On a gloomy & rainy spring afternoon a few weeks ago, I met a colleague for lunch in the city. She took me to Artisanal Fromagerie & Bistro, a charming place just around the corner from her office on Park Avenue. “Everything’s good here,” she said as the waitress handed us menus, “but I usually order the Cheese Board.” I quickly scanned the menu and, although there were lots of tempting choices, I decided to take Helene’s advice and ordered the Cheese Board.
The waitress reappeared with a beautifully arranged plate featuring wedges of three different cheeses, a halved fresh fig, a cluster of red grapes, pear slices, walnut halves, and delicate spring greens. Did I mention we also had a basket of fresh baguette slices? Mmmm. A little bite of cheese, a nibble of pear, a crunch of walnut, perhaps another slice of bread….just a happy mix of flavors and textures. So very civilized! My day had brightened considerably by the end of this wonderful meal. Upon leaving, I requested the names of the three featured cheeses. They were Buche du Poitou (a French goat cheese), Coolea, and Cashel Blue (both Irish cow’s milk cheeses).
Try this at home… a Cheese Board is so simple to make. Start by selecting a couple of interesting cheeses—perhaps a sheep’s milk, a cow’s milk and a goat’s milk. Allow one ounce of each cheese per serving. Arrange your Cheese Board with the cheeses, lightly dressed (just a touch of oil and vinegar) greens, nuts, fruit, and of course, fresh French bread. Bon Appetit!
Note: the selection of cheeses in our photo are a Rosenborg Castello (Danish Blue), a Wisconsin Gouda, and a Chevre.
What have I been serving for dinner with no kitchen? I am not one to take out every night. It gets tiring and expensive. I will confess that I have a portable convection oven that is set up in my laundry room and that has been helpful. I have been purchasing packaged rice mixes, frozen pizzas, complete salad mixes, breaded chicken tenders, dry soup mixes and more. They really have come in handy and provide a close second to home-made meals.
Tonight– Asian Salad with Sliced Chicken Tenders. I will take a package of Dole Asian Salad Mix (comes with sesame ginger dressing, chow mein noodles, sliced almonds and candied ginger pieces). Then I will heat the frozen breaded chicken tenders (get spicy ones if you like), thinly slice them and arrange them on top of the salad mix. Toss with the sesame dressing. Yum!!! If you have a can of Mandarin orange, drain them and add to the salad.
-If you don’t have a convection oven to heat the tenders, you can purchase already cooked breaded chicken in the meat department and just slice them and serve. No need to heat them.
Filed under Chicken, Salad
It’s Wednesday and I promised to have the recipe for the White Balsamic Vinaigrette. Well, here it is.
Before I give you the recipe, let me give some of my tips:
– What is White Balsamic Vinegar? It is made with white wine
vinegar and grape must (sounds ghastly, but it is actually fresh
grape juice that is pressed from the skins, seeds, and stems of the
grapes.) It is usually used when the color of food will be affected
by using traditional Balsamic vinegar. White balsamic vinegar
is milder and less sweet than regular balsamic.
– Can the two vinegars be interchanged? Not really, because of the color
and flavor. It is better to substitute white wine vinegar for white
– Adding a little prepared mustard to a vinaigrette recipe not only
enhances the flavor but it also adds body.
– An easy way to make salad dressing is to place all ingredients in
a jar with a tight fitting lid then shake away!!!
– Substitute your favorite fresh herb for the rosemary.
Here’s the recipe:
(The vinaigrette recipe will make enough for later use — and it
should because it is so good!)
Dresses 6 salad servings
Makes about 1 cup vinaigrette
1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon course black pepper
2/3 cup olive oil
1 package (5-6 oz.) mesclun salad greens or mixed baby greens,
rinsed and dried
1 small yellow pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup dried cranberries
– For vinaigrette, combine first 6 ingredients. With wire whisk, slowly
beast in olive oil until mixture thickens slightly.
– Toss greens, pepper, onion and cranberries with a few tablespoons
– Refrigerate remaining dressing.
Filed under Healthy, Salad