Grains

EASY DOES IT # 16 – Two Quick, Simple Salad’s



A lot  of folk’s shy back from constructed salads because they find them difficult to make and the recipes too complicated.
I can asure you that nothing is further from the truth. First, choose two main components, such as pasta and cold cuts, rice and seafood, potato and vegetables, vegetables and cheese, any grain such as amaranth, barley, quinoa, or rye,  add herbs or whatever else tickles your fancy. Add whatever else you want to add that you think will enhance your salad, dress with whatever dressing you fancy. Combine any ingredients you feel will go well together and experiment.
However, if the salad is to be served at a later point in time or outside at a party, I don’t recommend homemade mayo for obvious reasons, use the store-bought version which is safer. Also, for pasta, rice and potato salads, I recommend to cook the starch a bit longer than if you use them in a hot dish. The texture will be more pleasant.
Following find two simple salads which I made yesterday. The whole prep and assembly took about thirty minutes total. If you don’t have much practice, both salads might take you an hour, not bad for two different dishes that serve about 20 each. Just remember, It’s your salad – do with it whatever you like as long as YOU think it’s the way it should be: omit, add, deduct any ingredient You feel makes your dish a better one 🙂


“Shrimp, Pasta And Egg Salad”

Penne rigata, shrimp, fennel leaves, eggs, peas, cherry tomatoes, mayo (easy on the mayo), olive oil,  garlic paste, white balsamic vinegar, kosher salt, cayenne pepper, greek yogurt, maggi. Use whatever ratio of ingredients you prefer. If it tastes good and looks good, you’ve done it right 🙂


“Farfalle Salad With Salame, Pepperjack And Cornichons”

Farfalle pasta, salame, pepper jack cheese, cornichons, scallions, mayo (easy on the mayo), olive oil, dijon mustard, garlic paste, white balsamic vinegar, cornichon liquid, kosher salt, cayenne pepper, maggi. Same here again,  use whatever ratio of ingredients you prefer. If it tastes good and looks good, you’ve done it right 🙂


Happy Cooking and Bon Appetit !

Click here for more “Easy Does It”


Shrimp, Pasta And Egg Salad

Shrimp, Pasta And Egg Salad

Shrimp, Pasta And Egg Salad

Shrimp, Pasta And Egg Salad

Shrimp, Pasta And Egg Salad

Shrimp, Pasta And Egg Salad

Shrimp, Pasta And Egg Salad

Shrimp, Pasta And Egg Salad



Farfalle Salad With Salame, Pepperjack And Cornichons

Farfalle Salad With Salame, Pepperjack And Cornichons

Farfalle Salad With Salame, Pepperjack And Cornichons

Farfalle Salad With Salame, Pepperjack And Cornichons

Farfalle Salad With Salame, Pepperjack And Cornichons

Farfalle Salad With Salame, Pepperjack And Cornichons

Farfalle Salad With Salame, Pepperjack And Cornichons

Farfalle Salad With Salame, Pepperjack And Cornichons



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Congee With Smoked Pig’s Tails & Vegetables

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Rice Porridge.
First thing that comes to mind is probably baby food or hospital gruff. Most folk’s would never think of ordering it from a menu in a restaurant, much less wake up and crave it for breakfast, if they hadn’t tasted or at least seen it before.

Now, let’s try again :
Congee. Lúgaw. Chok. Xifan. Juk. Okayu.
OK, that’s better  🙂

Sounds more interesting and exotic? These are just a few names given to rice porridge around the world. If there is a country or region which traditionally eats rice, then there is some form of rice porridge eaten.

Congee can be enjoyed as breakfast, snack, lunch or dinner. Congee most often contains rice, but other grains can be used. Ideally it is made with strong, tasty stock that infuses great taste and debt into the dish. But from there on, let your fantasy run wild. Congee can be made with seafood, meat, vegetables or a combination thereof. Then there are the toppings. Pickled vegetables, fried shallots, sliced scallions, pulled mushroom stems, crisp fried garlic, dried shrimps, 100 year eggs, cilantro, etc, etc. If you like it, put it on.
Below is a version I made on sunday for breakfast. The texture is more like a filipino Lugaw, with the rice VERY soft but still keeping it’s shape. At first I was not so sure about the smoked pigstails. I was worried they might be too  overpowering. But not to worry. The taste was very rich with only a hint of smokiness. Another slightly unusual ingredient (served as condiment) was the freshly grated horseradish, although when you think of the japanese version Okayu, wasaby seems to be a fitting condiment. I prepare congee at home often, this version is definitely special and a great addition to my congee repertoire.
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All about   CONGEE
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Ingredient’s :

Jasmin rice,
Smoked pig’s feet,
Corn on the cob,  cut into thick slices
Chinese unsmoked sausages,  thinly sliced
Bell peppers,  diced
Ginger,  grated
Garlic,  paste
Cilantro,  chopped
Scallions,  sliced
Salt,
Soy sauce,
Horseradish,  freshly grated
Sesame oil,
Chili oil,
Peanut oil,  to saute

Method :

Saute garlic and ginger in peanut oil until fragrant. Add water and pigstails. Simmer pigstails in unseasoned water for about an hour or until starting to become tender. Taste stock and if necessary season with salt and pepper. (Some smoked meats can be overly salted, so don’t season at first) Add rice and very slowly simmer for another hour or until the rice is close to the texture you desire. Now add the corn, diced peppers and sausages. Simmer for another fifteen minute. At this point, adjust texture and seasoning if necessary. If the congee is too thick for your liking, add some hot stock. If it is too thin, simmer longer or strain some of the liquid.
To serve, sprinkle with scallions and cilantro. Drizzle with chili oil.
Serve with horseradish and soy sauce.  Acompanied by Oolong tea.

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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