Saturday, July 24, 2010

Blue Cheese Potato Salad

Separately, a strong flavored cheese and potato salad are two of my husbands favorite treats. So, when I saw a "recipe" for both in the most recent edition of Fine Cooking, I knew what I had to do. OK, so I put recipe in quotes because the flavor combination actually came from a newer section called Cooking Without Recipes, it's one of the better changes Fine Cooking made when they revamped their magazine. Well, lucky for Greg, we were cooking for a group last week when Greg's eldest brother and 3 of his children came to visit. Even though I figured none of the smaller ones would go for blue cheese, it was the perfect opportunity to try this out!

The basic ingredients to this salad are: Yukon gold potatoes, granny smith apples, walnuts, and blue cheese. Ta-Da!!! It was wonderful. One of the suggestions for making the dressing was to use sour cream along with mayo. I took this a step further and used plain yogurt - lots of creamy texture and tang, wwwwaaaayyyy less fat (and less $$$). The other two majors changes I made were to leave the skins on the potatoes, and omit the red wine vinegar (two of my adult eaters are not fans of vinegar)

I had fun making this because all of the ingredients smelled sooooo good together, and my middle niece decided she wanted to help out. She tried each ingredient on its own (said she liked everything, even the raw onion, which she picked from our garden - brave girl), and then one (very) small bite at the end to taste how everything works together.

In general, I think I used a bit too much blue cheese and over cooked my potatoes, but this is all good to know for next time =)

Recipe: serves 8-10 as a side
3lbs Yukon gold potatos - boiled and cubed
1/2 C. plain yogurt
1/2 C. mayo
2 Granny Smith apples - chopped
3/4 C. Walnuts - toasted and chopped
1 C. Blue Cheese (next time I might start at 1/2 C. and add a bit as needed)
1 small red onion - diced
1 stock celery - diced
1 tsp fresh rosemary - diced
salt and pepper

-Boil potatoes until just done. Cool and cube.

-While the potatoes are boiling, chop and dice the apples, red onion, celery and rosemary.

-Toast the walnuts until fragrant. Cool and chop. Combine the apples, onion, celery, walnuts and rosemary together.

-Mix together the mayo, plain yogurt, blue cheese and salt and pepper.

-Add the apple mixture to the potato mixture, mix to combine.

-Add the mayo mixture and mix to coat. Serve cool.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Tomato Salad

Just-picked ripe tomatoes might just be one of my favorite things. Greg and I have successfully grown our first heirloom tomatoes this year! Our Matinas are already starting to ripen, and every day we harvest a hand full of incredibly sweet and full flavor, golf-ball sized tomatoes. They are ripening at the perfect pace right now: each day we can have a few fresh tomatoes, with out them going bad. I'll have to get my canning supplies out soon, though.

My dreams of veggie full meals have been thwarted a bit, as squash bores killed my crook neck, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, and zucchini plants. Gr....

And in related cooking kitchen is undergoing reno, and is barley functional =( So, we are eating simple food like tonight's salad (or, feeding D&R as payment for using their grill and kitchen). But, who can really get sick tomato, basil, and mozz?

Recipe: Serves 1

- 2 ripe small tomatoes (2 Matinas are probably the size of an average roma), each sliced into 4 thick slices
-8 small fresh basil leaves
-8 small slices of mozzarella
-balsamic vinaigrette

-Arrange sliced tomatoes with mozzarella on top of tomato, basil on top of mozzarella, ect..

-Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette