Salad

Deb’s Layered Salad

Deb’s Layered Salad

Serves: Hundreds

Christmas – specifically the catering of it – is a truly unique time.

Exciting, once-a-year, stressful, often unidirectional and lonesome (at least from the cook’s perspective), always worth it. We over-cater, we stress about dry turkeys, we snap when asked why we do or do not serve cranberry with our turkey/ham/chicken/whatever.

Best stuffings are argued and yet, when the time comes, it all tastes pretty bloody good, it is all greatly appreciated and the stress of the morning is forgotten in the malaise of the afternoon.

One of the greater stresses is changing your tradition or having it changed for you. We each have a vision of Christmas and if you don’t do prawns or BBQ, you don’t do prawns or BBQ.

Last year, we had a big family Christmas at Nat’s parent’s place. The kids, kid’s of kids, dogs, the whole shebang. The Ashes are a pretty relaxed bunch and they serve up some pretty awesome dinners; and yet it was with trepidation that I tried to merge what I could of my Christmas lunch with their tradition.

Top of my worries was this salad.

How could it go with my stuffed turkey breast, truffle mash or famous stuffing? I don’t do the simple, salad and meat Christmas and there was no way this salad could make sense to me.

Well, last year, my tradition changed!

To include this salad.

BOOM! It is awesome. Christmas awesome.

It is exactly what is great about Christmas. It tastes like Christmas.

It is utterly outrageous and that is the point.

Deb – Nat’s mum – throws some interesting culinary curve-balls and I should have known from her potato bake and cauliflower mash that she had it sorted.

I am a doubter no more.

My only worry is trying to convince you yo try it. Hopefully my admission of wrongful doubt will help.

BOOM!

Ingredients

Iceberg lettuce, shredded
Baby peas, blanched
Button mushrooms, sliced thinly
Eggs, boiled, grated
Spring onions, thinly sliced
Cheddar cheese, grated
Sour cream and whole egg mayonnaise, equal parts combined
Bacon, julienned and fried
Flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Baby tomatoes, chopped

Method

  1. In the biggest bowl you can find, layer it all. Again and again.
Standard
Healthy, Poultry, Salad

Creamy Tarragon Chicken Salad

Creamy Tarragon Chicken Salad

Serves: 8

You want a healthy, tasty chicken salad right?

Who doesn’t?

It is one of my top searches for a weeknight meal or a Saturday lunch.

You want your back covered?

Nat’s got it!

With this awesome, super healthy, utterly moorish number: something I would make en-masse and ready to serve as a lunch or a snack all week.

240 calories per serve. 240!

Nat and this salad are genius.

Ingredients

1kg chicken breast
1 cup chicken stock
⅓ cup walnuts, chopped
⅔ cup reduced-fat sour cream
½ cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 tbsp dried tarragon
½ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
1 ½ cups celery, diced
1 ½ cups, red seedless grapes, halved

Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 230c.
    2. Arrange the chicken in a baking dish in a single layer and pour the stock around the chicken. Bake until cooked through, around 30 – 35 minutes. Allow to cool enough to handle and then cube the meat.
    3. Meanwhile, toast the walnuts on a baking sheet until slightly golden; around 6 minutes. Allow to cool.
    4. Combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, tarragon, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the celery, grapes and the cooled chicken and walnuts. Stir to coat and refrigerate until chilled.
  • Serve on a bed of salad: lettuce, tomato, avocado, diced red onion, cucumber, whatever!
Standard
Healthy, Italian, Salad, Side

Italian Coleslaw

FullSizeRender (7).jpg

Just wonderful; creamy thanks to the parmesan; hot thanks to the chilli oil.

Italian Coleslaw

Serves: 4 – 6

This is a really sophisticated little number I pulled from Gourmet Traveller.

It speaks of the thinly sliced, super-fresh vegetables and herbs you throw in and with the parmesan, chilli oil and some seasoning, wow.

We had it with a glazed pork chop and some braised beans it was wonderful; it is hot, fresh, soaked up the rest of the plate and stood its own as a side. The next lunch served with a rare BBQed eye fillet and some hand-cut chips, it got even better.

Slaw is always good and this is a wonderful version of it.

Ingredients

180gm peas (de-thawed peas are fine or if using podded peas, start with 500gm )
¼ white cabbage, thinly sliced
Fennel bulb, thinly sliced
½ Spanish Onion, thinly sliced
3 radishes, thinly sliced
½ cup each (loosely packed) basil, mint and flat-leaf parsley, coarsely torn
¼ cup (firmly packed) watercress sprigs
1 tbsp salted capers, rinsed
40gm parmesan, finely grated
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp chilli oil
2 tbsp lemon juice

Method

  1. If using podded peas, blanch peas in boiling salted water until tender (1 – 2 minutes), fresh and drain. If using frozen, de-thaw completely.
  2. Combine in a large bowl with cabbage, fennel, onion, radish, herbs, watercress, capers and parmesan and toss to combine.
  3. Just before serving, add oils and juice, season to taste and toss lightly to combine.
Standard
Pork, Salad

German Potato Salad

German Potato Salad

Serves: 4 – 6

I’ve said it before, though nobody can not like potato salad. Right?

And this quite simple, German Potato Salad is no different. No frills, sure, though simple is its key and ‘potato salad’ is its clincher.

With some grilled pork chops and a glass of chilled red, seriously?

You don’t need much more complex than this.

Ingredients

3 cups, peeled, diced potatoes
4 slices bacon
1 small red onion, diced
¼ cup white wine vinegar
2 tbsp water
3 tbsp white sugar
1 tsp salt
⅛ tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley or chives

Method

  1. Boil the potatoes until they are tender and easily pierced with a fork. Drain and allow to cool.
  2. In a pan over a medium heat, cool the bacon until browned and crisp, turning as needed. Remove from the heat, allow to cool a little and crumble.
  3. Add the onion to the pan that had the bacon and cook over medium heat until browned. Add the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pepper to the pan. Bring to the boil and then add the potatoes and parsley.
  4. Add the crumbled bacon and serve either warm or cold.
Standard
BBQ, Greek, Healthy, Poultry, Salad, Uncategorized

(Simple) Greek Chicken Gyros

(Simple) Greek Chicken Gyros

Serves: 4 – 6

This is a great lunch, so simple, fresh and healthy.

Marinate the chicken overnight and heat up the grill; a glass of cold white and a bowl of the salad on the side. By the pool, the boys loved it; everyone loved it.

A totally no-complaints lunch.

In fact, whatever the opposite of no-complaints is.

Ingredients

1 kg chicken breast fillets cut into strips
(Toasted) pita bread

Marinade

3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp low fat Greek yoghurt
1 ½ tbsp dried oregano

Tzatziki

2 Lebanese cucumbers
2 cups low fat Greek yoghurt
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Salad

3 tomatoes diced
3 Lebanese cucumbers, diced
½ red onion, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves roughly chopped

Method

  1. Mix the marinade in a bowl, combine with the chicken in a ziplock bag and marinate for 2 – 24 hours.
  2. Heat your grill/BBQ over a high heat, thread the chicken on skewers, drizzle with a little oil and grill-until cooked.
    Toast the pita bread on the grill, basted with some oil.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the tzatziki ingredients in a bowl and the salad ingredients in another bowl.
  4. To serve, place chicken and salad in the center of the pita bread, top with the tzatziki and roll up tightly.
Standard
Healthy, Salad, Vegetarian

Warmed Red Cabbage Salad with Toasted Walnuts and Goats Cheese

Warmed Red Cabbage Salad with Toasted Walnuts and Goats Cheese

Serves: 6

This is a really great salad.

Really, really great.

The melting goat cheese, the toasted walnuts, the apple, the balsamic vinegar. It’s warm, crunchy, rich and sweet.

This is a real treat.

Serve with lamb koftas, beef or chicken kebabs, BBQed pork tenderloin.

Ingredients

1 small head, red cabbage, cored and sliced into strips
1 small apple, cored and sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
2 – 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
200gm goats cheese
½ cup walnuts, toasted
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

  1. In a frypan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat and add the garlic and cook until fragrant though not browned. Add the onion and 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar and cook for a minute.
  2. Add cabbage and stir well; cook for 5 minutes or so until slightly wilted and softened though still bright coloured.
  3. Add apple, walnuts, season and stir well. Add the goats cheese and stir to gently incorporate. Taste for seasoning and add additional balsamic vinegar if it needs some acidity.
  4. Serve immediately.
Standard
Healthy, Salad, Vegetarian

Bulgar with Pomegranate Salad

Bulgar with Pomegranate Salad

Serves: 4 – 6

This is a recipe I pulled from the Weekend Australian Magazine by David Herbert and it is really quite good. I’ve been more hit than miss with his stuff in the past, though as far as a clean, healthy, spring salad goes, this is a winner.

If you haven’t cooked with bulgar, it is worth the effort to find it in your local organics shop.

It is less abrasive than quinoa, healthy, packed full of protein and fibre, and filling. Add the fresh herbs and vegetables and you have a salad that looks great, tastes great and is easy to prepare.

Try it with steak or lamb and you’ll be pleased you did.

Ingredients

150gm bulgar
¾ cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ cup roughly chopped fresh mint
200gm cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 Lebanese cucumber, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
Seeds 1 pomegranate
3 spring onions, chopped
Juice, 1 lemon
2 – 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

  1. Place bulgar in a bowl and cover with 500ml boiling water. Soak for 30 minutes and then drain well, removing all excess water.
  2. Combine cooled bulgar, parsley, mint, tomatoes, cucumber, garlic, pomegranate, spring onions and lemon juice in a large bowl. Season well with the salt and freshly ground pepper. Pour over olive oil and toss well.
Standard