Foot ball season is about to begin I guess the first game is Friday, so its a big deal with my eldest son and all my male friends. Seems I have some drafts I was cleaning out and I never posted these recipes from 2 years ago. I know some one slap me as this potato salads is my fav…mmmm potatoes.
Football season that is. Now I am not a huge sport fan in any way, but I do love cooking and socializing. So it goes to say that football season is a great venue for both. This past Sunday was not only the kick off to the season and Da Bears, but it was also the kick off to our football feeding frenzy. Last year, nearly weekly, myself, some close friends and my sons got together. Usually at my one friends house Big Daddy, who has a forgiving wife and a 52 inch flat screen, is where we gather. This year BD got a smoker so it’s upped the food ante. I have become the queen of the side dish for these gatherings and I came up with 2 yum yum salads to kick the year off. Seeing it was 80 degrees out and we were having smoked beef short ribs and smoked duck, cool fresh salads were the key. Of course I had brought my camera and then failed to take pictures but I promise to keep my football series better documented.
Apple Jack is in charge of cocktails and he loves to craft infused liquors, purees etc. This past Sunday he had on the menu: Fig Margarita (utilizing fig jam I made last week-recipe to come), Peach rosemary mojito, blackberry basil margarita and my favorite was the cucumber honeydew mojito. We also had beer and sangria both red and white. Nothing ends a week like good friends, good food and hand crafted cocktails….except the Bears kicking the Falcons boo tay.
On to the food, I wanted to do a potato salad but something new and I am not a big fan of mayo based potato salads. I tend to do more vinaigrette based ones. I wanted something bright but that would compliment the smoked meats and as I am trying to slim down some a salad that would be tasty and lower calorie.
I came up with a mix of purple, rosy and yukon fingerling potatoes tossed with a smokey roasted jalapeno and garlic vinaigrette. It looked cool and tasted almost like it had bacon in it. I added some roasted corn and fresh celery for crunch. I actually ate this a few days later for lunch and it still had its bright flavor and the veggies texture hadn’t changed.
The second salad was steamed asparagus, butternut squash, pea pods and red pepper in a lemon-ginger pepper vinaigrette. It was colorful and zesty. With the smoked duck it created a happy dance party on my taste buds. Both were pretty quick to make and were fine a few days later so I would say good to make the night before a picnic/party.
I do use the term vinaigrette lightly as usually my salad dressing are a bunch of stuff thrown in a jar, shaken up and then dumped in the salad. Use what ever method works for you. I see my sharing recipes as guidelines not down in stone. Food should be fun and experimental…like sex.
Roasted Jalapeno and Garlic Potato Salad
3 lb fingerling potatoes, skin on cut into bite size chunks
(can use any potatoes)
6-10 clove garlic leave in skin
1-2 ear fresh sweet corn, husked
3 stalk celery, small dice
½ pc red onion cut into 1/2
¼ cup olive oil
1/3 cup vinegar (I use apple cider)
Salt and pepper
Chopped cilantro (optional)
note* I like my flavors bold and use the max jalapeno and garlic for an in your face effect to stand up to smoked meat. For a more delicate balance use the lower amounts. Remember you can always add more heat but cant take away.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add potatoes. Simmer until just tender, turn off and set aside for 10 minutes. Drain into colander and run cool water over until room temperature, set aside.
Heat a 10-12 inch sauté pan over medium heat, place jalapenos, skin on garlic cloves, red onion and ear of corn in DRY pan. Over medium heat roast items, turning when skins start to blacken. This will dry roast the items for a sweet and smokey flavor. Garlic skin will be dark on its sides as well as the peppers and onions, corn will get some color as well and all with be cooked. Remove from pan and allow to cool.
Peel skin off of garlic and place garlic, jalapenos, onion, oil, cilantro, vinegar, salt and pepper in blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, taste for seasoning adjustments.
Cut roasted corn of ear and place in bowl with celery and potatoes, add blended vinaigrette and toss well.
Asparagus and Butternut Squash salad with lemon-ginger vinaigrette
2 bunch Asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 cup butternut squash, cut into cubes
1 cup peapods, sliced into strips
1 red pepper, small diced
2 large lemons, save the zest and juice
2 inch fresh ginger, grated
1/3 cup olive oil
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
1 Tbl. Dijon mustard
1-2 Tbl. Mixed peppercorns (pink, black, green, szechuan)-crushed
Fresh basil or thyme (optional)
Steam asparagus until just tender and cool in an ice water bath immediately, Drain and set aside. Steam butternut squash until tender but still retaining shape, drain and cool with cold water as well. Add to Asparagus in a bowl with peapods, red pepper and any herbs.
In a bowl or jar combine mustard, lemon juice, lemon zest, rice wine vinegar, olive oil, ginger, salt and pepper. Shake/mix well and taste to adjust seasoning. I was going for a strong lemon peppery zing adjust the peppercorns as you like.
Toss dressing with veggies and set aside for 30 minutes before serving . really best with most of my vegetable salads to let the flavors get to know each other, hold hands a bit and then marry.