Since I missed most of the prep,(it would have been the time to ask questions and see an actual demonstration!), I took pictures as, kind of, my "picture recipes". Fawn was a little irritated I think, lol, at all of the pictures I was taking, but I explained to her that these pictures were going to serve as reminders of the way she puts food together, and I always learn so much. things like....
Seaweed. I've got to seriously start working with this ingredient.
One of Fawn's house guests was Takei Matsushita, attending level ll Cert from Japan, (pictured with Aaron and Jim Ryan), and he brought Fawn a few packages of seaweed. (he later told me that it was the best kind in Japan....what kind? I don't remember, but I'm going to learn more about it) Seaweed is such a nutritious food and now that summer salad season is here, it's the perfect time to learn how to work with it. Lucky for me I live in 'Japantown', and have a number of Japanese markets within walking distance of my home. I don't remember what all Fawn put in this salad, but from the picture I know there was cucumber and carrot...the dressing? I'm guessing....well, I don't remember, lol, I'll have to ask her!
Grilled salad greens and Chipotle peppers.
I never knew you could grill greens until I stayed with Fawn last Oct. and she grill chard! Grilled chard? I had never imagined. But now 'grilled salads' are all the rage in resturants and after getting so much romaine lettuce these last few weeks I considered quatering some heads of romaine and grilling them, for a 'grilled Ceaser salad'...but I hadn't gotten around to it yet. But on the plane ride to MN I thought about doing the same with cabbage and shared this thought with Fawn, so she incorporated the idea into another one of her salads, grilling the cabbage with a brushing of olive oil, and adding black beans along with some other veggies and dressed it with a chipotle dressing!
Speaking of Chipolte peppers.....these are an ingredients that Fawn has taken a liking to! She used them in the black bean dip and I think she even included them in the barbeque sauce for the ribs. Chipotle peppers are 'smoked jalapeno peppers', and are sold in cans with a spicy sauce called adobo. They are very spicy! You don't need much, rarely more than 2 peppers. (My friend Jill once mistaked a recipe that called for 2 chipotle peppers for 2 cans of chipotle peppers! Wow...hot!) When I got home I quickly made my own chipotle dresssing by simply adding one chopped chipotle pepper (with a little sauce) with a yogurt/mayo (2 to 1) combination, apple cider vinegar, lemon and honey. But you can add chipotle to any of your own favorite dressings for a 'kick'.
Quinoa and rice salads.
Quinoa was another ingredient I started using after staying with Fawn last year, and by coincidence the last salad I made at home before my trip was a quinoa/brown rice based salad. Quinoa is a grain that is a complete protein...that's the appeal these days, and it seems to be going through a rediscovery and it flys off the supermarket shelves! It is also a grain that is popular for anyone that needs to avoid wheat for dietary or allergy reasons (I could be wrong about this, but I seem to recall hearing it somewhere).
I use a variety of veggies with a simple oil and lemon dressing, in fact I'll be posting numerous salad ideas soon, but Fawn used a scallion and goat cheese dressing, with baby greens.
Fawn's Green onion and Goat Cheese Dressing
1 bunch chopped green onion tops (see pic)
goat cheese, 4-6 oz.
Place first four ingredients in a blender, adding oil as needed to get the proper consistency. Season with salt.
Remember melon balls? Well I think it's time for a comeback! Fawn loves melon balls and what a simple way to have a little 'retro' fun at a barbeque, lol. Fawn made a lovely fruit platter with red grapes, honeydew melon and sliced mango. Who needs anything fancy?
Mark and I will be traveling to St. Paul two more times this year and lucky us, we get to stay with the Friday's next time in August (hey, on my birthday weekend, lol!). I'll also be working on bringing Fawn back to California for cooking classes this next year...woo hoo! Life is good.