Friday, July 30, 2010

Macaroni Salad ~ Amy Style

My friend, Amy Sorenson, posted this recipe on her blog and I thought I'd try it for a cool summer meatless meal. We drew mixed reviews on it from the kids. (As if that were any surprise...why can't kids love summer salads like grown-ups?) I liked it, Doug loved it. So, I called in my cooking friend, Connie, to get her opinion and she really loved it. So, here's the recipe, in Amy's words.
Macaroni Salad, Amy-Style
24 ounces ditalini or other small pasta
1/2 red onion, diced small
1/2 red pepper,diced small
2 1/4" thick slices of cheese, diced small (meunster, cheddar or swiss)
1 cup corn
3/4 cup petite peas
2 avocados, diced small (just barely ripe)
While the pasta is boiling in salted water, dice everything and make the dressing:
1 1/2 cups mayo
1/3 cup white vinegar
3 T sugar
3 T yellow mustard (not Dijon or honey or fancy or spicy—just yellow mustard)
2 tsp dill
1 1/2-2 tsp salt
tons of freshly-ground black pepper

When the pasta is tender—cook a little bit softer than al dente for cold macaroni salad, otherwise it's too firm—drain, preserving the water. Bring the hot pasta water back to boiling, then cook the corn and peas for about 3 minutes. Chill the pasta with ice (otherwise, it will melt the cheese). Chill the corn and peas in the same way. Stir all ingedients together carefully (if you are too rough the avocado will turn into guacamole), then add the dressing and mix. Adjust seasonings as necessary. Chill till serving. Or eat some slightly-warm for lunch.
***I usually put hardboiled eggs in my macaroni salad. The salad is still delicious without the eggs, but with it...even better!
And a note from me... I'm not big on mustard, so next time, I'll probably use a little less mustard. We're big on veggies, so I'll probably double the peas and corn. The bites with avocado were the best, so I'll add an extra avocado, too! Loved the dill! I used fresh from the garden! Enjoy!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Chinese Cabbage Salad

This salad has been around forever and there are lots of versions of the recipe. Here's the one that I fell in love with first! It's really not that much work and can be made to chill in less than 20 minutes. It serves a plethora of people and is great for a summer dish!

1 head of chinese cabbage (or regular)
1 bunch green onions
1 can Swanson's chicken breast (optional, but I prefer it)
1/2 cup butter
2 packages of ramen noodles (chicken flavored)
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar

Chop cabbage and green onions. Drain the can of chicken and toss chicken into a large bowl and mix well. For dressing, combine the oil, sugar and vinegar in a container and mix well. Pour over the cabbage mix. Toss and coat well. Chill.

Melt butter in a large frypan. Crush the dry ramen noodles into tiny pieces and add to the melted butter. Add sesame seeds and almonds. Sautee until the almonds begin to turn golden brown. Sprinkle the seasoning packets from the raman into this mixture. Stir well and put in a bowl, cover and chill.

Just before serving, mix all of the ingredients into the large bowl of cabbage. Stir and toss well. It doesn't keep well, so don't mix too far in advance of serving or the noodles will not be crunchy. (Personally, I like it just as well when they aren't! It's good anytime!) Enjoy!