Tasty Tuesday: Essence of Summer Supper Salad

Hey It’s Jet Here.

Thanks to Sugar and Kol for initiating Tasty Tuesdays, today is our nineteenth  participating post!

I may have eluded (vocab building project VBP) last week to Mom’s major food prep for her classes.  Her UMiami Med School Diabetic Peer Support Group class prepared three items.  One of the class participants put the finishing touches on the platter which wowed the class!

On Prep night #1, JJ and I, Mom’s faithful Kitchen K9s, provide QC (Quality Control) for:

  •  Tomatoes – Mom prepped 12 because of doubled recipe!
  • Chicken – before and after cubind…
  • String beans – before and after steaming…

This recipe arrived in Mom’s inbox via the The Splendid Table’s weekly Weeknight Kitchen newsletter.   Mom’s sharing all the comments, tips and notes since she cannot find a direct link online and did not want you to miss ANYTHING!  

Essence of Summer Supper Salad – Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 quarts hot salted water in a 6-quart pot
  • 1 lb. large to jumbo unshelled raw shrimp, or boneless chicken cut into ½ inch dice or firm tofu (Mom used chicken to stay within budget.)
  • 1 ½ lbs. green beans, trimmed of stem ends

Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup cider or rice vinegar (Mom used cider vinegar.)
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tbs. dark coarse mustard or Dijon (Mom used Dijon.)
  • 1/3 cup (or so) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ medium sweet onion, thinly sliced

Finishing:

  • 4-6 delicious ripe tomatoes, vertically sliced ¼ inch thick (Mom used Roma, which was the least expensive, since this is NOT our tomato season.)
  • 15 leaves fresh basil, torn (budget did not permit and the salad was still yummy.)
  • 3 whole scallions, thinly sliced
  • ½ lemon

Directions:

  • Bring the salted water to just below the boil then drop in the shrimp. Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until shells start to turn pink and firm up. Don’t overcook. With a slotted spoon, immediately scoop the shrimp out of the water into a colander.
  • Rinse shrimp with cold water to stop the cooking and cool them. Slip off the shells and season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Set aside. If holding more than 10 minutes, chill in the refrigerator.
  • Rinse shrimp with cold water to stop the cooking and cool them. Slip off the shells and season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Set aside. If holding more than 10 minutes, chill in the refrigerator.
  • Bring the water left in the pot to a full boil. As it heats, take a large bowl and whisk together the vinegar, salt, pepper, mustard, and garlic until well combined. Whisk in the olive oil until mixture comes together and is slightly thickened. Add the onions and toss with the dressing.
  • Once the water in the pot is boiling, drop in the beans. Cook over high heat, uncovered, until just beyond tender crisp, about 3 to 7 minutes depending on size of beans. Taste as you go to check for doneness. Drain beans in a colander, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Add shrimp and beans to bowl and toss until well combined. Taste for seasoning.
  • Arrange the sliced tomatoes around the rim of a serving platter. Sprinkle with salt. Pile the bean salad in the center and spoon on any remaining dressing. Sprinkle basil and scallion on top, then squeeze the half lemon over all.

Comments:

This is a recipe for right now & good tomatoes, new green beans and sweet onions practically trumpet summer, which is why the mustard-garlic dressing is distinctive yet not overwhelming. It’s a supporting player. With tomatoes peaking and heirlooms so popular, you might get your hands on some of the dark varieties with out-of-the-ordinary tastes, like Black Cherry (stunningly rich), Black Krim (tastes like good steak), Black Zebra (more delicate) or Paul Robeson (boldly sweet-tart). Green beans are the tomatoes’ backup along with sweet onions. Cook the beans just beyond tender crisp to open up all their character. Serve the salad with a loaf of rough country bread for sopping up the dressing. End the meal with the luscious Mango Sherbet from cooking teacher and author Bal Arneson. If mangoes aren’t to be had, use peaches or nectarines. If you can, use organic produce; I think you’ll like the results.

Tips:

  • With the shrimp and beans cooked and the dressing made a day ahead and refrigerated, the next evening you merely slice the tomatoes and assemble all on a big platter. Supper is ready in 10 minutes.
  • This recipe is a perfect showcase for heirloom tomatoes. Every year seems to bring a greater variety at farmers’ markets and roadside stands. Try some that are new to you.

Author Notes:

  • Shrimp Alternatives: Shrimp are spendy and not essential here. Tofu, cooked poultry, or any other protein you would like will work. You could even skip the protein; the salad will still be good. In fact, you get a complete protein if you have the salad with whole grain bread, which when eaten with the green beans becomes the nutritional equivalent of shrimp or chicken.
  • Working Ahead: The shrimp, green beans and dressing could be made a day ahead and refrigerated.

Another great QC day!



Advertisements

Tasty Tuesday – NBA Playoffs and Food Prep – My Kind of Night

Hey It’s Jet Here.

Thanks to Sugar and Kol for initiating Tasty Tuesdays, today is our fourth participating post!

Oh wow, last night was tasty indeed.  Normally, Mom and I would prefer to watch the NBA Playoffs while cuddling on our favorite part of the couch, however, as you know, Mom is in the midst of a super busy stretch.  When Mom clicked on the family room TV, I assumed the couch position, except Mom walked over to the kitchen.

She began pulling out bags of stuff from the fridge, her favorite chopping cleaver, and her favorite cutting board, making quite a ruckus.  My body felt conflicted; my nose wanted to go to the kitchen while my ears and eyes wanted to stay on the couch.

My nose won and off I trotted into the kitchen to sit politely beside Mom as she prepared for her University of Miami Med School diabetic support class.  She mentioned to JJ and I that her class would celebrate Cinco de Mayo on Uno de Mayo!  Mom prepped the veggies for: Fresh Homemade Guacamole, Veggie Salsa and Baja Fish Tacos while the Miami Heat played the NY Knicks.  Now Mom grew up with the Knicks and always feels a tad conflicted when the two teams play.  Bottom line: We’re a Miami Heat family!

First quarter: Uh, we missed this one because of our evening constitutional.

Second Quarter:

Green peppers... yum...

Red peppers - always makes us think of Koko...

Cilantro and garlic...

Halftime Report:

lots of tomatoes...

Third Quarter:

onions and zucchini...

more tomatoes and leeks...

Fourth Quarter:

ciilantro and scallions...

red jalapenos and more garlic...

Here’s the Veggie Salsa recipe. (You can feed tidbits of everything EXCEPT: the onions, scallions and leeks to your K9s as you prepare, like Mom did.)

Another great, Heat up 2-0, day.

Mom Did Apologize

Hey It’s Jet Here.

Mom advised me that during the next few days, her transcription time allotment for ol’ Jetty boy will shrink.  The reasons, well, I must say, they’re admirable.  As The Kitchen Counselor, Mom will teach a class to 30 people in the Cancer community tomorrow morning/afternoon.  Oh, our kitchen is aflutter in preparation.  Salmon, turkey, veggies, fruits, roasting nuts, and Japonica rice are a few of the items sending off aromas that can make a Kitchen K9 do the circular happy dance!

On Sunday, Mom will demonstrate Farmers Market goodies.  She’s not sharing those ideas yet, however I did overhear the mention of yummy cauliflower! On Tuesday, Mom will work with a diabetic support group as a member of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Family Health department team.  I heard rumblings of a Cinco de Mayo theme… muy bien!  (Oh, I never mentioned I’m a somewhat bilingual perro? (Spanish for dog!))

When I first met Mom, I did not respond to verbal commands well.  Mom then tried hand signals… better… then commands in Spanish and voila!  She laughed heartily I tell you!  She mostly speaks to me in English, however, my Auntie Angela, my Madrina (godmother in Spanish),  and Auntie Liz speak to me in Spanish sometimes.  And… as I’ve mentioned, my manly man friend, Giovanni, Neve’s dad, speaks to us in Italian!

Another great cultural day.

We Love When Mom Teaches

Hey, it’s Jet Here.

On the day before Mom has a scheduled Kitchen Counselor class, lots of food enters the house through the garage/kitchen door.  As Mom’s Kitchen K9s, we must inspect the merchandise!  Oh, the scents, we struggle with our patience button for Mom to unpack.

Today, she will teach a diabetic support group cooking ideas for Valentine’s Day.  Plus, she accepted a dare from the group last quarter that she could cook collard greens in 5 minutes.  I’m betting on Mom!  Then, in the afternoon, she teaches this thing called an interactive cooking class at the University of Miami.  Mom loves working with IEP, the Intensive English Program, because the students come from all over the globe.  Today’s theme – How Americans Celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Anyway, Mom often does this “prep” stuff to make her classes run smoothly.  Koko and I LOVED prep time.  After all, as her Kitchen K9s, we had jobs to do like quality control!  Yesterday, JJ experienced Prep initiation.  At one point, Mom had beets (for chocolate beet cake?) and broccoli roasting in the oven (separately), turkey bacon in two skillets on the stovetop (oh the aroma!), collards rinsing in the sink while she cut pineapple on the cutting board.

Little Miss Helpful had two paws on the counter repeatedly to see:

  • How to drain turkey bacon.
  • How much rinsing is necessary per collard leaf.
  • How much tin foil must you cut to properly wrap three beets.
  • What size floret works best when roasting broccoli.
  • How close should you get to Mom when she chops three onions.

When Mom dropped the first tidbit of collard leaf, JJ snapped it up before Mom even knew what happened.  All we heard was crunch, crunch, crunch.  Knowing how much I LOVE collards, Mom immediately invited me to sit for a stem.  JJ then scurried over for her first stem.  Mom tried to capture us chewing collard stems like stogies without success, we chomped too fast.  After three or four attempts, she worried our tummies would get upset.  So, no pictures this time.

Another great Kitchen Counselor Prep day.