Not-Really-Nicoise-Salad

IMG_9295This month at Food ‘n Flix we watched A Good Year, a movie about a man who goes to France and something or other. This movie was hosted by Squirrel Head Manor.

Frankly, I wasn’t enamored with the movie. Really, I found it boring. I didn’t find any of the characters likable. I wasn’t inspired. I do still love participating though, even when my inspiration is lacking, so I decided to find some way to participate.

The gist of the movie is Max goes to France when he learns his deceased uncle has left his chateau to him. A plus about the movie is that the scenery and sets are beautiful – I did quite want to go to France (and live on a Vineyard no less.)

Anyway – this inspiration came from a part in the movie where Max was helping as a waiter at a French restaurant. An American tourist orders a salad “nee-swa-zay” with low-cal ranch dressing and some bacon bits sprinkled on top. Max then gets indignant and makes some remarks about fast food.

I decided to make the Salad Nee-Swa-Zay for that American tourist – though she probably still will hate it because I just couldn’t do ranch dressing on this salad.

A Good Year

I don’t think I can call this a Nicoise salad, because I sort of don’t have any Nicoise olives on it. That’s cheating, right? But if I’m making it for the American tourist, she probably wouldn’t want those olives – because I don’t like olives. And I even gave it some fresh bacon bits. I mean, I’m sure the tourist would have preferred the type out of a jar, but I can only sink to a certain level here.

So I have no idea what a Nicoise salad actually tastes like, but this not-really-Nicoise-salad was quite delicious with my heavy American hand.

Not-Really-Nicoise-Salad

Ingredients
3 tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp onion, diced
2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
4 slices bacon
10 small yellow potatoes, cubed
1 head lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 can tuna
4 oz green beans, trimmed

Directions

1. In a small bowl stir together the lime juice, olive oil, onion, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

2. In a small skillet, fry the bacon. Once fried, drain on paper towels. Set aside and let cool.

3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil the potatoes. Boil until tender. Drain and set aside.

4. While the potatoes and bacon are cooking, toss the lettuce with 2 tbsp of the dressing made in step 1. Divide onto two plates. Divide the tuna between the two plates and place in a scoop on top of the lettuce.

5. Toss the tomatoes with 1 tbsp dressing. Arrange in a mound around the lettuce.

6. Toss the eggs with 1 tbsp dressing. Arrange in a mound around the lettuce.

7. Toss the potatoes with 2 tbsp dressing. Arrange in a mound around the lettuce.

8. In a pot, bring water to boil. Boil the green beans for 3 minutes. Drain and blanch, by running cold water over them for 30 seconds. Arrange in a mound around the lettuce.

9. Chop the bacon. Sprinkle on top of the salad. If any dressing remains, drizzle it over the salad.

* Besides this month’s Food ‘n Flix I’m sharing this salad with Wednesday Whatsits and Cast Party Wednesday

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Tempura Sushi Salad

IMG_9092

 

This month the movie at Food ‘n Flix was very different than the one I hosted last month. Instead of a French dystopian movie, this month’s movie is a documentary about a Japanese sushi chef. Camilla is our host this month, having picked this documentary with its beautiful shots of sushi.

If anyone knows sushi, it’s Jiro. But frankly, this movie didn’t inspire me to make sushi – it terrified me. I’ve never done it before, so I knew any attempt from me would be laughable. I can just see it. It’s embarrassing even in my head. Maybe one day I’ll try sushi, but then not document my failure, because who wants everyone to see that? Being that Jiro is a huge perfectionist, I think he would have appreciated my refrain from trying to participate in his art.

In the film, Yamamoto tells us that there are five attributes of a great chef:

1. Take your work seriously
2. Aspire to improve
3. Maintain cleanliness
4. Be a better leader than a collaborator
5. Be passionate about your work

I am not a cook. I am an amateur that cooks for myself and my boyfriend. I enjoy food, but I am no cook. But I find these attributes so important to employ in all fields of work, to be a good lawyer I’ll need many of those traits as well. The only that might not quite apply is 4, because I think leaders also need to collaborate, but those five attributes can be applied to more than just cooks.

Be passionate.

Anyway, because I did not feel inspired to make sushi, I took it and ran with it a bit. I decided I’d use all the things I love in sushi and make a salad. Though I actually really love raw tuna in my sushi (along with other raw fish,) I’m not sure of where I could get fish fresh enough to eat raw and I didn’t want to chance severe sickness. I instead made tempura with shrimp and green beans. Considering my favorite sushi roll is the spider roll (with fried soft shell crab, yumm!) making tempura for my sushi salad seemed appropriate.

FoodnFlix

Join us at Food ‘n Flix, get inspired, be passionate.

Tempura Sushi Salad

Ingredients
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 tsp salt, divided
8 shrimp, peeled and deveined
a handful of green beans with the ends snapped off
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup ice water
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 cup shortening, divided
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup cooked rice
2 carrots, diced
1/2 cucumber, diced
1 sheet nori, cut into strips
1 avocado, diced

Directions

1. Marinate the shrimp in the white wine and 1/4 tsp of salt for 20 minutes.

2. Mix together flour, ice water, cornstarch, egg yolk, sugar, 1 tsp of the shortening, baking powder, and 1/4 tsp of salt. Once well mixed, coat the shrimp and the green beans with the batter.

3. Heat the shortening in a cast iron skillet or a wok. Once hot add the shrimp and the green beans, in batches, a few at a time. Cook the shrimp about 3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Flip and cook for about 3 more minutes on the other side. Continue until all the shrimp and green beans are fried. Let drain on a paper towel.

4. Put your salad together in a bowl. Add 1/2 cup of rice in each bowl. Surround with the cucumber and carrot pieces. Top with half of the tempura per bowl. Top with avocado and nori.

(serve with soy sauce if you want some!)

* serves 2
* besides Food ‘n Flix, this dish is shared with #FoodieFriday & Foodie Friday

Slow Cooker Lentil Vegetable Stew

 

The first week of my last year in law school was this week. Just two semesters left and I’ll have to change the name of my blog. It won’t be the Law Student’s Cookbook anymore, but the Unemployed Law School Graduate’s Cookbook. Well, that is until I pass the bar and hopefully get hired somewhere great. Then my blog will be called The Public Defender’s Cookbook. But more likely it will just need a new name that leaves me unaffiliated with a career. When that day comes . . . No. I can’t even think about it. It’s still so far off.

Anyway, school started this week and I have night classes two days every week. Last semester I had a ton of night classes.
Last semester I also got really fat because I ate out so much. On top of gaining pounds, my wallet got pretty slim. I would prefer things to work in reverse, so I’ve decided I really just need to implement ways that make getting home just before 9PM okay. The number one way this is going to work is if in the morning before I leave for work or school I throw everything for the day into a crockpot. That way when I do get home just 2 hours before my bedtime, I don’t feel like I need to run and get fast food to satiate myself. And frankly, anything I can make at home tastes a million times better than something that comes through a drive through.

This week has been a pretty mellow week compared to what the rest of my semester is going to look like. Two of my classes got cancelled the first week of school, so instead of two nights of needing quick dinners (rather, slow cooked dinners,) I only had one.

During the middle of my Prosecutorial&Defense Ethics my stomach started grumbling. I was happy to find this slow cooker stew when I got home.

Slow Cooker Lentil Vegetable Stew

Ingredients
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 potato, peeled and cubed
4 carrots, sliced
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 cup green beans, broken into pieces
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup tomato juice
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup dry lentils

Directions

1. Add everything except for the lentils into a slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low. Add lentils during the last hour of cooking.

* serves 6
* 273 calories per serving
* Shared with Souper Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen & What’s Cooking Wednesday