Excerpt – Time, Fire, and Cuisine

For some reason this salad is on most of the menus I see so after a while I just broke down the plates in to numbers I can handle. Having the walnuts made in larger batches means you can play with them in other things like cereal or your go to grazing snack. For those who do not like blue cheese then I have used a good brie as a substitute and a little more salt on the salad overall to balance. Salads really get the short end of the stick because to do it well you must compose a dish without so many of the long cooking methods found in normal entrees.

Revising wise I think my grammar could be done by a sixth grade who just had his first Jack and Coke but that’s okay because it will be a funny point to start from. Everyone should have that point where they start a project where they can look back and just laugh at how bad it was with their friends.

November 6th – Blue pear salad

For the greens you want equal parts of mache and arugula lettuce as well as whole spinach leaves. Check all of it for rotting bits as well as bugs before putting it down to work on the rest of your items. You can do this in a main bowl where everything else will be added or you can save it all in different smaller containers so you can toss it all and go quickly later in the day.

1:1:1 Arugula to mache lettuce to salad spinach

In the case of the vinaigrette you want to use your best oil and vinegar. A good pair to shoot for is a virgin or extra virgin olive oil matched with either champagne or balsamic vinegar. Each will work with the other ingredients. Make sure to whisk it or even build it in your food processor to keep longer before breaking.

3:1 Good oil to champagne or balsamic vinegar

Mix well before putting away. Add some walnuts to the amount of a quarter of the total greens. Before adding them straight to the greens you can candy them with a mix of butter and brown sugar in the ratio of six to one. Melt the butter before tossing your sugar in to dissolve.

4:1 Total greens to walnuts

6:1 Butter to brown sugar to candy your walnuts

Next take some blue cheese to half of your walnuts to add some salt to the dish. Make sure to not burn your nuts as you candy them.

2:1 Walnuts to blue or Gorgonzola cheese

Toss everything together before topping and enjoying. Finish everything with pear fans cut on top.

Did an extra one since summer is coming around a nice salad wouldn’t hurt.

Roasted Corn and Bean Salad

For this meal you will need the following for this:

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1/2 a bunch of washed Spinach stems
1/2 bunch washed Cilantro stems
1 can or 1 1/2 C Golden Corn cut from the cob
1 can Pinto Beans or 1 1/2 C Cooked Pinto Beans
1 can Black Beans or 1 1/2 C Cooked Black Beans
1/2 Bunch Green Onion, Chopped
1/2 Medium Diced White Onion
Chili powder, Salt and Pepper to season
Vegetable Oil to saute

Now this can give 2-3 servings or with a good guacamole make a great layer in a dip which was the fate of mine tossed on some tortilla chips with a small grinding of cheese. Happy days are here again because I mad a nacho plate I can eat without wondering how thick my blood will be due to all the cholesterol. Sarcasm is showing, sorry.

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First get your Corn in to a pan and with just a couple drops of oil on medium heat and leave it alone except to shake it as it begins to color and develop those tasty sugars and flavors so essential later. If you like it a little spicy you can add some chili powder to the corn to give it a lovely little zing adding to the Jalapeno at the end.

While this is cooking organize all of your stems and the Green Onions on to the nearest cutting board of choice and go to town on them like its the last day of the guillotine’s career and your trying for his job. Both Spinach and Cilantro stems should be chopped finely before using and made sure to remove any brown parts before ginsu-ing it up. Doing so will give you a nice little flavor as well a notice able crunch that will hold up to the remaining cook time rather well giving everything more aroma and a larger cast of flavors you will be able to notice in the end product. Once again, perfection is only for those who do not understand the word. We are working to build flavors so if you feel that you will enjoy a bit of fresh Cilantro to be chopped then go for it. In the picture you can see a few leaves. I added mine to give a little more aroma barely a teaspoon in the grand scheme though.

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Next turn the heat up a little higher and (medium high now) toss your crunchy bits in to the pan. If the corn is stuck then you can add a couple small drops of liquid it does happen in some pans, DO NOT WORRY! A teaspoon of liquid can be used to help maneuver everything in to form again if you absolutely have to when you see it, and if you do not mind waiting a minute the liquid given off from the stem choppings can save you here as well. Next are beans, drain and add to the pan as after a couple minutes for the stems and the corn to exchange greetings. (3 tops)

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After warming everything up take it all out and let it cool for a moment. You may notice that we have some brown colored bits in pan from the cooking of natural sugars well we will be dragging those out of the pan with a simple Onion. Medium Dice works well, think about the size of the face of a penny for general-ish dimensions. Low heat here for a few minutes (4-8 depending on the variables).

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We want to caramelize the sugars in the onion instead of browning them that we do on medium heat with the corn. Caramelizing at medium heat will give you a different flavor profile and texture then at low and if you do not believe me then try it yourself. Once they have been softened and given a sweeter aroma you con toss the whole salad in to warm up and taste test before plating. If you want to season do it now or hold your peace.

Here is the finished product around a center of refried beans topped with green chilies chopped in to rings. It was delicious.

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