Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad

21 Mar

brussel salad

Not to brag but this salad was pretty hot on the Thanksgiving potluck circuit. Though that also speaks to the great lengths of procrastination in posting it here. It’s a snacko backo original recipe and infinitely adaptable. The other day I added some shredded radicchio, carrot, and avocado and it was a big pile of rainbow deliciousness. Ruth was telling me that she throws roast chicken in there. The key to the base of this salad is shredding your Brussels. For this task I employ a mandolin. It’s a bit tedious as you have to do it sprout by sprout. Would be better – and faster – if I had a shredding disk for my food processor. But alas, I don’t. The salad feels light, crunchy, healthy and a nice change of pace from all the spinach/kale etc.  The dressing is adapted from The Butcher and the Baker dressing, posted elsewhere on snacko.

Other things to mention: Fuck it. I don’t care if there’s snow. I’m officially declaring it cold brew season. I want to reiterate on that – french press is the best method for that.


Shredded Brussel Salad

2 pounds shredded brussel sprouts

1 apple, cut in matchsticks (can douse w. lemon if doing an hour ahead)

dried cranberries

freshly shredded pecorino

red onion- thinly sliced. soak in cold water for 20-30 mins (do while prepping the rest, this just takes out a bit of the bite)


¾ cup olive oil

1 ½ tsp grain mustard (if you don’t have grain- can use all dijon)

1 ½ tsp dijon

1 ½  tablespoon soy sauce

5 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (can scale down depending on your taste- i like mine pretty vinegar-y)

optional: can add a bit of honey or minced garlic.

Pile all salad ingredients in a bowl. Put all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake. Mix dressing with salad by eye (you might not need all). Salt and pepper to taste.

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.


  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.



Cold Brew – done right

10 May

coldbrew IG

This is my third time posting cold-brew. So what? Let’s not call it repetitive. Let’s call it an annual tradition. Besides, things have changed. A new method of choice and new sweetener of choice.

Basic concept: let grounds steep with water for 24 hours. strain and enjoy.

Basic recipe: adapted from NY times.  Double/quadruple to your liking. I make for the whole week at once.

1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup ground coffee, medium/coarse grind
Add water and coffee grounds into a jar. Stir (shake), cover and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours. Strain twice- pouring through coffee filters or a fine mesh sieve lined w. cheese cloth.

New method: I used to use a mason giant mason jar for this task. But have discovered that a French press streamlines the process. Don’t have to deal with messy filtering. And can keep the grounds at the bottom- and it will continue to brew for as many days as it takes you to go through your brew [the longer it brews, the less bitter it tastes]. I bought a 51oz press and love it- holds about 5 cups water– with approx 1- 1/6 cup grounds. If you want to spice up your brew add a nice pinch of cinnamon and take seeds out of two cardamom pods and crush with back of knife- add to grounds. Can also add ground chicory. [these flavors also come out more the longer you brew]. *Also- just made cinnamon vanilla- add big pinch of cinnamon and powdered vanilla extract (haven’t tried liquid vanilla extract but should work too)

Some people like to call cold brew a concentrate and recommend recommend mixing 1:1 with water. PishPosh. I just add ice.

To sweeten:

Vanilla simple syrup
Simple syrup is just 1 part water to 1 part sugar.  Simmer, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Will keep for a week.  For vanilla flavoring, take half a vanilla bean, split that in half lengthwise.  Put in mini jar, pour warm simple syrup over. Cover and let that sit while your coffee is-a-cold-brewin.’ refrigerate.


my new jam is homemade condensed milk

recipe adapted from food52. Take 2 1/2 cups milk in small pot. add half cup sugar. notice the level it hits on side of pot. heat on medium until just steaming. reduce heat to low. and cook until milk is reduced by half. This is a bit of a learned process- the first time i did it – i ended up with dulce de leche. I think the eyeball reduced rule is better than any time estimate, but it takes me like an hour and 15 minutes.  take off heat. stir in 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. pour in mason jar. according to food52 it keeps for up to 2 weeks.

yes, this is slower than the simple syrup. but it’s its fucking delicious. it basically tastes like melted vanilla ice cream. and it makes your coldbrew taste kinda like coffee ice cream. according to Food52 some people eat condensed milk on toast? you can also make it into dulce de leche on purpose. I was wondering myself if condensed milk for coldbrew was worth the effort. then i ran out of condensed milk- and went back for a day to regular milk and agave. one sip and i made my next batch of milk- absolutely worth it.


15 Mar


alright so this may be the third pancake recipe on snackobacko– but this is the go-to one. it takes about 5 mins to make the batter, another 5 before you are eating delicious pancakes. for sunday morning, for dinner, anytime. if you have leftover- douse with a little bit of water before putting in toaster oven. I think the key to these is the copious amount of baking soda. it makes them nice and fluffy. sometimes/usually i half this recipe (using whole egg)

Rita’s pancakes via Ruthie

Makes about 9 small pancakes

1 ½ cups flour

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 egg, beaten

1 cup milk

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract (i still use 1 tsp when halving recipe- if doing full recipe could do like 1 tsp or go up to 1 1/2)

Optional add-ins (blueberries, mini chocolate chips, mashed bananas, etc.)

In a bowl, combine flour and baking powder.  Make a well in the center.  Pour in egg, milk and butter.  Mix to combine.  Mix in the add-ins.  (Ruthie says- When using chocolate chips, I drop them onto the pancakes when they’re in the pan before turning them.

I go with non-stick pan.  Melt a little butter in the pan.  Using a ¼ cup measuring cup for each pancake, pour batter into pan.  When bottom is lightly browned [you will see bubbles popping in the batter], use a wide spatula to turn pancakes and brown the second side.

Serve with maple syrup, powdered sugar, cinnamon/sugar mixture, or a topping of your choice.


Hot Chocolate Trio

27 Jan

hot choc trio

Snow Day. 15 minute venture outside deserves three kinds of hot chocolate. Here we have peppermint hot chocolate; cayenne; and cinnamon/vanilla/kaluha


2 mugs milk (whole or whatever you like/have on hand)

2 oz bittersweet chocolate

3 tablespoons sugar

4 tablespoons cocoa (Valhrona, Ghiradelli or something else good)

1 tsp vanilla extract

Bring milk to near simmer. whisk in all other ingredients.

Hot chocolate add-ins:

Peppermint extract


Cinnamon (and optional Kaluha or Bailys)



Bacon-powered Patty melt

31 Aug

patty meltdamn. this is so good. i ate the whole thing. and now i’m so full. be warned.

This is a tasting table test kitchen recipe. if you don’t subscribe, perhaps you should think about doing so.

2 bacon strips, sliced crosswise into ½-inch pieces

1½ teaspoons caraway seeds

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise

2¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

¾ pound 85% lean ground beef [my pack of meat was .89 pounds and I made three – not two patties from it]

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

4 slices rye bread

4 slices Swiss cheese

Take your bacon. If it is not coming from the freezer already, put it in there for 20 mins. [snacko backo tip- when i buy bacon i seran wrap it 2 piece bundles for freezer]. Meanwhile, take a dry skillet and toast the caraway seeds about a minute and a half- will become fragrant. take off heat and put them aside. take your onions, thinly slice them [mandoline is helpful here if you have one]. Put a tablespoon and a half of butter on skillet on med-high heat. Melt butter. add onions. Cook for a 3-5 mins until they slightly brown. add 1 1/4 tsp of salt [3/4 prob enough]. and reduce to med-low for another 10 mins to caramelize. Then. take off heat. Now- take that bacon from your freezer. chop it in 1/2 slices and put it in a food processor until crumbly and ground. In a medium bowl- put bacon, ground beef, mustard, worcestchire, garlic powder, pepper, 1 tsp salt. Mix [with your hands] and form patties. the patties – i did three- should be kinda long and flat- like the shape of your bread. Now- on skillet- put remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter [really, you don’t need more because bacon and beef fat comes out.] Cook 5 to 6 mins total. A nice crust will form. I did 3 mins each side, i think. Take off heat. Clean skillet. Then, take your rye bread. If making two sandwiches, take all four slices of bread and spread mayo on one side of each. Pick up a slice in your hand- mayo side facing your palm. Add cheese, patty, and pile and onion. Put on top bread- mayo is facing out on both sides. Heat clean pan on medium. Throw your sammy down. Cook four to 5 mins per side- to get it nice and golden and melt the cheese.


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