Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Thomas’ Impossible Catfish Pie

1/2 lb. lamb’s quarters
1 lb. catfish nuggets
2 cups cornmeal
½ medium onion
½ medium carrot
1 stalk celery
1 large potato
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 (10.5 oz.) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
¾ cup milk
4 eggs
1 cup Bisquick
1 tsp. dill weed, c/s
¼ tsp. paprika, ground
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 Tbsp. butter
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 11” or 12” deep dish pie plate with canola oil spray.
Prepare Lamb’s Quarters: Hopefully they were picked cleanly, but sort through them and remove any grass or weeds. Fill a large (2 gallon) tub with cool water and dunk and shake the greens to remove any sand or bugs. Pick them up by the handful and put them in a Dutch oven size kettle with a tight fitting lid. Cover and cook on medium high heat until all wilted. Cool, drain and chop (1” to 2” pieces). Layer in bottom of prepared pie plate.
Prepare catfish: Rinse and drain pieces, checking for bones. Cut into 1” nuggets and roll in cornmeal. Layer over the lamb’s quarters.
Prepare vegetables: Peel and dice the vegetables into 1/4” pieces. Sauté over medium heat in well seasoned skillet in olive oil until onion is translucent. Sprinkle vegetables over catfish.
Prepare batter: Mix soup, milk, eggs, Bisquick, and seasonings in blender. Pour over all.
Prepare topping: Melt butter in microwave safe 1 quart mixing bowl. Add Panko crumbs and stir with fork until mixed. Sprinkle over pie.
Bake in oven for 45 to 50 minutes until knife inserted in center comes out mostly clean. Pie should be just set, not over baked. Remove from oven and set on wire rack for five minutes before cutting and serving.
Serves: 8
Substitutions: Spinach can be substituted for lamb’s quarters. Frozen spinach should be thawed and drained. Canned spinach should be well drained.
Cream of chicken or cream of celery could be substituted for cream of mushroom. Flavor will be a little different but still tasty.
Chopped fresh dill weed would be a tasty alternative.
Addition: If you like it hot, add some hot sauce or cayenne to the batter. My husband puts hot sauce on about everything, including this pie.
This could easily be baked in a 9”x13” glass baking dish or two 8”x8” baking dishes. After baking, (or partially baked?), one could be frozen. Watch and adjust baking times as needed.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Edible Lamb’s Quarters

Since I moved to West Virginia some 30 years ago, and first picked a “mess o’ spring greens” with Grace, an elderly neighbor, I had never ventured to eat Lamb’s Quarters. I have tried dandelion greens, mustard greens, and wild cress, but something about their fuzzy faces or their name put me off.

This last year, we had to cut down a giant of a White Pine. It was the defining being of our farm, especially my front yard. Seen from the hill above my house, the tree could easily fit three of our house in volume. I am still mourning its loss. But from the remains has sprung a mess of new growth – weeds. Among those weeds, which the men had not got around to string trimming, was the most lush patch of Lamb’s Quarters. The tedious thing about picking wild greens is finding them. Here was a bounty begging to be picked - young and tender. So I did.

Lamb’s Quarters (species Chenopodium album) are also called wild spinach and are related to amaranth. They are very mild tasting and tender, but I’d have to say rather bland. I really like the bite of spinach. They would be an excellent addition to a salad mix. But my oldest son had been asking me to make a catfish pie – of all things!
So I washed and steamed them just like spinach. Then I chopped them and put them in the bottom of a catfish pie.

Here are some references and recipes for Lamb's Quarters.


Dolmades have been made and eaten for thousands of years. Whether called dolmathes, dolmar, sarma, or yaprakes, stuffed grape leaves are a tasty little treat.
Stuffed grape leaves, a delicious way to utilize an otherwise inedible object, originated in ancient Mesopotamia. Today, they remain popular throughout much of the Middle East. Stuffed grape leaves are known variously as yaprakes finos in Ladino, mehshi wara anib in Arabic, yaprak dolmas in Turkey, dolmades or dolmadakia yialandzi in Greece, dolma yalanchi in Armenia, tolma in Georgia, and dolma bargh in Iran. Yaprak is the Turkish word for leaves, generally referring to stuffed vine leaves, while dolma, originally a Farsi word, is a generic term for stuffed vegetables. Whatever they are called, stuffed grape leaves have long been a prominent component of the Middle Eastern meze (appetizer assortment).

King Karl XII and his soldiers were imprisoned in Bender, Turkey, for many years. There, the King and his men tasted "dolmades" which were made from mutton wrapped in grape leaves. In Turkish "dolmades" means cloak and refers to the wrapping of the grape leave. When the warriors eventually returned to Sweden, they took with them the recipe for "dolmar". However, now the commonplace cabbage leaf was substituted for the grape leaf. The rice used in this recipe still reminds us of the oriental heritage of this dish. According to research carried out by the royal restaurateur Tore Wretman, the custom of dining on "kåldolmar" began in Stockholm. A group of Turkish officials traveled to Stockholm to press the King for money - and then stayed on for several years!
Cajsa Warg's recipe for "kåldolmar" contains a mixture of minced veal and rice seasoned with pepper, nutmeg, salt, onion, and a little cloves. She writes that this mixture is then wrapped in grape leaves, but if none are available "one can use cabbage leaves instead".
Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2001 12:35:42 +0100
From: "Bella"
Subject: A History of Swedish Cuisine - LOOOOOONG!!!

Cabbage rolls were introduced in Sweden by Karl XII who came in contact with this dish at the time of the Battle of Poltava and during his camp in the Turkish Bender and later introduced by his Ottoman creditors which moved to Stockholm in 1716. Kåldolmar was already described in 1755, by Cajsa Warg, in the famous Swedish Cajsa Warg’s kokbok.

1/4 c corn oil
2 med (1-1/2 c) onions, diced small
1/2 tsp salt
1 c raw rice, well rinsed
1 egg, beaten
1 bottled grape leaves
2 (1/3 c) lemons, juiced
1 to 1 1/2 cups water

The stuffed grape leaves are eaten cold, and therefore are a vegetarian summer dish for times when temperature rises. They may be refrigerated until ready to serve as an appetizer with drinks, or used as a snack.

Heat oil in a pan and stir-fry onions and salt over low heat for 10 minutes, or until onions are golden.
Remove to a bowl and cool.
Add rice and egg and mix everything together.
Separate grape leaves and rinse them under cold water. Drain.
Put 1 tablespoon of rice filling on a leaf on edge nearest to you. Fold leaf firmly over filling, then tuck in each side and fold over into a round finger shape about 2-1/2 inches long. Prepare all leaves this way.
Arrange them in an orderly fashion in a saucepan.
Pour lemon juice and water over all.
Cover pan and cook over low heat for 40 minutes.
Test rice for doneness toward end of time. Should liquid dry out too quickly, add 1/4 cup water and continue to cook until all has evaporated.
Cool well and serve at room temperature.
Yield: 50.
7/1/2006 5:08 PM
Stuffed Grape Leaves
 1 lb. ground lamb or beef
1 c. cooked rice
1/4 c. water
1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
36 grape leaves or small cabbage leaves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. lemon juice
In bowl, combine meat, rice, water, cinnamon, and 1 tsp. salt. 
Rinse grape leaves. (Or for cabbage, cut about 2 inches of heavy center vein from each leaf.  Immerse in boiling water 3 minutes or till just limp; drain.) 
Pat dry with paper toweling. 
Place about 1 Tbsp. meat mixture on wide part of leaf. Fold in bottom edge and sides; roll as for jelly roll. Repeat with remaining leaves and meat mixture.
Arrange on steamer rack in wok, seam side down. 
Pour water into wok to almost cover rolls. Add 1/2 tsp. salt. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 20 minutes.  
Add lemon juice; cover and simmer 5 minutes more. 
 Serves 6.
More from Your Wok, Better Homes & Gardens
6/18/2003 3:00 PM
Grape Leaves Stuffed with Dill-Scented Rice
 Greeks have been wrapping food since antiquity, most typically using grape leaves. In early May, Greek country women go to the vineyard to collect their year's supply of leaves. The most famous dish made with them is dolmades, or stuffed grape leaves, a standard appetizer (meze). In this version, they have a simple rice filling. 
1/2 cup olive oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 cups long-grain white rice
5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
5 cups (or more) hot water
1 32-ounce jar grape leaves, rinsed, drained, tough stems trimmed
Plain yogurt and lemon wedges 
Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté until translucent, about 7 minutes. Stir in rice, lemon juice, parsley, dill and 1 cup hot water. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer until rice is partially cooked and no liquid remains, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat.
Cover bottom of heavy large wide saucepan with some grape leaves. Place 1 large grape leaf on work surface. Spoon scant 1/4 cup rice mixture in center at widest part of leaf. Fold bottom of leaf over. Fold sides in. Roll up. Place seam side down in pan. Repeat filling and rolling with remaining rice filling and grape leaves, stacking filled leaves atop one another in pan if necessary. Pour enough hot water over just to cover. Place heavy large heatproof plate over stuffed grape leaves. Cover.
Simmer over medium-low heat until leaves are tender and rice is cooked through, about 1 hour. Using slotted spoon, transfer stuffed grape leaves to platter. Serve warm or cold with yogurt and lemon wedges. 
Yield: 24.
Bon Appétit, May 1995 
5/2/2001 6:11 PM
Lebanese Stuffed Grape Leaves
1 pound ground beef
3/4 cup uncooked white rice
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 jar grape leaves, or about 50 fresh grape leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound pork or lamb chops
1 tomato, sliced
1/2 cup lemon juice
40 garlic cloves

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the ground beef, rice, garlic powder, allspice, salt, pepper, and cinnamon, and set aside.

Rinse grape leaves several times. If the leaves are small, leave them intact, but cut out the large center vein. If the leaves are large, cut them in half vertically, cutting out the large vein in the process.

Place a small amount of the ground meat mixture at the end of each leaf. Roll up egg-roll style.

Pour the oil into the bottom of a large Dutch oven. Lay the chops over the oil. Lay the tomato slices over the chops.

Place the stuffed grape leaves seam-side down on top of the chops. Pack the leaves tightly and begin a second layer when necessary. Place whole garlic cloves randomly between the rolled leaves; plenty of garlic on each layer.

When you are done stacking, pour the lemon juice over the leaves, and add water to the pot to about 2-inches above the rolled leaves. To prevent the leaves from unrolling during cooking, place a plate on top of the stack of leaves and place a heavy object on top of the plate.

Simmer the leaves over low heat for about 2 hours.

Invert the entire Dutch oven into a large platter with high sides (i.e. a 12-inch round cake pan). Or, remove the leaves from the pot with tongs. Serve rustic style, with plenty of Arabic bread on which to spread the garlic!

The recipes for this program, which were provided by contributors and guests who may not be professional chefs, have not been tested in the Food Network's kitchens. Therefore, the Food Network cannot attest to the accuracy of any of the recipes.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Recipe courtesy Laura Turcotte
TVFN, Calling All Cooks, Show #CA1C24: Stuffed Grape Leaves/Cran-Oat Scones
5/26/2001 10:22 PM
Dolmathes (Stuffed Grape Leaves)
1/2 lb Grape leaves
1 lb Finely chopped onion
1 cup Rice
1 cup Olive oil
1 batch Finely chopped dill
1 batch Finely chopped mint
Juice from 1 lemon
Briefly dip grape leaves in boiling water then rinse them with cold water and wipe dry.
Mix the onions with half the olive oil. After a while, mix in the rice, 250mL hot water and the remaining ingredients, except for the oil and the lemon juice. Boil the mixture for 4 to 5 minutes.
Wrap one tablespoon of the mixture with a grape leaf and repeat until completed. Carefully place the dolmathes in a pot with some space between them. Cover the dolmathes with a plate and add the rest of the oil and the lemon juice with 500mL of water.
Boil at low heat for 30 minutes, until some water is absorbed and the rice is done. Serve cold with slices of lemon.
Serves 4
Tue, 12 Nov 2002 10:43:16 -0500 Duckie
Duckie <jmstwn1607@xxxxxx>
11/14/2002 12:02 PM
Stuffed Grape Leaves (Sarma U Vinovom Lischu)
1 pound beef and pork, ground together
2 onions
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup rice
1 sprig dill, chopped fine
Washed grape leaves
Fry onions in hot fat. Add meat and fry until blood disappears.
Cool mixture slightly and then add egg, rice, seasoning and chopped dill. Mix together thoroughly.
Place 1 tablespoon of mixture in a grape leaf and wrap up in Sarma fashion.
Place Sarma in deep pan, put 2 tablespoons hot oil, put 2 tablespoons flour and fry together. Remove from fire, add 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 cup hot water. Blend and pour over Sarmas. Many prefer to serve it with sour cream.
Servings: 4
Fri, 14 Apr 2006 10:00:17 -0400 "CHI-MUM"
Date: Sun Jun 4, 2006 8:57 am (PDT)
From: "Duckie ®" jmstwn1607@xxxxxx

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Grape Leaf Pickles

Since grape leaves are supposed to be picked in early summer and I am usually canning pickles later in the summer, I suppose one would have to use blanched, frozen leaves in pickles.

Since I am not eating these grape leaves, but using them for their firming properties, I will just pick the bigger, tougher leaves of late summer.

This recipe uses a 4 gallon crock to ferment the pickles.

10-20 grape leaves
10-12 dill heads
1 oz. pickling spices
20 lb. pickling cucumbers
1 lb. pickling salt
2 cups white vinegar, 5 percent acidity
2 gallons water

Scald a 4 gallon crock. Line bottom with washed grape leaves, half the dill, and 1/2 pickling spices. Fill with washed cukes, remove blossom end. Fill to within 3-inch of top and add rest of dill and spice, cover with grape leaves.

Make a brine of the salt, vinegar, and water. Bring to a boil and cool. Pour over cukes. Cover/weight down with a plate and clean rock or canning jar filled with water and sealed to hold down contents below brine.

Remove scum daily. Keep at 70-80 degrees. Fermentation should take 10-14 days.

When cured, make fresh brine, bring to a boil, and cool. Pack cukes into sterilized jars, brine over and seal. Store in fridge.

If cukes are fully cured, you may use hot brine and water bath for 15 minutes.

Linda Lou, WA 8-13-2001

How to Preserve Grape Leaves

Summer is here and now is the time to harvest those grape leaves to eat at their tender best.
My son, Patrick, and I just did this. He showed me a spot near our backyard where he and my husband strung three strands of new barb wire fence for the horses last year. It's a perfect trellis for grapes. Most of the old grapes have thick vines and go to the tops of the trees, where I'm lucky to even see the leaves. But these are young plants taking advantage of that nice trellis. We picked a good mess. We all sampled the fresh leaves and agreed not to put them in a salad. Though young and fairly tender, they have a bit of a bitter taste.

Here is some information I gathered and edited for clarity.

Fox grapes are wild grapes. They make clusters like regular grapes and the leaves are the same, maybe not quite as large. The berries are about the size of large green peas, starting out green and turn almost black when ripe. There is not a lot of flesh as they are very seedy and if left on the vine until fully ripened in late fall, very sweet. The berry makes an excellent jelly.
Patsy, LA 4-12-2003

Claim is that 'table grape' leaves have less acidity than wine grapes, so the sweeter the grape the more mellow the leaves, as a rule of thumb - of course.
sneaky pete 7-13-1997

Pick leaves early in their growth period - that is early summer - when vines are well covered with leaves.

Choose leaves of medium light colour, not too young. If vines have been sprayed, wait for a period recommended for general harvest by manufacturer of insecticide. When picking, snip off stem.

Wash leaves and stack in piles of 24, with shiny side up. Roll up and tie with string.

Prepare jars. Wash, sterilize and hold in hot water until ready to use.

Make a brine of 8 cups water boiled with 1 cup rock salt. Keep hot.

In another pot, bring 8 cups of water to boil with 1/4 cup salt. Drop in 4 bundles at a time, return to boil and blanch for 3 minutes, turning rolls over to blanch evenly. Lift out, drain and pack rolls upright in warm sterilized jars. Pour hot brine over leaves, remove air bubbles and seal. Hold in water bath and repeat with remaining rolls. Process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Brine is sufficient for 20 bundles of leaves. Increase according to quantity being preserved.

From Charmaine Solomon in "
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook"

Grape leaves, either freshly prepared or preserved in brine, can be frozen. So if you don't like to can, you could freeze the leaves after blanching and draining.

Grape leaves are very forgiving. They are hard to ruin.
carol 6-15-1999

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mojo Pork with Papaya Mango Salsa

This was very tasty and enjoyed by all!

After researching Versailles Restaurants, I decided to make their Florida (Orange and) Avocado Salad for dinner last night. I had a taste for some other Cuban recipes to go with it. I found a last pork loin roast from the FFA pigs in the freezer and had some mango and papaya to use up. (BTW, Mangoes were only $.50 each at the store this week.) Add some Yellow Rice and steamed spinach and we have a full meal!

¼ cup olive oil
1 med. onion, diced
2 Tbsp. chopped garlic
1 cup orange juice
½ cup lime juice
1 Tbsp. parsley flakes
1 tsp. oregano, dried
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. fresh ground black pepper

2 ½ lbs. boneless pork loin
canola oil spray

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Put all the mojo sauce ingredients in the blender and give it a whirl.
Slice the pork loin into at least 10 chops.
Heat large skillet hot and dry. Remove from heat and coat with canola oil spray. Return to very low heat while setting up and preparing other ingredients for dinner.
Sear each chop on both sides and place in bottom of large roasting pan. When all chops are done, pour mojo sauce over all.
Bake for 40 minutes.
Serves: 8
Alternate cooking methods: Marinate pork in large zip-lock bag or covered glass dish for at least 2 hours up to 24 hours. Then grill or broil as you desire. Bring the discarded marinade to boil and drizzle it over the cooked meat.
Serve topped with Mango Papaya Salsa. Good accompaniments are Yellow Rice, Black Beans, and Versailles’ Florida Avocado Salad.
I baked the leftover pork in marinade with the leftover salsa on top in a covered baking dish at 325°F for two hours. It was even better!

Mango Papaya Salsa
¼ firm ripe papaya, ¼” dice
½ medium firm ripe mango, ¼” dice
¼ medium red onion, finely diced
3 Tbsp. lime juice
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles
¼ tsp. jalapeno hot sauce
1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

Mix all ingredients in bowl.
Cover and chill at least 2 hours up to 24 hours.
Serves: 8

Yellow Rice with Cilantro
Saffron is not traditionally used in Arroz Amarillo, although some people do. Instead they use Annatto Oil, to give the yellow coloring expected in this dish. Sometimes you can find yellow rice already packaged.
1 cup long grain white rice
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads or a pinch of powdered saffron
1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
2 cubes chicken bouillon

Combine all ingredients. Cover tightly and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to very low and cook 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and set aside for 5 minutes without lifting lid.
Fluff with a fork and serve.
Serves: 4

My thanks to the following for their inspiration!
Mojo Sauce
Richard Lee Holbert rlhintexas@xxxxxxx 8/19/2005 5:52 AM

Cuban Style Pork with Papaya Mango Salsa
Sandy oommpapa@xxxxxxxx

Jimmy Buffett's Cuban Pork
My Kitchen Diary By Lin Soulard
Sandy oommpapa@xxxxxxxx 7/4/2001 2:03 AM

Cuban Main Dishes
linda lake lindam65@xxxxxxxxxx

Yellow Rice with Cilantro
Neris neris@xxxxxxxxxx

Banana Crunch Cake

This is a family and pot-luck favorite I have been making for eight years. It makes a good coffee cake too.

Make it in a 9"x13" covered pan for pot-lucks or in two 8"x8" pans for the family and you can freeze one. Put individual pieces in sandwich bags and put all the wrapped pieces in a large freezer bag. Store it in the freezer and take them out as needed to pack lunches.

This time I added Black Walnut flavoring and substituted Black Walnuts for the pecans. I often substitute walnuts for the pecans.

I have used different mashed fruits also. Kiwi and banana were good.

I also substitute yogurt for the sour cream. Cut back some on the sugar if you are using sweetened yogurt. Enjoy!

1/2 cup flour
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup margarine, cut into pieces

1 1/2 cups ripe bananas, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sour cream
4 eggs
1 pkg. yellow cake mix

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan and set aside. (Or other pan)

3. In a bowl, combine flour, coconut, rolled oats, brown sugar, and pecans; mix well. Using a fork, pastry blender or mixer, cut in butter until mixture resembles crumbs. Set aside.

4. In large mixer bowl, combine banana, sour cream and eggs. Mix well until smooth at medium high speed. The banana slices will be completely incorporated into the egg/sour cream mixture when it's been beaten enough.

5. Add the cake mix and beat 2 minutes at high speed.

6. Spread 1/2 of the cake mixture into the prepared pan and top with 1/2 of the coconut mixture. Repeat the layers with the coconut mixture on top.

7. Bake 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick stuck into the cake comes out clean.

This recipe was posted by Betsy and I found it on TKL!
TALK TKL 9-9-97 - A Zillion (28) Recipes Using Cake Mix!
From: Murry Estabrook (

Monday, June 15, 2009

Chicken, Avocado and Papaya Salad

I almost always have chicken breasts in the freezer. When they are on sale, I stock up. They are very healthy - being low fat – and cook quickly. They are also very versatile – there are a million ways to use chicken breasts, whole, sliced or diced.
I have noticed that papayas are in season now, too. They are a bit pricey though at $4 each. I have fond memories of time spent visiting relatives in Florida and remember being able to pick them from trees or buy them at the farmer’s market.
I recently purchased a 3 liter tin of EVOO at the dented can store for $12.
This would be a good recipe for picking some wild spring cress. I think some fresh Cilantro would make an interesting substitute for the watercress, too.
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, grilled
2 ripe papayas, peeled and thinly sliced
2 ripe avocados, peeled, and thinly sliced
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
3/4 cup Extra Virgin olive oil
finely grated zest of 1 lime
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup watercress leaves

1. Cut the chicken breasts diagonally into thin slices.
2. On 6 salad plates, alternate slices of papaya, chicken and avocado.
3. Whisk the lime juice, oil, lime zest, and salt and pepper to taste together in a mixing bowl.
4. Spoon the dressing over each salad and then sprinkle with the walnuts and watercress leaves.

Serve immediately.
Serves: 6
Adapted from: The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook; by Julee Rosso, Sarah Leah Chase, and Sheila Lukins; 1985; Workman Publishing Co., Inc.

Versailles Restaurant's Orange and Avocado Salad

This is a copycat recipe. In my research, I could not verify that this is the salad served at this restaurant. I discovered that there are two Versailles chains and that they are both Cuban restaurants. The Miami restaurant was created in 1971 by Felipe Valls, Sr.. The LA chain was started in 1981 by Orlando and his son William Garcia. Florida Avocado Salad is on the menu in Miami, but without a description. It is not on the menu in LA as Orange and Avocado Salad.

Wherever it originated, it sounds delicious!

I made this for dinner with the Mojo Pork recipe. It was very tasty, but be warned to mix the greens, oranges and dressing at the very last minute! The avocados could be diced and mixed with the dressing ahead of time. I particularly like the sweet/sour/hot flavors mingled together with the crunch of the greens, the juiciness of the oranges and the creamy avocado.

4 cups Tightly packed torn curly leaf lettuce
1 Fresh orange, sectioned OR 1 (4 oz.) can Mandarin orange segments, well drained
1 avocado, peeled and diced
1 1/2 teaspoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
2 tablespoons White wine vinegar (or White Balsamic)
2 tablespoons Water
1/4 teaspoon Hot pepper sauce

Combine first 3 ingredients in a bowl, and toss gently to mix.
Combine sugar and the next 5 ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a whisk until blended.
Pour over salad; toss gently to coat.
Serve immediately!

Serves: 6

Adapted from: CDKitchen

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Shrimp, Grapefruit and Avocado Salad

My mother first made this in the 60’s from a recipe in a ladies magazine. This recipe started my lifelong love affair with shrimp and avocados. The original recipe is long lost. This is my recollection.
Grapefruit are $1 each at WM right now. A 24 oz. jar of segments is $2.98. I will use smaller shrimp to be more economical. When they were on sale earlier this year, I put some in the freezer for $3.98 per lb.

1 (32 oz.) jar peeled grapefruit segments (or 2 lg. grapefruit peeled and sectioned)
2 perfectly ripe avocados, peeled and sliced (5 - 6 slices per person)
4 large lettuce leaves
12 oz. large shrimp, peeled, deveined and steamed (5 - 6 per person)
1 (8 oz.) bottle Kraft Catalina Dressing

  1. Pour the grapefruit and juice into a good sized bowl. Add the avocado slices and toss gently.
  2. Arrange the lettuce on four salad plates.
  3. Alternate the grapefruit segments and avocado slices in a spoke pattern on the lettuce leaves.
  4. Pile the shrimp in the middle of the spokes.
  5. Drizzle with Catalina dressing.
  6. Serve immediately.
Serves: 4