Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring Spinach Salad with Spicy Strawberry and Blueberry Dressing!

I have had lots of requests to post an original recipe.  Seems fair enough.  I do love cooking and reviewing other peoples recipes though.  I don't have a lot of recipes up my sleeve.  That is why I review recipes in the first place.  Secondly I like to cook what looks and sounds difficult to show you that it really is not all that hard.  But along the way it was bound to happen.  My first original recipe post!

It is getting very hot hear in Texas and spring is in the air.  Fresh fruit of all kinds are appearing in the produce sections of our favorite markets.  This demanded a dish for the season!  I threw this salad together in honour of the season.  I call it Spring Spinach Salad.  I also made a spice Strawberry and Blueberry Dressing.

What You'll Need:

32 oz fresh strawberries
6 oz fresh blueberries
raspberry infused red wine vinegar
 1 tablespoon olive oil
fresh spinach
1 small carrot
2 or more slices of a granny smith apple

serves four

Dice all the strawberries and place half in a blender or food processor (Save at least 4 strawberries to garnish!).  Add most of your blueberries to blender saving enough to garnish the the salad.  Add a few splashes of the vinegar and blend.  Add Tabasco and oil and continue to liquefy.  Taste and add  Tabasco, vinegar, or sugar if desired.

Dice the carrot and apple.  Mix spinach and remaining strawberries. Portion the salad into bowls and add carrot, apple mix to center of the salad.  Garnish with whole strawberries and blueberries and drizzle with dressing.

 Needless to say this salad was refreshing.  The use of fresh ingredients lends to a flavor that just cant be matched.  The sweetness of the berries is tamed by the flare of the Tabasco.  The Tabasco works well with the raspberry red wine vinegar, as Tabasco has a vinegar bite.  The carrots are sweet and the apple is sour giving each bite a nice textural crunch and layer of flavors.

This was fun!  I hope you try it and let me know what you think!

What is your favorite salad??????

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Branding Iron

I have finally found the type of BBQ joint I have been looking for.  Meat slow cooked to perfection and cut right in front of you.  If you are a vegetarian stay away, there are no veggie meals hear.  All the shows I watch that feature a great BBQ restaurant have a few things in common.  They slow cook the meat with real smoke, and serve cafeteria style.

You start at the door, grab your tray and continue to the serving window, be there early the wait is a long one!

The meal comes with two sides and garlic toast.  I chose coleslaw and macaroni salad.  They were both very good.  The vinegar was slightly strong on the coleslaw but that's how I like it.  Other than that you could also taste the cabbage.  I hate an over dressed slaw, I want to taste the cabbage.  The macaroni salad was not over dressed and dripping with mayonnaise either.  Much appreciated!

My mom had the brisket.  It was very flavorful and had a great bark.  The BBQ sauce was of course the perfect compliment.  The meat was juicy and fell apart.  I was impressed,  my other experiences with brisket where dry and tough leather like cuts of meat.
I had the pork.  I had to take a close up picture because this pork had the most beautiful smoke ring.  To those that don't know it is the bright red layer just beneath the bark or outer blackened layer.  It is not the color of under cooked meat it is the tell tale sign of a superb job of smoking the pork shoulder.  I had not seen such a smoke ring in some time.
Branding Iron on Urbanspoon
I'm not sure about the hours but I know they are strange so you may want to call ahead if it is going to be your first trip to the Branding Iron.  I recommend you give it a try if classic BBQ is what  you are craving! 
Love Food, Live Life!