Ultimate Bistro Salad: Salade de Laitue

Ultimate Bistro Salad: Salade de Laitue

Ultimate Bistro Salad:
Salade de Laitue

Living whole heads of Bibb lettuce, high quality vinaigrette components, and the synergistic combination of a few fresh herbs result in a deceptively simple yet exquisitely balanced salad, one that is the best imaginable of its kind. Period.

Chef Thomas Keller writes in his fabulous bistro cookbook Bouchon, “The word laitue comes from the Latin word for milk, from the milky juices some lettuces can exude. Hearty, buttery Bibb leaves are a good example of the rich juicy quality lettuce can have. They’re so big and rich, in fact, that this salad almost qualifies as a meal in itself.”

Atelier Atalore, Las Vegas

Salade de Laitue Recipe

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Not Your Usual “Leftover Turkey” Recipe

Turkey with Sweet Potato Noodles

Turkey with Sweet Potato Noodles
Chili Oil Sauce, Celery, Fresh Herbs, Peanuts

Wow. We were so impressed with a version of this edgy recipe for leftover turkey from San Francisco Chef Brandon Jew. It’s the opposite of everything one thinks of Thanksgiving leftovers:  spicy, cool, vinegary, vibrant, herby, even tingling…the Chef says it’s a nod to the Sichuan dish ma la ji pian that typically features chicken chunks in chili oil. Those looking for a leftover turkey recipe that is deliciously out-of-the-box will be extremely excited about this one.

Made only from sweet potato starch and water, sweet potato noodles are also known as Korean glass noodles. They do not contain wheat so these noodles are naturally gluten-free, and are slightly chewy and springy with a neutral flavor perfect for absorbing chili oil sauce.

My adaptation of Chef Jew’s recipe is below, using more readily available ingredients and it’s a bit less spicy to boot. If Sichuan peppercorns are not available, leaving them out will eliminate the tingling sensation, but this dish will still be worth making! His original recipe is here.

Turkey with Sweet Potato Noodles Recipe

Plus My “Do Nothing” Recipe for Cooking a  Perfect Turkey

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Black Bean Soup with Salsa Verde

Black Bean Soup with Salsa Verde

Fiesta in a Bowl
Black Bean Soup with Salsa Verde

This is one sassy black bean soup. It is easy to make and gets a kick of heat and smoky authentic flavor from the addition of fire-roasted salsa verde added at the end of cooking. Let each diner go crazy with the garnishes according to their own taste: pickled red onion, garlic crema, tomato, jalapeño, and cilantro all add to this fiesta in a bowl. The black bean canvas is artistically painted with a array of flavors, textures, and colors. 

With only 4 ingredients (tomatillos, jalapeños, salt, and water) –  our favorite Salsa de Molcajete Verde from the refrigerated section at the supermarket, adds robust Mexican taste without having to take the extra steps to roast chiles and tomatillos over an open flame. 

Black Bean Soup with Salsa Verde Recipe

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Bay Shrimp Ceviche, Baja-Style

Ceviche Baja-Style

Refreshing Bay shrimp Ceviche, Baja-Style

The beauty of this bay shrimp ceviche is that there is no need to search out pristine, raw, expensive fresh seafood when in the mood for a refreshing light meal.

Toss Wild Pacific Coldwater Bay Shrimp with fresh squeezed lime juice. Fold in chopped vegetables, refrigerate then enjoy 15 minutes later! These little shrimp have a delicious sweet flavored meat with a medium soft texture, perfect for ceviche.

We served this dish al fresco, Baja-style. The weather’s been in the low 90°s during the day here in Vegas. Chilled ceviche with house-made chips makes a delightful poolside snack. Add a frosty cerveza and there is nothing better.

These sustainable bay shrimp are harvested from the Pacific Ocean in cold waters from San Francisco up to Canada, with most of the catch coming from along the Oregon coast.  The shrimp are fully cooked, peeled, and frozen. I keep a bag in the freezer. At $15 for a 2 lb. bag from Costco, it’s a great economical protein source to use in many recipes from soups to salads to omelettes.

Baja-style is the type of ceviche served all over Baja California which includes Mexican staples such as avocado, cucumber, and tomato as opposed to a Peruvian-style ceviche which is prepared with vegetables popular in Peru, such as sweet potato and choclo. Both great, just different.

Bay Shrimp Ceviche, Baja-Style Recipe

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