Tasty Compiments

May 15, 2011

I don’t eat red meat. It’s not necessarily religious or an environmental statement- I just don’t like the way it tastes. In fact, the only meats I eat are chicken and fish, so sometimes I can be driven into corner when it comes to ordering food. This is why I have come to greatly appreciate well done side items. There is nothing better than an entrée made up of garlic bread, salad, and other items usually ordered on the side. So for this week, I’m here to tell you how to make two delicious dishes to serve with your main course.

Mandarin Orange Salad

This recipe actually comes from the mother of one of our own Woodlawn Kitchen Bloggers and has a great balance of leafy greens, soft, sweet, oranges, and crunchy yet tasty caramelized almonds…. Yummy!

Dressing:

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 T sugar

2 T apple cider vinegar

1 T minced parsley (optional)

1/4 t salt

1/8 t pepper

dash soy sauce (optional)

Topping:

1/4 cup slivered almonds

1 T sugar

Salad:

1/4 medium head Romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces

1/4 medium head iceberg lettuce (or you can use all Romaine), cut into bite-sized pieces

2 medium stalks celery, finely chopped

2 green onions, finely chopped

1 11oz can mandarin oranges, drained

Can add craisins, which give nice color too

Directions:

Combine your dressing ingredients in a small bowl, then set aside; you’ll need it later.

In a heavy skillet, caramelize sugar, and add almonds just as the sugar is browning. You also could add the almonds and sugar at the same time, until they are lightly brown. Whichever is more to your taste.

Spread the sugar in the skillet and wait for it to start to brown.

Toss salad ingredients together (very difficult, this step; it requires incredible coordination and two spoons). Shake or whisk the dressing before adding to the salad.

Any two utensils should work for tossing a salad... Although a knife could be difficult to work with.

Top with almonds and you’re done!

(Scroll to end of post for a lovely picture)

Toasty Garlic Bread

Warning: this garlic bread is super delicious. Eat with caution.

Ingredients:

1 16-ounce loaf of Italian or French bread

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

2 large cloves of garlic, smashed and minced

1 heaping tablespoon of freshly chopped parsley

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional- also, we put way more than 1/4 cup, so it all depends on how much cheese you like)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cut the bread in half, horizontally. Mix the butter, garlic, and parsley together in a small bowl. Spread the butter mixture over the two bread halves. Place on a sturdy baking pan (one that can handle high temperatures, not a cookie sheet) and heat in the oven for 10 minutes (during which you can always make your salad).

Try to spread the mixtures evenly. And don't worry- it might not look good now, but it turns out scrumptious.

Remove pan from oven. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over bread if desired. Return to oven on he highest rack. Broil on high heat for 2-3 minutes until the edges of the bread begin to toast and the cheese (if you’re using cheese) bubbles. Watch very, very carefully while broiling. The bread can quickly go from un-toasted to burnt.

Remove from oven and let cool (it may be very tempting to eat it, but wait for it to cool or else you’ll burn yourself). Remove from pan and make 1-inch think slices. Serve immediately (trust me, you won’t want to wait).

Put it all on a plate, add some ravioli, and you have a fantastic meal that everyone can enjoy!

~With love from Popsicle!

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