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Salad (2011 - 2015)


Fat Guy
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Well since we are posting pics of our Yee Sang I thought I would show off the one I made for last year's Chinese New Year (well technically it's still this year). It was (is) the Year of the Dragon, so I carved a dragon's head from a carrot:

( http://www.pbase.com...00/original.jpg )

... then arranged the fish and peeled mandarin to look like a dragon:

( http://www.pbase.com...01/original.jpg )

Yes I know it is missing the green radish, but unfortunately you can't find it in Australia at this time of the year :(

Heh. Quite nice carving work there. Ingeniously decorative plate of yee sang too. :-)

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Ok, I was in a bit of a hurry earlier, let me elaborate.

The nightmare comes from the cabbage bowl trying to slide around on the plate as you attempt to spear a mouthfull on a fork. huiray, you might be correct about the chopsticks, but I still think the bowl would move around. More importantly, I live in Northwest North Dakota...I have the skills to eat with chopsticks, but that is not something I can rely upon(or even expect) in a guest or customer.

A neighbor(who I shared supper with last night) had an interesting suggestion: a small mound of cottage cheese around the base of the bowl to stabilize it. I like the idea, and will most likely try it out. Does anyone else have a suggestion as to what I could put around the base? Cottage cheese would I think sort of go with the flavors, but maybe there's something I'm not considering.

rotuts, what part were you suggesting I soften? I'm not really seeing how that wil help...

Lastly, and more importantly, the changes to the recipe were a vast improvement. Mostly thanks to some advice from this discussion, so thanks everbody who contributed! The lemon juice was very nice, and I ended up subbing Red Cabbage for the reccomended Radichio. For which reason see above comment about where I live:( Funny enough, even though I wanted Radichio, The Red Cabbage was a stroke of luck. For one thing, I most likely would not have tried the boat presentation...It was one of those on the spot ideas.

The recipe now stands thus:

Sliced raw Fennel

Sliced Green Onions

Sliced Yellow Peppers

Sliced Red Cabbage

Fresh Lemon juice and zest

EVOO

Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Thinking about a fruit to counter and cut all the acid. Apples and Mandarin Oranges are my thoughts so far.

Do or do not. There is no try.

-Yoda

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Use a cereal bowl. Or a rimmed soup bowl, those not-too-wide ones. Or one of those shallow-type bowls like the ones I often use (see some of my pics on the Lunch thread and elsewhere) It sounds like you run a catering business or a restaurant? (You refer to "guests" and "customers") Perhaps you have other serving ware not "normally" used for salad? Scatter some chopped red cabbage around the base (complementing the cabbage in the cabbage bowl) after propping the boat in that rimmed (cupped) bowl.

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Hmmm. To clarify, I do not run any business, as such. I do catering for a small, local fundraising organization. I.e., we put on fancy(for the region) dinner/dance parties, with all volunteer labor. All ticket proceeds benefit a particular local charity. It is my ambition at some point to open such a business though, so many of my ideas go through that filter.

And as for guests, I refer to friends over for supper. I've learned to cater(hehe) to the culinarily disabled.

I do not therefore have a ton in the way of serviceware, but a bowl might do the trick.

And not to disparage in any way your advice huiray(which is excellent and I appreciate it!), but I really want to serve it on a plate so you can see the sides of the cabbage bowl. It's so not what one would expect in a salad, giving it an(edible) three dimensional effect.

Do or do not. There is no try.

-Yoda

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Eric, whenever I need to hold something down to the plate I use either wet salt or mashed potato. If I need something more firm, I use salt dough (1:2 salt and flour with enough water to bind). Salt dough can be baked so that it doesn't come off on your food, and it can be stuck down to the plate (just make the ring, press it on the plate, then bake it). When salt dough is baked, it is like concrete. I normally use salt dough to make beggars chicken, but you can also use it to make little decorations and figurines.

The alternative is to make some kind of ring - maybe from salt dough or even some foil, and find a way to stick it on the plate. Perhaps some discreetly applied sticky tape.

There is no love more sincere than the love of food - George Bernard Shaw
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I'd also use a bowl that just fits the boat. If the event is relatively simple (not sure what fancy for the region might mean) you could probably even use simple paper or plastic ones, otherwise some small nicer (reusable) plastic dishes might do the trick or go online for some nice ceramic bowls (think Asian store).

I'm not sure about the cottage cheese, adding something that's not really part of the food seems a bit odd.

You could also experiment with some kind of ring, metal or plastic, something that's obviously not to be eaten and has little incentive to be "taken home". PVC pipe cut into thin rings or something like that?

But I'd go for a bowl that just holds the boat.

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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Here's one from the Eleven Madison Park Cookbook (with some modifications): Crimini mushrooms three ways (poached in olive oil-white wine reduction on pan-fried bread rounds, pickled, and raw), peanut puree, fresh garden greens, crushed peanuts, and peanut vinaigrette. I've never been a huge fan of Crimini mushrooms, but the poached ones are delicious.

333733_10102744556982680_1846833519_o.jpg

Edited by Baselerd (log)
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And another salad from the Eleven Madison Park Cookbook (slightly modified): Radicchio, mango, basil, and buffalo mozzarella with lemon vinaigrette and basil fluid gel. The lemon vinaigrette was made by infusing some neutral oil with lemon zest, and then adding fresh lemon juice, salt, and xanthan gum.

278592_10102303181856970_136217720_o.jpg

Edited by Baselerd (log)
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Baselerd, those look amazing! The portions would drive me insane, I can tell from looking I'd need, say, a small platter of each:)

Two questions: 1:, what is buffalo mozzarella? I've heard about it a few times but I don't know how it differs from traditional fresh. 2:, How do you go about making a basil fluid gel? In the summertime especially, I'm always looking for ways to use up fresh herbs from my garden.

Anything you can tell me I'd appreciate!

Do or do not. There is no try.

-Yoda

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Gorgeous salads, Baserled.

I am posting this one because of the dressing. It is hydroponic lettuce from my CSA with a sweet vermouth dressing from Babbo. Sweet vermouth (Dolin) and red wine vinegar are infused with rosemary and reduced down, and mixed with olive oil. The vermouth imparted sweetness and some spice. It was delicate and went well with the lettuce.

8418380491_c4f094049f_z.jpg

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Baselerd, those look amazing! The portions would drive me insane, I can tell from looking I'd need, say, a small platter of each:)

Two questions: 1:, what is buffalo mozzarella? I've heard about it a few times but I don't know how it differs from traditional fresh. 2:, How do you go about making a basil fluid gel? In the summertime especially, I'm always looking for ways to use up fresh herbs from my garden.

Anything you can tell me I'd appreciate!

Thanks! The serving sizes were definitely increased after photos :)

Buffalo mozzarella is mozzarella made from the milk of a water buffalo instead of a cow. The milk has almost twice the fat content, so it ends up being much softer, creamy, and more flavorful. It also costs a lot more...

The fluid gel was made mostly according to the Eleven Madison Park directions - you will need a lot of fresh basil (I used 4 cups of packed fresh basil leaves). It's a pretty standard fluid gel preparation - although you avoid heating the basil (thus breaking the flavor down), so that the final sauce has a fresh basil flavor. I would have to give special props to the recipe, I've never cooked any other basil sauce that captured the fresh flavor of basil quite as well as this fluid gel.

1. Blanch (boil ~5-10 sec, shock in ice water 1 min) and dry the basil (4 cups)

2. Puree the basil with water and ice (1 cup water, 2 cup ice) until very smooth

3. Mix sugar and agar agar (1/3 cup, ~ 7 g), hydrate by boiling with .5 cup water and whisking for a few minutes

4. Temper the hot gel solution into the cold basil puree and blend until homogenous

5. Cast in a sheet pan, refrigerate for a few hours

6. Puree set gel until smooth, strain, and refrigerate in a squeeze bottle.

Edited by Baselerd (log)
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Dinner tonight was a salad with romaine hearts (kept in the back of the fridge so it stays extra crispy), carrots, celery, onion, grape tomatoes, avocado, white cheddar, black olives, hot sauce and blue cheese dressing.IMAG0160.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...

i just recently started posting again and saw this thread. i live on salads of all sorts and love to find more ways of making them.

eric,

you can soften the red cabbage bowl by blanching it for a short time then shocking it in ice water - the bottom of the bowl will then flatten out under the salad and it will stand more securely. and may be adding a pinch of citric acid/lemon juice in clod water to prevent oxidation , it will also brighten the color of the cabbage.

if that's too much of a hassle, then just either cut of the tip of the bowl, effectively making a thick ring or may be even slashing a cross in the middle of the bowl, depending on how hard the ribs are that might be enough.

huiray, i loved your yee sang photos and looked thru the links. am looking into ingredients now. i see that turnips and green radish are mentioned. often oriental turnips are called radishes - are these 2 diff roots? what kind of substitute can you suggest? i seem to recognise some sort of cured or cooked garlic cloves on the plate. can you comment on how is it prepared?

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I made this for a couple of friends two nights ago. Butter lettuce, poached egg, buttered rye croutons, home cured and smoked fish sturgeon jerky, a light sherry dressing.

8495588178_e72f66c89e.jpg

“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted" JK

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...

huiray, i loved your yee sang photos and looked thru the links. am looking into ingredients now. i see that turnips and green radish are mentioned. often oriental turnips are called radishes - are these 2 diff roots? what kind of substitute can you suggest? i seem to recognise some sort of cured or cooked garlic cloves on the plate. can you comment on how is it prepared?

rumball,

I posted about the rendition of "Yee Sang" I made a week ago for this year's "Yun Yat", on the "Lunch" thread (http://forums.egullet.org/topic/143989-lunch-whatd-ya-have-2012/page-6#entry1909399) where I listed the ingredients I used. Was it from this post that you saw that turnips was mentioned? I see now that I made an error and have posted a correction here: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/143989-lunch-whatd-ya-have-2012/page-7#entry1910129 . I used TARO ("Yam") (芋頭), not turnip, in that list of ingredients.

The "radish" that would be commonly used would be what is commonly known as DAIKON in the West. There are several varieties of it, use whichever one you like, but in my understanding the traditional one would be the long and relatively narrow "white" ones like the one pictured on this webpage (白蘿蔔) rather than the shorter fatter ones (or the round ones). There are those which are sort-of greenish in color (like these) but they are less commonly available; I believe those are the ones Keith_W were referring to.

Those "cured or cooked garlic cloves" you see on the plate are pickled (large) scallion bulbs. I buy them. The ones I happened to use were a Japanese brand, Shirakiku Pickled Scallion (Rakkyo) - they're salty, sweet, sour. I like them and eat them at odd moments through the year too. :-)

BTW I used oroblanco segments in my recent "Yee Sang" platter (on the "Lunch" thread) but pomelo segments, both white and pink, in those "Yee Sang" platters shown in this (salad) thread. Pomelo is the traditional fruit used. Grapefruit (of which oroblanco is one variety) could be used instead, of course, but I myself would not use orange segments.

Here are a couple of web recipes to get you going, if you like:

http://www.noobcook.com/yu-sheng-chinese-new-year-raw-fish-salad/

http://www.rotinrice.com/2011/02/yee-sang-and-chinese-new-year-feast/

Don't be "bound" by the strictly traditional list of ingredients. :-)

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great! i was wondering about those red/green parts too - couldn't figure out what it might be. Taro! i noticed that it's called yam in many recipes - in US markets they mislabel sweet potatoes as yams - which is a totally diff animal. and also diff from taro. i have only tried taro chips, but i have access to a decent latam/filipino market that carries taro. i would think that it is specifically taro that is required for this recipe: yam won't give as much crunch. and i see that i can use japanese pickled ginger and scallions, was wondering about that too - so, basically i can make it, i even have a japanese julienne slicer, the big turner. and i can even get pomelo, which is much sweeter then grapefruit, but not as sweet as oranges. this is very exciting, i am telling you! i can see myself enjoying it anytime, i won't be bound by new year, guaranteed.

one more thing - i don't think i have access to sushi grade fish, but norwegian gravlax proly will be ok - it's just salted, not smoked salmon. much milder then lox.

i see that i can do var combos: like cucumber, jicama, red/green bell peppers with lime/pomelo with cilantro - for sort of mexican-style for example.

i 've never seen green radishes - they are very pretty. that i can't get. but i'll keep an eye for them in chinatown.

basquecook - wow ! home made sturgeon jerky? i am russian, that makes me very envious and nostalgic. cured sturgeon is very hard to get.

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  • 5 months later...

It's summer so I am sure everyone is making plenty of interesting salads. I would like to see recent examples of what everyone is doing with the summer bounty.

Here is one that I made last night with what I received in my CSA. Mixed greens, white peaches, roasted beets, crumbled fresh goat cheese, Arbequina olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing.

9482400621_a873de5076_z.jpg

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  • 5 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...
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