Enter The Salad - Stevie's Crazy Kitchen Blog at Allrecipes.com - 302693

Stevie's Crazy Kitchen

Enter the Salad 
May 14, 2013 11:46 pm 
Updated: May 30, 2013 9:25 pm
When the heat is on, (we were 100+ already,) it's nice not to heat up the kitchen any more than required to pull a meal together.  Fresh produce is once again available at some rather reasonable prices, so of course, the "side salad" has been served here more than once, but I also have many other varieties of salads that I like.  I recently purchased a bag of bean sprouts, and have been adding some to my "lettuce salad," and have totally enjoyed them!  I've used the canned variety in a stir fry, but don't recall ever using fresh sprouts!

Once potato salad is made, it's there for the eating for many days, however despite alternative methods of cooking those spuds, I still prefer to boil them...  A friend nukes them in their jackets, which I'm sure would keep the crazykitchen a tad cooler, but I guess we all have our preferences.  I like to peel my spuds while they are cool enough to handle (like, BEFORE they're cooked!)  I may just try a method Denise recently discussed with me...  She bought lunch often from a sandwich place in the building she worked.  The Asian cook was happy to share that he boiled his taters in their jackets, giving the resulting salad a "roasted" type of flavor, much preferred by many.

Then there is the coleslaw, which can be made any one of millions(?) of ways...  I stumbled upon a recipe that tastes very similar to KFC's version.  Since I bought my food processor, making coleslaw is a snap, the most difficult part being making the darn dressing!  I've also learned that for just we two, I add dressing to only the amount of shredded veg's I think that we'll eat.  Otherwise, by the time we get to the bottom of the bowl, the cabbage is going soggy, and carrots have wilted. 

Speaking of cabbage and carrot, it was a few short years ago that I recalled a "salad" that my aunt used to make, using lime flavored gelatin with cabbage and carrot.  I made it when the heat was on, and found that it had a rather odd flavor, being so sweet.  I called my aunt... she'd not made it in "years" and didn't recall the ingredients she used.  I asked mom, cousins, friends...  Nobody had the clue to the missing ingredient.  It was a month later, at least, that I was chatting with my sister and mentioned it...  She, who hadn't cooked a full scale meal in I don't know how many years, said quite simply, "add a tbls. of vinegar to the gelatin, to cut the sweet!"  Who knew?  The point of bringing this up, is that when it's a "hundred and HOT" as I like to say, even though the gelatin is artificially flavored (I presume,) it has a wonderfully cooling affect.  Serve along side anything off the bbq, and you've got a cool kitchen, and a cooling meal!  I also love that I can boil the water for the gelatin in the micro... how much better can things get? 

Hmmm, I had a salad of lettuce, tomato and sprouts for lunch, but I can feel a lime salad coming soon as I have the ingredients, and fresh produce will hold on only so long. 

Just the other day, I was thinking about just how long it's been since I made a macaroni salad...  I spent the day in the kitchen today, but fear that I may well have to have another crazycook day this week!  I'm getting hungery just thinking about all of these options.

Another that I took to a friend's often in the summer (he'd have a bunch of us for bbq and pool, so I'd usually take a "dish to pass,") was made of frozen peas (thawed,) cubed cheddar cheese, celery, mayo and dill weed.  Dang, might just have to have a salad dinner day soon!  Like that would go over very well!  That is, unless I can think of, or find, a recipe for a really good main dish salad of which I'm sure there are as many as there are members here at a/r! 

Crazycook's advice... as the summer heat invades your part of the world, think SALADS.  I do think that it's time for me to begin searching all of  my cookbooks for summer friendly salads, including any that might be satisfying enough to replace a "meat & tater's" dinner meal!

It's not a good thing that my brain is going into overdrive at 11:45pm, but I also just thought about multi-bean salad, another that I've not made in some time..  Whatever am I going to do?

Be happy, eat crazy salads!
May 15, 2013 12:00 am
Crazy weather. You are so hot and I wore, and needed, my winter jacket last night and this morning. It is supposed to approach low 60s tomorrow. I find I make quite a few cold soups, both red and white gazpacho, a cold cucumber soup, vichyssoise, and several fruit soups. Of course, I defeat the whole purpose by baking a loaf of bread to go with the soup and salad. Stay cool!
May 15, 2013 12:55 am
BigShotsMom, whatever could go better with a soup (or salad) than some fresh, warm from the oven bread, dripping with butter...? Thanks for the thought, but Jason won't eat soup of any kind, even a "stew" is pushing the envelope! Be well and warm up!
May 15, 2013 5:04 am
I would be so miserable living there. I can't stand heat. My wife and I are in heated debates over where we will retire. I want Northern Minnesota, and she would rather be in Texas or Arizona or Florida. Something you might try in your potato salad is arugula. A small handful in a big batch is all you need. That's a bit subjective, but I'm sure you can figure it out by guess and by golly.
May 15, 2013 5:31 am
Stevie I made this last summer and I was amazed at how good it was and no one believed there was no bacon in there.....http://allrecipes.com/recipe/1-pea-salad-most-requested/detail.aspx
May 15, 2013 5:37 am
Doc I moved to Yuma at the end of August 1988 and was back in Phillia by Jan 1989. I don't care that there is no humidity it is hot out there. Pretty with lots of cool stuff to do and see just way to hot for me and no change of season. Apparently I need changing seasons in my life even though I am not a fan of cold either.
May 15, 2013 8:13 am
I had to look over at your profile to see where in the world you lived that it was already 100+. Winter has lasted a bit longer here with cooler weather than usual in May. I just can't imagine it being that hot already just a few states over! I love salads of any kind. One of my favorite meals is a salad meal made up of different kinds like a chicken salad, pasta salad, and frozen or congealed salad. I grew up on that green congealed salad that has cottage cheese and crushed pineapple in it. Still like it to this day.
May 15, 2013 1:21 pm
Dang, we had frost this last weekend! 'Fraid cooking wouldn't be high on my list of things to do in 100 degree heat. I'm with BigShotsMom, soup and then defeat the purpose by baking a nice loaf of bread :) Stay cool!
May 15, 2013 3:54 pm
I was wearing my winter jacket today. Send some of that here would you? I like potatoe salad, but not with mayo. I like it the way my mom always made it. Oil and vinegar.
May 15, 2013 8:28 pm
Doc, there are some beautiful areas in N. Arizona... Much different climate than down here in the low desert. If you like igloo's however, it may still be too warm, despite winter snow. Arugula eh? Don't think that I've ever eaten any, actually, but the cooks on tv sure use enough of it! I'll try it sometime.
May 15, 2013 8:34 pm
Joey Joan, I'll make a note of your suggestion also... sounds good. Call me crazy (I do!) but we have subtle changes in the "seasons" each year... I fled MI as soon as I could figure out a way... walked out the door and turned the key! All those months of that white stuff were hard on my health + I didn't like it! We all choose our locale, I guess!
May 15, 2013 8:44 pm
Paula, seems at our house it was cottage cheese in orange gelatin... with mandarin oranges, maybe? I would suspect that following our "warmer" weather, tne trend will travel east & warm you folks up some too!
May 15, 2013 8:56 pm
Cat, I've fired up the canner in the summer heat... Tell me that's not CRAZY!
May 15, 2013 8:58 pm
manella, we've plenty of heat to share, but I don't know where to put the stamp... Oil/vinegar on potato salad, I'll look into that one too! Thanks!
May 16, 2013 3:47 am
Hi, boil the potatoe's in their skin,put in fridge to get cold, i boil an onion in the same pot as the potatoe's. When they are cold, peel chop up how you like along with the onion. Now I don't measure. Chop fresh parsley, sprinkle over potatoes add veg. oil and white vinegar salt and pepper to taste. Sometimes I put baby beets in for color. I just add and taste.
May 16, 2013 3:49 am
Also this keeps in the fridge a while 4-5 days, you might have to add a little more oil if kept that long.
May 16, 2013 9:59 am
Stevie I ran not walked out of MI and bounced around until I found the state that was just right for me. 25ish yrs in phila and now 10ish in NJ I enjoy the seasons with out the long harsh winters. Don't get me wrong it can and does get cold here but it only lasts a minute, and as for snow once to twice a winter we see a few inches and that to only lasts a minute. Oh and I boil eggs in with the potatoes the last 10 minutes or so of the potato cook time. They are always good in any kind of salad.
May 16, 2013 10:37 am
manella, seems that you cook somewhat as I do... toss some in, taste, move on (or add more!) Don't think I've measured much (except baking etc.) for some time! Thanks for your mom's "recipe." I've made a note!
May 16, 2013 10:43 am
Joey Joan, can't blame you for "running." Age 8 I was moved to England (cold, damp, horrible) then back to MI. 23yrs old I was in Tucson then Phx two yrs later. Been here since! Los Angeles is great but too expensive, so here I stay! Don't often add egg to potato salad... don't know why, really! You make NJ sound nice, not been to the E coast - only to "pass thru." Be well!
May 16, 2013 12:05 pm
Yes, it's hot in AZ, but we got snow a few times here in the winter. We'll get over 100 in the summer,it's dry, but then the monsoons kick in-that's an experience!As I get older weather becomes more of a defining factor as to the quality of the days. Really love a cool salad on a hot day. So refreshing.
May 16, 2013 5:33 pm
Hello Stevie-For potato salad I always boil the potatoes in their jackets. Never thought of doing it any other way. My favorite potato salad is my mom's potato salad. She always made a boat load of potato salad for the 4th of July. I carry on the tradition and make potato salad for a big 4th of July Party we attend where everyone brings something. Hence the name Lela's Fourth of July Potato Salad. If you are a fan of mayo, mustard, and dill pickles then this potato salad may appeal to you.
May 16, 2013 7:16 pm
goodeats, don't have to tell me about monsoons! Last year on the news watched a wall of brown (like a tidal wave) move from E to W. I was also here in phx when the airport closed for the afternoon because it was 122F outside! Seems we had lots of dust that day too. I think that you are right, I've been in Phx 30yrs, and each summer seems a bit more difficult, but then, the weather seems to be changing across the country (if you ask me!) Thinking of a trip to Grand Canyon, and if my geography isn't too hateful, might be in your part of the state (or close.) Today, watermelon, cucumber and jicama, just trying to figure out dressing and seasonings!
May 16, 2013 7:22 pm
Lela, I peel spuds first, as I find them too hot to handle (peel) once cooked... when they are cool a pain to peel. I like mayo, mustard, sweet relish and onion in mine. (Buy "homestyle" at the deli once in a while, add mustard...) Do have a recipe for lettuce, dill pickle and mayo, that is SURPRINGLY good! Time to boil some spuds....
May 16, 2013 7:25 pm
goodeats, I meant to add that the "brown wall" passed by us after dark, but before the 10pm news, when I witnessed the dust approach from like Gilbert, Apache Junction... ya get the idea! Wind, dust... looked like a brown fog from my sitting room! Very EERIE!
May 17, 2013 4:11 am
Hi everyone. Just thinking about a salad I recently enjoyed. If you're trying to cut calories, or just want something a little different, try Cauliflower Salad. This is "fake potato salad" and we thought it was quite good. There are several variations on the internet. But basically, make potao salad the way you like it, but use cauliflowe instead of potatoes. ______ http://www.weightwatchers.com/food/rcp/RecipePage.aspx?recipeid=312397730
May 17, 2013 2:19 pm
Hi Stevie, I envy your enthusiasm over salad making. There is no doubt they are delicious in many different combinations. I love them! But for some reason I'm always STARVED within an hour or two if that's all I've had to eat. Even if I place an appropriate mix of protein in. It's like my body thinks I'm shocking it with a diet and goes into fighting mode! Feed me, feed me! The hunger pangs don't stop until I grab a big hunk of cheese or meat. So when it heats up, I will enjoy my salad "on the side" of a grilled something.
May 17, 2013 10:12 pm
Indiana Peggy, a very interesting thought, that I think I might just have to try sometime soon! Of late, cauliflower's been .99/lb or less and would make a great alternative! Thanks for sharing! Be well!
May 17, 2013 10:25 pm
Cookin'Cyn, I agree totally! I'm thinking meat off the barbie with cold salads on the side... tonight was simple hot dogs w/ buns, macaroni salad (everyting but the kitchen sink,) and a watermelon/cuke salad that's VERY refreshing when it's hot out! I fear that something kin to a "Cob Salad" just doesn't seem like a meal to me.... Lettuce just doesn't seem to be very filling! "Main dish salads" probably won't make it out of the crazykitchen! That is, unless I find something arterry clogging with plenty of "bulk" to it! lol
May 18, 2013 5:29 am
My Dad's favourite salad (so easy and good with everything grilled) is his version of "Israeli SAlad". Dice sweet onion (Vidalia if you can get it), english cucumber and tomatoes. Make as much or as little as you want and dress with fresh lemon juice, a little bit of white vinegar, Hy's seasoning salt and vegetable oil. Mix well and enjoy!
May 19, 2013 11:47 pm
Marli, thanks for sharing! I don't think that I've ever heard of this one before... Be well!
May 26, 2013 2:19 pm
I just now had a chance to read your blog. Someone told me to boil red potatoes in the skin, peel when slightly cooled, still kind of warm. The potatoes absorb the dressing, etc, much better before they completely cool. The starches keep the dressing from penetrating when they get too cold. I also like pickle relish, Miracle Whip, mustard S/P, lots of celery and onions and of course hard boiled eggs. Everyone has their favorite.
May 30, 2013 9:25 pm
GOLDENS, thanks for the info! I was recently served "store bought" tater salad... Need I say more? (I couldn't find THE POTATO!) Stay well!
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Stevie crazycook

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About Me
Started cooking many years ago, and learned as I went. First meal may have been "steak & chips" at age 15, in Birmingham England, where I lived for several years. Mostly grew up in MI, transplanted to the desert 30yrs ago, or so. Favorite cookbook is "Better Homes", also enjoy "Great British Cooking, a well kept secret." Hesitate to call myself "expert," but friends do rave...
My favorite things to cook
Italian has been my "specialty" for some time, and my "signature" meal is Lasagne, salad, garlic bread, which I first made 20yrs ago... from SCRATCH, very first time I made it. (Never again, folks...) Now start with a big jar of sauce!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Thanks to my heritage, I have enjoyed trying foods from different cultures. We still have beer battered fish, and chips of course; ground meat dishes often, chicken occasionally, pork too. I would love to submit a bean dip recipe, however, my ex who gave me the original has passed, and I have no way to verify that it didn't come from another source! I also enjoy British cooking (with a few yankee twists) and once made Plum puddings, also known as Christmas puddings, as far as I know... what an ordeal that was, but well worth the effort. Today, there is mail order!
My cooking triumphs
Greatest triumph was not too long ago, when I held a sit down dinner for 12, Lasagne being the entree. It was a fund raiser I chose to sponsor, and am proud to say that "we" raised over $1000 from that meal alone, minimum donation being $25. All proceeds collected were donated; my partner and I provided the meal and beverages.
My cooking tragedies
MEATLOAF of all things! Went through a stage of "winging" it each time, and I pulled one after another out of the oven that were almost unedible. As yet, not too big on baking... no sweet tooth here! Have dabbled, but find doughs/pastries especially difficult, perhaps as it's 90 degrees in my kitchen much of the year.
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