Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hot Day Cool Food

I know summer has set in when I wake up with even the sheet in a twisted pile at the end of the bed and almost don't want hot coffee because the night's cool air has barely penetrated the kitchen.  It's time for salad salad and more salad.  Even the kids turn away hot pastas for the stuff.  But that means we need lots of variety.  This one calls for a little stovetop cooking, resulting in gently wilted greens that are still plenty of cool base for this rich, warm dinner salad.  And just in case digestion is a little warming, there's ice cream at the end!

This is a super easy meal for 4, but cooks and guests (double, triple, etc. the ingredients) will be even happier with Dave's latest cocktail creation to start things off:

2 oz vanilla vodka
1/2 oz B&B
1/2 oz Cointreau
Stir with ice; serve in a chilled cocktail glass with a lemon twist

There are a lot of short steps.  Done in the right order, they make for quick cooking.

Mix in a small bowl. then rub onto 1 lb steak tips:
1 T brown sugar
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. garam marsala
1/2 tsp. salt
Set aside

Peel and cut into sticks:
1 parsnip
4 carrotts
1 bunch beets
Saute the parsnip and carrots in one pan and the beets in another, each with about 1 T olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper, until soft, about 10-15 minutes.

Cut 4 garlic scapes into 1/2" pieces.  Saute in about 1 T olive oil--with a sprinkle of salt--on low until crisp and browning, about 15 minutes. 

Wash and rip 1 head lettuce
cut in half 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
shell fresh peas to get 1/2 cup
wash 1 cup lentil or any other kind of sprouts

Saute the steak tips in olive oil over medium heat until medium rare, about 5 minutes per side.  Remove from heat and tent for a few minutes.  Then slice into thin pieces.

Prepare a vinaigrette

Compose the salad in serving plates, with warm veggies and meat on top.  Drizzle with vinaigrette.

Heat 2 cups half and half and 1 T vanilla to almost boiling
Add 1/2 cup sugar and stir until well disolved
drizzle in 3 egg yolks, whisking constantly
Whisk over a medium heat until the mixture begins to thicken
Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups cherries, pitted, halved, and gently mashed

Cool to room temperature (in a bath of ice water if you're in a hurry).

Stir in:
1/2 cup melted chocolate chips
4 chopped marshmallows

Pour into ice cream maker and process as per instructions