Sunday, January 7, 2007

sunday dinner

Everyone has a go-to recipe, whether it's the meanest bowl of ramyun noodles or eggs benedict with the silkiest hollandaise sauce. Even my little brother has one, spam and rice. One of my classics is a spring salad with cranberries and walnuts with an orange vinaigrette. I vary the salad ingredients depending on what I have on hand, but the vinaigrette is my signature dressing. I really never measure my ingredients, so if my recipe doesn't work for you, feel free to add, take out, whatever suits your fancy. It should taste good to you.

I also made baked clams (?) along with my salad. I had some leftover from the seafood tagliatelle I made a few days ago so this is what I came up with: Clam Crisp. Probably not your traditional way of doing a clam bake, but it didn't turn out too bad. I'm not too sure what it's supposed to taste like but my roommate seemed to enjoy it. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

My "Go-To" Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
Serves 4 to 6

1/2lb salad mix (spring mix, leafy greens)
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts


3 tsp dijon spicy mustard
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp orange marmalade
3 tbsp orange juice (squeezed fresh)
2 tsp orange zest
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
orange slices for garnish

Give the salad greens a good wash, tumble dry in a spinner (If you don't have one, drain in colander or pat dry.) Set aside.

Now here comes the fun part. You will need a medium size mixing bowl and a whisk. (I guess you can "cheat" and use a food processor, but where's the fun in that?) Combine the mustard, vinegar, marmalade, orange juice, and zest in the bowl. For the next step, I either do it one of two ways: Sit on the floor, indian style, and secure the bowl with my legs (A bit funny-looking but it works.); or, using a kitchen towel, make a donut and place the bowl in the center. Begin whisking the mixture in the bowl as you slowly drizzle in the olive oil. You can use more or less depending on the viscosity you desire. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the greens in the bowl with the vinaigrette. Tosh gently with tongs or by hand. Plate the salad and sprinkle the cranberries and walnuts on top. Garnish with two orange slices and serve.

Clam Crisp
Serves 4 to 6

1-2 lbs of clam (About 30)
2 cups dry white wine
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, finely diced

Crumb Topping

3/4 stick of unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves. minced
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tbsp tarragon, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

First, give the clam shells a good scrub and rinse. Add the garlic, shallots, and wine to a pot and bring to a boil. Add the clams and bring back to a boil. Drain and set aside the clams once all of them open. )

Melt the butter in a small saucepan on medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the bread crumbs and stir the mixture with a spoon. The bread crumbs will soak up all the butter. Toast for another 2-3 minutes and stir in the tarragon. Don't forget to salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Using kitchen gloves (or disposable plastic gloves), separate the shells and loosen the clam meat. Line up the half-shells (with the clam) on a sheet pan. Use 2-3 tsps of the crumb topping for each clam. In a 350 degree oven, bake the clam for 10 minutes. Plate and Serve.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your new blog looks delicious and nutritious! Thanks for solving my dinner dilmemma for this evening. Good luck with the cooking and writing in 2007 - and can't wait to try out Food Matters for our G'Town class reunion.

Cheers, Elizabeth