Malto Mario


The Lady & Sons

1,000 Italian Recipes

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Jumble of Salads Because it's a Stravaganza!!


I have no time, but wanted to post quickly on a couple things that I've been meaning to share.

Salads! I know I've been posting everything but salads lately, but that doesn't mean I haven't been eating them left and right! Okay well at least 2 times a week for dinner and 5 days a week for lunch. Although I have not tried any of the AMAZING submissions we've received for the Salad Stravaganza yet, I have finally got out to buy the ingredients and will be experimenting starting today. Yay!

This first salad I want to share is the best grilled chicken salad you will ever eat! As long as you over-look my horribly lit pictures and try it. ;) It's a simple salad.. your basic greens.. and yes, I'm an iceberg lover.. even though there are definitely many more lettuces out there that have more flavor, I usually buy iceberg. Do you see now how badly I need salad help?? hehe But the crunchiness of the iceberg lettuce works nicely with this recipe.

So all you do is, marinate your chicken breast - I do this simply with Wishbone Robusto Italian salad dressing. I swear by this stuff. Although I can't stand it as a salad dressing, for marinating chicken it's wonderful. I marinate for at least 30 minutes if I'm in a rush, but usually at least 8 hours. I either grill the chicken or pan sear it until it's nicely browned, being careful not to over-cook it. Cut it into bite sized chunks and throw into a salad made of iceberg lettuce, sliced cukes, grape tomatoes, diced bell peppers, black olives, and small diced pancetta - cooked until crispy. I prefer pancetta in this salad as it's not as potent as your basic bacon. DO NOT GET ME WRONG. There is nothing better than bacon!!!! But, for me, in this salad, I prefer the dressing and the chicken to be the main flavors with the pancetta adding a nice crunch and background hit of heavenly porkiness. heee!

Salad Stravaganza

'kay so you've got all your components in a big giant bowl.. I am now sharing with you my most favorite and pretty much only dressing I eat.. where there is nothing spectacular about the ingredients, I firmly believe it's all in the shake and the salt. I sprinkle garlic salt on the salad.. just when you think you've got enough, go ahead and give it one more little sprinkle (nope the salad doesn't turn out salty). And then in some kind of vessel, I use the cruet that you can buy with Kraft's Good Seasons packet dressing (I sometimes use the packets in a shrimp marinade, I'll have to blog about that one day, eh?). I fill the cruet up past the line for the vinegar (about an 1/8 of inch over) with balsamic vinegar. Then I fill the rest of the bottle with canola oil. I'm not a huge fan of olive oil and balsamic as a salad dressing. I prefer the lighter canola oil on my salads, and the olive oil in my cooking. Anyhoo.. once it's filled, I pop the cap on and I shake the mo'fo until I've got an emulsion - and then I shake some more. I have no idea if I'm adding anything to the emulsion by shaking it longer than necessary.. I just like prancing around my kitchen while shaking it. :P Once you're emulsified, pour a generous amount over your salad.

Wait there's more shaking involved!!!

I put a tight fitting lid on my bowl of chicken salad (or plastic wrap secured with a rubber band) and I shake, shake, shake.. shake, shake, shake, shake my salad.. shake my salad.. I know!!! Am I a freak of nature when it comes to my salad dressing, or what??? But I'm telling you - it comes out perfect each and every time.. SO GOOD!! Ohhh and if you use this method for just veggies without lettuce and let it sit for an hour or two, or even over night - heavenly when you finally dive in. I do this with bell peppers a lot - slice 'em up, shake 'em up with the dressing and just let them sit, with maybe an extra shake every once in a while for good measure - then we snack on them later. SO GOOD. SO FAKKIN GOOD.

Salad Stravaganza

But Wait! There's more!!!

As an added bonus, if you really get into your shaking abilities, you'll burn off the pancetta before you even eat it! How's that for a bonus?? :D

The second salad, is basically the same dressing - although the components are different. This one is made with our first harvest of the leaf lettuce we are growing in our garden - squeeeeeeeeee! We may not have 'maters yet (Sher :P ) but we've got lots of lettuce and it's fab. I just threw on some cukes and grape tomatoes, gave it a shake with my balsamic and oil dressing and shaved some Parmigiano Reggiano over top.. heavenly.


Finally.. potato salad. My mom's potato salad, to be specific. Quickly (as if, like I could be quick and to the point in my posts.. har!) boil potatoes with their skins on and take them out the very second they are fork tender.. let cool. Peel and dice - throw into big bowl. Dice some white onion - as much as you prefer. Dice some bell peppers, black olives, green olives, celery, and boiled egg - all amounts are what you feel is right for you. Give it a quick mix in the bowl with the potatoes. Now find some vessel again - the cruet won't work here, you need something bigger. Add 3-4 TBS. of Hellmann's mayo or Kraft or whatever, but NO MIRACLE WHIP (or as I like to call it, Miracle Sh*t), add 2 good squirts of either Dijon or plain yellow mustard, add a good sprinkling of celery salt, spanish paprika, onion and garlic powders and black pepper. Now, drizzle in eh? 1/4 c. - 1/3 c. milk - be careful on the milk, you don't want your dressing to be too thin - and you can always add more if it's too thick. Now, put the lid on your vessel and.. you know what to do, ladies and gents.. SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE - SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE - SHAKE YOUR POTATO SALAD DRESSING - SHAKE YOUR POTATO SALAD DRESSING!! Please feel free to frolic in your kitchen while shaking. It adds to the flavor.

Potato salad
I just realized that's a crappy picture because you can't see all the good stuff in it.. but trust me there was good stuff in it. :D

Pour your freshly shaken dressing over your potato salad and give a good mix, but be gentle so you don't mash your potatoes.. cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.. longer if you can - over night is best.. The ONLY potato salad I'll eat. =)

I'm also linking to past salads I've made as they all need re-introducing.. each one is sooooo fakkin' good.. Such as:

tortellini salad

Chopzanella cu

Broccoli Slaw

- A savory Broccoli-slaw

Kevin's Grilled Corn and Shrimp Salad

- Kevin's Grilled Corn & Shrimp Salad that I make all the time now!

Fish Salad

- My Dad's favorite Fish Salad

Mango Rice Salad with Grilled Shrimp

- A low cal/low fat Mango Rice Salad with Grilled Shrimp

And finally - a quick fruit salad - which I haven't made in a while for some STOOPID reason, but will post pictures when I do.. take your favorite melons and cut into bite sized chunks, add your favorite type of grapes, maybe some mandarin oranges, strawberries and other types of berries are excellent as well. Give 'em a light toss.. now in some kind of vessel (methinks you know where I'm going with this) combine (whisking is allowed here, but you don't burn as many calories in whisking as you do in SHAKE SHAKE SHAKING your booties!!) 2 TBS. honey with 2 tsp. freshly grated ginger and 3/4 c. citrus juice - I've tried them all and they all work wonderfully, but orange is my favorite - Pour over your fruit, give quick, gentle mix and let macerate for a couple hours. You can do this in the fridge or on the counter top, depending on if you prefer your fruit salad to be cold or room temp (I usually go room temp) - mow down.. is fabulous. =)

And lastly, I attended what I guess is becoming my yearly Women In The Outdoors (since I'm all about the linkage today) event with my friends again last week. Although I was not as awestruck as I was that first time, I did have fun and I kicked 14 out of 20 clay pigeon's arses. WOOO!

Okay well I'm sorry I squished all these delectible salads into one very long and not so quick post - but, as I'm sure some of you can relate to, summer blogging isn't as easy as winter blogging... that sunshine, fresh air and my pooches are what I crave, so my PC is getting the cold shoulder more often than not. =(

Nigel Jiggs Mofelli (2)
Nigel is being sneaky here.. this is when he looks away from you but keeps walking very... slowly... towards you and then POUNCE! He'll try to tackle your knees. We call it stalking - it's hilarious. =)

How can you resist that face and that schnozz?? Chloe likes to play ball. And after a 20 minute game of catch the ball and bring it back, she likes to play ball again. Then after that she likes to play ball AGAIN. It's kind of never ending. :D



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Comments on "A Jumble of Salads Because it's a Stravaganza!!"


Blogger Kelly-Jane said ... (6/15/2007 3:50 PM) : 

My goodness Lis! I thought that was part of the stravaganza round up :) You have been eating so healthily and such fab salads too :)

I'm getting there with my entry, next week hopefully!


Blogger Elle said ... (6/15/2007 10:20 PM) : 

Lis that is the best collection of salads I've seen in a long time. (Better than the salad section in some cookbooks by the way.)
And the photos of the doggies are so cute. I love dogs!
Looking forward to the stravaganza round up, too.


Blogger Peabody said ... (6/16/2007 8:02 PM) : 

Loving the photos of your pups!
You have more than a plethora of salads...luckily I don't see the one I maybe I can offer up something new.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6/17/2007 12:01 AM) : 

You are the salad queen!!!


Blogger Helene said ... (6/17/2007 1:26 AM) : 

Lovely spread of salads! And if you need my help streamlining a few, let me know...
Love your pupps! I am looking forward to playing bal with Chloe!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6/17/2007 4:10 AM) : 

wow...your salads look great and delicious. Your doggies are so cute.


Blogger Lis said ... (6/17/2007 8:22 AM) : 

Kelly-Jane - I can not wait to see what you come up with! =)

Elle - Thanks sweetie - I love me my pooches :D

Gracie - Yay! I'm so excited to see your recipe. :D

Ivonne - har! Ohh I think my hips would disagree. heheee

Helene - YES! I'll ask this in e-mail as well.. my dressing. My dad taught me it and it's the only dressing I've put on lettuce/veggies salads my whole life (except he used red wine vinegar, but I prefer balsamic). Anyhoo, like I said in the post, I make a whole cruet's worth of the dressing and then pour it on generously over the salads.. While I don't think I'm ingesting a whole SHITE-LOAD of oil by doing it this way, I know there's got to be a way of lessening the oil, but other than making the dressing from scratch each and every time for a single serving of salad, is there another way? A better oil maybe? As for the potato salad and fattier dressings - I don't eat them often enough to worry. I think I eat potato salad once or twice a year. And I've switched from reg. Hellmann's to the Light Hellmann's (although I don't really know how much difference that is).

Okay well that's it for now.. hoping you'll post your answer here so others can see it as they might find it helpful as well. :)



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6/17/2007 1:06 PM) : 

Oh my...I love salad and that first one looks fantastic. Well, they all look fantastic, but that first one has really grabbed me! I'm making my extravaganza salad today. Mmmmm!

Love your dogs! Too cute :)


Blogger sher said ... (6/17/2007 4:23 PM) : 

Well, it's hard for your salads to compete with the adorable doggies (especially that delicious looking ball), but you certainly have me drooling here.

OK, (solemnly crossing my heart), I promise to post a salad next week.


Blogger Valentina said ... (6/17/2007 9:22 PM) : 

your puppies are the cutest. I also thought that you were already presenting the round up to the salad extravaganza. And was cursing myself for forgetting the date. Until I reazlized that it wasn't .Phew!! Relief, relief...


Blogger Ed Tep said ... (6/18/2007 2:56 AM) : 

Lis - What a great round up. Sorry I wasn't able to join in this time around. And Nigel and Chloe look so adorable!


Blogger Meeta K. Wolff said ... (6/18/2007 7:56 AM) : 

Those Salads look gorgeous! what a great roundup!! I honestly thought it was roundup time for the event. I think I can bookmark this page because there are atleast 4 salads that I want to try!


Blogger Cheryl said ... (6/18/2007 12:11 PM) : 

I don't know where to start.

Your dogs are gorgeous. Don't make me want more!!

Any post in which you shake alot is a good thing. :)

The salads look amazing. I must get my mother to try the potato salad. Her's could use a makeover.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6/18/2007 2:17 PM) : 

I am definitely going to have to try out your potato salad recipe. A few years ago I attempted to perfect a recipe and didn't find quite the perfect version. This sounds like it might be the one! Whoo!


Blogger Orchidea said ... (6/19/2007 4:00 AM) : 

Great summer salads! I tried you super banana bundt cake... it was perfect, the one I was looking for. Thanks. I wrote a post about it few days ago and link it to you blog but I could not find the exact post on this cake. If you can send me the exact link I will add it to my post.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6/19/2007 9:32 AM) : 

That sounds like one killer salad! Better get off my hiney and get my entry together :D


Blogger S said ... (6/19/2007 11:18 AM) : 

You know I love you....but how much coffee did you have before you sat down at the computer? ;)


Blogger kellypea said ... (6/19/2007 2:34 PM) : 

Lis -- You just make me smile all day long. What a hoot. And what yummy salads. I have to say that I think iceburg lettuce stands up the best when making that kind of a salad. The only other thing I think works is cabbage.

And your mom's tater salad sounds great, too. Not too much mayo and definitely NO Miracle Sh*t. Ewww...

Mmmm....fruit...You know, right? I have a hankerin' for crunchy veggies now. But no olive oil? Really? *sigh*


Blogger Callipygia said ... (6/19/2007 5:17 PM) : 

Hey you got yourself your own stravaganza going on. You don't look like you need much assistance, but hey I finally posted mine! I want that potato salad...


Blogger tammy said ... (6/19/2007 8:44 PM) : 

Holy shit, that's a lot of salad. I can think of one or eight I'd like to try.


Blogger Veron said ... (6/19/2007 9:56 PM) : 

all those salads are so mouthwatering and so perfect for summer! Like the picture of your doggies... I have a bichon , Pooh Bear aside from my cat Pashmi


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6/20/2007 2:02 PM) : 

All those salads are making me drool. They all look so delicious! One more hour until my lunch break!


Blogger jasmine said ... (6/20/2007 7:38 PM) : 

Those salads are making me so hungry right now...Love the puppy piccies.



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6/20/2007 7:45 PM) : 

I love your posts, they always make me smile! And for not having any time you sure did post a lot. Not that I mind, in fact I'm happy you did. :)

Ari (Baking and Books)


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