Episode 118: Entree Salads

Like soup, salad can be built up into an eminently respectable stand-alone entree with a minimum of muss and fuss. Indeed, most of my entree salads, like my soups, contain all of the usual dinner food groups (and none of them is the kind of simple green salad that my meathead husband disdains as “rabbit food”).

Recipes

  • Fried Chicken Salad
    Sara’s Secrets for Weeknight Meals, page 72
    Recommended Wine Pairing: Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay
  • Thai-style Steak Salad with Spicy Mint Dressing
    Sara’s Secrets for Weeknight Meals, page 80
    Recommended Wine Pairing: White Zinfandel or Syrah
  • Ham, Potato, and Black-eyed Pea Salad with Cream Garlic Dressing
    Sara’s Secrets for Weeknight Meals, page 76
    Recommended Wine Pairing: Chardonnay or Pinot Noir
  • Tips

    Betty Fussell has written two books on corn, The Story of Corn and Crazy for Corn, that are still available on Amazon.com. I recommend both of them.

    Two tips for working with fresh corn – use a toothbrush to get rid of all that silk that still clings to the ear after you have husked it. Also, I find the simplest way to cut corn off the cob is to put one end of the ear of corn on top of either a piece of parchment or a flexible cutting board and then cut the corn kernels off. They will fall on the parchment or board and it will be very easy to pick them up afterwards.

    The quickest and easiest way to grate any vegetable is on a food processor fitted with the grating disk.

    When you are cooking steak, make sure it is dry before you cook it and also that the pan is good and hot before you put it in. Season the steak with salt and pepper before you cook it, not after.

    Tools

    I always count on my Salad Spinner to remove the moisture remaining on rinsed salad greens quickly and without damage to the greens. Salad Spinners are available wherever housewares are sold. There are many good choices on the market so just select the size and price range that is best for you.

    Ingredients

    Fish sauce is used in Southeast Asian cooking to provide salt and depth of flavor. It is made from fermented anchovies, salt and water. In Vietnam fish sauce is called nuoc mam and in Thailand, nam pla; it is used much the same way the Chinese use soy sauce. Even though its aroma is quite overwhelming when you take off the lid, you will find that its intensity dissipates when combined with other ingredients. It can be found in Asian markets and some supermarkets.