Shrimp and Strawberry Ceviche

Hold Everything! The first time that I ever made ceviche was in the Culinary Center, Ritz Carlton, Cancun, with Chef Rory Dunaway in 2007. THIS was our view out of the kitchen window. Truly a delight! Enjoy this Ohh la la version as we are in the waning days of August. While technically not a true ceviche, it’s darn good y’all. Roger that!

1 lb cleaned shrimp
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
1 sweet onion, chopped
Corn from 2 cobs
1 lb strawberries, hulled and diced
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

Cook shrimp in boiling water 2 minutes.
Drain and put in ice bath for 5 minutes.
Drain well.
Cut shrimp in half.
In medium bowl, combine shrimp, lemon juice, lime juice, jalapeño, and onion.
Chill in refrigerator at least 1 hour (but no longer than 6 hours).
When ready to serve, toss in strawberries and cilantro.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Fresh Corn, Cucumber, and Radish Salad

Here’s to Sunday evening, and looking forward to the bold new work week tomorrow. Let’s get it going with a simple side, starring fresh, in season ingredients for Monday dinner. This isn’t a particularly strong trick, but it gets the job done. So casually hit the pause button and enjoy. Eat fresh corn!
Starch Corn and Radish Salad
This is what you need:

Kernels of 6 ears of cooked corn
6 inch Persian cucumber, thickly sliced and quartered
5 radishes, thinly sliced
4 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs champagne vinegar
1 Tbs sugar
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 Tbs chopped dill
1  Tbs chopped cilantro

Stir together oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper.
Add corn, cucumbers, and radishes.
Toss.
Add dill and cilantro.
Toss gently.
Serve room temperature.

BLAT Salad

Salad BLTA

All of your favorite things, just not the bread! I guess I’m on a bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato kick. I mean tomatoes are at their best, right? Continuing the love here, salad form. Eat, Drink & Carry On!

8 oz fat free sour cream
1/2 cup fat free mayonnaise
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 t dried basil
1/8 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
1/4 t garlic powder
2 large heads of red leaf lettuce, torn into small pieces
12 slices precooked bacon, warmed and crumbled
6 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 avocados, pitted, peeled and either sliced or chopped.

Stir together sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, basil, salt, pepper and garlic powder until well blended.
Layer lettuce, bacon, tomato, and avocado in a wide shallow bowl, or large platter.
Drop mayonnaise mixture in dollops evenly over avocado.
Cover and chill salad at least 2 hours.

Serves 8.

*Author’s Note: This is really beautiful presented untossed. I prefer for guests to see it in its glorious layers, and then serve it or toss it in front of them!

Lobster Claw Salad

Happy almost Memorial Day Weekend…Meet me at the pool and then go enjoy this “lobsta” salad…We’re going bold here, no more just blending in! Left image above was shot in our kitchen at the villa at Ocean Edge Resort, Cape Cod Massachusetts back in 2014, where I made my first ever Lobster Roll. I still can’t figure out why I waited so long to create that; but I’ve been enjoying that dance ever since. Life Changer! Above right image is a tray of fresh claw meat from Maine Lobster Now, where I order all of my lobster tails and fresh claw meat. It is literally shipped the same day that it is cooked and picked. Sweetest lobster that you’ll ever taste, and their bisque is amazing as well. Give it a try. As always, I receive nothing, nada, zippo for mentioning my favorite companies and products; just sharing the love and hoping to give you a fresh idea to elevate the every day.

2 lbs lobster claw meat*
3 to 4 oz organic, prewashed whole red butter leaves
1 avocado, cut in chunks
2 large fresh tomatoes, cut in chunks
1 cup mayonnaise (I use Hellmans’s Light)
8 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 Tbs celery leaves, chopped 
4 Tbs chopped fresh basil
3 Tbs chopped fresh chives
Zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 2 lemons

Combine mayo, celery, celery leaves, basil, chives, lemon zest, and lemon juice in large bowl.
Add in lobster, avocado, and tomatoes.
Toss gently.
Arrange lettuce on plate.
Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Top with lobster mixture.

*You may use meat from the entire lobster if desired, but I totally prefer the most delicate, tender claw meat. I order from Maine Lobster Now.  They package the claw meat the day that the lobsters are cooked and ship only next day air, never frozen. So I freeze immediately upon receiving.

Note: Serves 6 to 8 if you have a side such as asparagus, and a small homemade roll or cornbread slice.

Shrimp Waldorf Salad

One of my MOST favorite paintings ever! There was this horrible oval floral painting, that the don and I were gifted from my paternal grandmother when we married in 1975. Soon thereafter, we found it hanging in the dining room on Forest Hills, where it remained for fifteen years to our dismay. But you know, family…So years later when Torrey and I opened our gallery, the don enlisted her help for a surprise commission from Wayne Trapp for my Christmas gift. Sweet way to rid us of that awful painting. It’s me in a “Walk in the Garden”! Do you dream in color or black and white?

And speaking of walking in gardens…here are lettuce, celery, apple, grapes, cranberries, and a few more added ingredients to make the perfect lunch, brunch, or dinner salad. Artful edges!

Dressing:
1/2 cup Greek yogurt 
1 1/2 t Dijon mustard
2 Tbs honey
1 t cider vinegar 
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
Toss all ingredients together in small bowl. 

Salad:
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted 
1 small head Romaine lettuce, shredded
1 lb cleaned, cooked medium shrimp 
4 small celery ribs, chopped 
1 honey crisp or Granny Smith apple, cored and cut into small pieces 
16 red grapes, halved
1/4 cup dried sweet cranberries
Put lettuce in large mixing bowl. 
Add shrimp, celery, apple, grapes, and cranberries.
Spoon in dressing. 
Toss to coat. 
Divide between 4 plates. 

Sautéed Cabbage Salad

It rained a lot and has been really wet recently (I mean the golf course was closed often); but hey, we’re counting rainbows around here, not thunderstorms, right? Here’s another fun recipe from The Kitchen. This one hails from Sunny Anderson, who has been cooking outside during the pandemic, from her home patio and grill for months, and now back on the set of The Kitchen, but outdoors, planes flying overhead and all sorts of weather…kudos to her, and a terrible run on sentence! This one is light, bright, and full of delight. We dodged those raindrops, never got wet, and managed to drive the sunshine of a crisp salad right into your kitchen. I just love cabbage/slaw; but most people don’t think about serving it in the winter. Try this sauté and it will change your mind forever!!

For Salad:
3 Tbs olive oil
1/2 t celery seeds
1 cup shredded carrots (available shredded and bagged for you at the grocery)
1/2 head green cabbage, thinly sliced (I used a mixture of green and purple ’cause that’s what was in the fridge)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the celery seeds and let cook for 1 to 2 minutes to bloom.
Add carrots and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add cabbage, season with salt and pepper, and continue to cook until cabbage begins to wilt, about 5 minutes.

For Dressing:*
1/2 medium red onion, sliced paper thin
2 Tbs honey
1 Tbs sambal (an Indonesian chili paste) A good substitute is Sriracha or Harissa sauce.
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar

Place onion in a medium bowl.
Add the honey, sambal and vinegar.
Mix together to coat and let sit for 5 minutes.
Add the onion mixture to the skillet and mix in.
Transfer to a serving bowl.

*I used Annie’s Asian Sesame bottled dressing. I just had it on hand, and I’m personally not wild about onions with my cabbage salads!
But I did drizzle a touch of honey over the salad before tossing in the dressing.

Salad on the left above is prepared just as suggested in recipe (except of course my bottled dressing!). To the salad on the right above, I added shaved almonds and salad topper Wonton Crisps. I just love a crunch in my salads.

Go wild and make it your own; or for simplicity just do it like Sunny! Make it happen captain, right at home.

Corn Salad

As we head in to Labor Day Weekend (another excuse to celebrate) and approach the final weeks of fresh corn season, I present to you a very cool corn salad. So put some well-being into your weekend. It’s simple to throw together but packs plenty of wow factor! I grabbed this and adapted it from the August/September issue of Garden and Gun. The recipe hails from April McGregor of Farmer’s Daughter Pickles and Preserves, right here in our own North Carolina, Hillsborough to be exact. Shop there or forever hold your peace. Peace…that’s a great idea!

Salad Corn Salad

So here’s what you need:
6 ears corn
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 small cucumber, seeds removed, and diced
1/4 cup diced jarred roasted red peppers
2 Tbs liquid from red pepper jar
1/4 cup diced Vidalia onion
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs mayonnaise
1/2 t kosher or Himalayan salt
1/2 t fresh black pepper
1/4 cup Julianne fresh basil

And here’s what you do:
Bring large pot of water to boil.
Season pot with salt.
Add corn and blanch 2 minutes.
Remove cobs from hot water and place on paper towel 15 minutes to cool.
Remove kernels from cobs.
Combine all remaining ingredients except basil, and mix well.
Add corn kernels and stir to combine.
Chill at least an hour.
Place salad on serving platter.
Sprinkle basil on top of salad.

Napa and Broccoli Slaw

kitchen-buffet

Our Casual Post-Game Kitchen Buffet

Aww Lawdy. We had a VERY large time at the ECU/NCSU game and associated festivities this past Saturday at Ficklen Stadium….Yep, I’m Old School; it will ALWAYS be Ficklen Stadium to me, as My Sweet Dad purchased those 50 yard line tickets when it opened in 1963, and we are still enjoying them. Oh Yea! It was a fantastic game with lots of post-game food, games, and antics…shhhh…can’t share everything! Kicking off a slaw recipe perfect for any tailgating, post game, BBQ, or fried chicken dinner. Heck, this is perfect for any ole time. Go on…make yourself special and WOW your family and/or guests!

salad-napa-broccoli

1 lb broccoli
1 cup mayonnaise*
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 t salt
1 t lemon zest
1/4 t ground red pepper
1 medium sized Napa cabbage, thinly sliced*
1/2 cup golden raisins

Cut broccoli florets into small pieces.
In large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, onions, sugar, vinegar, salt, and lemon zest.
Add cabbage, raisins, and broccoli.
Stir to coat.
Cover and chill 1 hour.

*I used Light Canola Mayo.

*May substitute 16 oz package coleslaw mixture if you are in a real rush!
Serves 6 as a light side with pulled pork entree, or 12 on sliders.

salad-napa-broccoli-slider

Slaw on a Slider

Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

There is simply no substitute for experience; and family friend Edwina (aka “Pookie”) has her fair share of it! Years ago, honestly 25+ years ago, a group (including moi) cajoled her in to coming to G’Vegas to lead a series of weekly cooking classes.  A believer in hands on participation, she taught us brilliant techniques, and shared bountiful amounts of knowledge, skill, and marvy recipes. I mean, honestly, I was 31 and had never piped anything from a pastry bag in my life; she had me doing that in no time flat! I rely on her trusty recipes all the darn time. Here I present her broccoli salad; I recently began adding cauliflower. Yes, it’s simple and you see some version of it many places, but I just love the slight sweetness in this particular dressing. Literally, I could eat this every day. Enjoy!

©PEGhardee

©PEGhardee

1/2 head broccoli
1/2 head cauliflower
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup golden raisins
8 slices precooked bacon
3 Tbs sugar
3 Tbs red wine vinegar
3/4 cup sour cream

Cut broccoli into tiny florettes.
Cut cauliflower into tiny florettes.
Heat bacon in microwave until crispy.
Crumble bacon.

Dissolve sugar in vinegar.
Whisk in sour cream.

Combine broccoli, cauliflower, and raisins in large bowl.
Add most of the bacon, reserving a bit for garnish.
Pour dressing over salad and toss.
Place in serving bowl.
Garnish with reserved bacon crumbles.

Serves 8 to 10.

Grilled Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad

There is a spring in my step, and a gracious amount of pollen in the air, on the car, and clinging selfishly to my nose! Determined to forget the fog in my eyes (and brain!) and the sneezes, and forge on to more pleasant daily realizations. Here’s one reality…Corn, avocado, tomatoes, and Beelicious honey go together like, well someone said, bread and butter. This salad is filled with deliciousness. Don’t mind if I do! Salad Grilled Corn Avocado TomatoFor Salad:
4 ears of fresh sweet corn
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
2 Tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
Remove husks from corn and grill over medium heat for 10 minutes.
The corn should have some brown spots and be tender but not mushy.
Cut the corn off the cob then scrape the cob with the back of your knife to get the juices.
Place in bowl with avocado, tomatoes, and cilantro.

Honey Lime Dressing:
Juice of 1 lime
3 Tbs vegetable oil
1 Tbs honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 t sea salt
1/4 t fresh cracked pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper
Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.

Toss salad ingredients and dressing together gently to evenly coat.
Let salad sit for 10-15 minutes to let flavors mingle.

To plate:
Place any type of lettuce leaf on plate.
Spoon salad mixture onto lettuce.
Top with a dash of Hot Shot!

Makes 4 vegetarian entrée salads, or 8 small side salads.