Thursday, July 23, 2015

Grilled Ciabatta Bread Salad

My friend Mary Ellen made this Grilled Ciabatta Bread Salad for us twice before I finally got off my butt and made it myself. It's one of SP's favorite salads so he's been bugging me to make it.

Grilled bread salad

We have a charcoal grill, which makes it harder to control the heat of the fire. My bread got pretty blackened so I had to cut some sections off (I really dislike overly charred food), but that was no big deal. This made a TON of salad, way more than the three of us could eat, so next time I'll cut the recipe in half or just make it when we have company.

Grilled Ciabatta Bread Salad
As seen on Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
1 cup good olive oil, divided
1 loaf ciabatta bread
1 6-oz bag baby spinach
2 tomatoes, chopped
blue cheese or feta crumbles, to taste

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt, pepper and oregano, to taste

Place onions, cilantro and 1/2 cup olive oil in a large bowl and toss together. Let marinate in the fridge while you grill the bread.

Slice the bread into two long halves. Spray or brush with cooking spray/olive oil, season with salt and pepper and grill until charred on both sides.

Let the bread rest until it's cool enough to handle, then chop into 1 inch pieces. Add bread cubes to the onion and cilantro mixture, along with the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil. Chill at least 30 minutes.

Before serving, add the tomatoes, spinach and cheese. Toss with the balsamic (start slowly and add to taste), salt, pepper and oregano to taste. Serve immediately
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Monday, July 06, 2015

Fried Rice

One of T's contributions to our Asian dinner was Fried Rice. But in true form, she managed to be busy when it was time to cook the rice so the task fell to me. I pick on her about this all the time, her knack for finding something else to do when I'm in her kitchen so she's off the hook for cooking. I actually don't mind - I love cooking in her kitchen. There's so much room!

Asian night
(all photos by T. Casey)

Anyway, let's talk about this fried rice. T did all the prep the day before (a must when making fried rice - the rice needs to be pre-cooked and cold) so all I had to do was throw it all together in her huge cast-iron skillet.

Asian night

This was outstanding. So fresh and flavorful. T doubled the recipe for our dinner and it was enough to feed 6 adults, 2 kids plus two of T's adult kids who scrounged the kitchen for leftovers after we'd eaten.

Fried Rice
As seen on Gimme Some Oven

3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 eggs, beaten
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 small white onion, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
4 cups cooked and chilled short-grain white rice
3 green onions, thinly sliced
3-4 tablespoons soy sauce, or more to taste
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Heat 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until melted. Add the beaten egg, and cook until scrambled, stirring occasionally. Remove egg to a separate plate.

Add an additional 1 tablespoon butter to the pan and heat until melted. Add carrots, onion, peas and garlic, and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes or until the onion and carrots are soft.

Increase heat to high, add in the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter, and stir until melted. Immediately add the rice, green onions, soy sauce and oyster sauce and stir until combined. Continue stirring for an additional 3 minutes to fry the rice. Then add in the eggs and stir to combine. Add the sesame oil, stir to combine, and remove from heat.

Serve warm.

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