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You'll find over 400 of my favorite recipes here, including ideas for Quick meals, Cooking for 2, Feasting on Leftovers, and cooking with 5 Ingredients or Less. I'm adding new posts regularly; you can subscribe by email or RSS feed if you'd like to receive the latest recipes. Bon appétit!

Perfect Instant Pot Hard-Cooked Eggs

November 12, 2017

By Kath Dedon

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After several attempts at making hard-cooked eggs in my Instant Pot, I finally made Perfect Instant Pot Hard-Cooked Eggs!

There is nothing wrong with J.Kenji Lopez-Alt’s method for steaming eggs; I have made many Perfect Hard Cooked Eggs using his method. If I didn’t have an Instant Pot I would definitely continue to steam them.

However, I do have an Instant Pot! So future hard-cooked eggs at Chez Dedon will probably be produced in my Instant Pot now that I’ve figured it out.

If you search the Internet, you’ll find a surprising number of ways to make hard-cooked eggs in an Instant Pot. I tried some of them. 5 minutes of high pressure with 5 minutes of natural release before doing a quick release did not work for me. The yolks were not fully cooked. 8 minutes of high pressure with 5 minutes of natural release worked a bit better, but the yolks still had a small spot that was not quite done.

I found Amy and Jacky’s blog post about cooking eggs in the Instant Pot. They used low pressure and cooked the eggs for 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 minutes. They posted photos of all of the eggs to show how they turned out. For hard-cooked eggs, the 12-, 13-, and 14-minute eggs looked like they would suit me the best.

Since 13 minutes is the timing I use for steaming eggs, I decided to try that with the Instant Pot. It worked beautifully! I feel like I’m all ready to make deviled eggs for holiday get-togethers!

Update 11/15/17:  

Yesterday I opened a new carton of large eggs and cooked them in the Instant Pot with Low Pressure for 13 minutes. They had a green ring around the yolk indicating that they were overcooked. (See photo at the end of this blog post.)

Today I cooked some more eggs from the same carton with Low Pressure for 12 minutes and they were perfect. Blogger Ron of Lost in a Pot reported in a comment to this post that he cooked perfect eggs using Low Pressure for 12 minutes as well. From now on I will set the timer for 12 minutes. 😉

 

Perfect hard-cooked egg

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Perfect Instant Pot Hard-Cooked Eggs

(Adapted from Amy and Jacky’s recipe on their blog, Pressure Cook Recipes)

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(print the recipe)

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This method calls for using cold tap water and cold large eggs. Using warm water, room-temperature eggs, or eggs that are a different size could affect your results.

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2 – 8 large eggs, cold from the refrigerator

1 cup cold tap water

  1. Put the steamer rack that came with the Instant Pot in the pot. Put the eggs on the rack and pour in the water. Put the lid on and set the steam release handle to Seal.

Eggs in the IP

 

2. Press the Manual button and then press the Pressure button. Use the “-“ button to select Low Pressure. Set the time for 13 minutes 12 minutes.

3. While the eggs are cooking, prepare a bowl of ice water so it’s ready to cool the eggs.

4. When the 12 minutes under pressure are up and the Instant Pot beeps, press the Keep Warm/Cancel button to turn off the IP. Move the steam release handle to Vent for a quick pressure release.

5. Remove the lid. Put the eggs in the ice water to chill for 5 minutes.

Chilling in ice water.jpg

 

5. Refrigerate for future use.

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Perfect hard-cooked egg - Copy

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Photo for the 11/15/17 Update:

The egg on the left was cooked for 13 minutes. The perfect egg on the right was cooked for 12 minutes.

eggs

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Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats

October 19, 2017

By Kath Dedon

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Sometimes you just need a treat. Deb Perelman’s recipe for Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats in Smitten Kitchen certainly fills the bill!

According to Wikipedia, Rice Krispies Treats have been around since 1939. The original recipe has just three ingredients: 3 tablespoons of butter, 10 ounces of marshmallows, and 6 cups of Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® cereal. The recipe is delicious and has endured to the present day.

Deb made just a couple of minor changes that made big changes with her Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats. She uses a lot more butter (8 ounces, or one stick), she browns the butter, and she adds course sea salt. Believe me; those little changes make all the difference!

I have long enjoyed Deb’s Smitten Kitchen blog; I highly recommend it if you’re not familiar with it. Her Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is an enjoyable read that inspires me to get in the kitchen to try something new. I’m very much looking forward to getting my hands on her new cookbook, Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant and Unfussy New Favorites. As you can see, I’m a Deb Perelman “groupie”. If she’s new to you, I recommend checking her out.

We’re headed into “sugar season” when special treats are needed for the various holiday activities and get-togethers. This recipe for Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats is easy to make and a real crowd-pleaser. Give it a try and see if you don’t agree!

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Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats.jpg

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Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats

(Adapted from Deb Perelman’s recipe in Smitten Kitchen)

 

Kellogg’s no longer makes gluten-free Rice Krispies. If you can find a certified gluten-free brand of rice crispies, you can make these treats gluten-free. 

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(print the recipe)

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Makes 16 (2-inch) squares or 24 (2 x 1.3-inch) squares (I like to cut desserts smaller when serving at a party with other desserts. People are more likely to take a smaller taste.)

 

*I found that I did not have unsalted butter when it was time to make the treats. I used Kerrygold salted butter and then cut the added sea salt in half. It worked fine.

 

4 ounces (113 grams, or one stick) unsalted butter, plus extra for the pan* (See note above about the butter.)

1 10-ounce bag marshmallows (I used miniature.)

Heaping ¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt (Use heaping 1/8 teaspoon if you use salted butter.)

6 cups (160 grams) crispy rice cereal (about half a 12-ounce box)

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1 stick Kerrygold butter

 

160 grams

 

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  1. Grease an 8-inch square pan with butter or oil
  2. In a large pot (I used my 8-quart Dutch oven) melt the butter over medium-low heat. It melts, foams, turns clear, and then starts to brown. Stir frequently scraping up the brown bits. Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn.

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Cut the butter into smaller pieces so it melts more quickly

Melting butter

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3. When the butter is browned, turn off the heat and stir in the marshmallows. Stir until the marshmallows are totally melted and blended into the butter. (Turn the heat on low if the marshmallows aren’t melting. I didn’t need to do that with miniature marshmallows.)

4. Add the crispy rice and salt and stir until it’s all blended. Put the mixture in the prepared pan and press down. It’s easiest to use a piece of waxed or parchment paper sprayed with oil to press on the cereal.

Use waxed paper

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Done

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5. After the treats have cooled, but them into the desired size. (I cut them into 12 squares and then cut each one in half to make 24 treats.)

6. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

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Rice Crispy Treats

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Rice Crispy Treats 2

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Rice Crispy Treats - Copy

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Warm Spinach and Beet Salad with Bacon Dressing

October 13, 2017

By Kath Dedon

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Warm Spinach and Beet Salad with Bacon Dressing is a winner! I was looking for something different to do with the beautiful yellow beets I bought and found Jasper White’s recipe in Jasper White’s Cooking from New England.

The recipe says it serves 4 – 6. I halved it, and it made 2 generous servings. We also had chorizo sausage, but, honestly, the best part of the meal was this salad. I will definitely make again.

Without further ado, here is my take on Warm Spinach and Beet Salad with Bacon Dressing!

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Warm Spinach and Beet Salad with Bacon Dressing (and sausage)

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Warm Spinach and Beet Salad with Bacon Dressing

(Adapted from a recipe in Jasper White’s Cooking from New England)

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(print the recipe))

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My 3 medium yellow beets weighed about 9 ounces, total, with the greens and roots trimmed.

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Serves 2

2 – 3 medium beets (6 – 9 ounces total)

8 ounces baby spinach

2 slices thick bacon, cut in half lengthwise and then into small pieces

1½ teaspoons oil

½ medium onion, cut into medium (½ inch) dice

1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

Serve with Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season to taste

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  1. Peel the beets and cut them into ½-inch sticks. Bring a pot of water to a boil. When it’s boiling, add a spoonful of salt and the beets. Boil until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Cook the bacon in a large skillet until it’s starting to get crisp.

IMG_1469

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3. Add the oil and the onion and cook for a couple of minutes, just until the onion is starting to get tender.

Onions added

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4. Add the vinegar and the beets and cook, stirring, for just a minute or so.

beets added

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5. Add the spinach and toss it with the other ingredients until it just starts to wilt. (Mr. White says, “Move very fast or you will have a cooked vegetable, not a salad.”)

Spinach added

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6. Serve with salt and black pepper to season to taste.

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Two sausages for Bob 

Warm Spinach and Beet Salad with Bacon Dressing

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Tall Warm Spinach and Beet Salad

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Lemongrass Pork Patties with Vietnamese Dipping Sauce

September 13, 2017

By Kath Dedon

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Laura emailed me this recipe the other day saying that she and Byron had enjoyed it at least a couple of times. It looked terrific, so I wasted no time before giving it a try.

Lemongrass Pork Patties with Vietnamese Dipping Sauce is an epicurious recipe developed by Kristin Donnelly. It’s really easy to make!

I made it exactly as written except I substituted Swerve sweetener for the sugar. Swerve measures the same as sugar so it’s an easy substitution. Bob and I both declared that this recipe is a winner. I can attest that leftover patties are delicious reheated in a microwave oven, even without the dipping sauce.

Laura said they had made it as is, but they subbed Truvia for the sugar. They also made it into a salad one night. They tore up the lettuce, cut the patties into smaller pieces, and used the dipping sauce for the dressing. I love that idea!

Get the amazing flavors of Vietnamese cuisine in your own kitchen with these Lemongrass Pork Patties with Vietnamese Dipping Sauce! Delicious!

 

Wrap a pork patty in a lettuce leaf and dip in the sauce!

Lemongrass Pork Patties with Vietnamese Dipping Sauce

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Lemongrass Pork Patties with Vietnamese Dipping Sauce

(Adapted from an epicurious.com recipe by Kristin Donnelly)

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 3 – 4 (3 patties were enough for me; Bob was happy with 4)

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To me the patties were just a wee bit salty. If you are salt-sensitive, you might want to reduce the kosher salt a bit, but use all of the fish sauce. It’s an important ingredient in Vietnamese cooking and it adds “umami” to the dish. You can substitute Swerve or Truvia for the sugar.

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For the patties

1 pound ground pork

3 large cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tablespoons0

¼ cup thinly sliced green onions (3-4 onions)

1 stalk lemongrass, tough outer layers removed, lower 6 inches of tender bulb finely chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger

1½ teaspoons fish sauce

1½ teaspoons sugar (or Swerve or Truvia)

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¾ teaspoon kosher salt (don’t use ¾ tsp table salt; substitute ½ tsp.)

 

For serving

12 lettuce leaves, like Boston or iceberg

Herb sprigs, such as mint, cilantro and Thai basil (optional, I didn’t use)

 

 

  1. Put everything for the patties, except the pork, in a bowl and stir.

Ready to mix with pork.jpg

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2. Add the ground pork and mix until well combined. Form the pork into 12 patties (about ¾-inch thick) and put them on a plate or, as I did, on a small foil-lined baking sheet.

3. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until firm.

Ready to grill

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4. Preheat a grill for 10 minutes. (You know your grill; grease the grill grate if you usually need to do that. I don’t find it necessary with my grill.)

5. Grill the patties for 3-4 minutes on one side. Turn and grill for 4 minutes longer.

6. Serve with lettuce leaves to wrap around the patties and the dipping sauce.

 

Dipping Sauce

1½ tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar (or Swerve or Truvia)

¼ cup water

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon fish sauce

Pinch of crushed red pepper

 

  1. Whisk the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour into 4 small bowls for serving.

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Lemongrass Pork Patties with Vietnamese Dipping Sauce - Copy

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Pork Chops à la Julia with Montreal Steak Seasoning

September 6, 2017

By Kath Dedon

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Pork Chops à la Julia has been my go-to pork chops recipe for years. It’s from Julia Child’s The Way to Cook. I recently tried one small change that took the pork chops to a whole new delicious level.

What did I do? I simply used McCormick Grill Mates 25% Less Sodium Montreal Steak Seasoning instead of salt and pepper. My, oh, my! What a difference! The pork chops were so flavorful and Bob and I both loved them. I prefer to use the reduced sodium version since I give the meat a generous sprinkling of the seasoning.

I highly recommend that you give this a try. Pork Chops à la Julia with Montreal Steak Seasoning is a super entrée for a quick meal.

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Pork Chops served with homegrown green beans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pork Chops à la Julia with Montreal Steak Seasoning

(Adapted from Julia Child’s recipe in The Way to Cook)

 

(print the recipe)

 

Serves 2 (easily doubles to serve 4)

 

pork chops, ¾ – 1 inch thick (either bone-in or boneless)

1 Tablespoon olive oil

McCormick Grill Mates 25% Less Sodium Montreal Steak Seasoning

1/3 cup Vermouth or chicken broth (I used Vermouth.)

 

  1. If there is a lot of excess fat, trim it off. (My pork chops were already well-trimmed.)

2. Let the pork chops sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. When ready to cook, pat them dry with paper towels.

3. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a small skillet that is just large enough to hold the chops.

4. Generously sprinkle the Montreal Steak Seasoning on both sides of the pork chops. Put the chops in the hot skillet

5.  Cook for 4 minutes.  Turn the pork chops over.

6. Cook for 3 more minutes.

7. Remove the pork chops to a warm plate and cover with foil.

8. Add the vermouth or chicken broth to the pan. Turn the heat up and cook, stirring, until the sauce reduces and thickens a bit.

9. Serve the pork chops with some of the pan sauce.

 

Easy Gluten-Free Peach Crisp

August 22, 2017

By Kath Dedon

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This Easy Gluten-Free Peach Crisp is an adaptation of Elana Amsterdam’s Paleo Peach Crisp on her Elana’s Pantry blog. She bakes her crisp in an 8 x 8 inch baking dish.

I cut the recipe in half and baked it in my cute little 6-inch pie dish. It was a perfect little dessert to make for two people. For us, it actually makes 3 – 4 servings so we enjoyed dessert one night and had a bit left over for the next day. (Peach Crisp for breakfast, anyone?)

Elana uses maple syrup, which is an approved sweetener for Paleo desserts, but I wanted to try sweetening it with Swerve. Swerve is an erythritol- and oligosaccharides- based sweetener.  I have only tried it for a couple of things, but I have been pleased with the results. It measures the same as sugar, cup for cup, so it’s easy to substitute it in recipes.

Bob and I both loved this Easy Gluten-Free Peach Crisp! Give it a try while great summer peaches are still in season.

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Peach Crisp cooling

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Easy Gluten-Free Peach Crisp

(Adapted from Elana Amsterdam’s recipe on her Elana’s Pantry blog)

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(print the recipe)

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I used Swerve to sweeten the crisp topping. Swerve measures the same as sugar. Substitute an equal amount of maple syrup if you wish. Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour is available at my Costco.

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Serves 3 – 4    (Can be doubled to serve 6 – 8. See instructions following this recipe.)

1 pound peaches (about 3 medium peaches), peeled and sliced*

½ cup + 2 tablespoons blanched almond flour (not almond meal)

A couple of dashes of salt (if doubling the recipe, use 1/8 teaspoon)

1 tablespoon butter

1½ teaspoons Swerve (or maple syrup)

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Put a rimmed baking sheet on a rack in the middle position. (The baking sheet will catch any drips from the peach crisp.)
  2. Arrange the peach slices in a 6-inch pie plate, or another baking dish that has a capacity of about 3 cups.

 

Beautiful peaches from Metropolitan Market’s “Peachorama”

Peaches

Peaches 2 - Copy

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3. Combine the flour and salt in a food processor (My mini food processor worked great.)

4. Add the butter, Swerve, and vanilla and pulse so it’s all blended.

5. Sprinkle the crisp topping over the peaches.

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Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

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6. Bake for 30 minutes. Set on a wire rack to cool.

Paleo Peach Crisp

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*Peeling the peaches:

I have a serrated peeler that works great on peaches (and tomatoes). Before I got one, I used this method to easily peel peaches:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the peaches and boil for 1 minute. Remove them from the water immediately. Remove the skin from the peaches, and slice.

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Double the recipe to serve 6 – 8

Bake it in an 8 x 8 inch square dish (or any baking dish that holds about 6 cups) for about 35 – 40 minutes.

Use the same method with these ingredients:

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2 pounds peaches (about 6 medium), peeled and sliced

1¼ cups blanched almond flour (not almond meal)

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon Swerve (or maple syrup)

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

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Peach Crisp cooling - Copy

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Julia Child’s Salade Composée

August 7, 2017

By  Kath Dedon

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Too hot to cook. That was last week in Seattle. Too hot and smoky for a lot of outdoor activities. We were, and still are, covered in smoke that is being blown south from the 100+ wildfires burning in British Columbia. We were under a burn ban last week that included a ban on charcoal fires.

The air quality improved a bit over the weekend so the burn ban was lifted. We still can’t see the mountains because of the haze, but it did cool off last night.

Last week we had easy hot weather meals like Dilled Shrimp Salad, one of my favorites. I also tried a new recipe – Julia Child’s Salade Composée (Main-course Combination Salad). It was a great meal for a hot summer night! If you already have hard-boiled eggs on hand, which we did, there is absolutely nothing to cook.

I found the recipe in Julia’s cookbook based on her first public television series, The French Chef. The French Chef Cookbook has all of her recipes from that series. She describes the salad as “a handsomely arranged combination salad” for a “spur-of-the-moment meal”.

Julia writes the recipe in one simple paragraph, giving directions on how to put it together. She doesn’t give amounts for the ingredients; you can adjust it depending on how many people you are serving. She arranges it all on one large serving dish to be brought to the table.

Since I was cooking for two, I decided to arrange the salad on two dinner plates. Bob and I each got our own Salade Composée.

When I made this last week it was too hot to turn on my bright lights and get out my camera to take photos. I just snapped a few photos with my iPhone because I thought I might want to share it.

Last week it was TOO HOT to edit photos and write a blog post. This morning it has cooled off enough that I am eager to share this recipe. Salade Composée is definitely a keeper and I’ll be pinning it to my Hot Summer Nights board on Pinterest. 😉

I hope you’ll enjoy this Salade Composée as much as Bob and I did. I love the combination of all of the great flavors. It’s a perfect one to remember when it’s too hot to cook!

P.S. Please join me in thinking good thoughts for our neighbors in BC – for those whose lives are being impacted by the fires (many have had to be evacuated from their homes) and for the brave firefighters (some from as far away as Mexico) who are working so hard to contain the fires.

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Julia Child's Salade Composee

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Salade Composée (Main-Course Combination Salad)

Adapted from Julia Child’s recipe in The French Chef Cookbook

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(print the recipe)

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Serves 2

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This recipe is easily adaptable to suit your needs. Increase the ingredients to serve more people. Substitute another kind of fish or chicken for the tuna.

Vinaigrette (recipe at follows the salad recipe)

1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans (I used 50% less sodium.)

1 cup raw zucchini, sliced

¾ cup raw mushrooms, sliced

Mixed salad greens (about 3 cups)

1 hard-cooked egg, quartered

10 grape (or cherry) tomatoes, cut in half

12 black olives (I used seedless Kalamata)

4 – 6 anchovy fillets

1 can of good-quality tuna

Chopped parsley (Optional garnish)

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  1. If you don’t have a hard-cooked egg, get that going first. I highly recommend this method.
  2. Make the Vinaigrette (recipe below)
  3. Drain and rinse the beans, put them in a bowl and stir 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette into them.
  4. Put the mushrooms in another bowl and add 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette.
  5. Put the zucchini in a third bowl and add 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette.
  6. Allow the beans, mushrooms, and zucchini to marinate for 20 – 30 minutes.

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Vegetables marinating

marinating in vinaigrette

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7. Toss the greens with about 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette.

8. Divide the salad greens between two dinner plates.

9. Divide about 1 cup of the marinated beans between the two plates (1/2 cup each). You will have left-over beans for the next day.

10. Arrange the rest of the salad ingredients around the beans. Pour a bit more vinaigrette over the salad (especially the ingredients that had not been marinated) and sprinkle with parsley if desired.

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Julia Child’s Vinaigrette

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2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/8 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

6 tablespoons best-quality olive oil

A few grinds of pepper

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Put all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously to combine.

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dinner

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Julia Child's Salade Composee - Copy

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This is our view of the Olympic Mountains on a clear January day (1-4-17)

View of the Olympic Mountains 1-4-2017

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The same view last week. There were no clouds. It was all smoke.

8-2-2017

Smoke 8-2-17

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8-5-2017

Smoke 8-5-2017

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8-6-2017

Smoke 8-6-2017 - Copy

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Forecast last Thursday (8-3-2017): SMOKE

(The little suns imply that the forecast was for sunny skies. It’s true that there were no clouds, but it wasn’t clear and sunny. It was smoky. 😦 )

Forecast Smoke 8-3-17