plants, and no drought, plague of beetles, or pestilence, would dare attack our plants.

So when I moved out to California, I picked up where Dad and Mom left off.  Every year I would buy a minimum of twelve tomato plants at the farmers market and try to produce a crop worthy of my past.  The first year the snails got to them, which astonished me since there are no snails in New Jersey.  Next several years were acceptable but the little strip of land I used to grow them was turned into a shady walk way.  The following four years followed a pattern.  I’d plant early in the spring, nature my little plants thru July;  get excited about their growth and buds, only to be ruined by a fungus attack.

I tried planting early in February, using plastic tubular teepees.  I’d fill the tubes of the tepee with water and let the sun heat the plants by day, and insulate them during the cool nights..  My sister-in-law, a master gardener in Denver, Colorado, swore by these tepees and even sent me pictures of her bountiful harvest.  February came and went, along with March, April and my enthusiasm and hope plummeted.  The tepees, that looked so straight and erect in the ads, wouldn’t hold up and were constantly collapsing on the plants.  The plants were still alive, but ugly and spindly, and the plastic was acting as a snail magnet, with massive collections of snail poop inside the costly tepees’ water tubes.  I retired my teepes in the form of a present to  my sister-in-law.  Needless to say, I didn’t include a picture of my harvest.

The last disaster, to the tune of five hundred dollars, was my watering system.  Every May, in anticipation of summer vacation, I would go buy watering timers.  I’d spend days adjusting my timers so that not one of my precious plants would suffer during my absence.  I bought the best batteries, I tested each timer, and I would wake up at five am to give them the final adjustment.  By June the timers were perfect, and a magnificent synchronization of water works was creating green harmony in my gardens.

Three weeks later upon our return, disaster.  Either the majority of timers died the minute our car pulled out of the driveway for the Great Adventure, or else they went ballistic spewing water all day and night.By the time we returned, the garden looked like the Mojave Dessert, the running water was turned off, and a little yellow card from the Water Department was firmly affixed on our door handle expressing their displeasure with our wanton water usage.  To add insult to injury, not only did I have to replace plants and trees, I’d also have to dig up five hundred dollars to pay my water bill and fines.

But last year I declared war, for this was to be the year of the Great Tomato Harvest. I dry farmed the plants, thus forcing their roots to grow strong and avoid mold. No snails would dare get on my plants since I generously sprinkled around the plants with sawdust.  And I found a new sunny place by planting them in my front yard.

The outcome was rewarding.  My plants looked beautiful and healthy and were laden with fruit.  And every night for  5 months, we all sat down to enjoy the family summer favorite –Insalata Caprese or as we call it, Tomato Lovers Salad.

Tomato Lovers Salad

Vinaigrette – Use the SaladSuccess vinaigrette formula.

Platter

Sliced tomatoes

Shredded fresh mozzarella

Chopped basil – I use the kitchen scissor to cut it in fine strips

Vinaigrette

Optional to Platter – Add eggs, avocado, lettuce, tuna fish, sardines, and olives

close-up-layout-721Remember, a  lunch salad with vinaigrette made fresh out of  SaladSuccess shaker will help you eat better and feel great.  SaladSuccess is just $9.95 and gives you perfect vinaigrette and salad dressings every day with no fuss.