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An Oasis of Calm and Great Flavors at NIOSA

An Oasis of Calm and Great Flavors at NIOSA

It’s Shrimp Parilla time at NIOSA. What are you waiting for?

Once the parked traffic on North St. Mary’s decided to move Tuesday afternoon, I was finally able to find a place to park and then rush several blocks to the Villa Espana area at A Night in Old San Antonio. I was late for my shift at the Shrimp Parilla booth, but chairman Mark Swanson didn’t seem to mind.

Booth chairman Mark Swanson displays his Shrimp Parilla.

His first crew had already begun assembling the shrimp skewers that would be grilled after NIOSA opened while he finished putting up the decorations, which included a pair of stuffed shrimp, strings of lights and more to brighten even more the already colorful booth.

I quickly fell into the habit of skewering alternate layers of marinated shrimp, green bell pepper and onions while chatting away with the rest of the team, which included several volunteers who work with Swanson beyond their volunteer time on behalf of the San Antonio Conservation Society. 

In midst of the convivial chaos that is NIOSA, the Shrimp Parilla booth proved to be an oasis of calm. Taking their cue from the laid-back Swanson, the team did their jobs with a sense of dedication but without rushing. While Swanson’s son, Wesley, chopped peppers and onions, we put enough skewers together to last longer than our two-hour shift. Swanson, who has worked the booth for about 12 years and has been chairman for the past two, paid attention to the grill and the heat level of the coals underneath. Others sold the skewers once they were ready, and two marched out front with signs designed to lure in the hungry masses.

For the past 18 years, I’ve worked at a different food booth each NIOSA. I started with Maria’s Tortillas and have gone through the booths that produce fried mushrooms, Yak-i-tori skewers, Cowboy Klopse, shypoke eggs, bean tacos, Bongo-K-Bobs, escargots, fried green tomatoes, anticuchos and more. I can honestly say that I haven’t worked a booth as straightforward and stress-free as this one. After the hassle of the traffic and the pace of the workday, it was a welcome relief. 

And the Shrimp Parilla tasted great, too.

“We really do not have a secret recipe,” Swanson insists. 

A customer gets his Shrimp Parilla.

Perhaps that’s why Shrimp Parilla would be an easy treat to recreate at home.

All you have to do is marinate jumbo shrimp as well as the chunks of peppers and onion in Italian salad dressing. Then thread the pieces onto moist kebab sticks, starting with a pepper or an onion, the alternate each with a shrimp in between. Place the kebabs on the grill over high heat and grill them until the shrimp turn from translucent to white and the tails begin to look crisp, Swanson says. The grilling takes no more than 15 minutes and includes turning the skewers once. If you pay attention, you should know just what to look for after your first batch. 

When you remove the skewers from the grill, top them with your favorite spicy seasoning before serving. The booth uses what Swanson calls “lemon pepper and redfish seasoning.” (Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme marketed his own Blackened Redfish Magic, but here’s a recipe if you want to make your own. Or you can tone down the heat if it’s not to your liking.) The end result is both fresh and refreshing, something I can see myself serving at home in the future.

It’s time to make the shrimp skewers.

 

“Even though there’s nothing really special done to them,” Swanson says, “they sure taste really good.”

If you’re looking for a snack at NIOSA that won’t leave you feeling heavy, give Shrimp Parilla at NIOSA a try. You’ll likely take this flavor of NIOSA home with you, too.

A Night in Old San Antonio, which benefits the San Antonio Conservation Society, continues through Friday. For more information, click here.

Mark Swanson finishes decorating the Shrimp Parilla booth at NIOSA.

Other scenes from the opening of NIOSA include images of San Antonio partygoers enjoying the great weather and some time spent with friends.

What’s NIOSA without some wonderful hats?

Churros fresh out of the fryer.

Lines for the fried mushrooms are always long.

Great weather and great crowds at NIOSA.

 

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Texas Treasures: Green Pea and Apple Salad

Texas Treasures: Green Pea and Apple Salad

Some food lovers go for Saveur or Bon Appetit, leafing through issue after issue in search of new recipes. I have a habit of scouring Texas cookbooks from all corners of the state. That’s how I came across this spring-time salad recipe, which features green peas, apple and mint.

The recipe was in the 1980 collection, “Waco Cotton Palace Cookbook: A Legacy of Gracious Dining,” which marked the 10th anniversary of the Waco Cotton Palace Pageant. The title of the book wasn’t promising. Who cares about a cotton pageant court? You might not, until you notice that there, opposite a picture of the Royal Court of 1976, is a recipe for Great-Grandmother’s Orange Pie with sherry in it. Or Dwight’s Picnic Chicken coated in Dijon mustard on the same page as Chicken Breasts Supreme with a topping of chipped beef and bacon.

In this fairly unassuming book are Texas recipes well worth exploring.

In the case of the Green Pea and Apple Salad, the appeal was first in the layering of favorite flavors, followed by the ease with which it all came together. The longest thing that took in making of this salad is chopping the apple. 

The only problem I had is that horseradish today isn’t like the horseradish of 37 years ago, when the cookbook was printed. The jar I bought simply had no zip to it. So, even though I more than doubled the amount, the salad lacked a slightly spiky quality that I think would have helped. In that case, the salt really helped. So, taste and adjust as necessary.

This salad was great with lamb. I’m sure it would be just as versatile with everything from picnics to potlucks.

Green Pea and Apple Salad

4 cups frozen peas
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon horseradish
1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions (include some of the tops)
1 tart apple, unpeeled and finely chopped
Salt, to taste

You can add the apple to the dressing to keep the color fresh before stirring in the peas.

Thaw peas. Do not cook. Mix sour cream, horseradish, mint and onions. Add peas and apples and season with salt. Chill.

If fresh mint is not available, a few drops of spearmint or peppermint flavoring may be added, but add sparingly and taste — it doesn’t take much.

Makes 8 servings.

From Mrs. Edgar Jablonowski (Beth)/”Waco Cotton Palace Cookbook: A Legacy of Gracious Dining”

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What Do You Do with Mamey Sapote?

What Do You Do with Mamey Sapote?

Mamey sapote in the market.

I was walking through the produce section of my neighborhood H-E-B the other day when I first spotted them. They looked like overgrown sweet potatoes crossed with a football, but they weren’t with the tubers. They were in the exotic fruit section, next to layers of dragon fruit, guavas and fingerling bananas.

Mamey cut in half

The sign indicated that they were mamey sapotes and the price was close to $4 a pound.

Pricey to be sure, but I can’t resist something new — or at least new to me. So, I Googled the fruit on my phone and found out that I wanted one that was soft without it being bruised. I took one of the smaller ones, which still rang up at about $12.

Despite the size, the mamey can be cut in half lengthwise, like an avocado. There is a long black pit at the center, also like an avocado. You don’t eat the peeling, but you do eat the soft flesh inside. But there the similarities between the two fruits end.

Mamey tastes earthier, more like an dryer papaya. That could be a polite way of saying it is boring or too subtle to be truly enjoyable by itself. I wasn’t overwhelmed by the thick texture and the almost dehydrating pucker that it brought to my mouth. 

A mamey milkshake with ice cream and milk

But you don’t have to eat mamey by itself. Many of the recipes I found online referred to mamey milkshakes, so I hauled out the Vitamix and filled it with a bit of fruit, milk and vanilla ice cream as well as an extra splash of vanilla. You’ll want a strong blender, because the fruit is dense and absorbs a lot of extra liquid, so you’ll need a strong motor as you add more and more milk to dilute it to get the texture you want. The result was comforting without being especially exciting — which I find strange when you consider that it had ice cream in it. What isn’t made more wonderful by the addition of ice cream? 

I read up on the fruit. It grows in Mexico and Central America as well as Australia on trees that can gain up to 148 feet in height. That is, at least, if you believe the Wikipedia entry on pouteria sapote.

Just add rum

So, it likes tropical climes. It might like complementary tropical flavors, like coconut milk. So I started over and created a non-dairy milkshake with a can of coconut milk and a little water. I also added cinnamon this time, which brought out a really comforting, pumpkin pie like flavor. That was what the first milkshake needed, not more vanilla.

And then I got an even better idea.

Out came the spiced rum and suddenly everything fell into place. That was the real lift the mamey milkshake needed.

Or maybe it was just the lift I needed.

By the way, I thought about planting that pit, but I doubt I will. I don’t think the neighbors would appreciate a tree approximating Jack’s beanstalk shooting up out of my backyard. 

So what do you do with mamey sapote?

 

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Get a Preview of Springtime Riches with a Rhubarb Cherry Pie

Get a Preview of Springtime Riches with a Rhubarb Cherry Pie

Rhubarb Cherry Pie right out of the oven

I’ve been hankering for some “pieplant pie” ever since I came across the term while reading Della T. Lutes’ 1935 food memoir, “The Country Kitchen.”

“Pieplant” is apparently a late 19th century term for rhubarb, which is one of the first things to grow up north in the spring.

“Slender, almost translucent pipes of rose color blanching to snowy white where stem meets the parent root; mere rods of tart juiciness held upright by a deeper fibrous body that melts to pulp at the mere hint of heat,” Lutes writes.

I remember that sight oh so well when I lived in upstate New York, where rhubarb would grow for more than six months each year. And that flavor could hardly be bettered, especially when baked in a pie.

Our rhubarb in San Antonio isn’t always fresh, especially this time of year. But you can find it in the freezer section. I went to pick up some and was surprised to find tart cherries next to it. I grabbed a bag of each and set out to make my own version of pieplant pie, which I hope you enjoy.

Rhubarb Cherry Pie

Rhubarb Cherry Pie filling

2 pie crusts, unbaked, separate use

1 (16-ounce) package frozen rhubarb, thawed
1 (12-ounce) package tart cherries, thawed
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, cut in small pieces

1 egg white
Sugar

Roll out one of the pie crusts and line a 9-inch pie pan. Set aside.

In a bowl, combine rhubarb, cherries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla and salt. Stir until sugar and starch are thoroughly incorporated. Let sit at least 5 minutes.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Make a lattice crust.

When rhubarb-cherry mixture is ready, pour into pie pan. Sprinkle the butter pieces over the top.

Roll out the second pie crust and cut into strips about 1/2-inch. You can use a knife, if you don’t have a pastry stamp cutter wheel. Create a lattice over the top.

Mix an egg white with a splash of warm water. Brush over the lattice crust. Sprinkle with a light amount of sugar.

Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees. Bake for 45 minutes or until crust is a deep golden brown and the filling is bubbly.

Makes 1 pie.

Adapted from Michael Symon

 

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The Good Food Awards Show Some Love to Texas Black Gold Garlic

The Good Food Awards Show Some Love to Texas Black Gold Garlic

San Antonio-based gourmet food manufacturer Texas Black Gold Garlic was honored at the recent Good Food Awards. Its Texas Black Gold Garlic Purée won in the pantry category.

The Good Food Awards are considered the Emmys of the culinary world. When choosing the winners, the products are evaluated on flavor as well as their dedication to an authentic and responsible food system.

Not only does Texas Black Gold Garlic source solely from local Texas farmers, but chef ans owner Stephen Paprocki works directly with the farmers to ensure the garlic is grown with a respect for the land and the quality of the product.

Paprocki is also the president of the Chef Cooperatives, a non-profit group of local chefs that hosts pop-up dinners and assists in various San Antonio events that support local farmers, ranchers and vintners and other groups in need. 

Only 193 winners in 14 categories have been chosen out of a total of 2,059 companies across the country in this fierce competition for the best products and brands that are developing sustainable local food economies.

“This is a huge win for us,” Paprocki says. “We’re already receiving orders from around the country. Our biggest challenge now is growing enough garlic to keep up with demand.”

It takes months to grow the fresh garlic and another one to two months to ferment it to create this uniquely delicious and healthful product that has become a professional chef and home cook’s dream. It’s become such a passion for one Texas home chef, Ramona Werst, that she’s currently writing an entire cookbook that incorporates Texas Black Gold Garlic, in both savory and sweet ways.  

Texas Black Gold Garlic can be purchased online and at various places around San Antonio, including the Pearl Brewery Farmers Market and the New Braunfels Farmers Market. It’s also available wholesale and retail in places throughout the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit texasblackgoldgarlic.com. For more on the Good Food Awards and other Texas winners, including The Jelly Queens from Dallas and Hops & Grain Brewery of Austin, click here.

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Leave the Potato Out of the Potato Salad

Leave the Potato Out of the Potato Salad

Let’s face it, diabetics love potatoes like everybody else, but potatoes love our blood sugar levels way too much for our good. Mashed cauliflower has proven effective as a low-carbohydrate substitute for mashed potatoes, but would the same substitute work in potato salad?

The answer is a solid yes.

This No Potato Salad recipe mixes the best of cold potato salad — celery, onion, hard-boiled egg, mayonnaise and mustard — but uses steamed cauliflower instead of boiled potatoes. The idea came from Elena Amsterdam’s Paleo-friendly website, Elena’s Pantry, with a few adjustments for my tastes. You can adapt the recipe how you’d like, using dill pickles or leaving out the parsley. Just watch the added sugar, which is why I use Duke’s mayonnaise.

I took this to an office potluck, and it was a winner. The co-worker sitting next to me didn’t even notice that there were no potatoes in the mix. You can’t ask for a better compliment than that.

No Potato Salad

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 ribs celery, chopped
1/4 cup minced onion
1 generous tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus more more garnish
3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped, divided use
1/8 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons yellow or Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste

You can make most of this salad ahead of time.

Steam the cauliflower florets for 7 minutes or until just tender. Shock in ice water and let dry.

Mix the cauliflower, celery, onion, 1 chopped egg and parsley. If making this salad in advance, cover this mixture and refrigerate until ready.

You can also make the dressing advance. Just refrigerate it until about 20 minutes before serving.

For the dressing, mix together the remaining 2 eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, salt and black pepper until everything is thoroughly incorporated.

Spoon half over the salad. Taste. Add the rest as needed and adjust seasonings. Garnish with more chopped parsley. 

Adapted from Elena Amsterdam/Elena’s Pantry

 

 

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A Slice of Pie from the Past

A Slice of Pie from the Past

Last month, I was reading through the 1945 “Fireside Book of Christmas Stories” and came across a reference to a “Grandma Nadeli’s famed onion custard” pie in Jake Falstaff’s nostalgic “Merry Christmas.”

Onion Custard Pie

What exactly is that, I wondered.

The internet, of course, offered the answer. It was once an American winter favorite that predated the introduction of quiche to our culinary vocabulary. Softened onions were loaded into a prebaked pie crust and then topped with a delicious mixture of eggs, cheese and cream.

I wasn’t able to try the recipe until this week, but the end result was a rich treat, substantial enough to be a main dish, if you’re looking for a meatless alternative, one that’s perfect with a garden salad on the side. Or it could be a warming side dish with almost everything, including steak, chicken, fish and pork chops.    

I did have one problem with this recipe, which I found on Serious Eats, and it was a good reminder that recipes are guidelines, not written in stone. The original called for 4 onions without mentioning size. I somehow knew that those gargantuan yellow onions in the supermarket were too big, so I only softened three. Even that was way too much. So was the egg filling, which I made with Swiss cheese instead of Gruyere. I had enough of both left over from a deep dish pie to make a second pie.

A slice of crustless Onion Custard Pie

I did make one modification for the second pie. I omitted the pie crust and baked the remainder in a 7-by-11-inch casserole dish for a lower-carbohydrate alternative. It worked perfectly.   

What the internet did not have was a wealth of information on the author, Jake Falstaff. It seems that Falstaff was the pen name of Herman Fetzer, a Cleveland newspaperman who died in 1935. Yet the story, “Merry Christmas,” wasn’t published until 1941 as part of “The Big Snow: Christmas at Jacoby’s Corner.”

Fetzer, or Falstaff, if you will, never knew what that mere mention of Grandma Nadeli’s famed onion custard pie would result in 75 years later.

Onion Custard Pie

10 ounces pie dough or 1 pie sheet
4 tablespoons butter
4 medium onions, peeled and sliced thin
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups half-and-half or heavy cream
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup grated Gruyère or Swiss cheese
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Roll the chilled pie dough into a 12-inch round. Line a 9-inch pie pan with the dough, folding the edges in to make double-thick sides. Press the sides in well and prick the bottom all over with a fork. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Crustless Onion Custard Pie

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. To keep the dough from shrinking while it bakes, line the shell with a piece of foil or parchment paper, then fill the tart with a layer of dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden around the edge. Take the tart out of the oven; remove the foil and the weights. Return to the oven and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes, until the pastry is an even light golden brown.

In a heavy bottomed skillet, melt the butter over a medium flame. Then add the onions and cook until soft and golden, 20 to 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Taste to make sure the onions are already delicious by themselves. Cool.

Mix together the remaining ingredients. When the onions are cool, spread them in the baked tart shell, pour in the custard mixture, and bake at 375 for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is puffed and golden brown. Let the pie sit at room temperature for 10 minutes or so to firm up before you cut into it.

Makes 1 or 2 pies.

Adapted from www.seriouseats.com

 

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Give Your Holiday Brunch a Sweet Touch

Give Your Holiday Brunch a Sweet Touch

Chocolate Candy Cane Doughnut Bread Pudding

What did we do before Mint Twists came on the market? We tried crushing our own candy canes or peppermints, of course. And if you’re like me, you always made a mess of things. But now that you can find bags of the already-crushed candies in the aisle near the chocolate chips, you can make you’re own treats — and not just at Christmas.

This dish came about when life handed me more doughnuts than I could eat. At a recent office meeting, very few people touched the two dozen Krispy Kremes that someone had brought. Leftovers included a healthy mix of regular glazed and chocolate-glazed, which had me thinking about bread pudding.

But what would make it more holiday friendly? Chocolate and peppermint, of course. I’m obsessed with dark chocolate-coated peppermint bark, so it only seemed right to add it to the mix, especially when some of the doughnuts already had a little chocolate on them.

Enjoy this at your next holiday brunch with hot chocolate, egg nog or even an Irish coffee on the side.

 

Chocolate Candy Cane Doughnut Bread Pudding

Let the stale doughnuts soak for at least 10 minutes before baking.

10 to 12 stale doughnuts, with regular glaze or chocolate glaze

3 large eggs

3/4 cup whole milk

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup chocolate chips, preferably dark chocolate

1/4 cup crushed candy canes or Mint Twists, or to taste

Hard Sauce (optional)

Cut or tear the doughnuts in small pieces. I use a pair of kitchen scissors. Spread out in a 9-by-13-inch dish. Set aside.

In a bowl, beat the eggs slightly. Add milk, heavy cream, vanilla and salt, stirring until thoroughly mixed. Pour over the doughnut pieces. Let sit for at least 10 minutes.

While the doughnut slices are soaking, heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the doughnut slices and stir once or twice to make sure all everything is moist.

Shortly before you put the dish into the oven, sprinkle the crushed candy canes over the top to taste.

Bake for 30 minutes. Check to see if everything has a come together. You may need to bake up to five minutes more. If you do, turn the oven off and let it sit in there.

Serve warm. Top with Hard Sauce, if desired.

Makes 12-16 servings.

From John Griffin

Hard Sauce

This is a variation of Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond’s recipe.

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, Kahlua Peppermint Mocha or whiskey, or to taste

In your mixer, whip the butter for a couple of minutes at medium speed. Add the sugar slowly and scrape down the sizes so everything is thoroughly incorporated. Then add the liquor and mix for a minute or two more. Use at room temperature. (If you make this in advance, refrigerate until about an hour before it’s needed. Take it out, so it can warm up.)

Makes about 2 1/2 cups sauce.

Adapted from Ree Drummond

 

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Don’t Stop at Cucumbers. Squash Can Make Great Pickles, Too.

Don’t Stop at Cucumbers. Squash Can Make Great Pickles, Too.

I spent some time with family in Louisville recently and had the chance to make some pickles with my mother, using a version of her beloved bread and butter pickle recipe, which I have feasted on since I was a kid.

Let the squash sit in a vinegar solution for 2 hours before canning.

Let the squash sit in a vinegar solution for 2 hours before canning.

The only difference this time was that we didn’t use cucumbers. We made them with fresh yellow squash that a friend of hers had given them.

The end result tastes almost exactly the same. Both are available throughout the year, so whether you get squash from the market or your fall garden, you can enjoy these year-round.

Next time, I’ll try them with zucchini.

Squash Pickles

2 1/2 pounds yellow squash, sliced thinly
1 small red bell pepper, cut in strips (see note)
1 small green bell pepper, cut in strips
1 large or 2 small onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup salt
2 cups white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons mustard seed
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon turmeric

Note: You’ll only need 1 bell pepper of your preferred color, if you’re using one of the large ones from the supermarket,

In a large non-aluminum bowl, add the squash, bell pepper and onion. Cover with salt and stir together. Let sit for 2 hours. Stir occasionally.

While the vegetables are sitting, combine vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, celery seed and turmeric in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

When the 2 hours are up, squeeze the vegetables dry. Then add the vegetables to the saucepan. Stir to incorporate everything together and let sit for 2 hours more.

When the 2 hours are up, bring the vegetables to a boil. Remove immediately and separate into 4 (1-pint) jars. Fill almost to the top with liquid. Seal using your preferred method or top with a jar lid and refrigerate immediately. Wait a day or two before eating.

Seal the jars, if you like, or cover and refrigerate them immediately.

Seal the jars, if you like, or cover and refrigerate them immediately.

Makes 4 (1-pint) jars. (If you aren’t sealing the lids, the pickles will keep up to 2 months in the refrigerator.)

From Annaliese Griffin and John Griffin

 

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A Trio of Bright and Bold Indian Salads

A Trio of Bright and Bold Indian Salads

cucumber-salad

My Bible study group recently decided to have an Indian themed dinner, and it fell to my lot to bring a salad. When I started to do my research, however, I couldn’t stop at one. So, I made three.

Each of these is easy to make, which is always a plus. But their greatness, individually and collectively, lies in the bold, clean flavors that will add to any meal, Indian or otherwise. I have already made the Mango Salad and the Onion and Tomato Salad twice since then.

If you’re looking for a fresh alternative to a lettuce salad, check out these options.

Cucumber Salad

2 cups cucumber, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons cashews coarsely ground (optional)
1 tablespoon mint, finely ripped

Dressing:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons ginger juice (see note)
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, coarsely ground

For the dressing: In a bowl, mix oil, lemon juice, salt, sugar, black pepper, ginger juice and fennel. Set aside.

For the salad: Peel the cucumber, leaving strips of skin. Slice thin, crosswise. The slices should look like half-moons.

Toss the cucumber with ground cashews, if using, and mint to coat the slices.

Just before serving, add the dressing. Mix it well.

Note: To make the ginger juice, shred the ginger using a fine shredder or zester. Squeeze the shredded ginger with your fingers to get all the juice out. Or you can place a piece of peeled ginger in a sturdy lemon juicer and press hard several times.

Adapted from ManjulasKitchen.com/Manjula Jain

Onion and Tomato Salad (Piaz aur Tamatar ka Salad)

red-onion-and-tomato-salad“Marinating the onions in salt and lemon juice reduces the pungency and makes them sweet and tangy,” says Madhu Gadia in “New Indian Home Cooking” (HPBooks, $20).

1 medium red onion, cut into 1/4-inch wedges
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt, divided use
2 medium tomatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch wedges
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine the onion, lemon juice and 3/4 teaspoon of the salt in a bowl. Cover and marinate for 20 minutes or longer, stirring occasionally. (Editor’s note: Having made the recipe twice, I would suggest marinating the onion at least 30 minutes.) Drain and discard the juice.

Add the tomatoes and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Toss lightly to mix.

Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Approximate nutritional value per serving: 17 calories, 4 g carbohydrate, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 1 g dietary fiber, 1 g protein, 0 mg cholesterol, 182 mg sodium.

From “New Indian Home Cooking” by Madhu Gadia

green-mango-saladMango Salad (Aam ka Laccha)

“In season, the swee4t and sour taste of an underripe mango when combined with salt and cayenne peppers adds and excellent taste to any meal. It is eaten more like a pickle, in a small quantity, rather than a salad,” writes Madhu Gadia in “New Indian Home Cooking.”

1 firm, underripe mango (3/4 pound)
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Wash and peel the mango. Slice the mango flesh into 1-inch strips. Discard the seed.

Toss the mango with the cayenne pepper and salt in a bowl. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes or longer in the refrigerator.

Serve cold or refrigerate for up to 2 to 3 days.

Makes 16 servings.

Approximate nutritional value per 3 tablespoon serving: 12 calories, 3 g carbohydrate, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0.5 g dietary fiber, 0 g protein, 0 mg cholesterol, 67 mg sodium.

From “New Indian Home Cooking” by Madhu Gadia

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