Salad

Soba noodle salad with roasted chicken


Current situation is I am in the den trying to write my blog, my sister-in-law is in the kitchen doing dishes, her husband is helping my husband with his snowmobile seat replacement. My brother-in-law and his GF just left to head home to the Cape which is why I am in the den trying to write. Oh and my daughter and her BF just woke up and came downstairs. To say it was a hectic kind of morning is an understatement. Oh and I forgot my son came down with his dog to run and play with my dog and they are both roaming around the kitchen.


This is kind of a typical day around here, and I am not complaining.


This simple salad recipe was fast to come together and really quite delicious; even the next day for lunch it was great. I am not sure if it would have made 2 days for lunch but I would love to make this again and so would the fam.

I am not sure who came up with the grocery stores roasting a bunch of chickens and selling them but I think they were brilliant. I buy them fairly often for our house and at least once a month for my in-laws who we are still grocery shopping for. We started shopping for them due to Covid but since they are in their 90’s I think it is more of a convenience for them plus I pretty much get carte-blanche for the most part of what to buy so I know they are eating pretty well.

Soba noodle salad with soy-lime dressing and roasted shredded chicken

dclarkabal
a light but filling and delicious salad for dinner or lunch or both
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

soy-lime dressing

  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lime zest
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice roughly 3 large limes
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

salad

  • 8 ounces soba noodle
  • 2 cups roasted chicken shredded
  • ½ English cucumber we used ours from the garden, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced into half moons
  • 1 cup edamame, shelled cooked according to the package instructions
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves plus more for serving
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced on the bias
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds plus more for serving
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly grated lime zest and wedges for serving

Instructions
 

Dressing

  • in a bowl, whisk together the lime zest, juice, soy sauce, Sriracha, garlic and the brown sugar. Whisking constantly, add the oil in a slow steady stream. The dressing, you can make the dressing ahead of time and it can be kept in the refrigerator in a airtight container for about a week.

Salad

  • cook the soba noodle according to the package directions. Drain and then rinse with cold water and set aside.
  • combine the noodles, chicken, cucumber, edamame, cilantro, scallions, sesame seeds in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to combine. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  • divide the noodle salad into 4 bowls and sprinkle with sesame seeds, cilantro and lime zest and serve with lime wedges.

Summer Garden Salad

I hope you have a wonderful day!

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When I initially share this recipe back in 2016; sounds forever ago I know but this is a fantastic salad that comes together very quickly and is great to share with family and friends. If you have a vegetable garden you probably have almost everything right outside your door.   

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Back in 2016 everything you see here was mine except the corn on the cob. I wouldn’t and haven’t let my husband plant corn in many many years. I always felt it took up too much real estate for what we got out of it. If we got any ears they were super small, yes they were very tender and super sweet but I wasn’t impressed. This year I let him have the raised bed garden that I don’t really like. So he is trying corn again. I think it’s been close to 17 years since we tried growing it. We’ll see how it goes this year.  Interesting fact about corn on the cob. It is the sweetest when you pick it, meaning eat it as soon as you pick it or bring it home as the longer you wait the less sweet it will be.

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I would make the dressing up before you start chopping your veggies up, only so it has time to meld together. 

Summer Garden Salad

Donna Clark - Cooking at Clark Towers
quick and easy summer salad
Prep Time 30 mins
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 small clove of garlic minced
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup sliced cherry grape or like tomatoes
  • ½ medium cucumber halved, seeded and sliced thin
  • ½ medium yellow summer squash quartered and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • ¼ medium sweet onion sliced thin
  • Kernels from 1 ear of corn
  • 1 Tbs coarsely chopped fresh basil

Instructions
 

  • Whisk the first 5 ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  • Add the next diced/sliced 5 ingredients; stir well to combine.
  • Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
  • Stirring occasionally before serving.
  • Garnish with basil.

Meat Jun with Somen Dressing Chopped Salad

This recipe is a slight collaboration between my daughter and I; since I work from home my job was to make the marinade and add the steak to it so it had time to gather all the yumminess – which for only marinating for a couple of hours had a ton of flavor. This is another recipe from one of her favorite cookbooks Aloha Kitchen.

Trying to find some motivation on another rainy Sunday here in NH I know I shouldn’t complain about the weather as there are so many crazy weather patterns out there around the world and so much worse than ours. But this has been the soggiest July on record here in Southern NH. It actually broke the last record set back in 1915. The best crop in my yard are the mushrooms growing all around in my lawn. My poor garden is producing a few things here and there but my tomatoes are looking a little “under the weather”

We were fortunate to have a wonderful day yesterday; the sun was shining all day. We were able to go to a postponed fourth of July Paella BBQ party and spend some much needed time with wonderful friends we haven’t seen all summer. It was topped off with a little fireworks display and some yummy desserts.


My other job was to add the rice to the rice cooker. If it were not for my daughter I could say without a doubt I would not have ever had a rice cooker in the house. She had one when she lived in Japan and bought one almost immediately when she moved back home and we use it quite often; not only for rice but we put steel cut oats in it at night and set the timer so we have fresh warm oatmeal for breakfast – Great purchase!

My daughter took two recipes from the cookbook and made a lovely dinner

Meat Jun

A mixed plate you can make at home

Ingredients
  

Meat Jun marinade

  • 2 pounds round steak or you can use chuck, tri-tip or flank steak
  • cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 green onions green and white, chopped
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds toasted, ground
  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

dipping sauce

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seed toasted, ground
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced

steak coating

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 cups steamed rice
  • oil for frying

Instructions
 

marinade

  • in a ziploc bag, combine the brown sugar, ginger, garlic, green onions, soy sauce, sesame seeds, sesame oil, and pepper. Close the bag and shake the bag well to combine all the ingredient. Add steak and transfer to the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

Dipping Sauce

  • in a small bowl whisk together the soy sauce, gochunjang, rice vinegar, honey, sesame seeds, sesame oil, pepper, garlic, ginger, and green onions.

making the steak

  • Line a plate with paper towels and set aside. In a shallow bowl add the flour, in another shallow bowl, beat the eggs. In a large enough pan to fry the steak, add 1/4 inch of frying oil. and heat over medium-low heat. Once the oil is shimmering. Remove the steak from the marinade and discard the marinade. Set the meat in a dish, working in batches, dredge the meat, one piece at a time into the flour, shaking off the excess, then dip into the egg mixture, letting the excess drip off before placing each piece into the skillet. Fry until golden brown 1-2 minutes on each side. Set on the paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat until all meat is fried.
  • Serve warm with the dipping sauce and steamed rice

Somen Salad Dressing

a quick simple chopped salad dressing
Course Side Dish

Ingredients
  

Dressing

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • ¼ cup mirin

Salad

  • carrots shredded
  • cucumbers peeled, sliced into match sticks
  • cabbage shredded, or sliced thin
  • snow peapods diced

Instructions
 

Dressing

  • combine the sugar, chicken broth, soy sauce, sesame oil, and mirin in a jar with a lid. Shake together until the sugar has dissolved. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use up to two weeks

Salad

  • peel and slice the cucumbers, shred or buy shredded carrots, shred or slice the cabbage and dice the pea pods. Arrange on a plate and when ready to eat. Add some of the dressing and combine the salad.

 

 

Sunshine Salad

Trying to find a little inspiration this morning. The last few or more like several times it has been beyond painful trying to upload my photos from my camera to my laptop. This morning was no different and really puts a bummer on getting in the mood to want to write or even deal with electronics at all.

Change of scenery has helped a little and I finally got the pictures to load; what a pain in the ass that was. My adorable husbands solution is to buy a new laptop, seriously how about seeing it if it is the $20 SD card first. I googled it; I don’t think it is – insert sad face here!

So I have a couple of recipes to share with you from this past week and I had totally planned on sharing the Tostadas my daughter made but decided to write about the salad my daughter picked out but I made.  I am sitting on the back deck; aka the drinking deck after my husband de-pollinated it for us WOW crazy pollen this year. There is a little breeze and the sun is starting to come around to the deck – hence the sunshine salad; no that is not why it is called that. The recipe mentioned that this was sunshine in a bowl.

I think you will like this salad, the peppery arugula is offset by the sweet potatoes and the creamy avocado, the tomato adds a pop of juicy tang followed by fried cheese. It all works really well together. You can have this as a meal or add some protein along the side.

The recipe we got from Yasmin Khan

Sunshine Salad

dclarkabal
not your average salad but worth the extra effort to make this one for the family and friends
Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean

Ingredients
  

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large handfuls of arugula
  • 18 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 large Hass avocado peeled, stoned and sliced
  • small handful of mint leaves finely chopped / we omitted since we didn't have any
  • small handful of basil leaves finely chopped
  • 9 ounce holloumi cheese
  • vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest finely grated

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400'F
  • Peel the sweet potatoes and slice into wedges, similar to steak fries. Place them on a baking sheet and drizzle with some olive oil. Some salt and pepper. Place in the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until they are cooked but still firm.
  • Place all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and whisk - set aside.
  • Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, let them cool on the sheet before putting them in a large serving bowl along with the arugula, tomatoes, avocado, and herbs. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine.
  • Slice the Halloumi aka as squeaky cheese into 8 rectangular pieces. Heat some vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry the halloumi for a couple of minutes on each side until they are golden brown and seared. Arrange them on top of the salad and serve immediately.
Keyword arugula, avocado, salad, sweet potatoes

Brussels sprouts apple and pomegranate salad

I hope the name does not stop you from wanting to make this delicious salad. My daughter made it last year for a work potluck and it was a huge hit so she wanted to share it with the family this Thanksgiving and we are all very happy she did. Even my husband who is not a big fan of the mini green cabbages.

Some people like my husband can be funny about certain vegetables and brussl spouts are definitly on the list of questionable veggied.  However this salad has so much going on that even if you are on the fence about brussel sprouts you will truly enjoy this salad; my husband certaintly did. I also think it will be perfect for your Christmas table being the colors of green with red pomegranites dotted throughlout; it looks super festive and you should check it out; I don’t think you will be disappointed.

there are many ways to make this salad so you can substitute to your liking  such as the apple, the nuts; you can add regular nuts; I would toast them for more depth of flavor. You can use kale instead of brussel sprouts, cabbage would be great.

I am sure I am not alone in disliking buying an ingredient for one recipe and then it sits on the shelf. I cleaned out my pantry and came across a tub of spices and one was dated back to 2007 – oops must have forgot about that one; into the trash it went. You might not be able to find sumac at your local grocery store, we had to order it online but please be assured It can be used to flavor meats, fish, salads and even hummus. It is a tangy lemony spice often used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking. I think you will really like it.

Brussels sprouts apple and pomegranate salad

dclarkabal
a great crunchy salad you can make your own - a real crowd pleaser

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 large red onion diced
  • 2 tablespoon s red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon ground sumac
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups brussel sprouts, shredded subs. kale
  • 1 large pomegranate seeded
  • 1 large Granny smith apple peeled, cored, chopped - subs. honey crisp, pink lady
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup candied pecans chopped - subs toasted walnuts, plain pecans

Instructions
 

Dressing - make ahead and set aside about 15 minutes

  • Combine red onion, wine vinegar, sumac and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt in a small dish

Salad

  • combine the remaining ingredients and toss well. season with salt and pepper as needed
  • This salad can be prepped ahead, but keep the dressing off of it until at most an hour before serving so it doesn’t discolor the sprouts.

Fresh Corn Tomato Bacon Salad

Happy Memorial Day! Let’s use today to count our blessings and stand proud!

Tis the season to be gardening! Our raised beds are ready for planting, we actually bought a small rototiller and I have no idea why it took us so long. I think we have always thought since they are raised beds we couldn’t use one. We ordered one online; only because they didn’t have any in stock at the store but they delivered it to the house with no shipping charges so even better for us. I honestly don’t think my beds have ever looked so good.   IMG_2945
I hope you are all doing well and are still making good choices. We went out to dinner last night to one of out local hangouts. First time since early March and it was really nice being out, everyone was very respectful. The food was really good I especially liked someone else making me a cocktail. I don’t know what that’s all about but I didn’t even mind the plastic cup it was served in.
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We ate outside by the river; there was just the three of us. We had to make a reservation and were asked to wear a face mask if we needed to go into the restaurant. The wait staff all wore masks and seemed very happy to be back at work.  The restaurant decided to use paper and plastic products we assumed it was because they could use less staff, or maybe it was to keep everything fresh and sanitary? I am not really sure.

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Serves 4–6

Fresh Corn Tomato Bacon Salad

great tasting summer salad
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
0 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Salad
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 6 slices thick cut bacon
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 4 ears corn on the cob cut from ears
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • in a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, remove and set aside.
    turn heat down to medium-low and add onions to the bacon drippings in the skillet Cook, stirring occasionally until softened - about 5 minutes.
    add the corn, turn the heat back up to medium and cook, stirring occasionally until the corn is tender and just starting to brown in spots 7-10 minutes.
    remove corn and onion mixture to a large mixing bowl and let cool for about 10 minutes.
    meanwhile crumble the bacon.
    add the bacon, sliced tomatoes, basil and vinegar to the corn and onion bowl. sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Toss everything together and taste. adjust seasoning if needed.
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using a little of the bacon grease

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Since I heard so many more people are getting into gardening I am interested to see how many people get truly hooked – we have had a vegetable garden every summer for over 30 years, while that sounds like we should be pros; every year somethings work and somethings don’t be we keep trying!  I wish you all good luck!

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I can’t wait for my basil

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Three Apple Slaw

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Slaw – who knew that little four letter word causes a love hate and tolerate feeling. Why is that?
IMG_4248.JPGI personally like to try all kinds of slaw wherever I can find it. My husband is on the other end of this, maybe not all the way to hate but more in the lines of tolerate. Probably because I make it and put it on his plate 🙂
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The other night I paired one of his favorite pork chops alongside an apple slaw, the apple slaw was the only side dish so there was nowhere to hide. I thought it was delicious, him not as much but remember he just tolerates slaw. He literally only likes the one I make with my BBQ pulled pork sandwich. When he assembles his sandwich the ratio of coleslaw and pulled pork is almost laughable for someone who tolerates coleslaw.
IMG_4251.JPGThis slaw has a lot going for it. It is crunchy, light, flavorful and it comes together easily with the only time portion being slicing the apples into sticks. Which didn’t take that long at all and you should make this.
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Three Apple Slaw

Donna Clark - Cooking at Clark Towers

Ingredients
  

  • 1 honey crisp apple
  • 1 gala apple
  • 1 granny smith apple
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce - I used sriracha
  • 4 inner celery stalks thinly sliced diagonally, plus 1/4 cup celery leaves
  • 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, poppy seeds and the hot sauce in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cut the apples lengthwise into quarters and discard the cores. Thinly slice the apple quarters lengthwise and stack the slices. Cut lengthwise again into thin sticks.

Notes

Pork chop
place the chops on the counter so they come up to room temperature. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Heat your pan with some olive oil and add the chops, leave them to brown on one side without moving them for about 3-4 minutes depending on the thickness of your chop. Turn and repeat the process until your chops reach a temperature of 145' F
Adapted from Food and Wine Magazine

Bacon Garden Pasta

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I wasn’t sure what to call this dish so I figured I would get more attention if it started with bacon. Because everyone knows everything tastes better with some bacon on or in it. This dinner comes together pretty easy and quite quickly so it would be perfect for a weeknight meal.
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If you don’t want to start up the grill just to char the corn you can totally skip that part and do it right on the stove top like I did. It was super hot and humid out the night I made this and had no interest in sitting outside to do anything let alone stand at the grill. I do have a grill cast iron pan so I got the same affect. By adding a little char on the corn it does bring another flavor to party so you do you and cook the corn how you see fit.

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I could just eat this – tomato and basil with salt and pepper

I do want to mention my garden; it is coming along a lot slower than I think it should be. The broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce and swiss chard have so far been the biggest producers. My cucumbers are now the ones out of control and today might be spent making pickles. We’ll see how it goes. I would love to say I used my own cherry tomatoes in this dish but I would be lying. I thought we were not getting any of them till I found out my husband has been eating them before they got into the house hmmmm. So on Friday I got home before him and went out and harvested everything before he got home. NOW we have some cherry tomatoes in the house. I do fear that the other roma and beefsteak tomatoes will probably all ripen at once it seems to happen like that.
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Stove top multi-tasking charring corn, frying up bacon and heating water for the pasta

Bacon Garden Pasta

Donna Clark - Cooking at Clark Towers
easy quick weeknight meal
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 4 medium corn on the cob shucked
  • 2-3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 8 + basil leaves
  • 6-7 slices bacon chunked
  • 1 medium sweet onion small diced
  • package of rigatoni or ziti
  • kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Instructions
 

  • Char corn with a little olive oil over medium-high heat 7-10 minutes turning occasionally.
  • Using a sharp knife, remove the kernals from the cobs
  • cook pasta according to the packages direction
  • In a small bowl add the tomatoes, torn basil leaves and a little salt and pepper
  • In another pan saute the bacon until crispy, remove to a paper towel to drain
  • In the same pan fry up the onions till tender, 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, corn and the bacon to the pan along with some salt and pepper just till combined.
  • drain the pasta once cooked add everything to your serving bowl and combine
  • top with a few more basil leaves and some freshly grate Parmigianno cheese
  • serve warm

Notes

Adapted from Fine Cooking
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Summer Garden Salad

 

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Pretty hot this weekend – so far hottest this summer. Not only the heat but the humidity damn its gross out there! My phone is telling me that it is 91’F out and it also says it feels like 98’F. That means it is gross out there and hopefully you can stay inside with the air conditioner on or you are somewhere near a lake, pool or ocean. I am fairly certain that even I would go into the Atlantic ocean; which I very rarely ever do, it’s way too cold; if I was crazy enough to head to Hampton Beach today.

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Cooking on hot days is not really enjoyable and neither is eating on hot days so that generally means something light and easy. Friday night my husband made us salads and then we went out for ice cream. They counterbalance each other right?

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Best if you can make this first before you start whatever you are serving it with so it has time to meld and let the veggies soak up the dressing.

Summer Garden Salad

Donna Clark - Cooking at Clark Towers
quick and easy summer salad
Prep Time 30 mins
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 small clove of garlic minced
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup sliced cherry grape or like tomatoes
  • ½ medium cucumber halved, seeded and sliced thin
  • ½ medium yellow summer squash quartered and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • ¼ medium sweet onion sliced thin
  • Kernels from 1 ear of corn
  • 1 Tbs coarsely chopped fresh basil

Instructions
 

  • Whisk the first 5 ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  • Add the next diced/sliced 5 ingredients; stir well to combine.
  • Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
  • Stirring occasionally before serving.
  • Garnish with basil.

Pasta Salad easy tasty crowd pleaser

I wonder if there are people who are not BBQ’ing this weekend? I can safely say that even when we didn’t have company over we had a BBQ. Weather has so far never stopped us – huh KP? Think pouring rain, no lights, umbrella with drinks in hand and SO many laughs. Food tasted great I think? We were incredibly soaked but we were making memories!
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Even with all the outdoor parties, the unofficial start of summer and the great food out on the grill please take a moment to reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day maybe even take in a parade! A day on which those who died in active military service are remembered.
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I will be making this pasta salad to share with the fam along with BBQ shrimp, steak tips and lobsters. I might even make a potato salad since we have a lot of protein and not a lot of sides. We’ll see what I come up with later today.
IMG_4070IMG_40711 box of pasta such as campanelle, cavatappi or similar; cooked as directed – I use Tri-Colored Rotini
1 Can of small Black Olives drained
Container of cherry tomatoes – cleaned and sliced in half
Container of Feta Cheese
1 Carrot – grated
I like adding sliced salami or pepperoni – but this can be omitted
Ken’s Zesty Italian dressing

Make the pasta according to the package directions. After straining the pasta and while it is still warm add some dressing to toss with the pasta and marinate it.
IMG_4072In a large bowl toss everything else together and toss till its mixed all together.
IMG_4073Just before serving add a little more of the dressing and give it a quick toss again!
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