Do you like French food? I sure do. Recently, I was invited to dine with a couple of friends at Jubilee, an authentic French eatery that’s just a short trip up First Avenue from my east village flat. Owned and operated by Eric Macaire, head chef Luc Holie (formerly of the late, great L’Absinthe) and his amicable wife Ilda (the couple hail from Montpelier and Paris, respectively), Jubilee is a neighborhood gem whose warmly decorated interior is elegant while remaining comfortable, cozy and charming. I felt welcome right away.
Do you like Southwestern Grains Salad? I sure do. I love the tasty mix of whole grains with sweet corn and tender black beans in a tangy dressing that is such a perfect summer side dish. The thing is, it seems so hard to make that I will usually deprive myself because I don’t want to make a mess in the kitchen or have to buy a bunch of stuff. Single ladies: you know how it is.
Then, when I was at the Snack Attack Editor Showcase a few weeks ago, I discovered Betty Crocker’s Suddenly Salad line of boxed Grain and Pasta Salad mixes, where (nearly) everything you to need to make a complete salad is in that box! So easy, so delicious, so exciting! I came home from the event with a box of the Southwestern Grains Salad and I made it at home a few nights ago. Let me share my experience with you.
Here’s your meal in a box: A boil-in-bag assortment of Brown Rice, Quinoa, Corn and Black Beans and some Red Bell Pepper (easier to see once it is cooked) and the dry dressing mix. To prepare, fill a three quart pan half way with water, bring to boil and drop in the bag of the dry grain mixture (do not open the bag) for 17 minutes, turning the bag over half way through cooking.
While the grains boil, mix one tablespoon of cold water and one tablespoon of oil into the dry salad dressing mixture, stir until well blended and set aside or store for few minutes in the fridge. The dressing has a delicious Chipotle Lime flavor that gives the salad its distinctive southwestern taste.
At the end of the 17 minute boiling time, transfer the bag to a colander and run cold water over it (turning the bag as needed) until the contents are cooled and water no longer drips from the bag.
Cut open the bag and pour grains into a serving bowl, then mix in the dressing. I chilled the salad for an additional 30 minutes uncovered in the fridge and it was perfect and insanely delicious. Suddenly, Salad!
You could, of course, also add grilled chicken to this salad for a heartier dish, but it tasted great on its own. Recommended! Read more about Betty Crocker’s Suddenly Salad mixes and get delicious recipe ideas at This Link.
Make this luscious and colorful fruit salad in a carved Watermelon Shark while the summer heat is still making us want fruit salad! The recipe, and step-by step-carving instructions, can be found at This Link!
Last week Diane (aka “Diaaaahhhnne”) and I made a humble pilgrimage to Shang restaurant, located at 187 Orchard Street, which is owned and chef’d by the awesome Susur Lee of Top Chef Masters fame. Holy Cow, what that guy does to food is just insane. We ate a whole bunch of amazingly delicious treats including the Asian Slaw you see pictured above, which arrived at our table like an edible tower to food heaven and was suitably tossed and served to us by our very nice waiter. Geezus, this stuff is seriously yummy – and there is so much of it we each had two plates, just as our appetizer. If you are a vegetarian, it could easily be a main dish.
Anyway, Diane and I have been singing the praises of this slaw to anyone with ears for the past week, and today she did some searching on the Google and found the recipe! Diane! It looks like it would take about a gazillion years to prepare at home, so I would just much rather go back to Shang, pay them 20 bucks and have them make it for me, because that is how I roll. But if you feel like putting in the man hours, check out the recipe for what is officially called Singapore Slaw With Salted Plum Dressing, which you can find at this link.
Thanks to Diane Anderson for The Tip!
Chef Susur Lee!