Archive | February, 2016

Endive & Citrus Salad

17 Feb

Endive citrus saladThis winter salad is super refreshing and has a touch of creaminess from the avocado/goat cheese. It makes for a really nice treat from or alongside heavier winter fare. Citrus is in season and you could also use orange, blood orange, pomelo or any combination thereof. The great thing is the juice from your citrus becomes the dressing base. Can add honey at the end depending on your taste and how tart your citrus is. And man, endive, what an underutilized and classy veg (1).

It’s a snacko backo original recipe so measurements are loose and feel free to play around with ingredients and proportions (2). This is enough for 2 small bowls (or one big bowl) of salad. Scale up or down depending.

1 ½ endive, sliced

1 avocado, diced

1 grapefruit. Quarter grapefruit, peel it, then removed the fruit from the pith and membrane of each slice. (Is this completely necessary? Maybe not. But just do it. It’s easy and the whole thing mixes together better if you do. Be sure to do this over a bowl so all the juice ends up in your salad.)(3)

Goat cheese (the first time I made I used this awesome Adirondack honey lavender goat cheese. Loved the touch of sweetness. When I couldn’t find any next time I made the salad, I subbed regular goat cheese mixed with a touch of honey).

Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a small glug of olive oil, salt & pepper and an optional drizzle of honey.

 

Best to serve immediately. When you mix up, it looses this ordered look and becomes a creamy and delicious mess. So, if having a dinner party, I might wait until serving to mix. If you wanted to do ahead, I’d prep everything then throw in the endive last minute so it stays nice and crunchy.

footnotes:

  1. my mother actually would actually use endive all the time. it was salad standard fair. her dressing would be lemon/olive oil/salt & pepper and pinch of sugar. So good.
  2. Ibid. Maybe recipe not so original. For other inspiration source see: this.
  3. special thanks to CD for his work on his grapefruit/orange peeling for this photo. And the delicious pulled pork that accompanied it. recipe coming soon…?  Also, CD & Rachel initiated this 2016 once-a-month post challenge. 2 for 2, bitches.

Sesame Noodles

1 Feb

sesame noodle2

So I was challenged to make a new years resolution: add one post a month to snacko backo in 2016. I didn’t quite agree, but here we are anyway. Made on Jan 31 and posted Feb 1- let’s say this one falls right under the wire. I had a craving for Sesame noodles last night- and I’m going to go ahead and say these are better than the take out version. I think these would be really great for a dinner party type/pot luck situation because they come together in like 5 mins and taste a bit outside the box. Plus good warm or cold. Perhaps could make w. beef and broccoli or easier ginger pork, with dumplings, scallion pancakes and maybe a wonton/egg drop or miso soup. Original NY Times recipe serves with some slices of cucumber- so I think Vietnamese cucumber salad (gah, realizing that recipe never made it to the blog- will add) would be especially nice. But – after a trip to the overwhelmingly inspiring Russo’s in watertown (with obscure produce I hadn’t seen since my co-op days)- I ended up with some baby bok choy and chinese spinach.

For the baby bok choy, I gave a quick sear in a cast iron with some olive oil. Once just cooked, I took out, and tossed in a bowl with a dash of sesame oil and soy sauce. I treated the spinach similarly. But after seared and wilted, instead of sesame/soy, I added equal parts miso and butter (maybe a tsp or so of each) to the cast iron. Stirred to coat. Inspired by an old Japanese turnip with miso butter recipe, it adds a nice sweet coating.

Perhaps I should add- the skill level for this noodle recipe is naught. The only effort is buying the ingredients- after that- i think it would be pretty difficult to fuck it up.

Closely adapted from a Sam Sifton NY Times recipe
1 pound Chinese egg noodles (1/8-inch-thick), frozen or (preferably) fresh, available in Asian markets *

2 tablespoons sesame oil, plus a splash

3 ½ tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons Chinese rice vinegar

2 tablespoons Chinese sesame paste*

1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon finely grated ginger

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 teaspoons chili-garlic paste, or to taste*

Half a cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/8-inch by 1/8-inch by 2-inch sticks

¼ cup chopped roasted peanuts

*Ingredient notes

– I used fresh lo-mein noodles from H-Mart (Asian grocer). Also I found that to get the dressing to noodle ratio coating right- I only ended up using ¾ of my cooked noodles with the amount of dressing made below.

– yes, there is a difference between tahini and sesame paste. Sesame paste is made from toasted sesame seeds so is darker and richer in flavor. I’d say if you have tahini already on hand- use it and add a dash more sesame oil to compensate. I got sesame paste from H-Mart, since was already there.

– I used siracha for chili paste

 

Bring medium pot of water to boil. Add noodles. Cook until barely tender. About 5 mins (timing maybe less if fresh noodles)- they should retain a bit of chewiness.

Drain, rinse with cold water, drain again, toss with a splash of sesame oil.

In a large bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons sesame oil, the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame paste, peanut butter, sugar, ginger, garlic and chili-garlic paste.

Add in pasta a bit at a time, stir to coat. As noted above, add enough noodles for desired coating – for me it was ¾ pound noodles.

Chop peanuts and add to serve.

 

 

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