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.

breadbowl1By Saturday, I had it.  Too many times we went to Urgent Care; Mom swore she had heart pains which turned out to be pains from a fall  and Suzanne washed her contacts out with the wrong cleaner, thus burning her epithelial cellular layer of her eyes.  Too many times I drove kids around, too many interruptions and too little time for me to get the things done that I had on my list.  I really wanted to work on my family tree and hem my new suit  jackets and pants.  Nothing I wanted to get done got accomplished.  So when it came to dinner time, I panicked.  I hadn’t defrosted any meats or fish, and no little grey cells in my brain were coming alive and printing out a menu.

Then I remembered Clam Chowder Bowls.  Christie loves going to San Francisco and getting a bowl for lunch.  Not only is the soup delicious and warming, there is the afterlife of the meal which she gets to pull apart the sourdough bread and chew the bread with the remnants of the soup.  Plus, I know how to cheat on clam chowder, and by using a favorite can brand,  I add some ingredients, and voila, gourmet clam chowder in 10 minutes.  So here is the skinny.

Clam Chowder Bowls for 4

INGREDIENTS

4 sourdough bread rounds

3 cans of Snow’s New England Clam Chowder (condensed**)

3 cans of low fat/regular milk

1 bunch of finely chopped parsley, no stems

¼ cup of white whine

½ lb of sliced mushrooms

1 onion finely sliced

DIRECTIONS

Turn the sourdough bread rounds into soup bowls by slicing the domed top and hollowing out the inside of the bowl (don’t hollow out too much of the sides) just you would do a pumpkin.

Follow the directions on the back of the Captain Snow’s chowder can.  This will become a rich soup using 2% milk, so it will become incredibly rich with regular milk or half & half. Add the wine.

Sauté the onion and mushrooms in a small pan.  I use olive oil but butter is fine.

Once the onions and mushrooms are sauté (onions should be limp and translucent, mushroom should be soft), place them into the bottom of each bowl.  Add the soup and garnish with parsley and a tab of butter.  Serve immediately.  Excellent with a glass of white wine (I really needed it on Saturday) and a mixed green salad.  Don’t forget the vinaigrette using your SaladSuccess salad dressing shaker.

*** If you can’t find the clam chowder in the condensed form, use the regular can (but you will need double the amount and should adjust the recipe accordingly).

Many users of  the SaladSuccess shaker have been asking for salad recipes to go along with the dressing,  I guess we all get tired of lettuce and a few wedges of tomatoes, cucumber slices and carrots.  Once of my favorite salads is Belgium endive salad, which is simple, and elegant.  Around this time of year, I get cravings for endives (my husband hates them, which is great since they are expensive and he won’t touch them) and have endive salad marathons at lunch time.  Make sure that you use Reggiano Parmesan cheese – it intensifies the flavors of the endives with the vinaigrette.

INGREDIENTS

Belgium endives – one or two (endive lovers) per person.  Don’t count the kids, it is an acquired taste due to the bitterness of the endives.

Reggiano Parmesan – about 10 beautiful long slices

Sherry & Shallots vinaigrette

DIRECTIONS

First chop off the thick, hardcore end of the endive.

I like to rough chop the endives so that they make little curls.  That way it is easier for the dressing and parmesan to get mixed with the vinaigrette.  However for a more elegant look, you could peel the leaves of endives.

Decorate with the cheese.

When ready to serve, shake the sherry & shallot dressing in the SaladSuccess shaker and pour over the salad.

Although this is based on the classic vinaigrette recipe, by using a shallot and sherry vinegar, it bumps the vinaigrette up a notch and deserves a recipe page on its own.   Truly an elegant taste, you’ll feel that you are at the finest Paris bistro on the Left Bank.  Les Deux Magots, perhaps.  This vinaigrette gets better and better as the shallots infuse their flavor over time.

INGREDIENTS

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sherry Vinegar

1 large shallot – rough chop

1 spoonful. of Dijon Mustard

Salt & Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Olive oil up to the blue oil line of the SaladSuccess Shaker

Add vinegar to the blue vinegar line

Add chopped shallot and Dijon mustard

2 dashes of salt

1 dash of pepper

Shake vigorously

Laurent Tourondel, the cooking sensation behind the BLT (Bistro Laurent Tourondel), developed this wonderful recipe for coleslaw. In October 2007, Bon Appétit magazine named him Restaurateur of the Year. This most recent award solidifies his place among the top in the culinary world, while further positioning his award-winning BLT restaurants as some of the nation’s best. Tourondel suggests using this dressing over thinly sliced Napa cabbage, red cabbage, carrots and red peppers.  To garnish, chop cilantro, mint leaves and I like to add some chopped peanuts.

INGREDIENTS

Smooth peanut butter

6 tablespoons fresh lime juice

6 tablespoons Asian fish sauce

6 tablespoons water

6 tablespoons sugar

6 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoon Sriracha chile sauce

DIRECTIONS

Peanut butter to the ½ blue mark on the SaladSuccess shaker

Add lime juice, fish sauce, water, sugar, garlic and Sriracha.

Shake vigorously and serve over cabbage, carrots & red peppers

Garnish with cilantro mint leaves and chopped peanuts.

Adapted from Laurent Tourondel

Fran Gage is a wonderful food writer for Saveur and other publications.  Just recently I had the pleasure meeting her at the Aptos Farmers Market at Cabrillo College near Santa Cruz, CA.  Fran has just come out with a wonderful book called The New American Olive Oil which contains history, advice on choosing oils, profiles on the producers, and yes, wonderful recipes.  This vinaigrette recipe is from her book and has been adapted to the SaladSuccess shaker.  She suggests a salad of romaine hearts, apples or sliced pears, and chopped toasted pecans.  I personally like it using butter lettuce and walnuts.

INGREDIENTS

Extra-virgin olive oil

White wine or white balsamic vinegar

3 large spoonfuls of crumbled blue cheese

1 large spoonful of water

Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Olive Oil to the 3/4 blue marks on the SaladSuccess Shaker

Vinegar to the top of the blue vinegar line

Add blue cheese to shaker and mash with a fork to break down the crumbles

Shake vigorously in the SaladSuccess shaker

Add water

Shake vigorously again in the SaladSuccess shaker

Add salt and pepper to taste

Adapted from The New American Olive Oil by Fran Gage

Here is another southwestern rendition of ranch dressing, this time with chipotles, limes and cilantro. Has a delightful clean fresh taste and it’s great as a dressing or a dip.

INGREDIENTS

Mayonnaise

Buttermilk or sour cream

4 large spoonfuls of parmesan cheese

4 large spoonfuls of lime juice

4 large spoonfuls of pureed chipotle peppers

1 large spoonful of cilentro

1 spoonful of minced dried onion

1 spoonful of cumin

1 clove of garlic, pressed or minced

2 dashes of salt

1 dash of cayenne

DIRECTIONS

Mayonnaise to the ½ blue marks on the SaladSuccess Shaker

Buttermilk or sour cream to the top of the blue vinegar line

Add the rest of the ingredients

Shake vigorously and chill for ½ hour or more.

Reshake before serving

Once again, don’t squeeze out the dressing through the poppet top; just unscrew the top and pour over your salad.

Well, let’s turn up the heat.  And the spices.  You can use any taco seasoning with this recipe.  I myself have a large bottle of McCormick Taco Seasoning that I bought at Costco, but the best I found was Chef Andrew Cohen’s Southwest Spice Seasoning.  Give a call at Malabar Trading Company at 831-469-8233 to order.  Warning, these packets are small so order enough.  This dressing is not only great while eating chicken wings, but also on a green salad with jicama, cheddar cheese, sweet red peppers and of course, avocado slices.

INGREDIENTS

Mayonnaise

Buttermilk or Sour Cream

4 large spoonfuls of taco seasoning

1 clove of garlic, pressed or minced

2 dashes of salt

2 dash of cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS

Mayonnaise to the ½ blue mark on the SaladSuccess Shaker

Buttermilk/sour cream to the top of the blue vinegar line

Add taco seasoning, garlic, salt & cayenne pepper

Shake vigorously and chill for ½ hour.

Reshake before serving

Once again, don’t squeeze out the dressing through the poppet top; just unscrew the top and pour over your salad .

Fried Chicken with Ranch Dressing, it’s an American classic.  Here is a simple and wonderful way to make Ranch Dressing for chicken or for a mixed salad.  I especially love it over beets.  If you want it with a  richer taste, then replace the buttermilk with sour cream.  Delightful, either way.

INGREDIENTS

Mayonnaise

Buttermilk

4 large spoonfuls of Parmesan cheese

2 large spoonfuls of dried parsley

1 spoonful of minced dried onion

1 clove of garlic, pressed or minced

2 dashes of salt

1 dash of pepper

DIRECTIONS

Mayonnaise to the ½ blue mark on the SaladSuccess Shaker

Buttermilk to the top of the blue vinegar line

Add Parmesan cheese, dry parsley, minced dry onion, garlic, salt & pepper

Shake vigorously and chill for ½ hour.

Reshake before serving

Once again, don’t squeeze out the dressing through the poppet top; just unscrew the top and pour over your salad.

Vinegared dishes in Japan are called sunomono as su means vinegar in Japanese. Sunomono has a light, clean taste and goes with many types of dishes. Try this dressing on finely sliced cucumbers (get out the mandoline), a bit of daikon (Japanese radish), scallions and carrots.  If you want to be adventurous, put few tiny raw scallops and a slice of raw salmon, along with a little dollop of crab meat (steam these if you’re squeamish). Then sprinkle with sesame seeds.  This recipe is from a fabulous web site, www.edibleparadise.com and was contributed by Chef Andrew Cohen, Chef in Residence, Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets.
INGREDIENTS
Rice vinegar
Dashi (see below)
5 large spoonfuls of sugar
DIRECTIONS
Rice vinegar to the ½ blue mark on the SaladSuccess Shaker
Dashi to the top  vinegar line
Add sugar
Shake vigorously in the SaladSuccess Shaker
Pour over salad
In small bowl, whisk all ingredients vigorously until sugar goes into suspension.

Chef Andrew has provided a dashi recipe at Edible Paradise.  Dashi is the stock used in Japanese cuisine.  It’s made with kelp and bonito flakes, all available at Asian markets. Instant dashi powder is also available at stores. Use it if you are time-limited. Usually, about 1 tsp of dashi powder is used for 3 to 5 cups of water. Just follow the instructions on the package.