Chili Crab Salad on Watermelon Carpaccio #Sunday Supper

crab salad- A Stack of Dishes.com

 

Happy Cinco de Mayo! It’s Mexican Fiesta time- one of my favorite holidays.

As much as I love enchiladas and nachos- after awhile all that cheese, beans and fried corn can be a bit heavy. This is a light crab salad with a nice chili punch so you don’t feel like you’re missing out on any fireworks.

Ole!

Cinco de Mayo Appetizers & Sides {Aperitivos}:

Cinco de Mayo Main Dishes {Platos Principales}:

Cinco de Mayo Desserts {Postres}:

Cinco de Mayo Drinks {Bebidas}:

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter today to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! We’ll tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and food photos.

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King Mushroom Salad: Brown Butter and Crisp Sage Dressing

Brown Butter Sage Mushroom Salad ~ A Stack of Dishes.comJust in time for National Salad Day: As promised, this is Part II  of my ingredient expedition adventure. The “find”- Pleurotus eryngii- better known as King Mushrooms, French Horn, King Oyster, Boletus of the Steppes or Trumpet Royale. They are from the Oyster mushroom family, or otherwise known as pluerotes. 

Mushrooms are often the accent of the salad, or a null addendum to a bright flavor base. These regal beauties have enough oomph to stand up on their own, and you’ll want to let them. So gorgeous and plump- they command attention. They also have a hearty shelf life, so if you find them, you can stock up a week of treats and they’ll hold up fine.

The flavor is fairly neutral which makes them a great platform for any handling. Sliced as planks their sturdiness also makes them great for grilling.

King Mushroom Salad ~ A Stack of Dishes.com [Read more…]

Baby Artichokes: Pan to Plate Goodness

Purple Petite Artichokes ~ A Stack of Dishes.comIt might be ridiculous to think of oneself as an urban hunter and gatherer, but from time to time this is what I do. Bored with what I typically see in my pantry or market, I will go in search of a new or unfamiliar ingredient. Sometimes this expedition takes me hither and yon to the deepest darkest parts of NYC, but sometimes I’ll simply dig around the shelves in my “around the corner” market. Often tucked away in the Imported area there can be some amazing sauces, grains, or food stuffs that are languishing on shelves, waiting for an intrepid cook to give it a go.

This past week I went on such a trip downtown to a fruit and vegetable store that occasionally stocks a variety of foods not typically seen at local markets. I was actually on the hunt for some peppers that I had gotten a hook onto, but instead came away with these bitty baby artichokes (and some mushrooms you’ll see later this week).

The inside of petite purple artichokes ~ A Stack of Dishes.comI spotted the artichokes as I came around the corner. They were piled in a soft mound in a cardboard flat at the end of the row, with a hand written scratch of a paper tucked in amongst the pods reporting the name and price. It was the color that struck me at first. That beautiful deep purple that few vegetables really behold. Often artichokes can sport tinges of the aubergine, but usually just a tinge, and then only on the tips. The color on these were rich, velvety, and regal in color, with hidden buds of bright green coming from the centers of some- very sexy and alluring.

 The second thing was their adorable petiteness.  When I say bitty, I mean bitty. I had never seen such small artichokes before. I was able to put 5 of them easily into one hand. 

cuthandI had no idea what they would yield. For a typical artichoke it requires peeling layers of outer leaves to get to the tender heart- about ~20% of the whole size of the fruit. Since they were so small I suspected that they might be tender enough to eat almost all of it once cooked. I had no idea, but after all, that’s part of the fun. Regardless- they were too gorgeous to pass up.

Peeled purple artichokes ~ A Stack of Dishes.comThis past week I’ve also been reading a book about the art and history of Gregorian Chants. There are delightful passages about the breathtaking wonder of simple chant- or single voice chanting. You can hear the echoing tones of devoted monks singing in unison, creating a holy vibration of music. I am not Catholic, nor religious, but it’s not hard to image divinity in such moments as those.

This has put me squarely in the Italian frame of mind, more specifically the quiet perfection of simplicity well executed to create supreme beauty- or in the case of my artichokes- deliciousness.

Sauteed Baby Artichokes ~ A Stack of Dishes.com [Read more…]