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Archive for the ‘salad’ Category

Buffalo Shrimp

Got a big pigskin party coming up?  Would you like something other than traditional wings?  How about crunchy, spicy buffalo shrimp?  These are so quick and easy that you can make enough to feed a crowd!  A delicate tempura-type coating encases the tender, spicy shrimp.  Try them piled on a plate to pass, or serve them on a bed of crunchy salad greens with celery and homemade blue cheese dressing.  

Ingredients for two servings (1/4 pound each)

  • 1/2 pound of medium or larger shrimp, peeled and cleaned
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons of tabasco or your favorite vinegar-based hot sauce
  • [really, really optional:  1 teaspoon honey for the wimps out there who can’t take the heat!]
  • 1/2 cup of corn starch
  • oil for frying
  • optional:  salt for sprinkling

Peel and clean the shrimp.  I like to cut along the back of the shrimp from head end first with kitchen scissors and then slide off the peel and remove the “vein” all at once.  Pile the shrimp in a glass bowl and add everything except the corn starch and oil.  Marinate the shrimp for at least an hour.

Drain the shrimp,  not bothering to make them really dry.  We want some of that spicy goodness to cling to them!  Dredge the shrimp in the corn starch, taking care to keep the corn starch as dry as possible.

Buffalo Shrimp

Set the shrimp aside for a few minutes and then heat your oil to about 350-375 degrees F.  I actually use a wok for small batches of this recipe, but a deep Dutch oven would work well if you’re feeding a crowd.  Fry the shrimp, a few at a time, for a couple of minutes until both sides are golden.  Be careful; shrimp always cook quickly!  Drain carefully as you remove the shrimp and sprinkle lightly with salt if you want.

Serve with blue cheese dressing, made simply of buttermilk, mayonnaise,  and about crumbled blue cheese.  Use about 1/3 cup buttermilk, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, and 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese for about 2/3 cup dressing.  If you want to herb it up, try adding snipped chives or even a good quality ranch dressing mix like Simply Organic if you want.  (No, they’re not paying me.  I just like the product.)

Ingredients per pound of shrimp

  • 1 pound of medium or larger shrimp, peeled and cleaned
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons of tabasco or your favorite vinegar-based hot sauce
  • [really, really optional:  2 teaspoons honey for the wimps out there who can’t take the heat!]
  • 2/3 cup corn starch
  • oil for frying
  • optional:  salt for sprinkling

Ingredients per four pounds of shrimp

  • 4 pounds of medium or larger shrimp, peeled and cleaned
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1 cup of tabasco or your favorite vinegar-based hot sauce
  • [really, really optional:  1-2 tablespoons honey for the wimps out there who can’t take the heat!]
  • 3 cups corn starch
  • oil for frying
  • optional:  salt for sprinkling

buffalo shrimp salad, awaiting blue cheese dressing

Copyright 2011 Ozarkhomesteader, including photographs.

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Even though I miss summer tomatoes come fall, at least I have apples with tangy, juicy crunch.  A few weeks ago I tossed together a fall salad with simplicity of preparation that belies its sophisticated blend of flavor and texture.

For every two servings you’ll need:

  • 1 well-washed apple
  • 1-2 stalks of fresh celery
  • 1 green onion or small bunch of chives
  • 1 tablespoon, give or take, course-ground prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • optional:  pinch of salt to taste

Cut the apple into quarters (eighths if its really big) and cut out the tiny bit of core.  Slice the quarters or eighths across in sections about a quarter-inch thick.  Thinly slice the celery across the grain.  You should have a bit more apple than celery.  Cut the green onions across the grain or snip the chives.  Mix the mustard and cider vinegar in your serving bowl and toss with the apples, celery, and onion.  Serve at room temperature or cold.

Do you eat fewer salads in the fall?  Do you have a favorite fall salad recipe?  Tell us here!

Copyright 2010 Ozarkhomesteader.  All rights reserved.  Tweets and short excerpts with full URL and reference to Ozarkhomesteader are fair use.

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It’s hot, but my kitchen is not.  Dinner is cool.  Today’s dinner starts with gazpacho, a chilled tomato-vegetable soup, accompanied by shrimp salad in cucumber boats and beets.  I’ll post the gazpacho recipe separately.  Now I’ll share the shrimp boats basics.

Shrimp Boats

I like these shrimp boats because they are chocked full of raw vegetables, and the boat shape can lure in even picky eaters.  Serves two.

  • 1/4 onion, finely diced
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced
  • optional:  fresh green peas or soybeans, if you have them
  • 1/2-3/4 pound shrimp (good sized), cleaned and boiled until just cooked
  • 1 heaping tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 squirt (about a teaspoon) ketchup (trust me!)
  • 2-4 tiny squirts Sriracha hot sauce
  • 1 large, long salad cucumber

Mix together the onion, celery, shrimp, mayo, ketchup, and hot sauce.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Peel cucumber if the exterior is bitter or coated with nasty wax.  Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise to make two long halves.  Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds.  Now you’ve got a canoe!  Fill it with the shrimp salad mixture, and you’ve got a shrimp boat.

Shrimp Boats and Beets

Of course, you could substitute chicken salad, tuna salad, or salmon salad by adjusting your seasonings.  For an appetizer option or a whole fleet of smaller boats for dinner, use pickling cucumbers and salad-sized shrimp.

Copyright 2010 Ozarkhomesteader.  Short excerpts and tweets are within fair use as long as you provide a full URL and attribution to Ozarkhomesteader.

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Have you ever wanted an herb that could do double-duty to perk up your spring garden with tiny fern-like fronds and give you a nice herb too?  You may want chervil. Chervil is also known as sweet cicely, and it’s a classic European herb, having originated in the British Isles.  If I had to define chervil’s flavor, I’d say that it combines the mildest forms of both parsley and the licorice-y herbs like fennel and tarragon.  Its flavor compared to herbs like parsley is gentle enough that your whole family will appreciate it.  I love using it in spring salads of delicate greens, chopped and served in a remoulade sauce, or as the last-minute sprinkle surprise on mild fish and shellfish like mussels.

Chervil in our area, sadly, is short-lived; heat makes it go to seed faster than spinach on a hot day.  That said, I’m grateful that it grows even when I sometimes forget to plant it (like this year).  Chervil readily self-seeds, so as long as you don’t disturb the soil too much around where it’s growing, you’ll only have to plant it yourself once.  After that, chervil will happily plant itself–and who can’t appreciate that in a garden herb that’s also decorative?

Are you interested in seed sources for chervil or do you have other questions?  Do you have a favorite recipe in which you use chervil?  Share in comments!

Copyright 2010 Ozarkhomesteader.  Short excerpts with full URL and attribution to Ozarkhomesteader are welcome.  Please contact me via the comments section for permission to use photographs.

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We eat a lot of salad around here with various permutations and combinations, but two have come to have names.  One we call “favorite salad #1.”  No, I have not posted about it yet.  You’ll just have to come back to find out about it.  (Grin.) Tonight I’m talking “Favorite salad #2.”  Favorite salad #2 is Mediterranean in influence, incorporating some things we grow and some things we buy.  Actually, this salad has a larger percentage of non-local products than we usually eat; maybe that’s what makes it name worthy.    The ingredients are sweet, tangy, salty, and ever so slightly bitter, making for a wonderful blend.  For each individual salad, layer the ingredients from top to bottom in roughly this order:

  • 1-2 cups mixed baby greens, big pieces gently torn, or in summer chard and/or mustard greens
  • optional if in season:  cucumber, quartered lengthwise and then sliced thinly–put on outside edge of greens
  • course grated carrot (a couple of tablespoons per salad)
  • 1-2 thinly sliced radishes
  • 1-3 dried tomatoes, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tablespoon of feta cheese (goat cheese feta makes it really special)
  • a few sliced pitted kalamata olives
  • optional if in season:  halves or quarters of cherry tomatoes
  • 1-2 tablespoons slivered or sliced almonds, toasted (325 degree F for 5-7 minutes)
  • 1-2 tablespoons dried black currants
  • optional:  chives, thin slices to garnish (I cut these with kitchen scissors straight over the salad)

You can serve this salad with a homemade oil and vinegar dressing or get even more non-local and try it with a store-bought Mediterranean-inspired dressing like Drew’s Lemon Goddess Tahini or Annie’s Goddess Dressing. Both of these are tahini-based dressings, the sesame paste featured in  hummus (chickpea dip). We like the salad with Italian, Greek, and Middle Eastern food.  In the winter it may be a part of a big meal.  In the summer, it may be the meal all on its own (or maybe with some watermelon, mmmmmm).

Give it a try and let me know what you think!  Do you have a favorite salad combo?  We’d really like for you to share it with us.

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Today I picked up another order from Conway Locally Grown, a wonderful variation on CSAs.  My father is visiting us, so I went crazy and ordered all sorts of things I ordinarily wouldn’t have, including an emu egg.  Yes, I’ll be blogging about that later this weekend or early next week. Among the things I ordered were snow pea tendrils. I confess that I knew nothing about them except that they sounded tasty.  Oh, my stars, they are!  I made an Asian-inspired meal with lime-ginger salmon; coconut-milk-infused stir-fried vegetables including spicy carrots, shitakes (also from Conway Locally Grown), and yard-long beans (frozen, from our garden) with red-peter pepper, leeks, and garlic; and peanut-sesame soba noodles.  I tossed the snow pea tendrils in the noodles and then added more tendrils to top the noodles.  I couldn’t stop myself from getting even more tendrils to add to the noodles as I ate.

Snow pea tendrils taste like peas but are so much more delicate and fresh tasting.  They smell like sweet clover.  They crunch like sprouts.  You can eat them fresh like we did or stir-fried very briefly.  If you haven’t tried these yet, you should!  I know I’ll be planting extra snow peas to be able to have home grown tendrils–although I can’t imagine how they could be any better than the ones I got today.

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Copyright Ozarkhomesteader 2009.  All rights reserved.  See other posts on fair use.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from walking kids (and adults!) through my garden, it’s that a cute name or a vibrant color goes a long way toward getting kids (and adults!) to try something new.  A few years ago some friends’ kids, then aged about 5 and 9, were walking through the garden to see what was new.  When I showed the older son the banana peppers, he told his younger sister, “Hey, these are bananas!”  She expressed disbelief, and I told her that they were sweet peppers that just looked like bananas.  “Can I have one?” she asked.  “Of course,” I told her, cutting off one for her and her brother.  They both wiped them off on their shirts and then chomped into them.  As they made their way back to their car to go home, they asked their parents if it was okay for them to take the peppers in the car.  They snacked on them all the way home.  Now these kids are pretty adventurous eaters, but I’ve seen similar things with other kids who were less adventurous.  If it looks pretty or sounds fun, kids will try it!

Today I picked some chard with beautiful deep green leaves and bright red stems.  I always think ruby chard is pretty, but this time of year, it makes me think of Christmas.  Christmas Salad Try this one on your kids:  use small ruby chard leaves in a salad with other rosy vegetables and maybe some white cheese or creamy dressing to make a  Christmas salad.  You could even call it a reindeer salad.  Just don’t call it chard, which is definitely not an appealing name.  If you can’t find baby ruby chard in your CSA basket, farmer’s market, or grocery store, you still have time to grow it before the holidays.  Begin by soaking the seed to give them a head start.  If you have a cold frame, you can grow them in there.  If you don’t have a cold frame, don’t despair.  Just use heavy clear plastic–like that old shower curtain liner you need to replace–to heat up the ground and protect the seeds and seedlings as they grow.  Keep the ground under the plastic watered well, and keep the plastic a few inches off any seedlings and growing greens.  If you plant this week, by Christmas you’ll have beautiful baby greens!  And Swiss chard of every color packs a wallop of nutrients, including more than 700% of your recommended daily value of Vitamin K, which will help you keep strong bones.  For more on chard’s amazing nutrient value, see here.

Real lettuce varieties you may want to try for holiday spirit include deer tongue (a deep red leaf type lettuce) and Marvel of Four Seasons (a red and green crinkly lettuce), both from John Scheeper’s Kitchen Garden Seed, and Botanical Interests’s Valentine Mix.  You can start all of these and get some baby lettuce by Christmas too!

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