This month’s edition of Kitchen Bootcamp called for us to investigate salads and dressings. I was really excited about this as one of my goals this summer had been to work on some different dressings. Unfortunately, as seems to often be the case chez moi, life kinda sorta got in the way and I found myself working on my tasks very close to departing for vacation. So I hereby present to you my (Everything but the) Kitchen (sink) Bootcamp entries for this round!
You know what it’s like when you are leaving on a trip, right? You have to be super creative to use us all the food in the house so that you don’t have to throw any out. I found myself with cucumbers and sour cream. Which was perfect because right there in Chapter 30, page 952 of The Professional Chef is a Classic Polish Cucumber Salad.
Even though this did not involve any real skill, it was great because it reminded me what a wonderful salad dressing cam be made with only a few ingredients. As I didn’t have everything on hand, and my cucumbers seemed to be fairly juicy, I changed the recipe slightly, omitting the lemon juice in favour of lemon zest.
adapted from The Professional Chef, page 952
1 large cucumber (about 0.5 lb)
1/4 teaspoon salt
100g sour cream
3 tablespoons chopped dill
1/2 tablespoon tarragon vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed
1. Peel the cucumber, cut in half lengthwise , deseed if necessary and slice into thin half-moons
2. Place in bowl and mix with salt. Allow cucumber to rest for about 30 minutes, drain and squeeze dry.
3. Add sour cream, dill and vinegar to the cucumbers and mix. Season with lemon zest, salt and pepper.
4. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later.
Next up? I had planned on something with a Japanese twist, and had even asked Rachael for some recipes since, you know, she’s the queen of all things Japanese!) Unfortunately, the refrigerator cleanout took precedence over creativity and I needed to use up some sad looking ginger and a lemon. I hunted around and found this recipe that looked like it might taste good on my green beans and sugar snap peas, also on their way out. Again, I adapted based on what I had on hand.
adapted from Allrecipes.com
1/2 cup ginger infused grapeseed oil
1/2 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup Ponzu
1 lemon, juiced and zested
3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl or jug.
I served this over some fresh sugar snap peas to start…
And then later on I served it over pan fried vegetable dumplings (also needing to be eaten up!) as a warm dressing:
A fabulous challenge Jen – thanks so much! Not only did I get to try two new dressings but you also helped me clean out my fridge before my vacation! Looking forward to next month already!