Friday, August 24, 2007

Super Salads, and more..

Today's recipes are mainly salads. Some do contain meat but, having experimented using and eating Quorn over several days I know that vegetarian substitutes would work just as well. All recipes I hope you will also find interesting, and hope that some you will try.

Gado Gado Salad: serves 4
4 tblsp mango chutney
2 fl.oz (50ml) coconut milk
4 tblsp soy sauce
4 tblsp peanut butter
Iceberg lettuce or Chinese Leaves
6 spring onions
1 can pineapple rings
cooked chicken (or veg. substitute)
1 lb (500g) approx. cooked new potatoes
3 oz (75g) beansprouts
2 large carrots, cut into strips and blanched
half a cucumber, cut into strips
2 oz (50g) roasted peanuts
Make a peanut sauce by blending together the first four ingredients. Set aside. Shred the lettuce or Chinese leaves and place on a serving platter. Trim the onion and cut diagonally into strips and sprinkle these over the leaves. Drain the pineapple and use four rings*, cut each in half and lay over the salad together with the rest of the ingredients. Sprinkle the peanuts over last of all and serve the dressing separately.
* Freeze the pineapple juice and the remaining pineapple rings separately, the juice can later be used to make a sweet-sour sauce and the flesh chopped to add to a stir-fry, or both can be added into a fruit-salad.

Three in One Salad: serves 6
Make three different salads and layer them up to make this attractive dish, or make it pick and mix by serving each separately.
8 oz (225g) bulgar wheat
handful each chopped parsley and mint
rind and juice of one lemon
quarter of a cucumber, diced
1 large firm tomato, seeded and diced
couple of spring onions, sliced
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
3 tblsp olive oil
Put the bulgar wheat into a bowl and add 8 fl.oz (200g) boiling water. Leave to steep for ten minutes. Put in a sieve and press to drain out any excess water (there should be none), then put into a bowl with the remaining ingredients, toss well. Put to one side.
Carrot, chickpea and orange salad:
12 oz (350g) carrots, grated
1 x 420g) can chickpeas, drained
2 oz (50g) sultanas
one orange
2 tblsp olive oil
Grate the zest from the orange and squeeze out the juice. Put these, together with the rest of the ingredients into a bowl and toss well. Season to taste.
Three bean salad:
1 x 420g can red kidney beans
1 x 420g can butter beans
1 x 420g can cannellini beans
2 stalks celery, chopped
handful of coriander, chopped
1 red bell pepper, deseeded and sliced
4 tblsp French dressing
2 Little Gem lettuce
Put the drained beans into a bowl and add the celery, pepper and coriander. Stir in the french dressing. Season to taste and toss well until everything is thoroughly mixed.
Tip: cook your own beans and keep them in the freezer then they are ready for a dish such as this. They don't always need to be the same variety, but butter beans and red beans certainly are worth using. Use less than the above amount as the can weight probably includes the liquid.
Assemble the salad in a large glass bowl. Put the tabbouleh in first, covered by the carrot salad and finally the bean salad. Cut the base from the lettuces , separate and wash the leaves, shaking dry. Place these on top of the salad bowl.

Vegetarian 'burger: makes 6 (V)
These are good served with salad.
1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained (or use home-cooked)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 courgette, grated
1 tsp chilli powder
handful of parsley, chopped
1 egg
fresh breadcrumbs
Put the chickpeas into a bowl and crush lightly with a fork. Add the rest of the ingredients using just enough breadcrumbs to bind the lot together and make the mixture easy to form into burgers. Shape into four patties, dust with flour and chill in the fridge for half an hour.
Shallow fry for a couple or so minutes on each side until heated through. Serve in wholemeal baps. Great topped with fried onion and a dash of tomato ketchup, or stuffed into pitta bread, topped with a thin slice of goat's cheese and a dollop of piccallilli.

Hot Sausage Salad: serves 4
1 lb (500g) sausages (butchers best)
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced*
1 tblsp wholegrain mustard
1 tblsp treacle, OR 1 tblsp light muscovado sugar
1 small punnet cherry tomatoes
2 little gem lettuces
1 large ripe avocado**
half a small cucumber, thinly sliced
1 tblsp red wine vinegar
Using a pair of kitchen scissors, chop the sausages into chunks. Put a little olive oil into a frying pan and when hot, throw in the sausages, shaking the pan. Add the onion and stir round until the onions and sausages are browned. Stir in the mustard and treacle (or sugar) and stir to mix then add all the tomatoes and cook until the tomato skins are starting to split and everything is coated in the mustard glaze.
Meanwhile, remove the base from the lettuce, and separate the leaves. Cut the avocado in half and remove the stone and peel. Cut the avocado into chunks and mix together with the salad leaves and the cucumber. Put onto a shallow dish and, using a slotted spoon, pile on the sausage mixture. Add the vinegar to the pan and stir to pick up any tasty glaze left. Pour this over the sausages. Serve with crusty bread.
* use either sweet onions (now available in some stores), or pref. red onions. Separate slices into individual pieces when serving.
** If an avocado is not ripe enough, put it into a bag with a banana and it should be ready by the next day. Plant the stone (press it lightly into a small pot of damp soil, cover with half a plastic lemonade bottle, keep warm and within a few weeks it will have started to shoot). Repot as it grows. A reminder that avocado leaves can be dried, crushed and used as flavouring,

Pear, Watercress and Blue Cheese Salad:
1 bag watercress/rocket/baby spinach salad
2 pears, cored and sliced
3 tblsp toasted walnuts, chopped
3 oz (75g) mild blue cheese (St Agur or Dolcelatte)
French dressing
Empty the bag of mixed leaves into a bowl, add the pears, walnuts and cubed cheese and sprinkle over some salad dressing.

To end today's posting I must mention the Paneer cheese I made. I left it, uncovered, in the fridge and forgot about it until yesterday. I took it out and tried it, and would you believe it had dried out to almost a Wensleydale flavour and texture. However, I needed to use it in a cheesecake for the evening meal 'afters', so worked in a little milk to blend it back to a cream cheese consistency. It worked well. Have to say there seems to be a lot more potential to that cheese that I first thought and will certainly be making more.