Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sunset Park Salads - local, easy, yummy

One month of summer down, one to go. Cooking in heat and humidity has GOT to be one of the deeper levels of Hell, don't you think? Luckily, The New York Times recently had "101 Simple Salads for the Season" from The Minimalist. It appealed to me on many levels: little heating up my steambox of an apartment, buying greens at the up the block Chinese market (baby bok choy for two at 68 cents), it makes me feel healthy, and it utilizes my greatest culinary skill - easy assembling of food.

So, I took a few minutes and gleaned the recipes that I thought were most appropriate to what we can purchase from the local Chinese and Mexican/Latin American food stores around Sunset Park. From pre-fried tofu cubes to chipotle and jicama, we have it here. I only included the numbers of many recipes, so take the time to click through and check them out. (Numbers 9, 15, 17, 41, 69, 86. 87, 89)

See the complete list for the more meat-centric salads; I didn't choose any because I wouldn't eat them. I left the numbers on the salads to help you navigate the entire article. Enjoy, and let me know how they came out!

from the article:

6. Sichuan slaw: Toss bean sprouts, shredded carrots and celery, minced fresh chili, soy sauce, sesame oil and a bit of sugar. Top with chopped peanuts and chopped basil, mint and/or cilantro. (The full trio is best.)

8. Chop or slice radishes (or jicama, or the ever-surprising kohlrabi) and combine with chopped or sliced unripe (i.e., still crunchy) mango, lime juice and mint or cilantro.

11. Chop and steam baby or grown-up bok choy until crisp-tender, then shock it in ice water. Drain, then toss with halved cherry tomatoes, capers, olive oil and lemon juice.

39. Yucatecan street food as salad: Roast fresh corn kernels in a pan with a little oil; toss with cayenne or minced chilis, lime juice and a little queso fresco. Cherry tomatoes are optional.

84. Spring rolls, unrolled: One at a time, soften a few sheets of rice paper in warm water. Drain, pat dry, cut into strips and toss with chopped cucumber, grated carrots, chopped cilantro, bean sprouts, chili flakes and chopped roasted peanuts. Dress with toasted sesame oil, fish sauce or soy sauce, and rice vinegar or lime juice. A few shrimp are a nice addition.

100. Mash a canned chipotle with some of its adobo and stir with olive oil and lime juice. Toss with drained canned hominy, fresh corn cut from the cob (or drained pinto beans), cilantro and green onions.

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