Category Archives: Salads

Zak! Table Art 7-piece Flame-Shaped Serving Bowls: Enter to Win a Set!

We are in the final week of Emeril’s One-Pot Blogger Party finishing in style and celebrating the release of Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders by giving away Zak! Table Art 7-piece Flame-Shaped Serving Bowls.  You are going to love these!  The bright red color is ideal for holiday entertaining, Valentines Day, birthday parties, or summertime backyard barbecues.  They stack for compact storage and are durable enough to use every day.

Beyond practical, the flame shaped design inspires creativity when setting the table or buffet.  Use just one or all seven, here’s a few simple ideas to utilize this serving set:

  • An assortment of olives for an olive bar
  • Ice cream toppings for a Sundae party
  • Garnishes for tacos, fajitas, or baked potatoes
  • Homemade holiday candies
  • Condiments for large parties
  • See how Emeril uses them here on HSN:

The unique shape allows for a snug grouping with other platters or plates to save space on a buffet or inspire artistic expression.

Inspired?

Enter to win Zak! Table Art 7-piece Flame-Shaped Serving Bowls for yourself!

There are a number of ways you can enter.  Each of the following count as 1 entry, which means you can enter up to 5 times to increase your chances to win. Please be sure to use a valid email address.

Here’s how:

1.  Leave a comment on this post to let me know how you might use these serving dishes.
2.  Subscribe to Savoring Today (top of the right column) and leave a comment to let me know you did. If you are already a subscriber, let me know that too!
3.  Share this post on Face Book and leave a message that you did so on the Savoring Today Face Book page.
4.  Tweet about the giveaway on Twitter with a link back to this page and mention @savoringtoday in your tweet.
5.  Email friends (no minimum) about the giveaway with a link back to this page and either cc: savoringtoday@comcast.net or leave a comment here that you did.

This drawing will conclude our blogger party on Saturday, October 1stThe winner will be determined by Random.org, only U.S. residents are eligible.

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Emeril’s Wok-Seared Duck Salad Recipe: Romantic Sizzling Skillets

When the email arrived from The Secret Ingredient with three recipes we could share from Emeril’s Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders, I admit, there was a hint of skepticism when I saw this one.  Not really a big fan of duck, but I knew I could not recommend something I hadn’t tried.  Although there was no requirement to use these recipes (see Cajun Shrimp Stew here), it is the ideal “try before you buy” kind of experience. With this in mind, I decided to give duck another chance and Wok-Seared Duck Salad was on the menu.

Oh, man, I am so glad I did not pass this one up!  We loved it! Emeril’s inspiration for this salad marries citrus, ginger, fresh herbs and Thai chiles—and as you might have guessed the seared duck breast tops it off superbly. While it is lighter fare, it is a satisfying main-course salad.

Friday night was dine-in date night, so I served it on one large plate for us to share.  We could not stop talking about the deep heat of the red Thai bird chili, the luscious duck breast, or the playfulness of the fresh herbs with citrus-ginger sauce (okay, maybe that was the one-plate effect). Let the spice in this salad bring a little spice to life and plan a special evening with your sweetheart—yes, salad can be romantic. As it turns out, Wok-Seared Duck Salad is great date food … like me, you might even see duck in a whole new way. 😉

Wok-Seared Duck Salad

This recipe was inspired by a Thai dish called laap, which is made with minced or ground chicken, fish, pork, or duck and seasoned with the wonderful flavors of chiles, ginger, fish sauce, and citrus. I decided to use the same flavors with a seared duck breast and make it into more of a main-course salad. This is a refreshing take on northern Thai street food.
Serves 4

2      tablespoons uncooked jasmine rice
1      tablespoon minced fresh red Thai bird chile
2      magret duck breasts (about 12 ounces each) or 1 ½ pounds other domestic duck breasts
1/3   cup minced shallot
1 ½  tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
¼     cup fish sauce (see note below)
¼     cup freshly squeezed lime juice
¼     cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 ½  teaspoons palm sugar or light brown sugar
½     cup fresh cilantro leaves
½     cup fresh mint leaves
½     cup fresh basil leaves
1       medium head of red leaf lettuce, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
2       cups bean sprouts
1       cup julienned red bell pepper

1. Heat a wok over medium-high heat and add the rice. Toast the rice, shaking the wok constantly, until all the grains have turned golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the rice to a mortar and set aside to cool. Once the rice has cooled, grind it using a pestle until it reaches a sandy consistency. Alternatively, grind the toasted rice in a clean spice grinder. Place the rice in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

2. Place the chile in the wok over medium-high heat and cook, shaking the wok, until lightly colored and fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Remove the chile from the pan and add to the bowl with the rice.

3. Using a paring knife, score the fatty side of the duck breasts by making shallow cuts in a diamond pattern; this allows the fat to render more easily. Place the duck breasts in the wok, fatty side down, and cook over medium heat until the skin is golden brown and slightly crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the duck breasts to a cutting board, slice them into thin strips, and return the strips to the wok. Add the shallot and ginger and stir-fry over medium-high heat until the duck is just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer the duck from the wok to the bowl with the rice and chile and set aside.

4. In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, lime juice, orange juice, and palm sugar and mix well. Pour the mixture over the duck and toss until well coated. Add the cilantro, mint, basil, lettuce, bean sprouts, and julienned red pepper and toss to combine.  Serve the salad immediately.

Notes: Fish sauce can be found in Asian markets and sometimes the international food aisle of the grocery store. There are many brands of fish sauce, but we (Emeril) prefer Three Crabs, Golden Boy, and Tiparos brands.

Additional Notes from Savoring Today:
I recommend Red Boat Fish Sauce based on my own taste test and because it has so few ingredients, just anchovies and sea salt.

If you cannot find fresh red Thai bird chile, dried will work, however be careful when heating the dried chiles in a wok or skillet so the area is well ventilated.  The dried chiles can cause lung irritation when heated in a dry skillet (learned from experience 😉 ).  Also, 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of the dried chile will give a lot of spice, so use sparingly unless you are familiar with it (or have a fire hydrant nearby).

Pre-order a copy of Emeril’s Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders here.

Disclosure: For my participation in The Secret Ingredient’s One-Pot Blogger Cooking Party, I received a copy of Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders, a jar of Emeril’s Essence seasoning, and a set of Emeril – by zak! Table Art 7-piece. Once the party concludes, upon my successful completion, I will receive a $50 grocery reimbursement and a set of Emeril’s cookbooks.

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
EKat’s Kitchen Friday Potluck
Real Food Whole Health Fresh Bites Friday
Premeditated Leftovers Gallery of Favorites

Labor Day Eats: Feature Fridays

Labor Day became a federal holiday 117 years ago, marked by parades and parties recognizing trade and labor organizations.  Today, families enjoy one last vacation before school starts, NFL and college football seasons begin, and backyard parties abound.  If entertaining or creating a dish for a potluck is on the agenda for this three-day weekend, here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.  Instead of featuring just one site this week, there is a whole list—Enjoy!

Menus:

Barbeque Menu – Savoring Today
10 Labor Day Menus – Ezra Pound Cake
Labor Day Gourmet Grilling Party Menu – Recipe Girl


Main Dishes/Meat:

Grilled Thai Ginger-Garlic Pork Chops – Fine Cooking
Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Roasted Red Pepper Dip – Family Fresh Cooking
Sausage Kebabs – Bell’ Alimento
Jamaican Jerk Chicken – Kayotic Kitchen
Pancetta-Gruyere Burger with Grilled Vidalia Onions – Savoring Today
Vegetarian Recipes for Barbecue Season – New York Times

Appetizers & Sides:

Melon & Mint Salad – Shutterbean
Roasted Garlic and Dill White Bean Dip – How Sweet It Is
Roasted Carrots with Goat Cheese – Jungle Frog Cooking
Sauteed Corn with Chile Peppers, Ginger and Garlic – Cinnamon Spice
Grilled Summer Sweet Corn – Simply Sugar & Gluten Free
Romaine Salad with Hatch Chile Dressing – A Communal Table
Goat Cheese Balls with Herbs, Pecans, & Bacon – The Kitchn
Parmesan Rice Crisps with Roasted Tomato Salsa – Gluten-Free Goddess

Desserts:

Brownies for Grown Ups – The 21st Century Housewife’s Kitchen
S’mores Pie – Foodess
Chocolate Caramel Peanut Bites– Sweet Pea’s Kitchen
Limoncello Cheesecake Bites – Bitter Sweet
Rustic Peach & Plum Tart – Eyes Bigger Than My Stomach
Honey Cinnamon Peach Pie – My Kitchen Addiction

Spinach-Cherry Salad with Yogurt-Marinated Grilled Chicken

The challenge of creating a meal from whatever is on-hand generates flavor combinations I would not otherwise consider.  This Spinach-Cherry Salad was one of those use-what-you’ve-got weekday meals, which brought words like serendipity to mind.  An abundance of organic cherries from a sale at King Soopers, leftover Yogurt Marinated Grilled Chicken, an orange and cilantro for the dressing, and we were on our way to this delicious summer salad.

Spinach-Cherry Salad with
Yogurt-Marinated Grilled Chicken

Serves 4
4        large handfuls  baby spinach
1/2    pound  dark red cherries — pitted and sliced
1/2    cup  feta cheese
2/3    cup  raw walnuts or Sweetly Spiced Crispy Walnuts or Pecans
1/2    recipe  Yogurt-Marinated Grilled Chicken
Orange-Dijon Dressing

Cook chicken according to recipe for Yogurt-Marinated Grilled Chicken and prepare dressing.

Place 1 large handful of spinach in each salad bowl. Using a paring knife, slice cherry flesh off pits and arrange on spinach.

Slice chicken and arrange on top of spinach, sprinkle with walnuts and feta. Drizzle with dressing and garnish with one whole cherry on top.

Have you discovered new recipes by using only the items you have on-hand?

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
The Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter Thursday
Real Food Whole Health Traditional Tuesdays
Hearth & Soul Hop
SS & GF Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

Garnishing a Meal: More Than Just A Pretty Plate

Blackened Salmon garnished with Feta, Basil, and Fresh Tomato

So, you have dinner on the table with the last ounce of energy you could muster for the day and the thought comes to you, how I can garnish it? … Uh, hardly.  I know, it should be enough to have dinner done every day, but a simple garnish can transform a meal from ho-hum to ta-da! with little effort.  An easy rule of thumb to is, if it goes in it, it can go on it.  If a recipe calls for celery and onion, then celery leaves and scallions will be a complementary garnish when served.  The fresh components of those ingredients already in a dish create a bright, enzyme-rich finish.  These are just a few suggestions using common grocery items as a garnish to make any meal even more appealing.

Avocado — sliced or cubed, avocado goes on tacos, grilled or blackened fish, breakfast eggs, sandwiches, salads, soups, and more.

Croutons — go beyond the usual salad, this cupboard staple works great for soups too.  It won’t boost the nutritional value of the meal, but does add interest and texture.

Fresh herbs add color, flavor, and increase nutritional value. If a recipe calls for dried herbs, adding the same herb as a fresh garnish is guaranteed to enhance the dish.  These are three I use most often on just about everything.

Parsley — that leafy green sprig placed on many restaurant plates is there for more than contrast, it is a digestive aid and breath freshener.  This mild herb is a great place to begin if unfamiliar with using fresh herbs.

Cilantro — a cousin to parley, sometimes called Chinese parsley, fresh cilantro can be used in the same manner as parsley, placement of a stem and leaves or chopped and sprinkled atop a meal.

Basil — used for more than pesto, basil is an aromatic and beautiful garnish when julienned and sprinkled over pasta dishes or grilled meats. Basil varieties are fun to experiment with allowing flavor accents of lemon or cinnamon to bring new dimensions to old favorites.

Fennel fronds, celery leaves, and scallions are often regarded as waste when they could be used to garnish instead.

Lemon / Lime / Orange — citrus wedges or slices brighten and enhance meats, salads, and vegetables with a fresh squeeze of Vitamin C on each plate.

Nuts & Seeds — not just for your morning yogurt, nuts and seeds add crunch and texture to vegetable dishes and fruit or lettuce salads. Fiber, healthy oils, and antioxidants make these a garnish powerhouse.

Parmesan, Feta, Blue Cheese, Gorgonzola, and Chèvre (soft goat cheese) deliver on taste with only a small amount, so strong-flavored cheeses like these are ideal on grilled meat, pasta, burgers, salads, soups, Quiche, and vegetables.

Tomatoesseed and chop tomatoes, or quarter grape tomatoes; toss with salt and pepper before adding as a topper (allow to sit for 5-10 minutes). The salt will help the tomatoes release a little juice and enhance flavor. Use fresh, seeded tomatoes to garnish scrambled eggs, grilled meats, crostini, soups, or pasta dishes.

Beef Stroganoff Garnished with Parmesan and Parsley

Chopped Fresh Tomatoes & Basil Garnish

Shaved Parmesan & Goat Cheese Garnish

Sliced Almond Garnish on Green Beans

Crouton Garnish on Cream of Asparagus Soup

Cilantro, Avocado, Sour Cream Garnish

Fruit, Walnut, and Feta Garnish on Roasted Asparagus

Celery Leaf Garnish on Seafood Chowder

Lime Wedge Garnish with Mango-Avocado Salsa

Is there a favorite garnish you like to use? 

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
The Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter Thursday
Real Food Whole Health Fresh Bites Friday
Girlichef for EKat’s Kitchen Friday Potluck
The Healthy Home Economist Monday Mania
SS & GF Slightly Indulgent Tuesday


July 4th BBQ Menu: A Declaration of Flavor

Before loading the blanket in the car and heading for the annual fireworks and funnel cakes extravaganza, something has to hit the grill for the evening barbecue.  Everyone has a favorite that speaks “July 4th backyard barbecue” to them—pasta salad, watermelon, hamburgers, macaroni salad, baked beans, BBQ pork sandwiches, potato salad, steaks, apple pie, and sweet iced tea—all of it worthy of celebrating independence, American-style.

In case you are looking to add something new to your list of favorites or planning a barbecue of your own for the first time, here are a few recipes to consider.  The beauty of this menu is the timing of it all.  Guests can munch on hummus or salsa while ribs finish in the oven, beans stay warm in the crockpot, and dressed slaw marinates in the fridge. Meanwhile, everyone is enjoying ice-cold Strawberry Lemonade or  Rosé Sangrias as the vegetables and corn finish grilling.

JULY 4th BBQ MENU

Something to Nibble:
Chips & Salsa
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

The Main Attraction:
Missouri-Style Baby Back Ribs
Baked Beans
Grilled Corn on the Cob
Classic Coleslaw -or- Celery, Apple,  & Fennel Slaw
Grilled Vegetables

Smooth Sipping:
Rosé Sangria with Pineapple & Guava
Strawberry Lemonade

Sweet Endings:
Sliced Watermelon
Chocolate Dipped Fruit
Triple Chocolate Cookies

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Yield: 2 cups
6      tablespoons  tahini
1/4     cup  extra-virgin olive oil
14       ounces  chickpeas — drained and rinsed
1/2     whole  red pepper — roasted
1        large  garlic clove — minced
1/2     teaspoon  sea salt
3       tablespoons  lemon juice
2       teaspoons  chopped fresh parsley
pinch of cayenne

Roast red pepper, skin side up, under a broiler until skin blisters and is blackened in spots.  Remove from oven and place pepper in a plastic bag to cool–the steam in the bag will make it easier to remove the skin. Once the pepper has cooled, remove the skin and coarsely chop the pepper. Whisk together tahini and 2 tablespoons oil in small bowl or measuring cup.

Process chickpeas, roasted red peppers, garlic, salt, and cayenne in food processor until chickpeas are almost smooth.  Add lemon juice and tahini, scrape down bowl and continue to process until well incorporated, about 1 minute. With machine running, add oil in steady stream through feed tube; continue to process until hummus is smooth and creamy, about 15 seconds.

Transfer hummus to serving bowl, sprinkle with parsley, cover with plastic wrap; let stand until flavors meld, at least 30 minutes.  Serve with pita chips or rosemary crackers.

Missouri-Style Baby Back Ribs

“Show-Me” barbecue sauce is the perfect sweet-smoky way to bring out the great flavor of tender slow-roasted ribs.
Serves: 4-6
1-2     racks baby back pork ribs (4-5 lbs)
3/4    cup  Lawry’s Mesquite Marinade (optional)
3/4    tablespoon  Italian seasoning
3/4    tablespoon  onion powder
3/4    tablespoon  garlic powder
1      tablespoon  Paul Prudhomme Meat Magic
1      tablespoon  cumin — ground
1/8    cup  Worcestershire sauce
1      teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
2      bottles  beer — preferable Guinness
1      bottle  Show-Me BBQ Sauce — or your favorite

Grill & Oven Method:
Season ribs with the Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, Meat Magic, cumin, and black pepper. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (The step of seasoning overnight can be skipped if there is a time constraint.) In a charcoal grill, arrange hot coals on one side in the bottom of the grill to create a hot side and a cool side. Grill ribs over coals to sear, rotating to cool side of grill to avoid charring.

Grill for 30-40 minutes to allow meat to pick up smoky flavor. Remove from grill and place on a rack in a roasting pan. Baste with marinade and Worcestershire sauce. Pour beer in the bottom of the pan and cover with a tent of aluminum foil. Bake at 325° for 3 hours or until meat is tender and  loosening from the bone. Uncover, baste with barbecue sauce and bake an additional 5-10 minutes until sauce caramelizes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut ribs between the bones and serve.

Oven Method:
Season ribs with the Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, Meat Magic, cumin, and black pepper. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (The step of seasoning overnight can be skipped if there is a time constraint.) Heat oven to 325°F.

Place ribs in roasting pan and evenly baste seasoned ribs with marinade and Worcestershire sauce. Pour beer in the bottom of the pan and cover with a tent of aluminum foil. Bake at 325° for 3-4 hours or until meat is tender and loosening from the bone. Uncover, baste with barbecue sauce, and bake an additional 5-10 minutes until sauce caramelizes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut ribs between the bones and serve.

NOTES: Ribs can be prepared in advance and frozen. When prepared ahead of time, omit barbecue sauce until ribs are reheated.

Grilled Vegetables

Serves: 4-6
1       medium  zucchini — sliced 1/4″ thick, lengthwise
1       medium  yellow summer squash — sliced 1/4″ thick, lengthwise
2       large  sweet onions — sliced 1/4″ thick, in rings
1        whole  red bell pepper — cut into 2″ pieces
1        whole  yellow bell pepper
1       pound  cherry tomatoes — stems removed
10       cloves  garlic — unpeeled
skewers
salt and pepper
favorite spice such as Italian seasoning, curry, granulated garlic, etc.

Prep vegetables as directed. Skewer peppers together, cherry tomatoes together, and garlic cloves together.

Arrange prepared vegetables and skewers on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and any favorite spice— Italian seasoning, curry, granulated garlic, etc. (simple salt & pepper works great by itself too).

Let vegetables sit for 10-15 minutes and then grill over med-high heat until just tender and striped with grill marks. Remove each type of vegetable when done and place back on rimmed baking sheet.

Remove skewers from tomatoes, peppers, and garlic.  Remove peel from garlic  and slice squash (roasted garlic should pop right out).  Mix vegetables together in a large serving tray and serve warm.

NOTES: Smaller squash can be halved lengthwise rather than cut into slices. By placing like items on skewers–tomatoes with tomatoes, pepper with peppers, etc.–each one can be removed from the heat when done without leaving other items uncooked. Finished vegetables can be placed in a warm oven until ready to serve.

So, what food says, “July 4th backyard bBQ” to you?

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
The Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter Thursday
Mom Trends Friday Foods
Girlichef Friday Potluck
Real Food Whole Health Fresh Bites Friday
Hearth & Soul Blog Hop
Real Food Whole Health Traditional Tuesdays
The Healthy Home Economist Monday Mania

Beyond Classic Slaw: Test Kitchen Tuesday

Coleslaw is a fresh, crisp, traditional barbecue companion.  As much as I love classic slaw made with cabbage, it is inspiring to find new, creative ways to use the abundance of summer produce available now. In a recent issue of Bon Appétit, there was a variety of beautiful and creative combinations for slaw to accompany any 4th of July barbecue this weekend. It seemed only fitting to post a few for Test Kitchen Tuesday—I know at least one of these will be on our barbecue menu this weekend.

I hope you join me in this delicious adventure!

In the next week or so:

1.  Make the recipe (posted below)
2.  Leave a comment describing your experience, opinion, adjustments, or suggestions.  ♥ If you do focus on altering it to economize, choose healthier ingredients or techniques, make it gluten-free/allergy sensitive, embellish for entertaining, or incorporate into batch/once-a-month cooking, please mention that too.
3.  Subscribe to comments so you can see what others have done.
4.  If you are especially proud of your creation, snap a photo and send it to me at savoringtoday@comcast.net so it can be included in this post or include a link to your site with your comment.

Carrot, Cilantro, and Chile Slaw

Source: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2011/07/carrot-cilantro-and-chile-slaw
Serves: 4-6
12       ounces  carrots (assorted colors) — peeled, julienned (about 4 cups)
2        tablespoons  vegetable oil or grapeseed oil
1        tablespoon  fresh lime juice
1 1/2   teaspoons  sugar
1/2      teaspoon  kosher salt plus more for seasoning
2        jalapeños — stemmed, seeded, minced
1/2      cup (loosely packed) fresh cilantro leaves
3/4     teaspoon  ground coriander
Freshly ground black pepper

Toss carrots, oil, lime juice, sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, and jalapeños in a large bowl. Let marinate for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Add cilantro and coriander; toss to evenly incorporate. Season to taste with salt  and pepper.

NOTE: Using a combination of red, white, and yellow carrots will make this slaw even more striking.

Candy-Stripe Beet and Carrot Slaw

Source: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2011/07/candy-stripe-beet-and-carrot-slaw
Serves 4-6
1/4    cup plain Greek-style yogurt
1      teaspoon  finely grated orange zest plus 3 tbsp fresh orange juice
1      tablespoon  fresh lemon juice
1      tablespoon  finely chopped fresh dill
5     2″ diameter candy-stripe (Chioggia) beets — peeled, julienned
1      medium  carrot — peeled, julienned
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk yogurt, orange zest and juice, lemon juice, and dill in a medium bowl. Add beets and carrot and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Celery, Apple, and Fennel Slaw

Source: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2011/07/celery-apple-and-fennel-slaw
Serves 4-6
3       tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2  tablespoons  apple cider vinegar
1 1/2   tablespoons  coarsely chopped fresh tarragon
2       teaspoons  fresh lemon juice
1/4     teaspoon  sugar
3       celery stalks — thinly sliced diagonally, plus 1/4 cup loosely packed celery leaves
2       small  fennel bulbs — thinly sliced crosswise, plus 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds
1        firm, crisp apple (such as Pink Lady, Gala, or Granny Smith), julienned
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add celery and celery leaves, thinly sliced fennel and chopped fennel fronds, and apple; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.