It’s an undeniable fact that homemade recipes usually don’t taste exactly the same as a store-bought version of the same food. This is most clearly the case with processed foods, which are especially hard to re-create exactly in a home kitchen. This is a good thing – do you really want your kitchen pantry stocked with ingredients like soybean oil, phosphoric acid, monosodium glutamate (MSG), disodium phosphate and the most mysterious ingredient of all, “artificial flavors”? These ingredients are only half of what you would need to make Ranch dressing that tastes exactly like it was poured from a shelf-stable bottle.
Ranch dressing is a much-loved condiment, one that many people remember fondly after they stop eating processed foods. But honestly, is the odd way that bottled Ranch dressing coats your tongue and the weird, metallic aftertaste something you really, truly miss?
Steamed clams, mussels and scallops in a bowl of warm broth is a simple seafood supper we enjoy most months of the year, but when summer rolls around we like to chill our shellfish down. But before we chill, we grill.
The reason is simple – why stand at a stove in a stuffy kitchen when you can grill under the sun (or stars)? We’re hard pressed to think of a type of protein or vegetable that can’t be grilled and shellfish is one of the easiest. Mussels, clams and scallops take only a few minutes to cook on the grill. They can be eaten hot, of course, but why eat hot food on a hot day when you can eat something cool and refreshing?
Unlike ketchup or mustard, which don’t tend to evoke much passion, mayonnaise is a controversial condiment, one that often polarizes people into “love it!” and “hate it!” categories. More often than not, those who “love it!” have something in common: they’ve ditched the sticky, colorless mess of high fructose corn syrup/sugar/soybean/canola oil that is store-bought mayo and have started making their own. The lovely pale yellow color, silky, creamy texture and delicate eggy flavor of homemade mayonnaise bears such little resemblance to the store-bought stuff, it’s a shame the two products have to share the same name.
The easiest type of salad dressing to make is vinaigrette: shake or whisk together oil and vinegar, add a little salt and pepper and you’ve got yourself some salad dressing. As anyone who eats salad regularly knows, however, dressing your greens in the same basic vinaigrette day after day gets a little boring. The salad recipe submitted by Reni Westmoreland reminded us that drastically changing the flavor is as simple as changing the type of vinegar you use. If you’ve been reaching for the same bottle of balsamic, or rice wine or apple cider vinegar for your dressings, then Reni’s Raspberry Vinaigrette might just be the change you need.
Mark’s daily salad is so good that it’s easy to eat it every single day of the year. But it’s nice to change things up from time to time, so with the Primal Challenge in mind I wanted to share a rustic salad recipe that’s both tasty and uncomplicated. I frequently use it as an alternative to the Big Ass Salad. This salad is not “technically” a salad in the conventional way, as it contains no leafy greens, but it’s easy to put together and complements most poultry and seafood. The dish itself would also make a great midday snack.
The recipe starts with with healthy fats. Extra virgin olive oil and pine nuts are the central sources of nourishment, while fresh thyme gives the salad added flavor and aromatic oils. The raspberries, which are optional, add a delicious tartness. If you can get your hands on a fresh handful to throw in, it’ll be worth it, especially with the lime juice spritzed on top. Jicama, in all its wonderful versatility, provides crispness to the mixture that reminds me of kohlrabi or cucumber, but more satisfying.
© 2014 Mark's Daily Apple