How you doin’? Now that we’re in the summer season, salads of all kinds are abundant. I like complex salads—just plain lettuce and tomatoes need not apply here. I sent you the Chilled Couscous Salad a few weeks ago… it’s one of my favorites. Today I want to share a Classic Curry Chicken Salad recipe like the one we created for The Haven in San Francisco.
So, who invented the chicken salad?...someone had to. The first documented American form of chicken salad was served by Town Meats in Wakefield, Rhode Island, in 1863 (right in the middle of the Civil War). The original owner, Liam Gray, mixed his leftover chicken with mayonnaise, tarragon, and grapes. This became such a popular item that Mr. Gray turned his meat market into a delicatessen.
I’ve spiced mine up a bit with curry. My Curry Chicken Salad is an easy cut-and-toss mixture of celery, green onion and red or green grapes held together with a mayonnaise, mustard and curry dressing. It is a cacophony of textures, spices, sweet and tart flavors. I like it just on a plate as is, but this salad is great on top of greens, in a sandwich or a wrap.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Alternative 80 / 90 minutes for cooling (if you are cooking the chicken from scratch)
Yield: 8 servings
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon grainy mustard (I prefer Maille - Old Style Grain Mustard)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (I prefer Maille – Original Dijon Mustard)
3/4 cup small-diced celery
1/4 cup chopped green onion tops
1-1/2 teaspoons curry powder
3 tablespoons fresh basil, chiffonade cut*
1-1/2-pounds cooked boneless medium diced chicken—breasts or thighs or a combination of both
1 cup red or green grapes, cut in halve
1 teaspoons salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoons fresh coarsely ground black pepper or to taste,
#Salad #ChickenSalad #Curry #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup #QuarantineKitchen #Covid19
How you doin’? I was feeling a little nostalgic today… thinking about the good old days in NorCal. Perspectives offices were in San Francisco at California and Sansome Streets right across the street from Tadich’s Grill. The food at Tadich’s was so damn good my partners and I wound up there almost 3 times a week for lunch and nightly for drinks.
The original Tadich’s opened in 1849 as a coffee stand on Clay Street in San Francisco. It is the oldest restaurant in California and the third oldest in the United States. Can you imagine the history with this restaurant, from the Gold Rush to the current pandemic?
In 1928 the Buich family purchased the restaurant from John Tadich; they continue to own the restaurant today. In 1967 the restaurant moved to its present location at 240 California Street; this was after Wells Fargo bought the Clay Street location for redevelopment. They have been open for business at that location ever since.
On a sad note, they had to close their doors in mid-March by order of Mayor London Breed, but on a happier note, they’ve recently re-opened with curbside pickup and delivery. We all hope they will be able to reopen the dining room soon.
I had three everyday menu favorites… Petrale Sole, Sand Dabs and The Crab Louie. The Cioppino and Lobster Thermidor are also spectacular, but not for every day. Louies are a great spring and summer salad.
The Shrimp Louie was invented in San Francisco in the early 1900’s. It’s made with large chilled shrimp, lettuce, hard cooked egg, sliced avocado and tomato wedges. The Louie dressing is similar to Thousand Island dressing and is made with mayonnaise, ketchup, chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, onion, salt and pepper. A variation on the salad is cracked local Dungeness crab and is known as Crab Louie—my favorite.
You should only use the freshest local Dungeness crab possible. Crab season usually begins in mid-November and, technically, runs to June or July, depending on the location. It takes a little time to put this salad together, but for an elegant meal it’s a showstopper!
Prep time: 40 minutes
Yield: Serves 4 people
For the dressing
1 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon chili sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon Tabasco
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
For the salad
12 asparagus spears, trimmed
Two 6-ounce romaine hearts, torn crosswise 1/2 inch thick
1 6-ounce seedless cucumber, cut into spears
4 large red radishes, shredded
4 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
4 hard-cooked eggs, cut into wedges
1 avocado, quartered and sliced
1-pound crabmeat, preferably Dungeness (1/4-pound per plate)
How to assemble the Crab Louie
#Crab #LouieSalad #CrabLouie #ShrimpLouie #Entrees #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup #QuarantineKitchen #Covid19
How you doin’? It has been suggested that I lighten up a bit. It’s not the first time I’ve heard that suggestion, but I think this time they are referring to the recipes. After all it is really getting warm in Los Angeles and people just want to eat a little lighter. Also, it’s time we starting losing the “Covid-19”… the number of pounds many of us gained during the lock down. So, I’ve decided to share with you one of my favorite salads that was inspired by Houston’s Restaurant.
The original date on this recipe was 1992. I had just lunched at Houston’s and my entrée came with a couscous side salad—it was delicious. I asked our server if he could get a copy of the recipe from the chef. He took down my address (we didn’t have email in those days) and about a week later I got a handwritten recipe in the mail. Over the years I added two ingredients—chopped peanuts and lemon zest. The peanuts added a little texture and the lemon zest gave it a vibrant citrus halo. Yummmm!
What is couscous, you ask? Couscous is a word that comes from the classical Arabic word0 “kouscous” (pronounced in English as /kuskus/) and from the Berber word “kseksu,” that designates both the durum wheat semolina and the traditional dish of which it is the main ingredient. However, some think that the word “couscous” could be derived from the classical Arabic word “kaskash” (to pound small), that means crushing and grinding.
Actually, couscous is a Berber word and pasta dish. As such, it’s funny to hear several rumors about couscous history and how it might have originated in China—it didn’t.
Utensils required to make the delicious semolina-based dish date back to the 7th century. The first written evidence of its existence was found in an Andalucian-Moroccan cookbook from the 13th century (thank you Wiki). While some think the origin of couscous is unclear, there is archaeological evidence its origins are in well-rooted in eastern to northern Africa, and that Berbers ate couscous by packing the it in the tips of their fingers. If you want to be invited back, use a fork.
For the couscous salad dressing
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
1-1/4 cups fresh lemon juice
1-3/4 cups yogurt, low fat or no fat
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups lite olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
For the couscous salad
2 cups prepared (cooked) traditional couscous
1/2 cup grated red radish
3 tablespoons confetti-cut carrot
2 tablespoons scallions tops, circles
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1/2 to 3/4 cups couscous dressing
2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts
1 teaspoon lemon zest
For the couscous salad dressing
ChefSecret: When making a salad dressing or marinade always add the oil in last. That gives the herbs and spices a chance to blossom before being sealed by the oil. The leftover salad dressing works well on any green salad as well.
#Couscous #Houstons #Salads #Entrees #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup #QuarantineKitchen #Covid19 #ComfortFoods
How you doin’? I recently heard from Spencer, our former R&D chef. Chef Spencer is now the executive chef for Chatrium Hotels in Bangkok Thailand. Chef Spencer tells us that tourism in Thailand has slowed considerably due to the pandemic, so, I guess I’m not going to be traveling to Thailand any time soon. I’m really missing great Thai food. There are only a few decent Thai restaurants in Los Angeles that have food that is even close to authentic Thai food.
A little history about the chef… We first met Chef at the Mandarin Oriental on the Chao Phraya, the major river in Thailand that flows from the north through Bangkok and out into the Gulf of Thailand—a beautiful setting. Chef Spencer is a Brit with over 30 years of culinary experience in high-end hotels, restaurants and resorts across the globe, including America, Australia, Barbados, England and Thailand which is what attracted us to him, aside from the fact he is such a very likable guy.
So, when you’re missing good Thai food and none of your favorite restaurants are open, what do you do? Create and innovate. Here is my easy recipe for a salad with an elegant Asian flair and good for even the fanciest party meal. I think Chef Spencer would approve. Most Thai noodle salads have a peanut butter infused dressing—this one doesn’t and is much lighter. It's not only a healthy alternative but is delicious. It is zesty and pairs well with some Thai barbecued chicken and a bottle of Singha Thai Beer. I like to sprinkle some additional peanuts right before serving.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Chill time: 1 hour
Yield: 4 servings
15 ounces dried Soba noodles
1-3/4 teaspoons dark sesame oil, divided
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1 lime, zest (microplane) and juice
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons Sambal--chili garlic paste, or to taste (optional)
1 cup finely shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons green onion top rounds
2 tablespoons cucumbers, julienne cut
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped roasted, salted peanuts
8 ounces grilled chicken breast, julienne cut (optional)
2 tablespoons crisp bacon bits (optional)
ChefSecret: What is Sambal? It is an Asian chili sauce or paste typically made from a mixture of a variety of chili peppers with shrimp paste, garlic, ginger, shallot, scallion, palm sugar and lime juice. It is native to Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Brunei, Singapore and Country Thai cuisines. It is quite spicy, so use sparingly.
What is a microplane? A Microplane grater originated as an excellent smoothing tool for woodworkers, and it has proved to be an indispensable grating tool for chefs and cooks. It is a great tool for quickly zesting citrus fruits and even grates the hardest Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
#Salad #ThaiNoodleSalad #SpencerKells #ChatriumHotels #Brunch #Lunch #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup #QuarantineKitchen #Covid19
How you doin’? As we continue to hear reports from various officials, it appears that there are now plans to restart the American economy… sooner, rather than later. That’s great news! It couldn’t come fast enough, though we must be cautious. Many of us foodservice professionals know the severe toll this quarantine has taken on our restaurants and bars, owners and employees. The conservative estimate is that nearly 23% of Los Angeles’ restaurants will never reopen. That’s quite a hit for an already risky, low-margin business. Quite frankly, I know many restaurant owners and it breaks my heart to take their calls during the day and hear how much trouble they are in.
I know the emphasis for this recipe blog has been on comfort foods, but as we begin to go back to work, we’d better start thinking about fitting back into our work clothes (assuming that sweat pants doesn’t qualify for ‘business casual’. So, it’s back to salads, low calories meals and maybe even (re)starting a diet. One of my all-time favorite salads is the Cobb—I can eat one every day and never get bored. You might ask yourself, what’s the origin of this now most popular salad? Well, the story goes like this…
The Brown Derby-Beverly Hills was actually Perspectives’ first client. Sally Cobb, Bob Cobb’s widow, was trying to keep the Derby afloat at a time when the entire restaurant scene in Los Angeles was changing. I used to love the Brown Derby Cobb Salad and it is best to start with the classics, so here's the recipe along with the Hollywood folklore of how it was invented as told to me by Sally Cobb.
One night in 1925, Herbert K. Somborn was chatting with Abe Frank, the manager of the Los Angeles Ambassador Hotel, and Sid Grauman of Chinese Theater fame; and as idle chatter goes remarked, "You could open a restaurant in an alley and call it anything or you could even build it in the shape of a hat and if the food and service are good the patrons will come flocking." To achieve the standards set for this little Derby, Somborn, the husband of the celebrated cinema star, Gloria Swanson, selected a young friend who had been raised in the restaurant business. This was Robert H. Cobb, a combination food checker, steward, buyer, cashier and occasional cook when the Brown Derby opened.
During its first four years, the original Little Hat Derby restaurant added only two items to its menu—a salad and a cake. The salad was almost an accident. Bob Cobb, growing weary of the steady hot-dog-hamburger diet, found an avocado in the icebox. He chopped it up, along with some lettuce, celery and tomatoes, plus a strip of bacon and some salad dressing, and had that for his dinner. Several days later he tried it again, adding other ingredients that he had purchased on his way to work: breast of turkey (some people claim it was chicken, but it was originally turkey), chives, hard-boiled egg, watercress, and a wedge of Roquefort cheese for the dressing. And that's how the Cobb Salad was born.
Everything was finely chopped and that was very laborious, so Mr. Cobb went to an engineer who was able to invent a horizontal chopper. That device was later reproduced by Hobart Corp. and named the Buffalo Chopper. So, get ready to chop the following as originally written:
Prep Time: 15-20 Minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings
1/2 head of chilled iceberg lettuce
1/2 bunch chilled watercress
1 small bunch chilled chicory
1/2 head chilled romaine
2 medium-sized tomatoes, peeled
2 breasts of roasted chicken or turkey (depending on what story you believe and the whims of the chef)
6 strips crisp bacon
3 hard-cooked eggs
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1/2 cup grated imported Roquefort cheese (blue cheese works as well)
Plus, 1 cup Brown Derby Old-Fashioned French Dressing (see recipe below)
Brown Derby Old-Fashioned French Dressing
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings
This is the French Dressing which became so popular among the Hollywood stars. The cup of water is optional, depending upon the degree of oiliness desired in this dressing.
1 cup water
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2-1/2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon English mustard
1 head garlic, chopped (about 1-ounce)
1 cup olive oil
3 cups salad oil (lite vegetable oil)
The story continues… some people could not get enough of the Roquefort cheese. Remember, this was the roaring ‘20’s and many people had never tasted anything like this, so they either loved it or hated it.
One day Gloria Swanson heard that someone didn’t want their blue-veined cheese. “What a waste,” she declared. Not wanting to waste anything, she had the waiter blended the cheese into her salad dressing before it was poured over her Cobb Salad. From that day forward there were two choices of dressing for Bob and Sally’s favorite salad.
And now you know the whole story.
#Salad #CobbSalad #BrownDerby #Brunch #Lunch #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup #QuarantineKitchen #Covid19
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