1-31: Crab Cocktail

1-31: Crab Cocktail

Here’s another light/easy option for a summer meal: 1-31: Crab Cocktail. I say “meal” and not “appetizer” or “hors d’oeuvre“, because parties (and everything else) got canceled for this summer. Pretend you’re sitting by the coast with the breeze in your hair when you eat this one. It’s all about imagination these days.

Dig out a fancy glass to serve it in as well. You need to be your own restaurant/entertainment these days, so you might as well do it right.


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2-3: Salad Niçoise

2-3: Salad Niçoise

Salads are usually a good choice when it’s hot out, and since we’re currently in the middle of summer (here in the U.S.), 2-3: Salad Niçoise (pronounced nee-swah) might be a good choice for an upcoming meal. Plus, it primarily uses readily-available canned/jarred ingredients, which can be helpful for both budgets and pandemic shopping.

Salade niçoise is a well-known dish (like the last recipe I covered, 14-8: Baked Alaska), and there are many different versions of it out there. Even Simply Delicious alludes to the different variations in their blurb above–even what they insist as a “must” (eggs, tuna, olives) seems to be up to interpretation.


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2-21: Shrimp Salad

2-21: Shrimp Salad

Summer 2020 has been quite the disappointment so far, and still being stuck at home is tough. If you’re looking for something to lift your spirits, 2-21: Shrimp Salad probably isn’t going to do it. However, if you close your eyes while you’re eating it, maybe you can pretend you’re on the beach instead of your couch.

This salad features not one but TWO cream-based dressings, so you know it’s fancy. I recently covered 2-5: Caribbean Seafood Salad which also features a shrimp-based salad. However, that one includes apples, bananas, and asparagus, so this one might be a safer choice.


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2-31: Smoked Chicken Salad

2-31: Smoked Chicken Salad

Given the header picture, I suppose it’s not much of a secret that I’ve made some adaptations to 2-31: Smoked Chicken Salad. Namely, that I’ve changed it from a salad to a sandwich. Here’s the thing–it’s a sad salad as written, but can be made into a pretty decent sandwich that doesn’t require anything different than what’s already required/recommended.

See those rolls in the back of the picture (the ones suggested in the blurb above)? Here’s the quick and dirty: cut one open, take the (very few) salad ingredients, stack inside, eat. Not much more to it than that, but if you’d like to see how that went for me in greater detail, please continue reading.


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2-5: Caribbean Seafood Salad

2-5: Caribbean Seafood Salad

Every so often throughout this project, I run into entries that make no sense, culinarily. I’ll admit–my knowledge of Caribbean cuisine is probably more limited compared to other types. However, I find it hard to believe that 2-5: Caribbean Seafood Salad is an “authentic” representation of a real Caribbean dish.

The other similar recipes I’ve found for “Caribbean seafood salad” include pineapple, papaya, and/or mango, and all look much better than this apple/banana/asparagus mess. Keep that in mind–there’s better ways to use these ingredients (and to make a “Caribbean seafood salad” than what they’re out here trying to do.


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2-22: Salad Bar with Warm Dressing

2-22: Salad Bar with Warm Dressing

I love a good salad bar, or did, before coronavirus turned everything in our lives upside down. One of my family’s favorite restaurants when I was a kid featured an impossibly long salad bar. A friend and I even entered an essay-writing contest at Souplantation back in college and won ourselves 30 free meal passes, which we blew through quicker than you’d expect.

2-22: Salad Bar with Warm Dressing is equivalent to most of these at-home solutions we’ve seen during this pandemic–a pale imitation of the real thing. Consider this recipe the “haircut I did myself because everything is closed” of salad bars.

I suppose if you just lumped all the same ingredients on top of some quinoa and called it a Buddha bowl instead, you could send this recipe forward in time from the 1980s to modern day.

Of course, you’d have to take an artsy picture (or 100), slap some filters on it, and post it to social media with a bunch of hashtags first to really modernize it. Do you think they really eat the food after they take pictures of it, or is it just for the ‘gram? 🤔

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1-3: Melon with Smoked Turkey

1-3: Melon with Smoked Turkey

Believe it or not, 1-3: Melon with Smoked Turkey is one of my last few remaining Group 01: Hot and Cold Appetizers recipes left to cover. I’ve put this one off for a while because I’m not a big fan of melon (other than watermelons)–but when the weekly CSA box keeps bringing them to you, you have to do something with them.

Theirs looks super fancy–mine looks like a sloppy mess. I suppose if I were actually serving this for a party I would have tried harder. Melon + meat = appetizer isn’t a new equation–even Pillsbury has their own version. Most versions include prosciutto instead of turkey, which is the variant I’m more familiar with.


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2-12: Tips About Salad Dressing

2-12: Tips About Salad Dressing

Since there’s about to be quite a few salad recipes coming up, I thought I’d put 2-12: Tips About Salad Dressing out there as well. I tried to think of more salad dressing variations than what they list here, but honestly? Most “traditional” salad dressings do fall into one of the three categories they establish: vinaigrette, cream/mayo-based, and low-calorie. Go ahead–can you think of one that doesn’t?

PS: I spy that sneaky tarragon vinegar in their picture below. If you want to learn to make your own, check out 19-7: Fresh and Dried Herbs.

At the restaurant I worked at a few years ago, we made our own dressings from scratch. And by “we”, I mean “me”–I made all the dressings for the whole restaurant every week and kept everything stocked up, since it was my station (garde manger, or pantry chef) that made the salads. We made a blue cheese, ranch, Caesar, creamy balsamic vinaigrette, and another lighter, more traditional vinaigrette.

One of the first times I made the blue cheese dressing (which required a giant immersion blender and a 22-quart Cambro–it’s kind of like mixing concrete in a bucket), a customer liked it so much they asked to buy some to take home. I guess that makes me qualified to write about salad dressings now.

Hey–I have to find something to do while we’re all staying at home for a while. And so do you (probably), so why not read this?


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2-18: Luncheon Salad

2-18: Luncheon Salad

Reporting LIVE (to print), from an undisclosed location in Northern California, USA, currently sheltering-in-place and teleworking due to COVID-19/coronavirus/the apocalypse. It’s getting crazy out there, y’all–stay safe and healthy. And wash your hands.

Since we’re all stuck inside for a while, and I’ve got a big backlog of these to get through (over 50), here’s one more thing to pass the time. 2-18: Luncheon Salad is pure 1980s–turn up the vaporwave (for A E S T H E T I C), find your best matching sweatsuit, and crack open a Tab.

I don’t remember feeling like this salad was a treat–more like a punishment. If you can find some cottage cheese in the store right now, go for it–just don’t invite your friends. #socialdistancing


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1-15: Chinese Spring Rolls

1-15: Chinese Spring Rolls

Simply Delicious has made numerous attempts at Chinese-American cuisine, and we can add 1-15: Chinese Spring Rolls to that list as well. There’s some interesting history behind the terms spring roll and egg roll–it goes much deeper than just what the wrapper is made of.

The terms are used interchangeably here, and seemingly in most other places as well. The biggest takeaway from the spring vs. egg roll debate is that spring rolls are originally from China, but have been Americanized along the way (while egg rolls were always American).

They tend to have a thinner wrapper than egg rolls, and are often also associated with the transparent rice paper rolls you tend to see in Vietnamese and Thai restaurants.


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