Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The most time consuming wedge salad ever - Try it!


This weekend was a lazy sort of weekend because we took Friday off to just have fun. We ended up going to farms and talking to farmers and going to a slaughter house. My kind of day!


The slaughter house is called "Blood Farm" yeah really it is. The family is the Blood family and they have been around for generations. We bought a brisket from them. When the guy brought it out he said "We just cut this off the cow". That might have been a bit too much information but it IS a slaughter house.


This brisket was being smoked in the smoker for our camping trip. We are going to Maine with our neighbors (waving to Cathy and Jeff and Syd and Jordan and Taylor). I am also bringing fixings for Smores. I love smores.


At the same time we were making short ribs for a BBQ we were having on Fathers Day. Our friends were coming over and we decided that we would make short ribs for the BBQ and some Brats (for Charcutepalooza challenge).

Ok ok, but I am getting way ahead of myself. Yes, I was the youngest child and if I don't talk really fast and spit it out really fast someone will talk over me.

Shrink:" Janis, why do you feel like you need to impart so much info all in one sentence".

Janis: "Uh, I don't do that do I?"

Shrink: "I don't know YOU tell ME do you?"

Janis: I was a youngest child and it took a lot for anyone to listen so I turned to blogging and meat and run-on sentences.

Shrink: Where does the meat play into this?

Janis: I don't know. You tell me.

Ok so I am starting over. Friday night:

IMG_2393 2

Beautiful piece of Salmon. I decided to make Wild Salmon with Pearl Couscous, Slow-Roasted Tomatoes, and Lemon Oregano Oil. I love this dish. I made it for Annie and Tim when I was staying with them. You can find the recipe here


I love having the opportunity to go in the garden and pick the herbs. I have a boat load of oregano. I also had the basil.


Good dinner but moving on...


While the brisket and ribs were in the smoker I was making garlic confit for the wedge salad. Not ANY wedge salad but a Thomas Keller wedge salad from his book Ad Hoc.


Good old Tom (we are close and he said I could call him that) said to roast the tomatoes.




Dakota was on "standby" for anything that got dropped on the floor. She stands vigil over our kitchen floor. We started grinding the meat for the Brats.


Oh, and meantime Tom had me making Aioli (made with the confit garlic)


Oh and and....wait...


Some ventreche for sprinkles on wedge salad.


Um. Whew. We also smoked some chickens. Which we were going to eat with the salad. After sausage making, and brisket rubbing, and all that, I just wanted chicken.


I also made a Mango Rice Salad to sit overnight for our BBQ on Sunday. I will give you the recipe. It is easy and good.


Gratuitous Bratwurst shot.


Brisket came out of the smoker and was a thing of beauty. Once again Dr. Food worked his magic with the smoker.


So here is the wedge salad. Can I tell you that even after making the dressing out of the aioli that I made with the garlic confit and the maytag blue cheese, it was still just a wedge salad. Not even a particularly good one. You see, the thing that makes a wedge salad good is that it is just a wedge salad with blue cheese dressing and bacon that is a little too salty and bread crumbs that come out of a box. What you expect is the sum of all the parts. With this salad the sum did not add up to all the parts. Oh well, I still love you Tom.


Sunday morning I made a Strawberry pie thingy. It too failed. It looked pretty but hmmm, how do I put this? It wasn't good. Didn't help that our oven shut down and had a nervous breakdown.


So Fathers Day came around and our guests showed up. There was lots of swimming and sitting around the pool. Dr. Food grilled up the Bratwurst and they were well worth the effort (will talk more about these in the future)


Always a bad shot but I knew you wanted to see.


Ribs...hmmm. I am sure they were awesome as always but to tell you the truth I didn't taste them. At this point I was kinda tired (to put it mildly) and I wanted to taste the Bratwurst.


But there were cute faces...




All in all a nice day.


Mango and Jasmine Rice Salad
Los Angeles Times but given to me by Kay Hartman

1 cup jasmine rice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons lime juice, or more to taste
1 tablespoon minced fresh jalapeno chile, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 cup peeled and diced mango
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
Sliced cucumbers
Tomato wedges

Cook rice according to package directions. Let stand, uncovered,
until cooled.

Meanwhile whisk olive oil, lime juice, jalapeno and salt until
blended. Add to rice. Add mango, red onion and cilantro. Toss to
blend and serve at room temperature.

Garnish the salad with sliced cucumbers and wedges of tomato.

Printable Version


  1. Emily @CleanlinessJune 21, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    Oh it all looks soooooooooo cute.

    That's the cutest meltdown that I've ever seen :)

  2. Janis, you crack me up. I love your stream-of-consciousness style. Or should I call it stream-of-meat?

  3. I thought the wedge salad was fantastic.  The problem is that, as Janis pointed out, the difference between and really good wedge salad and a fantastic one is about 4 hours woth of work.  Janis did most of the work, so it was worth it to me.  :)
    Dr. Food

  4. How do you DO all this stuff??  I'm amazed and always delighted to read your blog.  Besides the cooking and the knitting, you are about the funniest writer around.  And photographs too ....

  5. I wish you still lived next to me.....

  6. Good lord what a day!! I would love to come over and have a meltdown on your lawn if my reward was all that fab food!

  7. It's hard to be you, isn't it?

  8. You are invited any time.

  9. I'm exhausted just reading what you accomplished.  You need to come to Australia and relaaaxxx.  Take life easy.  Be pampered. LOL

    The food looked so good even if the salad and pie were less than spectacular.

  10. What shenanigans you've been up too!!! Good Lord! Well, it was insightful - your shrink convo- and exhausting reading all you did. You had some real beauty shots in there too. That smoked chicken was calling me to nibble on it's drumstick.

    Bummed about the wedge salad. Wah, wah. That's one of my favorites. You've quite inspired me though, friend. Hugs to you.