Here is a salad that everyone loves. Chopped salads where you really take the time to chop the ingredients nicely are a joy to look at and a joy to eat. Read more…
Posts Tagged ‘avocado’Print This Post
It was a long time ago, but I still remember the best avocado I ever had. I am entering my junior year of college. It is a hot, late summer evening, and I’ve driven back to school with the carload of belongings that will feather my college nest for another year. Read more…
When I first made this sandwich for my family—I asked my husband if he wanted a “test” bite. “Whoa!” he pronounced, “that’s goood!” Read more…
Many moons ago when I was a young working woman who had the good fortune to travel all over the world for her job, I had a business lunch at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. The Biltmore in those days had recently been renovated and featured the work of the artist Jim Dine—whose work is now widely known—but then he was a hot, up and coming talent with whom the owner of the Biltmore had commissioned all of the interior art for the hotel’s public spaces and rooms. I remember the traditional, beautiful guest rooms had high ceilings, and what appeared at first to be classic, elegant moldings. But when you looked more closely, you saw that the tools of the artist were imbedded into the molding—so that paint rollers, paint tubes, drip trays, spacklers, screwdrivers, hammers, rolls of tape and all kinds of other things were stuck to the molding where the eye was expecting twirly cartouches—but all painted white so as not to be easily noticed–very subtle, clever and whimsical.
But back to lunch, the gentleman I was lunching with was the Director of Marketing for the hotel. As icebreaker talk, he gave me a big pitch about how good the avocado soup was and how I must have it as an appetizer. Being a sport, and breaking the ice right back, I bypassed the ceviche I was craving and ordered the avocado soup. It had me at my first spoonful.
After all that, this recipe is not from the Biltmore (I never thought to ask), but is a version of one that I found in the New York Times Cookbook that is pretty darn close. One thing that the Craig Claiborne version didn’t include was lemon juice and I thought long and hard (is that weird?) about whether or not to add lemon. Because when you taste it without the lemon, you get the full force of the subtle flavor of avocado. I was worried that the lemon would taste too much like guacamole. But when I finally decided that I really needed to do it, I added just the tablespoon of lemon juice and to my taste, this brightened the dish right to where I loved it.
This is easy to make and is a really nice appetizer for a dinner party. Serve it in chilled demitasse cups with tiny spoons—sitting in a living room or on a patio, summer soup doesn’t get much better than this.
4 to 6 servings (6 for sure if you use demitasse cups)
2 ripe avocados
1 teaspoon grated onion
1 cup chicken stock
½ cup sour cream
½ cup half and half
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Chives, for garnish
Wash, peel and cut the avocado into large pieces. Combine the avocado with all of the other ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth and well blended. Taste and correct the seasonings. Store the soup in a covered bowl in the refrigerator until very cold. Taste again, correct the seasonings and serve with snipped chives on top.
This is what you call a “floating recipe”. Meaning that it comes from a friend, who got it from her neighbor who got it from…who knows anymore?
Anyway, I was at my friend’s house for lunch last week, and she served this delicious, bright, easy-to-make salad. This is just one of those great combinations of ingredients that afterwards, you can’t wait to eat again. I asked her for the recipe while my mouth was still full (and she’s the amazing kind of friend that sends it right away). I made it the next day for my family—and ended up sharing it with our neighbors—who asked for the recipe while their mouths were still full…and now I’m casting it even further into the universe because this really should belong to everyone—it’s just that good.
Shrimp Salad with Lime Vinaigrette
1 pound large cooked shrimp
1 avocado, in large dice
1 cup fresh or canned corn
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
½ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup honey
1 garlic clove, pressed or chopped
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
Combine the shrimp, avocado, corn, cilantro and onion in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, honey, garlic clove, salt, pepper and olive oil and whisk until well combined.
Pour the vinaigrette over the salad (you may want to go a little at a time and taste as you go—I used most, but not quite all of the vinaigrette) and gently toss to combine. Cover and chill for at least an hour before serving. Don’t chill overnight, the whole thing will taste like shrimp and the avocado will fall apart.
There are so many cookbooks, so many cooking shows, and so many cooking blogs, because, obviously, for so many of us—the subject of our food is endlessly fascinating. I have spent many pleasurable conversations (usually over a meal) with friends, recounting food memories, comparing techniques and ingredients for favorite recipes, and good naturedly arguing about the “right” way to do things. Example: “You mean to say some people put dark meat in their chicken salad? Oh yuck!” says one of my best southern-belle-raised friends.
The other day, I was flipping through an old cookbook by James Beard, James Beard’s American Cookery, and came across his recipe for a Club Sandwich. He wrote by way of introduction:
“… It is one of the great sandwiches of all time and has swept its way around the world after an American beginning. Nowadays the sandwich is bastardized because it is usually made as a three-decker, which is not authentic (whoever started that horror should be forced to eat three-deckers three times a day the rest of his life), and nowadays practically everyone uses turkey and there’s a vast difference between turkey and chicken where sandwiches are concerned.” Wow.
Intrigued by his passion about this, I “googled” club sandwich to see what “they’re” saying out there. And I find that no one seems to really know where the club originated, although everyone does seem to agree that it is American. Here are a few of the most-cited origins of the club sandwich:
One goes all the way back to 1894 at the Saratoga Club-House in Saratoga Springs, New York. The story is that a man named Richard Canfield purchased this gentlemen-only gambling club, and that the sandwich was invented in its kitchen under his watch.
Another is that of the accidental invention of the sandwich by some man, somewhere who came home late at night and hungry, stumbled into his kitchen, starving for something to eat…and the only thing he could come up with was some stale bread (which he toasted) some leftover chicken, bacon, tomato, etc. etc…you get the idea.
And another is that it came from the dining menu of the Club Car of a train somewhere.
All credible…none proven…. oh well. After all of that reading, I was hungry and it was lunchtime and a club sandwich sure sounded good. The clubs I like the best include avocado and some southwesterny flavors, and the star here for me is the Cilantro-Chili Mayonnaise. We enjoyed this with a glass of iced tea and a few potato chips of the thick, kettle-fried variety.
Santa Fe Club Sandwich
2 Ciabatta rolls (shown) or 4 slices sourdough bread
6 slices bacon
8 slices cooked chicken breast meat (a rotisserie chicken is great for this)
4 thin tomato slices
½ avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced
Romaine lettuce leaves
Cilantro-Chili Mayonnaise (see below)
Lightly toast the rolls or the bread and spread with Cilantro-Chili mayonnaise. Layer the turkey, bacon, tomato, avocado and Romaine on one slice of the bread, cover with the other, and cut in half.
For the Cilantro-Chili Mayonnaise:
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 large garlic clove, pressed
1 small jalapeno chili, minced
½ teaspoon ground cumin