Chorizo vinaigrette doesn’t have a lot of eye appeal, but the garlicky pork flavor is even better than bacon on a spinach salad. Add mushrooms, hard boiled egg and warm caramelized red onion to wilt the greens and the salad is plenty appetizing, even without a gorgeous dressing.
While it’s not a good idea to dress every salad with vinaigrette made from cured meat, this recipe only uses 2 ounces of high-quality salami and delivers a whole lot of flavor. If you’re spinach adverse, or vegetable adverse for that matter, maybe a drizzle of chorizo vinaigrette will help the veggies go down. Chorizo vinaigrette is also delicious over roasted vegetables, sautéed greens of any kind (and grilled seafood).
If you like the spicy, vinegary bite of pickled ginger, then it’s a condiment you easily could, and should, make at home. Scan the labels of pickled ginger next time you’re at the grocery store and you’re likely to find ingredient lists that include artificial pink dye, aspartame or lots of sugar.
Using three ingredients at home – ginger, rice vinegar and honey – and a very simple method, you can make your own pickled ginger in about 20 minutes. Give it another 24 hours for flavor to develop and the pickled ginger is ready to eat. It keeps almost indefinitely, so just stash it in the refrigerator door with your other refrigerated condiments.
Dried fenugreek is a subtle but intriguing herb, one that adds unique flavor to sauces, meat, seafood, eggs and cooked vegetables. Slightly sweet, herbal and earthy with pleasant aromatics, it’s like adding a gentle hint of curry powder to whatever you make.
Less intense than curry powder and also less intense than fenugreek seeds or fresh fenugreek leaves, which can easily overwhelm a dish, dried fenugreek can be used in the kitchen just like any other type of dried herb. The flavor pairs especially well with other favorite herbs and spices like cumin, coriander, cardamom, fennel seeds and turmeric.
If something akin to “meat butter” sounds good to you, then head to your favorite local (or online) butcher shop and ask for pancetta, guanciale or lardo. All three are fatty cuts of pork – with an emphasis on fatty – that are dry cured with salt, herbs and spices.
Guanciale comes from the jowl, lardo comes from the back and pancetta comes from the belly. The long curing time (usually a couple months or so) means these seriously tasty slabs of mostly fat marbled with a little meat can be eaten raw. This is usually done by draping very thin slices of pancetta, guanciale or lardo over cooked meat, fish or vegetables, so it melts like butter. Meaty, salty, extremely rich butter.
Sweet and spicy. Filling and refreshing. Veggies and meat. This flank steak and mango slaw with scallion oil has it all. While there’s a lot to like about grilled flank steak tossed with crispy cabbage, sweet mango and fresh herbs, it’s the scallion garlic oil that turned out to be the real star of the meal. It gives meat and veggies a spicy kick and addictive garlic flavor you won’t soon forget. It’s a condiment you can pour over all sorts of different salads, as well as seafood, pork and chicken.
Mango adds a sweet flavor to this slaw that nicely complements the spicy dressing and grilled steak, and in this small quantity is worthy of being a sensible vice but… mango is optional if you’re avoiding fruit with a higher glycemic index. A red bell pepper can add color and a little sweetness instead, if you prefer.
Squid is a mild-flavored, quick cooking, quite decent source of omega-3s, copper and selenium. So if fish is too fishy for you, or you’re craving a new way to get your seafood fix, then this recipe for grilled squid salad is the answer. So much healthier than battered, deep fried calamari, this recipe is light, flavorful and fit to be an appetizer or main course.
Quick-cooking squid over an open flame is the way to go, pulling it off the grill just as the edges get crispy and curl under and before it has a change to get chewy. The mild flavor is made more interesting by dousing the squid in a zippy vinaigrette made from grilled lemons, garlic and lots of oregano. This vinaigrette would also be fantastic with shrimp, salmon and chicken.