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Archive for the ‘potato salad’ Category

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Potato salad is one of our favorite summertime side dishes, as it is for many people. We like both the traditional mayonnaise based salad and a new one using a vinaigrette with balsamic vinegar. Today I added some fresh green beans.

First I steamed the beans, after trimming and breaking them into bite-sized pieces. I refreshed them in cold water, and blotted them partially dry with a kitchen towel. Then I drizzled them with a teaspoon or so of balsamic vinegar and added a small handful of chopped red onion.

In the meantime, I steamed some small red potatoes and left them unpeeled. As soon as them were tender, I added them to the mixing bowl with the green beans and onions and another teaspoon or two of balsamic vinegar, just enough to coat the potatoes. By the way, I cut the larger potatoes in half to make them more manageable to eat and to provide more surface area for the vinegar. Then they sat on the counter for a few minutes to cool a bit while I went outside to pick some fresh parsley. I chopped the parsley and added it to the vegetables along with a tablespoon of vinaigrette that I had already made. A good grind of pepper and a tablespoon of mayonnaise when the potatoes were cool, and the dish was ready to serve. It is best at room temperature, but can be kept in the frig until time to eat.

With the potato salad all ready at 4:00, I had no choice but to put in in the refrigerator until dinner, which I knew would be around 8:00. I had a flank steak marinating in a teriyaki sauce and fresh cherry tomatoes from our tomato plants ripe and ready to harvest. About 20 minutes before we ate, Mac started the grill and I sliced two zucchini, some green onions, and a handful of mushrooms. I sauteed these in a tablespoon of olive oil and a dab of butter. After 10 minutes, I added a chopped garlic clove, salt and pepper, gave it all a couple of stirs and it was ready to go.

Mac cooked the steak, brought it in and we sliced it thinly on the diagonal to keep it tender. It tasted great and was nice and juicy.

In the summer, I like to sit outside in the evening with a glass of wine and discuss the day with my husband or play with the grandchildren if they come over. I don’t want to have to spend a lot of time fixing dinner after we go inside. I therefore try to make some preparations early in the day, or plan a meal that requires little work right before mealtime. Here was a meal that was delicious, but not time consuming. The steak had been marinating since noon; it took 1 minute to prepare (I used Kikkoman teriyaki sauce), and eight minutes to cook. The potato salad took 40 minutes, but a lot of that was just waiting for the potatoes to cook, and I did that early in the day. The zucchini was fixed internal to the steak cooking, and required only slicing the veggies and giving them a stir while they cooked every now and then. That’s what I call a no-stress meal.

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If you look to the right of this posting, you will see a calendar. The dates that are in boldface type are the dates that I’ve added new posts to this site. You can click on any of those dates and that day’s posting will appear. I just figured it out. I thought I was just putting a nice calendar up for your convenience. I wondered why some of the dates were in bold type. Hmmmm.

Clever, very clever, these programmers are. I used to be one, way, way back in the dark ages of computer programming, long before personal computers were invented. Long before Microsoft and Windows and Apples and Macs. Back when the whole room-sized computer, noisy as heck, and very temperamental, had a grand total 16K memory. Whew! How things have changed!

I’m having a party here tomorrow and today I’m doing all the cooking. I doctored up potato salad from a grocery store, made corn salad, and pasta salad. (If you use the calendar on this page and click on the date March 23 you will find the recipe for pasta salad.) Usually grocery store potato salad isn’t worth bringing home. It’s too sweet, too bland, too something or other. I must admit I make good potato salad but I didn’t relish the thought of preparing ten pounds of it. A local IGA in West Milton, Ohio makes a darn good subsitute and I sometimes add a few things to make it “my own.”

I added some chopped celery, chopped red bell pepper, green olives, and some red French dressing, just 1/4 c. for the whole ten pounds. I also added some chopped red onion. Let me tell you it is hard to gently fold those ingredients into a large bowl of potato salad. I hope I didn’t mush it up too much. My taste test found it to be fine.

My neighbor Fern had a party last night and had some leftovers. I am getting the benefit of some of that and trading her some veggies that I hadn’t had time to prepare for a veggie tray that she had leftover. Also, she has a fruit salad that she won’t be able to finish up herself. It pays to have good neighbors, Fern and Jake are the best. Jake gets home from work before Mac and often he’s kind enough to do snow removal duty for us. I wish you all had neighbors as wonderful as the Havliceks.

Until next time, happy dining!

Morgana

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