Pico de Lettuce


Pico de Lettuce
Most people are pretty sure that if you dress a salad too far in advance it will wilt and become disgusting and an embarrassment. But that is so arbitrary! We like wilted spinach. We like cucumber salad and coleslaw when they have been pre-dressed and allowed to release a good bit of their water. It concentrates their flavors and gives them a very different, but no less awesome, texture. Well, I’m here to tell you that the same thing happens with lettuce, and we should embrace it, not throw it away and make a new salad!

The thing is, a drained lettuce salad is one of the greatest sandwich condiments of all time. Instead of a big, unwieldy piece of lettuce, you can pack half a head of compressed lettuce on a sandwich, and think about what that means for the flavor of your sandwich! The only problem is marketing. Nobody wants to eat a sandwich with something called “old salad” on it, so in a fit of brilliance, I coined the term Pico de Lettuce. And I put it on the menu at the sub shops, and nobody seemed to notice. People talk about the sandwich and act like they already know what Pico de Lettuce is. And they like it! But if they knew that it was just old salad they would probably be bummed.

Ingredients

  • 1 head of romaine lettuce, cleaned, dried, and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thin
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Procedure

  1. Combine the lettuce, garlic, onion, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Let sit, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
  3. Drain off most of the liquid and make the most interesting martini you’ve ever had.
  4. Store the Pico de Lettuce in the fridge, where it will keep for a week but, like many green things, will become less beautiful as the week progresses.

Makes enough for 4-6 sandwiches

Oven Fried Pickles


Oven Fried Pickles
These oven-fried pickles are seriously addictive and have become a total Delish snack staple. They’re super easy to make and are a perfect afternoon snack when you’re craving something salty and crunchy.

The best part of these pickles is their versatility. Not a fan of dill chips? Try bread and butter, or any other flavor you’re crazy about! Same goes for the spices in the breading — if you’re not a fan of spice you could tone it down with some freshly cracked pepper. If you love spice, amp up the cayenne — or even try putting a dash of your favorite hot sauce into the egg dredge! The possibilities are endless.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sliced pickles
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons  melted butter
  • 4 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Ranch dressing, for dipping

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 450° and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Pat pickles dry with paper towels.
  3. In a medium shallow bowl, mix together panko, butter, dill, garlic powder and cayenne. Season mixture with salt and pepper.
  4. Working in batches, toss pickle coins in flour until lightly coated, then toss pickles in eggs. Dredge the pickles in the panko mixture until fully coated.
  5. Place pickles on prepared baking sheet and bake until the coating is golden and crispy, about 15 minutes.
  6. Serve warm with ranch dressing.

Smashed Blackberry and Goat Cheese Toasts


Smashed Blackberry and Goat Cheese Toasts
What’s great about this recipe is that it’s uniquely scaled for you, a duo, or a whole damn crew. The blackberry jam keeps nicely in the refrigerator for about two weeks, so this is a toast you can remake countless times. It’s hearty enough for a meal, delicate enough as a snack, and downright georgous as an appetizer.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups blackberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons cornstarch, sifted
  • 8 oz challah bread, sliced (or your bread of choice!)
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • Fresh mint to garnish

Procedure

  1. In a medium-sized saucepan combine the blackberries, blueberries, vanilla, sugar, and water (covered) over a medium low flame. Once simmering and the fruit begins to burst (about 5 minutes) gently mash with a fork or potato masher, then whisk in the cornstarch until well incorporated.* Cover once more and simmer over a low flame until needed.
  2. Meanwhile, toast the challah bread as desired — I recommend extra crispy.
  3. When ready, smear each slice of challah bread with a thick layer of goat cheese, then spoon over with the smashed blackberries. Garnish with mint, then eat!

* Add 1 teaspoon if you want the blackberries more runny, 2 teaspoons for a thicker texture!

Cook’s Notes

  • If eating for one, still follow the recipe! the leftover blackberries can be refrigerated in a glass container for up to two weeks, so you make this toast even quicker the next time you crave it.

Chipotle Taco Seasoning


Chipotle Taco Seasoning
Ready for a smokier taco?

If you’re a fan of smoky flavor, prepping up a chipotle taco seasoning before taco night will make you very happy. This spice blend uses common spice rack ingredients and brings the smoke through both chipotle powder and smoked paprika. We kick in a little cayenne pepper to increase the overall heat just a touch.

Don’t limit this tasty seasoning to tacos. You can use it anywhere taco of Mexican seasoning is called for to add a little south-of-the-border flare to your meal. It’s delicious simply mixed with ranch dressing for a quick dip or use it as a dry rub on chicken, pork, or steak to add a smoky, earthy heat.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon chipotle powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste

Preparation

  1. In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  2. Use immediately or store in a sealable jar (airtight) for future use.

Cook’s Notes

  • The additional cayenne pepper is optional. Chipotle pepper already brings jalapeño level heat to the seasoning (chipotle chilies are dried and smoked jalapeño peppers). Cut it completely if you prefer a low to medium level heat.

Tomato Juice


Tomato Juice
Ingredients

  • 46 ounces tomato juice
  • 3 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Worchestshire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon MSG

Procedure

  1. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  4. Blend for 1 minute or until mixture is ultra-smooth.
  5. Cover and refrigerate until the flavors meld and the mix is chilled, at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.