I officially made application to culinary school last week and drum roll please...I was accepted. One more thing off the To Do List and onto the Done List. As you know from my last post, I am working diligently on cleaning out both the freezer and the
pantry in prep for the move. I had to take a bit of a detour on that for a few days since I had relatives in town for a couple of days and felt that I needed to cook them some fresh food and not pawn my canned and frozen goods off on them.
A couple of weeks before they arrived, two of the three of them started on low carb diets so I decided to try and accommodate them by serving low carb options while they were here. I had my Tuna and White Bean Salad already made when they arrived the
first night around dinner time. We topped that off, naturally, with dessert. Panna Cotta with fresh berries. I used Splenda in the dessert and it turned out wonderfully. There are several good Panna Cotta recipes on AR and they are all very simple to prepare
- just sub the Splenda one for one for the sugar. I use a combo of heavy cream and greek yogurt in mine. I like the creaminess of both and the bit of tartness that the yogurt adds. There is very little else that can satisfy at the end of a nice meal than
a light and creamy dessert.
Luckily for me, living in Seattle and having visitors means a trip to Pike Place Market. If you love food and you've never been to the market in Seattle, you must go. Even if you can't cook that much while you're in town, its a great place to people watch,
take photos of the fruit and vegetable displays and find a that special something (like homemade soaps) as a gift for your host/hostess. I took advantage of our trip "into the city" and decided on grilling a whole filet of fresh caught wild King Salmon from
Pike Place Fish, Grilled Asparagus with Hollandaise and a Grilled Romaine Salad with homemade dressings (both Green Goddess and Chunky Blue Cheese) with a Key Lime Pie for dessert. What you all need to know about this delicious menu is that in our house,
1) my partner in crime does all the grilling, 2) he happens to be the maker of the Hollandaise and 3) is famous for his Key Lime Pie. So...you may sense a theme with this particular menu, which is...he does a majority of the cooking on this one leaving me
extra time to hang out, laugh and catch up with my cousins. What a great way to entertain!!!
My guests had never had grilled romaine salads so it was fun to introduce them to something new. I first had grilled romaine at a place in Orange County, CA called Chat Noir. Last I knew, they were no longer in business, but their salad (or at least
my version of it) lives on at my table fairly often.
Grilled Romaine Salad:
1/2 heart of romaine (leaves and stem intact) per serving
Olive oil, salt, pepper
Salad dressing of your choice (try my easy Chunky Blue Cheese)
Bacon crumbles, preferably not from a can
Tomato - sliced, diced, quartered, cherry, grape - its up to you
Everything can be made ahead. The lettuce gets grilled at the very last minute and takes 2-3 minutes max. Cut the washed romaine hearts in half leaving the stem/core intact. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Put the lettuce cut/flat
side down on the hot grill (or a preheated grill pan). Check after a minute to make sure you are just getting a little bit of a char on the leaves. You are not trying to cook the lettuce, just give it a quick char. If it begins to wilt, take it off the
grill and serve immediately.
Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing:
1 c mayo
1 c sour cream (or greek yogurt)
a couple of dashes of worchestershire
a tsp or two of prepared horseradish
5-8 oz of crumbled blue cheese
a few turns of freshly cracked pepper
As with most everything I make, I provide this as a guideline for you to experiment with and adjust to your taste.