Friday, August 04, 2006
Staying Cool While Still Eating Well
We had my mom over for dinner on Sunday. Since we are still experiencing temperatures bordering on ridiculous, I didn't want to make anything too heavy. Since my parents belong to an organic food co-op, I decided to base my menu around whatever was in their box o' veggies this week. Basil, dill, green peppers, grape tomatoes and cabbage turned into broiled salmon with dill mayo, corn salad with tomatoes, green pepper, red onion with a basil vinaigrette and coleslaw.
I bought 6 ears of corn for $1 at the store, but I was in such a hurry that I didn't take the time to peel back the top layer to check out the corn. That meant when I was shucking the corn later that afternoon I had a run-in with not one but two maggots who had made their home at the top of two of my ears of corn. After much screeching and flapping of the hands, the intrepid SP came to the rescue and disposed of the bodies. Those ears of corn were promptly cut in half, which meant I ended up with only 5 ears of corn when all was said and done.
Once shucked, the corn was blanched for only a minute in some boiling water. After it cooled, I took the kernels off with a knife. To that I added some very finely minced red onion (only half of a small onion), two green peppers cut into a large dice, grape tomatoes that I cut in half and some minced basil. The dressing was red wine vinegar, garlic mashed into a paste with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and minced basil. Streamed in some olive oil and whisked it all together.
The salmon was simply seasoned with salt and pepper. Since we were only three people I was able to fit the salmon on the broiler tray for my toaster oven. I broiled it for 15 minutes until the outside turned opaque and the flesh flaked easily with a fork. For the dill mayo I minced fresh dill (I like a lot so I used most of the bunch Mom gave me) and mayo together in a bowl. Let it sit for as long as possible so the flavors can come together. I think mine sat for a good 2 hours.
Mom and I made the coleslaw together since I've never made it the way she makes it before and I needed a tutorial. She thinly sliced half a head of cabbage while I shredded a carrot on the large holes of a box grater. We mixed the two together and then added a few squirts (probably 3 tablespoons) of ketchup, a glob of mayo (maybe 1/2 cup to 1 cup depending on how wet you like it) and a few tablespoons of plain white vinegar. Mix it all together, taste to see if it's tangy enough and add more mayo if it's too tangy or more vinegar if it's not tangy enough. Mix well and let stand for at least 15 minutes so the flavors can meld.