Greek Salad

I found the recipe for this incredible salad on Serious Eats. The dressing is fantastic and makes more than enough to make this salad repeatedly.
For Salad

1 large Spanish or sweet onion, thickly sliced
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
1 large head iceberg lettuce, sliced paper-thin
4 small fire-roasted red bell peppers, home-roasted or store-bought, cut into strips
3/4 pound English cucumber, peeled, halved, seeds scooped out, and thickly sliced
8 whole scallions, thinly sliced
1 red onion, sliced paper-thin
1 tsp of dried dill weed
1/2 cup small, picked sprigs parsley, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon dry Greek oregano
About 50 mixed green and black olives, brined and/or oil-cured, pitted and halved
2/3 cup fat free feta cheese
4 pepperoncini (pickled yellow peppers), sliced

For Red Wine Vinaigrette
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 small onion, sliced and grilled
6 basil leaves
1 teaspoon picked thyme
1/4 cup fat free feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
6 garlic cloves, pressed
2 shallots, thickly sliced
2 tablespoons dry Greek oregano
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon coarsely cracked black pepper
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For Salad
Brush the onion slices with olive oil and season with kosher salt and pepper. On a griddle pan or in a cast-iron skillet, grill the onion until tender. Separate into rings.

In a large bowl, combine all of the remaining ingredients except the Red Wine Vinaigrette, feta, and pepperoncini. Toss.

Drizzle the vinaigrette and toss the mixture aggressively with clean hands. Scatter with the feta and pepperoncini.

For Red Wine & Feta Vinaigrette
In a food processor, combine the vinegar, onion, basil, thyme, feta, mustard, garlic, shallots, oregano, salt, and pepper. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil until smooth.

Reference
Cook the Book: Greek Salad

 

Chinese Kasha Varnishkes

I have been so M.I.A. Life has been incredibly busy and I regret neglecting this blog for so long. I enjoy doing this and I have been taking pictures and notes on what I’ve been making but haven’t been posting. I suck. I have a lot of stuff that will be coming up here soon.

As for this recipe, I love it. So easy and delicious. I love the chili garlic sauce with it.

Ingredients

8 ounces dried bowtie pasta
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
Kosher Salt
1 cup kasha (buckwheat groats)

For the Dressing:
1 bunch scallions, finely sliced, about 2 cups, divided
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons Chopped cilantro
Chinese garlic chili paste or hot chili oil for serving

Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain and toss with 2 teaspoons oil. Set aside. Bring 2 cups water to boil and add kasha. Simmer for 15 minutes, then turn off heat and let sit covered and undisturbed until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, make the scallion oil: Set aside 1/4 of scallion greens for garnish. Cook remaining scallions in remaining oil in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the slivers of scallions are browned and sweet, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add soy sauce and sesame oil, and stir to combine. Add pasta, kasha, scallion oil, reserved sliced scallions, and cilantro to a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt. Serve with garlic chili paste or chili oil.

Reference
Chinese Kasha Varnishkes

Nachos With Cabbage, Beans, And Cilantro Sauce

I made these nachos for a holiday movie night with some friends. I served each item in separate bowls and let every choose their toppings. It turned out very well. I loved how all the items tasted together.

For the Cabbage
1 heaping cup shredded red cabbage
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar

For the Beans
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 white onion, finely diced
1 poblano pepper, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 15-ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed well
Salt, to taste

For the Cilantro Sauce
1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil

For the Cheese Sauce
8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese (or a mix of cheddar and pepper Jack—see note), grated on large holes of a box grater
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 (12-ounce) can fat free evaporated milk2 teaspoons Franks Red Hot or other hot sauce

5 ounces tortilla chips

For the cabbage: Combine cabbage, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Toss to dissolve sugar and salt and coat cabbage with liquid. Let sit for at least one hour, stirring occasionally.

For the beans: Heat oil over medium-high heat in a medium, heavy-bottomed pot. Add onions and poblano and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste, chili powder and cumin and cook, stirring, one minute more. Add beans and cook until heated through and beginning to break down a bit, about 10 minutes. Mash beans against sides and bottom of pot with a wooden spoon and stir to combine all ingredients. Taste for salt. Cover and keep warm.

For the cilantro sauce: In a mini food processor, combine cilantro, garlic, lime juice, salt, and olive oil. Process until well combined. Set aside.

To assemble nachos, spread tortilla chips on a large platter. Top evenly with beans and then with cheese sauce. Pour off liquid from cabbage and dry cabbage between paper towels. Top nachos with cabbage. Drizzle cilantro sauce overtop. Serve warm.

For the cheese sauce: Add cheese and cornstarch to large bowl. Toss to combine. Transfer to medium saucepan. Add 1 cup evaporated milk and hot sauce. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with whisk until melted, bubbly, and thickened (about 5 minutes). Mixture will look thin and grainy at first but will thicken and come together after heating. Thin to desired consistency with additional evaporated milk.

References
The Crisper Whisperer: Nachos With Cabbage, Beans, And Cilantro Sauce
Cheese Sauce For Cheese Fries And Nachos

Drunken Macaroni and Cheese with Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

What’s drunken macaroni and cheese? It’s mac ‘n’ cheese with booze, of course! This recipe if primarily based off of Martha Stewart’s Macaroni and Cheese recipe with additional awesomeness: sausage, sun-dried tomatoes, and ale.

Ingredients

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for dish
6 slices wheat bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
4 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese (about 18 ounces)
2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (about 8 ounces) or 1 1/4 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese (about 5 ounces)
1 pound elbow macaroni
1/2 cup ale (I used Stone Brewery’s Arrogant Bastard)
1 lb mild Italian sausage
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced into strips 

Heat over to 350 degrees. Place sausage links on baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake on one side for 8 minutes, flip and cook for an additional 8 minutes. Allow to cool and then cut links into thin slices.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread in a medium bowl. In the microwave, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour butter into bowl with bread, and toss. Set breadcrumbs aside.

In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, whisking, 1 minute.

While whisking, slowly pour in hot milk. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.

Remove pan from heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar cheese, 1 1/2 cups Gruyere or 1 cup Pecorino Romano, 1/2 cup of beer; set cheese sauce aside.

Fill a large saucepan with water; bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 minutes less than manufacturer’s directions, until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce. Add sausage and sun-dried tomatoes.

Pour mixture into prepared dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyere or 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano, and breadcrumbs over top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool 5 minutes; serve hot.