For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Sally of Bewitching Kitchen. Sally is Brazilian and a biochemist. She has a beautiful smile, an awesome kitchen, and mad cooking and baking skills! I feel like we have a connection as we both went grey early. :)
She has TONS of delicious looking recipes, like this Cauli-Couscous, this simple non-roasted “roasted” broccoli, this ultimate Apple Cake and this granola. She is also a champion bread maker and I am so impressed by all her Brazilian Food!
I ended up choosing her Avocado and Orange Salad with Charred Jalapeno Dressing – definitely a winner! I changed it up a bit – I used a blender for the dressing as I’m too lazy to chop things that small), added orange zest and added toasted almonds instead of seared scallops (shellfish = bad for me). I expected it to be fairly spicy, but it wasn’t – just really tasty!
Bewitching Kitchen’s Avocado and Orange Salad with Charred Jalapeno Dressing
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (I used 1 orange plus the juice left in the membrane from the segmented orange)
Zest of 1 orange
1 small shallot
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
salt & freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 avocados, sliced
2 oranges, cut in segments
Mixed greens (I used power greens mix)
Toasted Almonds (Optional – I ran out of time and didn’t toast mine, but I definitely recommend it to take the flavour to the next level)
- Simmer orange juice in a small saucepan until syrupy and reduced to about 2 Tbsp. It should take a little over 5 minutes. Let cool.
- Roast jalapeño directly over a gas flame (I used my BBQ), turning occasionally, until charred on all sides. Let cool; remove stem, skin, and seeds.
- Place shallot, vinegar, reduced orange juice orange zest, olive and the jalapeño in a single serving blender container (i.e. magic bullet or similar) and blend until all chunks are gone; season with salt and pepper.
- Toss avocados, orange segments, salad greens, and vinaigrette in a bowl. Serve with toasted almonds if desired.
Sally, it was a joy to read through your blog! I love how your fun personality shines through in all of your posts and your wide array of recipes!
Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes below:
For February’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Dena of Oh! You Cook!. Dena is a Librarian by day and makes delicious looking Kosher food by night, including this delicious fruit salad, all these AMAZING looking Purim treats and these Moroccan carrots.
It was quite a treat for me to look through all her recipes and get a better understanding of what things one eats on various Jewish holidays. Purim sounds especially amazing with all those sweets. ;-)
After much humming and hawing, I finally chose her Jerusalem Carrot Salad, which is an approximation of a salad she had while in Jerusalem.
I pretty much followed the recipe exactly (shock, I know!) except that my spices almost burnt and then turned into these huge really dark brown spice clumps. My guess it’s because I added the honey while it was too hot, causing it to act kind of like sugar when you make candy. I salvaged what I could and added a bit more olive oil and honey whisked with the spices.
The result was decent, but I think I would have liked it better without the cumin as for some reason, I really don’t like cumin (and it doesn’t appear to like me either). On the same token, I didn’t want to leave it out as I wasn’t sure how that would affect the flavor profile of the salad. This salad is fairly delicate with the finely grated carrot, but if you’re short on time coarsely grating the carrot would make it easier to toss.
Dena, it was really fun to spend so much time looking through all of your recipes – you definitely prove that kosher food can look and taste delicious!
Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes below!
For January’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Shari of My Judy the Foodie. Shari started getting into the kitchen after her mom (Judy, her blog’s namesake) passed away and as a way of preserving her memories, decided to cook through her handwritten recipes.
After ready through Shari’s story, I really want to take my mom’s cookbook of recipes she copied from her mom when she got married and cook through the whole lot. It might be challenging given my food restrictions, but it would totally be worth it and a good way to remember my Grannie. Perhaps a 2013 challenge?
Shari has tons of delicious recipes – while I was sick, I literally clicked through over 50 pages of her blog because everything looked so good and I couldn’t decide on anything! There are things like her mom’s legendary banana bread, this homemade nutella, these slow-cooked beef tips and this blueberry cucumber feta salad. I eventually ended up choosing her Bean Salad.
It’s not your traditional bean salad as it only has green beans and chickpeas instead of a whole assortment of other beans. I didn’t mind as it was definitely very tasty! I used less marinade/sauce as I am really not a sauce person and added a bit of honey to take away the zing of raw onions/leeks.
1/2 to 3/4 package frozen beans
1/4 red onions, thinly sliced
3 green onions, sliced
1/3 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 c. thinly sliced leeks
1 rib celery, sliced
1 small can of chickpeas
1/2 c. parsley, chopped
1/4 c. white vinegar
1/4 c. olive oil
Juice of one lemon
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. dry mustard (could use 1 tbsp. dijon mustard)
1 tsp. honey
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Pinch of salt
- Place beans in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Once the pot boils, drain and rinse with cool water.
- Place beans in a large bowl with the remainder of the ingredients. Toss.
- Whisk together dressing (below) and pour over salad. Toss salad to even coat.
- Let sit for a few hours, stirring occasionally.
- Serve over leaves of lettuce or plain if you desire.
Please make sure to check out the rest of Group D’s recipes below for January’s Secret Recipe Club!
For August’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Dorothy of Shockingly Delicious! Dorothy likes to try out lots of new and different ingredients and even gives you steps on how to create your own recipe! She has TONS of delicious looking recipes including these 5-ingredient gluten free flourless peanut butter cookies, Smoky Baby Back Ribs in the Crockpot and this Summer Mango Caprese Salad with Truffle Salt! Ultimately I ended up making her Swedish Cucumber Salad – Mr. Bean had a similar salad while we were in Sweden so I thought I would give it a try!
I made it while I was out at the cabin and genius me forgot to bring the dill. Oops. What is Swedish food, especially salads, without dill!?! Well I did my best by adding some Italian herbs and extra parsley. I also used red onion to make it more visually appealing.
Mr. Bean really liked it – it only gets better with time as the cucumbers marinate, so I definitely recommend letting it sit for a while before eating it. I also got the request to make it again (this time with the dill- haha), which means it was a success!
What’s your favourite kind of salad?
Please check out the rest of Secret Recipe Club’s Group D’s recipes below!
For July’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with of Kelsey and Kim of K&K Test Kitchen. They are a mother-daughter duo who started off testing recipes they had collected and come across and sharing them on their blog, which then opened the door to much more experimenting the kitchen. Despite claiming that they aren’t gourmet chefs, they cook meals for everyday, which focus on quality, using common ingredients and everything delicious.
Both of them have lots of wonderful recipes, including the tasty looking Raspberry and Apricot Crostata, Potato, Corn and Green Bean Salad with Chipotle Honey Vinagrette, Street Slaw (slaw made without mayo – my kind of thing!) and their family recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls. Ultimately, I ended up choosing their Warm Fingerling Potato and Green Bean Salad and it did not disappoint!
I did make a few changes.
- I didn’t have any shallots, so I sauteed up some white onion with garlic. I also added some green onions.
- We couldn’t find any fingerling potatoes, so I used baby yellow potatoes instead.
- I’m not a huge sauce person, so I only made half the sauce the recipe called for and didn’t use all of it and found it to be plenty saucy.
- It’s been quite hot, so I didn’t want to turn on the oven, so I cooked the potatoes on the BBQ.
I made it for dinner and served it with grilled pepper and chicken bratwurst from a local European Delicatessen. It was definitely a wonderful summery dinner!
I imagine you could also make it a meal by itself by adding some bacon or prosciutto and/or Parmesan cheese for some protein.
Have you tried any good summery salads or meals lately? Please Share!
Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes below: