Archive | January, 2011

Strawberries are Here!!!! A Salad and a Drink!

26 Jan

Hi Everyone,

I realize this is my third salad post in a row and will likely give it a break after this, but it seems that the January gardens conspire to make us atone for the sins of the holidays. The produce is irresistable for salad.

There was a time when I shunned the idea of fruit in my salad. Nothing about it seemed right to me. Fortunately, with age has come flexibility and a willingness to experiment on the fruit in savory salad front. A memorable dessert bridged this gap: a strawberry sorbet with black peppercorns and balsalmic reduction years ago at Uchi, to be specific. The flavors are burned in my mind. This is my far-more-traditional take on those flavors.

To prove that I am not all salads and butterflies, though, I will leave you with a drink that is absolute perfection for 5PM on the dot. Before the sun goes all the way down, this helps the worries of work and the day receed a little more quickly.

All of the produce came from Boggy Creek this morning. Meet me there next Wednesday at 9!

Strawberry and Feta Salad with Orange Soaked Fennel over Mixed Lettuce

(serves 6)

2 heads, butter type lettuce

1 cup strawberries, sliced

1/2 cup goat feta (I used Wateroak)

1 small head fennel, thinly sliced

juice from 1 orange

1 bunch radishes, sliced

balsalmic vinegar

good olive oil

fresh black pepper, be generous here

flakey sea salt

Thinly slice the fennel and pour the orange juice over it. Let sit while you assemble the rest. Wash the lettuce and make sure it is nice and dry. Tear it up into bite sized pieces. Toss in a bowl.  Top the lettuce with fennel and a little extra orange juice. Add strawberries, feta and radishes. Sprinkle with a generous amount of fresh black pepper and sea salt. To make dressing, use 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. For this amount 1/4 c vinegar and 3/4 olive oil will be just more than you need, so you can put the dressing aside for another salad. Whisk together oil and vinegar, pour over salad and toss gently. Serve and enjoy!

 

Now for the fun part. 5PM!

Strawberry and Rosemary Vodka Soda

3 T Dripping Springs or other good vodka

1 sprig rosemary

3 strawberries, sliced

Topo Chico or other soda water

Place strawberries in the bottom of a glass, top with ice, pour in vodka, top off with Topo Chico, then stir. Garnish with rosemary and drink it down.

Thanks for reading!

Not That Martha

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Romaine and Fennel Salad with a Poached Egg

19 Jan

Hello All!

I hope that the holidays and new year are treating you all well and that life is good.

Though I have taken a break from writing, from cooking I have not. I have been working on a lot of new recipes that I am so excited to share. I am committed to writing a post a week and getting these ideas out to you all.

I spent a little chunk of my morning at Boggy Creek, a ritual I relish. The produce is heavenly and there is always the promise of a hug from Larry and good conversation that stretches my brain a little more. This morning, my friend, Barrie, conspired with me on this fresh winter salad. The carrots have given way to lettuces that are almost too beautiful to eat. I couldn’t resist the red and green romaine. The fennel was at the welcome table and irresistible. Fennel and citrus are perfect partners in crime. I let mine soak in some grapefruit juice and the tart and bitter of the grapefruit play very nicely with the perfume of the fennel. The egg is key here because when the velvety yolk breaks over the salad all is right in the world. If you are able to get your hands on a farm fresh egg, please do. The deep yellow-orange yolk puts supermarket eggs to shame. It is worth what you will spend in time and money to get these little gems. It’s good. Real real good.

I hope you all enjoy this recipe. Stay tuned for some heartier recipes coming soon!

Romaine and Fennel Salad with a Poached Egg

(serves 2)

1 head, romaine lettuce

1/2 bulb, fennel

1/2 grapefruit, juice

2 farm eggs, poached

1 handful, pepitas (or other seed)

Maldon or other flakey salt and pepper to taste

Rinse the lettuce and make sure it is nice and dry. Shave fennel or cut thin and pour grapefruit juice over while you do the rest. The fennel will soak up the grapefruit flavor. To poach an egg, bring salted water to a gentle simmer with 1 T of vinegar. The vinegar helps the egg whites stay together. Crack the eggs into separate bowls. Once the water reaches a gentle simmer, swirl the water with a wooden spoon and gently pour one egg at a time into the water. The swirling water keeps the eggs in motion and doesn’t allow them to drop to the bottom. Let the eggs cook for 5-6 minutes if your eggs are room temperature. Add a minute if they come straight from the fridge. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and let rest on a towel. To assemble the salad, chop the lettuce into bite sized pieces, top lettuce with shaved fennel, drizzle a little of the remaining juice over the lettuce. Top the fennel with the poached egg. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and pepitas.

Challenge Update

Well, its official, I am SICK of my clothes. On pretty much every level of wardrobe, I am sick of mine. I was daydreaming this morning about finding some fun, new socks in my drawer, to no avail… It might be time to break out one of the white t-shirts I put aside at the beginning of this challenge. It could do wonders.

I can’t believe that we are nearly 5 months into this, that means nearly half way through.

On the food front, the seasons are really keeping us on our toes and enthusiastic about cooking. I can’t stop making slaws right now. Slaw as a side, on fish tacos, veggie burgers,  with avocado in it. I love it. I recieved a fabulous Indian cookbook for Christmas and can’t wait to dig into some curries and paneer and you know what? I will probably put slaw on that too.

Work has taken Jo to Houston recently and she has taken me, so we have had the pleasure of dining out. We were thrilled and a little in awe at the reality of having menus in our hands and someone else doing the dishes. Eating out was great, but we were both anxious to get home and back to our routine. On the last day of our trip I couldn’t stop thinking about the cauliflower sitting in our fridge. Something we both noticed is how much better we feel when we are eating at home. We have been away from restaurants for long enough now to notice a major difference in how we feel when we know where our food is coming from and exactly what is going into it. I’ll say this, in our time in Houston, we took more Tums than we have in the last 4 months combined. Capice? That alone has been worth the journey.

Thank you all for reading!

Not That Martha