It’s awards season. The Grammys. Peoples Choice. The Oscars. You’ve seen them or at least some of them, I’m sure. Well, around here at ARWB we have our own kind of special recognition to hand out.
Only there won’t be any little golden statures or glass pyramids. Nor will we be giving out swag bags worth thousands and thousands of dollars.
Just tons of thanks and deep appreciation from all of us in ARWB.
I thought it might be interesting to take a look at our Foodie Friday stats just to see how those posts from so many of you have performed. I was pleasantly surprised.
So here for you are the Top 10 All-Time Favorite Foodie Friday Posts as evidenced by their page views starting with the #1 MOST VIEWED FOODIE FRIDAY POST – Mel Lockcuff’s Chicken Fried Rice Spring Rolls?
I’d say she created a real winner, wouldn’t you? A winner created a winner?
But…you’re all winners in my book and I want to thank all of you who give of your time and talent to ARWB and Foodie Friday.
Take some time to visit these posts and leave a word of thanks and congrats for these gals. You’ll be glad you did. Promise.
I love recipes with a history. One of my favorite salads, sensation salad, is just such a dish.
I first became addicted to sensation salads as a young girl in Louisiana. They were commonly found on the menus at most seafood restaurants and steakhouses. When I grew up and moved out-of-state, I was saddened to find that this tangy, garlicky salad was not served in any restaurants! I had to have the recipe, so I started doing a little research on the sensation salad’s origin.
It turns out this famous starter salad was first created at a restaurant called Bob & Jake’s in Baton Rouge. For a long time, it was only available there, and at a few other restaurants in Baton Rouge, but as with all great dishes, it slowly migrated across the state.
We mostly think of salads as being a summertime food, but sensation salad is really a perfect accompaniment for fall’s heartier dishes. Its cool crispness pairs well with soups, chilis, and of course spicier fare like etouffees.
The crisp and cold quality is the secret to a great sensation salad. For that reason, the recipe only calls for iceberg lettuce. No, this is not about healthy greens and vegetables — leave those salads for the summer, when fresh produce is more abundant. For this salad, you want a nice head of iceberg that has been in the fridge for a while.
Combine the oils, lemon juice, mashed garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper, and granulated garlic in a jar or cruet with a lid. Shake VERY well to combine all the ingredients.
It's best to place this in the refrigerator to let the flavors incorporate for about 24 hours, but you can use immediately if necessary. Just before serving, shake the dressing again.
Mix the chopped lettuce and parsley. Top with the dressing, and toss to coat.
This is a type of "soaked" salad, so don't be afraid to use plenty of dressing. Once you've done this, add the Romano cheese, and toss again.
By Amy Bradley-Hole
Arkansas Women Bloggers http://arkansaswomenbloggers.com/
As you can see, this is a very quick and easy recipe. Feel free to adapt it to your tastes. You may want to add black olives, croutons, or maybe even anchovies.
As mentioned, this salad goes well with spicy, warm dishes. Duck season is coming up here in Arkansas, so consider trying it with a hearty duck gumbo. If you’re like me, though, you’ll find yourself craving sensation salad all year long, with all kinds of meals!
Getting to Know Your ARWB Foodies
What food reminds you of childhood?
Marinated crab claws, trout almondine, and escargot. These were dishes we ate for “special occasions.” They were served at my favorite restaurants growing up, so they remind me of special family dinners.
What is your favorite international cuisine?
British food is the most comforting to me. It’s easy-to-make comfort food that has a lot of appeal for everyone in the family.Asian food has the flavors I most enjoy. Lemongrass, cilantro, chili, soy — these are the ingredients I crave on a regular basis, and Asian dishes are the only ones to satisfy my cravings.I owe a debt to Italian food, though, as it has helped me create a business. I have spent much time in Italian kitchens, and I’ve learned from some wonderful Italian home cooks and chefs. Italian food is simple but perfect.
What is always in your refrigerator at home? Milk. Sauvignon blanc. Bacon. String cheese. Ketchup.
What is your go-to ingredient hat you use time and time again?
Garlic. I use it in almost everything. And I typically use twice what the recipe calls for.
Do you have a favorite food indulgence?
I love gas station food.
What is your most used cookbook? The Illustrated Kitchen Bible by Victoria Blashford-Snell.
What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
A mezzaluna. I cook a lot with herbs, and it’s such a quick and easy way to mince them. If appliances count as gadgets, though, I love my Ninja. There’s no way I’m going to chop, stir, or blend by hand, when that amazing machine will do it for me. What is your favorite food meal to cook at home?
What is a cooking tip that you would like to share with beginning cooks?
Practice practice practice. Cooking is not an easy skill, and it takes lots of time and practice to master. Don’t be afraid to mess up. Resign yourself to wasting money on recipes and eating some gross meals. And don’t beat yourself up when you do screw up. Just throw it in the trash or feed it to your dog, then order a pizza, and try again the next day. It gets easier the more you do it.
When you’re not cooking, what are your favorite pastimes?
Reading, hiking, and shopping.
What else would you like us to know about you?
I grew up in Louisiana, which means my palate demands strong flavors. I absolutely loathe bland food. I think it’s a crime against humanity.I have two kids who pretty much can’t stand anything I cook for them.My mother-in-law is the best cook I know. When she comes to visit us, I want to chain her in the kitchen and make her cook for me. Thankfully, she doesn’t mind obliging. She worships at the shrine of Delia Smith. I think everyone should own a Delia cookbook.
Amy Bradley-Hole is a freelance writer and speaker who covers tech, travel, business and parenting. She’s a true Southern girl, but she’s lived and traveled all over the world. She blogs at Freaky Perfect about the freakiness of her not-so-perfect life. When she’s not goofing around on the internet, she dreams up new ways to drive her husband and two young boys crazy. Follow her on Twitter at @amybhole.