"It IS all about the TASTE"
RSS icon Home icon
  • Guacamole


    Tis’ the night before Cinco De Mayo, and through the States, tomatoes, peppers, avocados, and cilantro are been beaten into a unrecognizable pulp, to be served as guacamole..

    From Wikipedia:

    Guacamole, sometimes informally referred to as “guac” in North America, is an avocado-based dip or salad first created by the Aztecs in what is now Mexico. In addition to its use in modern Mexican cuisine, it has also become part of American cuisine as a dip, condiment and salad ingredient.

    And there is the first time I can remember, that I venomently disagree, with the Wikipedia Community.

    Guacamole, is NOT a dip, Guacamole IS a salad.

    But like almost all things “Americanized”, the concept has been abused and misused to the point of no longer being recognizable as the original product. Made with chunks of avocado, minced onion, finely diced tomatoes, and just enough Jalapeño or Serrano pepper to add a spice kick. No mayonnaise, no sour cream, no stick blender and for god’s sake, no mariachi bands.

    Guasacaca is a smooth green sauce, from Venezuela, made with avocados and vinegar, with a much stronger flavor and spice kick .. (But that is another post)

  • Pico De Gallo

    It is May 2nd, and soon Cinco De Mayo will be upon us, with lime stuffed beers, limp tortilla chips, and over salted messes of peppers in escabeche, over-the-hill onions, and underage tomatoes. I suspect, I shall hold my head under the pillow to escape the sounds of mariachi music. played at 1000 db.

    The true pity is that, Pico De Gallo should be a harbringer of spring. A crisp, clean salad with a hint of heat, promising the garden abundance to come.

    From Wikipedia:

    In Mexican cuisine, pico de gallo (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpiko ðe ˈɣaʎo], literally beak of rooster), also called salsa fresca, is made from chopped tomato, onion, cilantro, fresh serranos (jalapeños or habaneros are used as alternatives), salt, and key lime juice. Other ingredients, such as shrimp or avocado, are also sometimes added.

    Pico de gallo can be used in much the same way as other Mexican liquid salsas, but since it contains less liquid, it can also be used as a main ingredient in dishes such as tacos and fajitas.

    The tomato-based variety is widely known as salsa picada (minced/chopped sauce). In Mexico it is sometimes called salsa mexicana (Mexican sauce). Because the colors of the red tomato, white onion, coriander and green chili are reminiscent of the colors of the Mexican flag, it is also sometimes called salsa bandera (flag sauce).

    In many regions of Mexico the term refers to any of a variety of salads (including fruit salads), salsa, or fillings made with tomato, tomatillo, avocado, orange, jícama, cucumber, papaya, or mild chilis. The ingredients are tossed in lime juice and either hot sauce or chamoy, then sprinkled with a salty chili powder.

  • Memorial Day Sides – Macaroni Salad

    One of the classic pasta salads, macaroni in mayonnaise dressing, with stop light peppers, celery, onion and seasonings. This is a southern dish that has global acceptance. A perfect companion for a Barbecue.

    Macaroni salad is a salad, served cold made with cooked elbow macaroni pasta and usually prepared with mayonnaise. Much like potato salad in its use, it is often served as an accompaniment to barbecue or other picnic style entrees. Like any dish, national and regional variations abound but generally it is prepared with raw diced onions and celery and seasoned with salt and pepper. Canned tuna is also a very popular ingredient.

    In Australia it is commonly known as pasta salad and is usually made with cooked shell pasta pieces and brought from supermarket delis.

    In the U.S. state of Hawaii, macaroni salad is often served with plate lunches, a local form of dining. Locals in Hawaii often refer to macaroni salad as “mac sal” or “mac salad”. The salad itself is usually just elbow macaroni and a heaping portion of mayonnaise.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Lettuce and Bacon

    bs-salad

    It is spring and the first heads of lettuce are coming in, I so must have a dish from my youth. I can not count the number of nights dinner was thick strips of bacon, fried, with a salad of lettuce and onion, or spinach greens wilted with a hot bacon and vinegar dressing, served with a big wedge of corn bread and butter.

    One can “class” this up and use spinach greens with a “Hot Bacon Dressing”, but I’ll always think of this as wilted lettuce.

    These are the things that memories are made of, (some times, you wish to go back for just one more meal)

    Background
    As said before

    Bacon is a cut of meat taken from the sides, belly, or back of a pig, then cured, and smoked. Meat from other animals, such as beef, lamb, chicken, goat, or turkey, may also be cut, cured, or otherwise prepared to resemble bacon. Bacon may be eaten fried, baked, or grilled, or used as a minor ingredient to flavor dishes.

    Sarah Hepola, on Salon.com, suggests that eating bacon in the modern, health-conscious world is an act of rebellion: “Loving bacon is like shoving a middle finger in the face of all that is healthy and holy while an unfiltered cigarette smolders between your lips.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Fruit Salad

    triffle

    A absolute classic salad for an absolute classic meal. NOTHING says thanksgiving to me more than Dressing and Fruit Salad…

    Background
    Fruit salad is a dish consisting of various kinds of fruit, served either in their own juices or a syrup, it can be served as an appetizer, a side-salad, or a dessert. When served as an appetizer or as a dessert, a fruit salad would be a fruit cocktail, or fruit cup.

    Small cups of fruit salad are commonly served for dessert in American public schools, I will endevor to remove that stigma from this dish. (Think of the emotional scaring.)

    There are a number of home recipes for fruit salad that contain different kinds of fruit, or that use a different kind of sauce other than the fruit’s own juice or syrup. Other recipes use sour cream (such as in ambrosia), yogurt or even mustard as the primary sauce ingredient.

    An ever-popular variation also uses whipped cream mixed in with many varieties of fruits (usually a mixture of berries). Rojak, a Malaysian fruit salad, uses a spicy sauce with peanuts and shrimp paste. Moroccan cuisine, often as part of a kemia, an extended variety of fruit salads as appetizers or small dishes analogous to Spanish tapas or eastern mezze.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Meatless Monday – Cole Slaw

    The Dutch word koolsla (“sliced or chopped cabbage”) ended up in American English more or less as it sounded, as coleslaw or cole slaw, but folk etymology has made it cold slaw.

    With a Smoke and Fire upcoming, a review of the trimmings is in order, and I’ll start with a cookout favorite.

    Coleslaw, sometimes simply called slaw in some American dialects, is a salad consisting primarily of shredded raw cabbage, which is dressed with buttermilk and mayonnaise. Cream or sour cream may by used as the dressing and vinegar may be added. It may also include shredded carrots as well as other fruits and vegetables such as apples, onions, radishes, and peppers. Horseradish, seeds, and various spices may be included.

    There are many variations of the recipe which include the addition of other ingredients, such as red cabbage, pepper, onion, grated cheese, pineapple, or apple, mixed with a salad dressing such as mayonnaise or cream. In the United States coleslaw often also contains buttermilk or mayonnaise substitutes, and carrot; although many regional variations exist, and recipes incorporating prepared mustard or vinegar are also common. Barbecue slaw, also known as red slaw and commonly found in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, is made using ketchup and vinegar rather than mayonnaise. A variety of seasonings, such as celery seed, may be added. The cabbage may come in finely minced pieces, shredded strips, or small squares.

    Coleslaw is generally eaten as a side dish with foods such as fried chicken and barbecued meats, and may be accompanied by French fries or potato salad as another side dish. It also may be used as a sandwich ingredient, being placed on barbecue sandwiches, hamburgers, and hot dogs along with chili and hot mustard. Coleslaw also is used on a variant of the Reuben sandwich, with coleslaw substituting for the sauerkraut, the meat being either pastrami or corned beef, and the sandwich commonly is called, a “Rachel” to differentiate it from the “Ruben”.

    There are many recipes, many variations, and many ways to do make this salad. I’ll start with a standard…
    Read the rest of this entry »