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Chefs’ Corner: Grape-Gorgonzola Salad at Texas de Brazil


Grape Salad with Roasted Apples and Gorgonzola Cheese

Looking for a colorful salad that’s easy to make yet filled with layers of flavor? Texas de Brazil, the steakhouse at 313 E. Houston St., has a winner in its Grape Salad with Roasted Apples and Gorgonzola Cheese.

“This salad is especially great if accompanying roasted pork loin or leg of lamb,” says chef Evandro Caregnato, who created this recipe because he wanted a salad that pairs well with wine. (With wine in mind, use only a sprinkling of sugar on the apples and try to use a sugar-free mayonnaise, such as Duke’s, if you are not making your own.)

This salad would be a refreshing addition to your Fiesta parties and get-togethers any time of year.

Texas de Brazil’s Grape Salad with Roasted Apples and Gorgonzola Cheese

2 golden delicious apples, peeled and cored
Sugar, to taste
1 1/2 cups seedless red grapes
1 1/2 cups seedless green grapes
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the apples into 1-inch cubes and dust with a little sugar. Place the apples in a single layer in a greased pan. Roast for about 20 minutes or until lightly golden. Let cool.

Combine 1-1/2 cups roasted apples with grapes, mayonnaise, lemon juice and cheese in a large bowl. Mix well and chill before serving.

Makes 10 side-dish servings.

From Evandro Caregnato/Texas de Brazil

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Taste Mayonnaise Two New Ways


If you’ve checked out the mayonnaise section at your neighborhood supermarket lately, you’ve probably noticed a few additions to the usual lineup of Hellman’s, Kraft and the generic store brands.

One is Duke’s Real Mayonnaise, which has been a favorite in the South for years. The word “real” means that it is made with eggs, something you don’t find in every mayonnaise on the shelf. What Duke’s doesn’t have is sugar, something you’ll find in too many other commercial mayonnaises.

Sugar-free does not mean low-calorie, mind you. There is a low-calorie version, which you can differentiate by label color. The regular version has a yellow label, while the low-cal’s is blue.

Of all the commercial mayonnaises I’ve tried, I prefer Duke’s. It’s got a more natural egg flavor without the ghastly acrid taste sugar often gives to mayonnaise and salad dressings. I used to have to drive across town to pick up Duke’s, so I’m real happy to be able to find this around the corner from me.

The price is about $2.75 for an 18-ounce jar. For recipes and tips on using Duke’s, click here.

Baconnaise is for a more targeted audience, to be sure.

Bacon lovers Justin and Dave took their winnings from “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and created an eponymous food company in which all of the products taste like bacon, according to the label.

They started with Bacon Salt, which comes in four flavors and is, believe it or not, a vegan product. Now J&D’s offers bacon-flavored mayonnaise in a recipe that is certified kosher (!?!).

Baconnaise also comes in a regular and light version that’s made with real eggs. It has a touch of sugar in it, but not enough to produce 1 gram in a tablespoon-sized serving.

If you taste it by itself, you may find the natural smoke flavor to be a little too pronounced. But that seems to balance out on a sandwich. In fact, the flavor on sourdough with lettuce makes me long for the fresh tomatoes coming in a few weeks.

J&D’s lineup doesn’t stop here. It also produces bacon-flavored popcorn and envelopes among other products.

The price is about $4.50 for a 15-ounce jar. Click here for more information on J&D’s and recipes.

Because both of these mayonnaises are made with egg, it is recommended that you refrigerate them after opening.

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Make Your Own Mayonnaise in Minutes


“Treat yourself once in a while to homemade mayonnaise prepared in a food processor. This simple version is delicious and light – and it takes about 5 minutes to whip up. It will keep about a week, but mine usually vanishes before that,” Judith Jones writes in “The Pleasures of Cooking for One.”

Mayonnaise

1 large egg
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt, to taste
About ¾ cup light extra-virgin olive oil

Spin the egg, mustard, a few drops of lemon juice, and a small pinch of salt in the food processor long enough to blend well. With the machine going, pour the olive oil in, a few drops at a time to begin, then in a steady stream. When the mayonnaise has thickened and you have used up almost all of the oil, taste and adjust: You will need several drops more lemon juice and a little more salt, and perhaps, if the sauce doesn’t seem thick enough, a little more olive oil blended in. That’s it.

Variations: If you don’t have a food processor and want to make the mayonnaise by hand, use just the egg yolk instead of the whole egg. Drop the yolk in a small shallow bowl and beat constantly with a fork in one hand as you slowly add the olive oil, in droplets at first, then in a steady stream, until thickened.

[amazon-product]0307270726[/amazon-product]To make a simple version of a Pistou Sauce that’s particularly good with bouillabaisse or swirled into a vegetable soup, or added to a green sauce, smash, remove the peel from, and chop fine 2 fat garlic cloves. Sprinkle a large pinch of salt on top, and mash with the flat of your knife until you have a paste. Stir that in about ½ cup of your mayonnaise. Mix in the about a quarter of a large red bell pepper, roasted, peel removed, and cut into small dice (or use a roasted pepper from a jar), and season with a large pinch of sweet paprika and a small pinch (at least that’s all I like) of hot pepper flakes. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking.

From “The Pleasures of Cooking for One” by Judith Jones

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Recipe: Bonnie’s Potato Salad


potatosalad3Bonnie Walker’s potato salad recipe incorporates poblanos and serranos to sizzling effect.

Bonnie’s Potato Salad

4-6 large russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into eighths
Salt, to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white OR red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon powdered dry mustard
Pinch white pepper
Pinch salt
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions, including some of the green
1 cup diced celery
4 large hard-cooked eggs, diced
2 medium poblano chiles, roasted and peeled, seeded and cut into small dice
1 serrano chile, minced (optional)
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Paprika, for garnish

Cook potatoes until tender. Strain and let cool a few minutes.  Spread out on a baking sheet in a single layer and salt the potatoes. You don’t need to use a lot of salt, but all the potatoes should have a little. Put potatoes back in a large bowl.

In a smaller bowl, stir together the olive oil, vinegar, dry mustard, pepper and salt until it makes a creamy dressing. Pour into the potatoes and toss around with your hands until all of the potatoes are coated with a little of the dressing. Add diced scallion and celery and mix in.

Gently mix in hard-cooked eggs, poblano chile and serrano, if using. You can use more or less serrano, depending on whether you want it to burn a little or not. Stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream and mustard. Stir into the potato mixture so that it is well blended in.

Just before serving, shake paprika over the top.  (It’s common as a garnish, but the flavor is really good,  so shake on a little extra.)

Makes 8-12 servings.

Source: Bonnie Walker

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Recipe: Two Bros. Potato Salad


twobrospotatosalad2Mustard powder gives the dressing of Jason Dady’s potato salad an extra kick.

Two Bros. BBQ Market Potato Salad

1 1/2 pounds red potatoes
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/8 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Coleman’s Mustard Powder
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced red onion
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

In large stockpot, cover potatoes with cold water, season the water with 2 tablespoons of kosher salt and bring to a simmer.  Be careful not to boil.

Once at a simmer, cook potatoes until soft.  Cook until a knife can skewer all the way through the potato.  It is essential not to overcook the potato.

Once done, remove from water immediately and allow to cool at room temperature.

Once the potatoes are cool, using your hands, break potatoes into bite size pieces in a large mixing bowl.

Add the mayonnaise first.  Toss the potatoes into the mayonnaise and mix well. Once mayonnaise is well incorporated, add the Dijon mustard and Coleman’s mustard powder.  Mix thoroughly. Once mustard is added and mixed in, fold in the onion and celery. Adjust seasoning as needed with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.

The potato salad is ready to serve.  It can be served immediately, or chilled and held for up to three days.

From Jason Dady and Two Bros. BBQ Market

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Recipe: Dorothy’s Potato Salad


Potato saladDorothy’s Potato Salad from Casbeer’s is an old-fashioned treat with mustard and mayonnaise.

Dorothy’s Potato Salad

8 large russet potatoes cut into 1-inch dice
4 ribs celery, diced
1 cup diced dill pickles
1 large onion
1 4-ounce jar minced pimentos
1 cup French’s yellow mustard (no substitution!)
1 (32-ounce) jar mayonnaise, any brand
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

Cook potatoes in 4 quarts water until very tender. Drain and cool (they do not need to be cold, just easy to handle.)  Stir in, one ingredient at a time, celery, pickles, onion, pimentos, mustard, mayonnaise, salt and pepper. This will cause the potatoes to become creamy, resembling very lumpy mashed potatoes.

Makes 16-20 servings.

Source: Steve Silbas

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