Friday, September 23, 2005

Southwestern Caesar Salad with Chili Croutons

This salad is great with grilled chicken or shrimp, or just on its own.

Chili Croutons:

1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 loaf French bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Caesar Dressing:

3 tsp. minced garlic
2 shallots, peeled
4 anchovy fillets
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, cored and seeded
2 cups loosely packed, chopped cilantro
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp lemon juice
salt
1 cup olive oil

Salad:

1 tsp olive oil
2 cups (about 3 ears) fresh corn kernels or frozen corn kernels, thawed
3 romaine lettuce hearts or 2 large heads romaine lettuce, torn into bite size pieces and chilled
2 red peppers, roasted peeled, seeded and cut into thin strips
1/2 cup drained, chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Croutons:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, combine melted butter, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Add bread cubes and toss to coat. Spread in single layer on baking pan. Bake 8 - 10 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Caesar Dressing:

In blender or food processor, combine garlic, shallots, anchovies, jalapenos, cilantro, vinegar, Parmesan, egg yolk, pepper, lemon juice, and salt to taste. Blend until smooth. With blender running, slowly add 1 cup olive oil and blend until smooth. Cover and chill.

Salad:

In skillet, heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Add corn and cook 4 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside. In large bowl, combine lettuce and half of the dressing. Toss to coat.Add cooled croutons, pepper strips, corn, sun-dried tomatores, and Parmesan. Pass remaining dressing.Makes a pretty large salad.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Tomatoes Greco

A tasty combination of feta cheese, red onions, oregano, and long-grain white rice baked inside a plump tomato.

8 large tomatoes
3 cups cooked rice
1/2 cup chopped red onion
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
chopped fresh parsley

Remove tops of tomatoes and scoop out insides; drain upside down on paper towels. In large bowl, combine rice, onion, cheese, oregano, and salt. Spoon rice mixture into tomatoes, drizzle with oil, and place in 9X13-inch (3L) baking dish. Bake in 425 degree F (220 celcius) until hot, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. Makes 8 servings.

Garlic Shrimp and Avocado Salad

1 cup cooked shrimp
1/2 cup herb garlic vinaigrette
1 head bibb lettuce
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
3 radishes, thinly sliced
Toss shrimp with hald of the vinaigrette. Arrange lettuce on 2 places. Top with tomatoes, avocado, and red onions. Drizzle with remaining dressing. Place shrimp on top and add crumbled feta and radish slices. Makes 2 servings.