cilantro

Cambodian Pineapple Salad

by Anne Maxfield on April 13, 2017

Accidental Locavore Pineapple Salad IngredientsWho knew I’d fall in love with a pineapple salad?

Last week I conned my bestie into taking a Cambodian cooking class with me at Brooklyn Kitchen.

The Accidental Locavore did it mostly because I had no clue what Cambodian cooking was all about.

Had never eaten it.

Or cooked it.

It’s like its neighbors Vietnam, Thai, Laos, and uses the five tastes that are essential to that part of the world – sweet, bitter, sour, salty and umami.

One of our favorite dishes was this pineapple salad. It makes a big bowl of salad, depending on the size of your pineapple.

Cambodian Pineapple Salad

Salad:

  • 1 medium pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1” chunks
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and julienned
  • ¼ cup mint leaves, sliced thin
  • ½ bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped (include stems)
  • ¼ cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 scallions, sliced thin

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime and 1 lemon
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Thai or serrano chile, thinly sliced
  • 1/2” piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon sambal sauce (or Sriracha)

Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl.

To make the dressing, put all the ingredients in a small container with a (tight) lid. Shake to combine. Taste and adjust the lemon, fish sauce and chile to taste.

Pour over the salad, toss, serve and enjoy!

My verdict:

I guess it’s time to change (or open my mind) about sweet ingredients with savory ones. This pineapple salad is a perfect example. It’s not something I would normally make, but it was my favorite dish of the class! The dressing would be good on all kinds of things, like chicken, fish or shrimp.

As a matter of fact, everyone at my table thought the whole thing would make a wonderful ceviche!

You can add or remove almost any ingredient. I’d add basil, especially Thai Holy Basil if I came across some. The salad we had in class had red and green peppers, I’m not a huge fan, so left them out of my version. Mango could easily replace the pineapple–you get the idea. Have fun!

I made it and brought it to a Slow Food Hudson Valley meeting and everyone loved it, guess this is a keeper.

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Lime Turmeric Salad Dressing

by Anne Maxfield on October 27, 2016

accidental-locavore-lime-turmeric-dressing-on-tomatoesLime, turmeric, ginger – got a couple of superfoods in this salad dressing, so it might actually be good for you.

And Zagat’s has named turmeric “this year’s trendiest superfood“.

The Accidental Locavore had some cilantro that wasn’t going to last much longer so I gave this recipe from Ottolenghi via bon appétit a shot.

Since everything ends up in a food processor, your chopping doesn’t need to be picture perfect.

Makes about ¾ cup.

Lime Turmeric Salad Dressing

  • ¾ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1” piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove peeled and crushed
  • 1 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon lime zest (from about ½ lime)
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and roughly chopped (more or less to taste)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Put the turmeric, ginger, garlic, cilantro, lime zest and juice and some of the jalapeno into the food processor, pulse until finely chopped.

With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil. Taste and add salt and more jalapeno as needed. Serve over your favorite greens and enjoy!

accidental-locavore-lime-turmeric-salad-dressingMy verdict: Not love at first bite.  Tried the lime turmeric salad dressing on some heirloom tomatoes and then on some local lettuce and was, frankly, underwhelmed.

The original recipe called for a whole jalapeno and this time I was playing it safe. I ended up using about a quarter of a pretty big and spicy one, so unless you’re a heat freak (and/or you know how hot your chile is) err on the cautious side with this.

I think turmeric is an acquired taste. Good in small doses when it blends with other spices. It gave the dressing a slightly soapy taste and adding more lime juice didn’t perk it up. The original recipe called for fresh turmeric (4” piece peeled and chopped) and that might make a difference, but turmeric is hard to come by in my ‘hood. Are you able to find it by you? And have you ever used it?

 

 

 

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Cilantro Chutney

by Anne Maxfield on May 12, 2016

Accidental Locavore Cilantro ChutneyCilantro, love it or hate it? If you hate it, you can skip this post (or just read to the end for the quality of the writing).

One of the first recipes of many recipes the Accidental Locavore wanted to try from Made in India was chicken with a cilantro chutney. First up – the chutney. This makes about a pint jar:

  • 4 ounces cilantro (a medium-sized bunch – see photo)
  • 2 ounces peanuts, unsalted and unroasted
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 2-3 serrano chiles, roughly chopped (seed and use more or less depending on your heat tolerance)

Accidental Locavore 4 Ounces CilantroWash and coarsely chop the cilantro, stems and leaves. Since you’re using the stems, make sure the cilantro is well washed. Add to a blender or food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Pulse until the mixture has a smooth consistency, like a pesto. Add some water if necessary to help the mixture blend. Taste and add more of any of the ingredients to your taste. Store in a jar in the refrigerator until ready to use and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Fish in Banana LeafMy verdict: I didn’t have many peanuts so ended up with half peanuts and half pine nuts, but there was still a taste of peanuts. I’m sure you could probably use almost any nut. This was really good and went well with the chicken. With the leftovers, I continued my freezer cook-down and wrapped some cod in banana leaves for dinner, which looked cool and tasted great! The banana leaves are from my freezer but parchment paper or aluminum foil (as long as it’s not going in the microwave) would also be fine.

Accidental Locavore Made In IndiaIf you like Indian food, this is a great cookbook! I thank my friend Rob for introducing it to me. I’ve made several recipes from it, starting with the roasted cauliflower and have many more marked to try. So far, nothing is hard or complicated and my basmati rice is hugely improved! Look for more recipes from this great book.

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Green Posole With Cod

by Anne Maxfield on April 28, 2016

Accidental Locavore Green Posole IngredientsThis is a lighter (and quicker) take on the classic Mexican hangover cure. The Accidental Locavore thinks you’ll like this fresh take on a classic Mexican (hangover) classic from bon appétit. It’s easy and serves 4.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 serrano chiles, thinly sliced, divided
  • 8 medium tomatillos (about 1¼ pounds), husks removed, rinsed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves with tender stems, plus more for serving
  • 1 pound cod fillet
  • 1 15-ounce can white hominy, rinsed
  • 1 8-ounce bottle clam juice
  • 3 small radishes, trimmed, thinly sliced (optional, but pretty)
  • Lime wedges (for serving)

Accidental Locavore Green PosoleHeat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook shallots, garlic, and half of chiles, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, about 6 to 8 minutes. While that’s cooking purée tomatillos in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Add half of tomatillo purée to pot and cook, stirring often, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1 cup cilantro to remaining purée in blender and blend until smooth; set aside.

Add cod, hominy, clam juice, and 1 cup water to pot. Bring to a simmer and gently cook over medium-low until cod is opaque throughout and beginning to flake, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in reserved raw tomatillo-cilantro purée, breaking cod into large chunks; season with salt and pepper.

Divide stew among bowls and top with radishes, cilantro, and remaining chile, if you like it hot. Serve with lime wedges and enjoy!

My verdict:  Since I first had posole in Mexico, I’ve been a big fan! This is a great spring-like take on the classic. It definitely needs the lime to perk it up, otherwise it’s a great dinner. If you’re not a fan of heat, cut down on the chiles or leave them out. My guess is that if you wanted to take the time to soak dried posole corn, it would be worth the time. Next time I’m going to try that. You could add some warm tortillas, or even some chips, or just enjoy it as is.

 

 

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