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Scampied, Pan-Fried Artichokes

Scampied pan-fried artichokes.

 

If you’ve never had crispy, pan-fried artichokes, you’re in for a treat! There is, seemingly, a lot of wasted artichoke with this preparation, but truthfully, you will be getting to enjoy the most edible parts of the vegetable, which is part of the thistle family. My preferred way to cook artichokes (before finishing them either in a pan or in the oven) is the microwave. The next best thing is to use a steamer basket-I don’t ever boil artichokes because this leaves them water-logged. And, as far as flavor goes, you can certainly forgo the addition of garlic and lemon, thus removing the “scampied” components, but these ingredients certainly make the dish more aromatic and delish. This dish scales up easily and, for a great cocktail nibble, use smaller artichokes and, instead of adding the garlic directly to the pan, serve with just a squeeze of lemon and/or a garlicy dip (like an aioli or a chipotle mayo).

Special Equipment:

  • Nonreactive bowl
  • Sharp kitchen scissors
  • Microwave or a steamer insert for a saucepan
  • Nonstick skillet

Ingredients:

  • 2 juicy lemons, one for the acidulated water, one for rubbing on the artichokes and one for finishing the dish (the latter is optional)
  • 4 medium globe artichokes
  • Extra-virgin olive oil (or Garlic Confit Oil), as needed
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)
  • Coarse kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Freshly grated, best quality parmesan cheese, to taste (optional)

 

1) To prepare the artichokes for cooking: Fill a nonreactive bowl with cold water and add the juice of one lemon. Toss the  lemon into the water. Using a sharp knife, slice off the top ¼ of the artichoke. Using your hands, rip off all of the leaves that are colored green-tear down to the leaves that are just barely green-more tan in color. (If the tips of the leaves have thorns, use kitchen scissors to snip them off first.) Using a paring knife, trim off the ends of the artichoke stem, then remove just the outer skin of the stems, leaving as much intact as possible. Cut the trimmed artichoke in half, lengthwise and rub the entire exposed artichoke with a cut side of a juicy lemon. Using a spoon, or your thumb in the smaller artichokes, remove the fuzzy leaves from the interior-don’t take too much, however, or you’re cut into the heart. As each half is completed, drop the artichoke into the acidulated water. If doing a large batch, place a piece of wax paper over the top of the water to help keep the artichokes submerged. Continue

 

2) To cook the artichokes in a microwave: Place the artichoke halves, cut sides down, in a glass dish (I use a pie plate) with several tablespoons (about 1/4 cup)  of the acidulated water. Cover the dish taut with plastic wrap, then prick a few holes in the top. Microwave on high for 3 to 6 minutes (depending on their size), just until the base of the artichoke can be pierced easily with the tip of a knife. As soon as they’re done, uncover the dish and place the artichokes on a doubled sheet of paper towels, cut sides down, to drain and cool.  If doing this several hours in advance, wrap the artichokes in the paper towels and refrigerate.

 

3) To cook the artichokes using a steamer basket: Place the artichokes in a steamer insert, cut sides down, over boiling water. Cover the pot and steam, as described above, but for several minutes longer. (Start testing after 5 minutes.) Drain and cool as directed.

 

4) To pan-fry and serve the artichokes: Heat a nonstick skillet with a thin layer of extra-virgin olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the artichokes, cut sides down, to the hot oil and cook until golden brown, occasionally pressing lightly with a spatula, to help them brown evenly. Turn them over and allow to brown on the other sides. Add the minced garlic and, if desired, the butter, to the hot pan and shimmy the handle to help the butter melt and the garlic disperse. When the artichokes are golden, add a nice dose of salt, some pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Shimmy to help the flavors meld. Serve now, with or without parmesan cheese.

Comments (1)

Breaded, Pan-Fried Goat Cheese with a Salad of Mesclun with Red Onions, Crisp Bacon and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Special Equipment:
Nonstick skillet to panfry breaded cheese

For the pan-fried cheese:

  • 1 egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 cup Dried Breadcrumbs, preferably homemade
  • Scant 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds (24 ounces) mild-flavored goat cheese logs, well chilled
  • Olive oil or Clarified Butter, as needed

For the dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (regular or whole grain)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2/3 cup olive oil (mix pure and extra-virgin)

For the salad:

  • 1 pound slab bacon, cut into 1/3-inch cubes, fried until crisp and drained
  • 1 pound (14 to 16 cups) mesclun, rinsed and spun dry
  • 1 small red onion, sliced into thin wedges (optional)
  • Suggested dressing: Balsamic Vinaigrette, close to room temperature

1) To bread the cheese: Mix the egg and water in a shallow bowl. Whisk the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese together, on a plate, and place it next to the egg. Season the crumbs with salt and black pepper. Place a sheet of wax paper on a shallow tray and place it next to the crumbs. Take the logs of goat cheese out of the refrigerator and unwrap them. Using unflavored dental floss, cut the goat cheese into generous 1-inch thick slices. Dip each slice in the beaten egg, coating on both sides, and then coat each slice evenly in the crumb mixture. As each slice is coated, place it on the prepared tray. When finished, cover the plate with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour and as much as 24 hours, before continuing.

2) To make the dressing: Combine all the dressing ingredients, using a whisk, in a nonreactive bowl. If not serving right away, cover the bowl and refrigerate. Take the dressing out of the refrigerator 1 hour before serving.

3) To cook the bacon: Cook the bacon, over medium-heat, until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Set aside until ready to rewarm the bacon and serve.

4) To pan-fry the cheese: Just before you’re ready to serve, pan-fry the cheese. First place a wire cooling rack on a shallow baking sheet and place the sheet close to the stove. Heat a 12-inch heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet over high heat and, when hot, add a thin layer of olive oil, or melt a few tablespoons of clarified butter. When the fat is hot, add the breaded goat cheese, in a single layer, without crowding. Fry on both sides until golden and hot throughout, turning once. When golden, transfer each slice to the wire rack. (Don’t use paper towels, as any oozing cheese will stick to it.)

4) To assemble the salad: Rewarm the bacon, either wrapped loosely in foil, in a preheated 350F oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or in a microwavable plate or bowl, lined with a doubled sheet of paper towel, on high, for 1 to 2 minutes. Blot any fat off bacon and set aside. Combine the greens and the onions, in a large mixing bowl and add enough dressing to coat the greens lightly. Sprinkle the greens lightly with salt and gently mix the dressing throughout. Divide generous portions of salad between six dinner plates and scatter each serving with an equal amount of bacon. Place 2 slices of fried cheese to one side of the salad and serve immediately. Pass a pepper mill with a bowl of extra dressing, at the table.

Timing is Everything:

  • The breadcrumbs can be made weeks ahead and kept in the freezer in a sealed, heavy-duty plastic tub, or in doubled, heavy-duty freezer bags
  • The cheese can be breaded one day ahead and kept refrigerated, well covered.
  • The dressing can be made and chilled and the greens can be cleaned and dried two days ahead, and kept refrigerated in a jumbo plastic bag, lined with paper towels.
  • For best flavor, let the dressing sit at room temperature for 1 hour, before using
  • The bacon can be cooked very early in the day and, once cool, kept refrigerated, covered. Bring close to room temperature, before reheating. If made a few hours ahead, keep the bacon out at a comfortable room temperature.

Watch the video.

Comments (1)

Tender Greens with Pears, Apples, Grapes, Pan-Toasted Walnuts and Gorgonzola Cheese, with Grilled Chicken

If you’ve never put sweet fruit into a savory salad, I urge you to try this recipe. The contrast between the cool, crisp pears and apples with the juicy grapes and creamy cheese, all off-set by the savory grilled chicken, butter-toasted nuts and tender leafy greens, makes this salad unusually good.

Any time I’ve suggested a tool, a piece of equipment, or a culinary term that’s unfamiliar to you, you can go to Kitchen Management for more information.

Special Equipment:

  • Nonreactive dish to marinate the chicken (such as Pyrex)
  • Melon-ball-scooper: to scoop out the seed cavity of the pears
  • Large stove-top grill pan (preferably one with a nonstick finish), only if grilling indoors
  • Outdoor grill (gas or charcoal): only if grilling outdoors
  • Salad spinner

For the dressing/chicken marinade:

  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • 4 heaping tablespoons honey-Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 cup thawed frozen apple juice concentrate
  • 2/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup pure olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Asian chili paste (available in Asian markets and some well-stocked supermarkets)
  • 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, not pounded

For the salad:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 generous cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • Olive oil or vegetable spray
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 generous cup red seedless grapes
  • 2 large unpeeled, cored and cubed ripe pears (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 large unpeeled Granny Smith apple, cut into julienne (about 1 cup)
  • 12 ounces Gorgonzola cheese (preferably a high-quality creamy type, like Dolcelatte dolce), chilled and cut into medium dice
  • 1 pound (14 to 16 cups) mesclun, rinsed and spun dry

1) To marinate the chicken: Use a whisk to combine the shallots, mustard, salt, juice concentrate, vinegar, oil and black pepper in a nonreactive bowl. Pour 1 cup of the prepared dressing into another nonreactive bowl and stir in the chili paste to create the marinade. Chill the remaining dressing until needed. (The taste of the dressing improves if assembled several hours before serving.) Rinse and pat the chicken dry, and place them in a nonreactive dish. Season the chicken, on both sides, with black pepper and pour the marinade over the pieces, coating well, on both sides. Cover the dish and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

2) To sauté the nuts: Place a doubled sheet of paper towels on a plate and set this aside. Melt the butter in a 10-to 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat and, when hot and bubbling, stir in the nuts. Cook the nuts, stirring constantly, until fragrant and light golden, about 2 minutes. Pour the nuts onto the prepared plate and shimmy them, to remove the excess butter. Remove the paper, leaving the nuts on the plate, and sprinkle them lightly with salt. Set the nuts aside.

3) To grill the chicken, outdoors or indoors: Take the chicken out of the refrigerator, 30 minutes before grilling. Heat an outdoor gas grill on high or heat a charcoal grill to the gray ash stage. Alternatively, heat a large stove top grill-pan until very hot, with your overhead exhaust fan turned on. When hot, oil the rack to your grill or your grill-pan and, after letting the oiled surface heat for a minute or so, lay the chicken pieces on the hot surface. Grill the chicken until golden on each side and the meat is cooked through, but still succulent, 6 to 10 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate and let the pieces rest, tented loosely with aluminum foil.

4) To assemble the salad: Slice the chicken into diagonal strips and sprinkle the pieces lightly with coarse salt. Place the greens into a large mixing bowl and lightly coat with some of the reserved dressing. Add the grapes, pears, apples and half of both the cheese and the toasted nuts. Toss the mixture gently but thoroughly, then divide the salad between individual serving plates and scatter the remaining cheese and nuts lightly over the top. Arrange several slices of grilled chicken either on top or around the salad and serve the dish immediately, with any additional dressing passed separately, at the table.

Timing is Everything:

  • The chicken can be marinated one day ahead and kept refrigerated. You can grill the chicken two hours ahead and serve it at room temperature. Slice just before serving.
  • The greens can be cleaned and spun dry two days ahead and kept refrigerated in a jumbo plastic bag, lined with paper towels.

SHOPPING LIST

At-a-Glance Reminder of Ingredients

For the dressing/chicken marinade:

  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • 4 heaping tablespoons honey-Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 cup thawed frozen apple juice concentrate
  • 2/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup pure olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Asian chili paste (available in Asian markets and some well-stocked supermarkets)
  • 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, not pounded

For the salad:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 generous cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • Olive oil or vegetable spray
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 generous cup red seedless grapes
  • 2 large unpeeled, cored and cubed ripe pears (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 large unpeeled Granny Smith apple, cut into julienne (about 1 cup)
  • 12 ounces Gorgonzola cheese (preferably a high-quality creamy type, like Dolcelatte dolce), chilled and cut into medium dice
  • 1 pound (14 to 16 cups) mesclun, rinsed and spun dry

From the produce aisle:

  • Shallots
  • Red seedless grapes
  • Ripe pears
  • Granny Smith apple
  • Mesclun (mixed baby greens)

For the supermarket shelf:

  • Honey Dijon mustard
  • White wine vinegar
  • Olive oil (pure, not extra-virgin)
  • Asian chili paste (in the Asian foods section)
  • Walnuts

From the dairy case:

  • Butter

From the cheese case:

  • Gorgonzola cheese (preferably a high-quality creamy type, like Dolcelatte dolce)

From the butcher :

  • 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, not produced

From the frozen foods section :

  • Frozen apple juice concentrate

Comments (2)

Baby Arugula with Roasted Pears, Spicy Pecans & Crumbled Gorgonzola

This has become my most favorite salad, whether with the added protein (as the main event) or without it and served as a first course (and it’s beyond amazing, if served with crisp duck confit!) The combination of peppery baby arugula, spicy pecans, salty Gorgonzola and the luscious roasted pears, I’m just in love! I trust that this is a salad you will be making for yourself and for your favorite people forever.

Special Equipment:

  • Large shallow baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Medium-mesh wire sieve
  • Melon ball scoop (to remove seed cavity in pears)
  • Nonstick aluminum foil (optional but suggested for the pears)
  • Grilling device (indoor grill pan or an outdoor grill)

For the spicy pecans:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon fine table salt
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) intact pecan halves
  • 1/3 cup superfine granulated sugar (if you don’t have this, whirl regular sugar in the food processor and measure out ½ cup)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Kosher or sea salt, to taste

For the roasted pears:

  • 4 large firm but ripe, large D’Anjou pears
  • About 3 tablespoons strained fresh lemon juice, or as needed
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Superfine sugar, as needed, for sprinkling
  • Kosher or sea salt, as needed, for sprinkling

Remaining ingredients:

  • Optional: 1/2 of a large chicken breast per person, skinned, boned and butterflied or 16 to 24 jumbo shrimp, shelled, deveined but tails left intact (allow 4 per person)
  • If using the optional chicken or shrimp: 1 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (if not using this added protein, reduce the oil to 2/3 cup)
  • ¼ cup strained fresh lemon juice (2 tablespoons if not using the protein)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard; preferably the “grainy” style (2 teaspoons if not using the protein)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced (3 cloves, if not using the protein)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives (2 rounded tablespoons, if not using the protein)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 to 12 cups (loosely packed) baby arugula leaves, rinsed and well dried (allow 2 cups per person)
  • 2 to 3 cups crumbled gorgonzola cheese (allow a scant ½ cup per person)

1) For the spicy pecans: Preheat the oven to 300F. Line a large, shallow baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Place two bowls on your counter. Place a medium-mesh wire sieve in one bowl and, in the other, combine the egg white, water and salt. Add the nuts to the egg white mixture, and stir to coat them well. Pour the wet nuts into the sieve and allow them to drain fully, for 3 to 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the superfine sugar, cumin, cayenne, black pepper and paprika. Wipe out the first bowl so it’s dry and add the drained nuts. Sprinkle the sugar-spice mixture over the nuts and stir to coat them well. Pour the seasoned nuts (which will be sticky) onto the prepared baking sheet and try, as best you can, separate them into a single layer (a few will overlap and that’s fine). Sprinkle the top of the nuts lightly with Kosher or sea salt.

Place the nuts into the preheated oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan from front to back, after half the baking. When done, the nuts will still be sticky but will have darkened a bit and will give off a wonderful aroma. Avoid letting the nuts burn which will leave them bitter-tasting. Remove the nuts from the oven and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack, which will allow them to crisp up and get rid of any sticky quality. At this point, break up any larger clusters and store in an airtight tin, at room temperature

2) For the roasted pears: Preheat the oven to 450F. Line a shallow baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil (or regular foil) and brush the foil with some of the melted butter, then sprinkle the greased surface, lightly but evenly, with super-fine sugar. Peel the pears, cut them in half lengthwise and use a melon-scoop to remove the seed cavity and also the tough, rope-like connector between the stem and cavity. Slice each pear-half into 4 wedges (3 if the pears are medium sized) and, one by one, brush each wedge, on both sides, with some of the lemon juice and then with the melted butter (again, on both sides). Place each wedge on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle the top, first, with a dusting of superfine granulated sugar and then with some coarse salt, to taste. At this point, the pears can be covered with plastic wrap and kept at a comfortable room temperature for an hour before roasting. Place the pears, uncovered, into the preheated oven and roast 15 minutes. Remove the pears from the oven and allow them to become “just warm” on a wire rack, still on their original baking sheet.

3) For the chicken or shrimp, if using: If using the chicken or shrimp, first prepare the seasoning mixture. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic and chives. Add freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Place either the chicken or shrimp into a nonreactive dish and coat with 2/3 cup of the seasoning mixture, if using 6 large chicken breast halves and ½ cup if using. Reserve 3 tablespoons separately to use to baste while cooking the rest to pass at the table. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook. (If using shrimp, divide between a few long metal skewers.)

To cook the chicken or shrimp: Sprinkle the seasoned chicken or skewered shrimp with coarse salt and grill outside on a gas or charcoal grill (on high or over direct heat) or on an indoor, stove-top grill pan. Either way, turn once during cooking, allowing the flesh to become deeply colored on the outside and just cooked through (avoid overcooking which leaves chicken dry and shrimp tough. After turning, brush the tops with the reserved seasoning mixture. Once cooked, remove from the heat source and allow to settle on a plate so that any residual cooking can take place and the internal juices can centralize (let rest 5 minutes).

4) To make the dressing: If not using the added protein, combine the reduced amount of the same ingredients and set this aside until ready to use as the dressing, when assembling the salad.

5) To assemble the salad and serve: Place the arugula in a large bowl and dress with some of the dressing, without going overboard (the leaves should just be coated lightly, but evenly. Mound the dressed leaves in the center of individual serving plates and spicy pecans, roasted pears and gorgonzola either around the greens, each in their own small decorative piles, or scatter these over the top. If serving the grilled chicken or shrimp, either serve these on a separate platter, or slice each breast half and lay these slices (or the grilled shrimp) over the top of the dressed greens. Serve at once, with a reliable peppermill and any remaining dressing, passed at the table.

SHOPPING LIST FOR ARUGULA WITH ROASTED PEARS, SPICY PECANS AND GORGONZOA (WITH OR WITHOUT CHICKEN OR SHRIMP)

At-a-Glance Reminder of the Ingredients:

For the spicy pecans:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon fine table salt
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) intact pecan halves
  • 1/3 cup superfine granulated sugar (if you don’t have this, whirl regular sugar in the food processor and measure out ½ cup)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Kosher or sea salt, to taste

For the roasted pears:

  • 4 large firm but ripe, large D’Anjou pears
  • About 3 tablespoons strained fresh lemon juice, or as needed
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Superfine sugar, as needed, for sprinkling
  • Kosher or sea salt, as needed, for sprinkling

Remaining ingredients:

  • Optional: 1/2 of a large chicken breast per person, skinned, boned and butterflied or 16 to 24 jumbo shrimp, shelled, deveined but tails left intact (allow 4 per person)
  • If using the optional chicken or shrimp: 1 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (if not using this added protein, reduce the oil to 2/3 cup)
  • ¼ cup strained fresh lemon juice (2 tablespoons if not using the protein)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard; preferably the “grainy” style (2 teaspoons if not using the protein)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced (3 cloves, if not using the protein)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives (2 rounded tablespoons, if not using the protein)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 to 12 cups (loosely packed) baby arugula leaves, rinsed and well dried (allow 2 cups per person)
  • 2 to 3 cups crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (allow a scant ½ cup per person)

Comments (1)

The Amazing Cobb Salad

Boy, Mr. Cobb was sure having a good day when he invented his amazing chopped salad, at the famous Brown Derby Restaurant, in Hollywood, California. Here, I’ve provided my rendition and, when fully assembled and presented, this salad is just so amazing to look at (before it’s tossed), that you’ll never regret taking the time to chop the listed ingredients. Since most of the ingredients are do-ahead, this salad makes a perfect choice for a luncheon or a light dinner.

Any time I’ve suggested a tool, a piece of equipment, or a culinary term that’s unfamiliar to you, you can go to Kitchen Management for more information.

For the salad:

  • 14 to 16 cups (loosely packed) cleaned, spun dry and coarsely chopped lettuce (mix 1 large head Romaine and 1 head Iceberg)
  • 4 extra-large eggs, firm-cooked and peeled, while still warm, then chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions (green onions), use the white and 1 1/2 to 2 inches of the green
  • 1 large or 2 medium ripe but firm Hass avocados, peeled and diced and tossed with 1 tablespoon strained fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large red bell peppers (or mix red and yellow), roasted, skinned, seeded and chopped
  • 1 can (5.75 ounces) jumbo black olives, pitted, drained and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved through the stem end (quartered, if large)
  • 1 pound fresh beets, boiled with skins until tender, then peeled and diced, or use 1 can (15 ounces) of drained beets
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) sugar snap peas, parboiled for 2 minutes, refreshed and chopped
  • 8 ounces aged Mountain Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled (or use chopped Jarlsberg cheese)
  • 12 ounces pre-packaged smoked bacon, fried until crisp then drained and chopped (or use diced black forest ham)
  • 1 1/2 pounds cooked skinless, boneless roast turkey or chicken, diced

Suggested Dressing: Mayo-All-The-Way: Mix 2 cups of your favorite mayonnaise with 1 scant cup of minced shallots and 1/2 cup minced chives or scallions. (If using scallions, use the white part and 1 1/2 to 2 inches of the green). Add black pepper to taste, and enough milk to thin the dressing, just to a thick pouring consistency. (Yield: about 3 cups)

To assemble the salad: Put the greens in a large, wide salad bowl (preferably one with a diameter of at least 16 inches). One by one, place each listed ingredient next to the other on top of the greens (split any larger quantity of one ingredient in two portions and place them at different spots on top. Use all of the ingredients, even if you have to push them up tightly against each other (creating an even more intricate design).

2) After presenting the salad:(And you’re satisfied with several minutes of the inevitable “oohs and ahhs”) bring the bowl back into the kitchen and mix the salad with enough of the dressing to coat the ingredients, without overdoing it. Place generous portions of salad on each plate and pass the extra dressing at the table, along with a good pepper mill. Alternatively, toss the undressed salad and present several different dressings, for your guests to choose from.

Timing is Everything:

The greens can be cleaned, but not chopped, two days ahead and kept in a jumbo plastic bag, lined with paper towels. Chop the greens the day of serving.

With the exception of the cooked eggs and the bacon, all of the remaining ingredients can be assembled one day ahead of serving and kept refrigerated in separate, well-covered bowls. For best flavor and texture, prepare the eggs and bacon on the day of serving.

The dressing can be assembled one day ahead and kept chilled, well covered.

• The salad can be assembled (not dressed) a few hours ahead of serving and kept refrigerated, covered. If the bowl is too big for your refrigerator, however, don’t assemble your ingredients more than 30 minutes before ready to serve and leave the salad out, at room temperature.

Here’s the Scoop: On Chopping Salad Greens

To prevent the leaves from turning brown, after chopping, don’t use your good chef’s knife. Although knives built with carbon are prized for their ability to get a sharp edge, this component can also cause a chemical reaction in lettuce, turning the cut edges brown. The best knife to use (believe it or not) is an inexpensive plastic one. Actually called a “lettuce knife,” it’s available in neighborhood hardware stores and many well-stocked supermarkets. Personally, I purchased mine, many years ago, while watching late-night television. Although, at the time, I thought the purchase was silly, I use this knife surprisingly often, to chop or shred all different types of lettuce.

Comments (1)

Creamy Coleslaw

Here’s a big batch of my family’s favorite coleslaw. It’s not only crunchy, savory and spicy, but this colorful mix makes a truly vibrant presentation on a buffet table. Feel free to halve this for a smaller group. Although a food processor does the job of slicing and shredding in seconds, and is my preferred way to make coleslaw, you can also accomplish things by hand, with a sharp chef’s knife and box-style shredder. I also think using one’s hands is the best way to work the dressing into the vegetable mixture, so I suggest having a box of thin disposable plastic gloves on hand. By the way, coleslaw stays good in the fridge for several days, so don’t throw out any leftovers!

Any time I’ve suggested a tool, a piece of equipment, or a culinary term that’s unfamiliar to you, you can go to Kitchen Management for more information.

Special Equipment

  • Food processor: optional but highly suggested
  • Disposable plastic gloves

Ingredients for the Dressing:

  • 1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 3 rounded tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 rounded tablespoons whole celery seed
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • Good pinch of cayenne pepper or several dashes of your favorite hot sauce

For the Vegetables:

  • 1 small-medium head green cabbage, cored and very thinly sliced
  • 1 small head purple cabbage, cored and very thinly sliced
  • 1 small knob celery root, peeled, quartered and shredded (leave out, if unavailable)
  • 4 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1 small red onion, shredded or sliced into very thin strips
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, shredded, chopped or sliced into very thin strips

1) To assemble coleslaw: Combine all of the dressing ingredients and pour over the vegetables, which should be in a large mixing bowl. Wearing disposable gloves, work the dressing into the coleslaw mixture, coating it evenly. (The vegetables should be well coated but not swimming in dressing. Store any left over dressing in the refrigerator, until later.) Refrigerate coleslaw (well covered) for at least 2 hours before serving.

2) To serve: Just before serving, toss vegetables with any additional reserved dressing, if needed, and adjust seasoning with additional salt and black pepper.

Timing is Everything:

  • You can prepare both the salad and dressing ingredients two days ahead and store them separately in the refrigerator. Dress the vegetable mixture up to 24 hours ahead of serving. Keep leftovers in the refrigerator, in a securely covered container, to enjoy for several more days.

SHOPPING LIST

At-a-Glance Reminder of Ingredients

Ingredients for the Dressing:

  • 1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 3 rounded tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 rounded tablespoons whole celery seed
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • Good pinch of cayenne pepper or several dashes of your favorite hot sauce

For the Vegetables :

  • 1 small-medium head green cabbage, cored and very thinly sliced
  • 1 small head purple cabbage, cored and very thinly sliced
  • 1 small knob celery root, peeled, quartered and shredded (leave out, if unavailable)
  • 4 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1 small red onion, shredded or sliced into very thin strips
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, shredded, chopped or sliced into very thin strips

From the supermarket shelf:

  • Mayonnaise
  • White wine vinegar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Bottled hot sauce (only if not using cayenne pepper)

From the produce aisle :

  • Garlic
  • 1 medium head green cabbage
  • 1 medium head purple cabbage
  • 1 knob celery root (when in season)
  • 1 bunch fresh carrots
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 medium green bell pepper

From the dairy case :

  • Sour cream

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