Salad Days

July 23 – July 29, 2018

Rice noodles pomodoro

Monday:                   Rice Noodles al Pomodoro with Chili Oil

Pork Fricasee

Tuesday:                   Pork Mushroom and Artichoke Fricassee

Wednesday:            Dunnings night (Psycho Chef out with the Gang)

Chicken Cobb 2

Thursday:                 Chicken Cobb Salad

Lindsey, Mauri, P Chef, Beez

Lindsey, Mauri, P Chef, Beez – Bedford Springs Old Course

Friday:                       Bedford Springs with Lindsey and Mauri – Dinner at the Tavern

cheese plate

Cheese Plate from Tuesday Night

Saturday:                  Bedford Springs with Lindsey and Mauri – Dinner at 10/09 Restaurant in Bedford

Lemon-Pepper Chicken

Sunday:                     Alexian Country Paté with Cornichons and Crostini / Grilled Lemon-Pepper Chicken / Lettuce, Cherry Tomatoes, Cheese with Mustard Vinaigrette

“It’s been a pretty tough day,” he said.  “No sense making it worse with a salad.”

Susan Juby, Home to Woefield

This is going to take some unpacking.  The quotation above is included because it made me laugh, in spite of being contrary to my own thoughts on salad.  But what, you are asking, is “Alexian Country Paté” (see Sunday)?  Well, it’s the paté on offer in the specialty meats and cheeses section of the local super market.  And it’s inexpensive.  And it’s good.  Get some.

As for the title if this week’s post, it may, if taken literally, seem in-apposite.  Salad days are the days of youth and inexperience.  And we can plead guilty to neither.  On the other hand, how many old, experienced people have the chutzpah, the sheer juice, to create and post a weekly blog?  Exactly.  And don’t let me hear anything about it’s being late – given the week I’ve had, you’re lucky to get a quick hello.

But enough about us, well, me – this blog is supposed to be about good food, and last week we had a belly full.  The rice noodles are going to cut into our pasta consumption.  The fricassee was great, though more appropriate for colder weather (we’ll try to remember to share it with you in October).  The grilled lemon-pepper chicken with Billy and Emily was a fine way to end the week.  And we feel a moral obligation to clue you in to 10/09 Restaurant in Bedford, Pennsylvania, should you ever stay at the Bedford Springs Resort, or should your car ever break down in the area.

Why stay at Bedford Springs?  It’s relaxing and almost a mid-point on the turnpike between our friends Mauri and Lindsey and us.  Though we’d go anywhere – and have – to spend a weekend with those two.  It also has a nifty golf course which incorporates the work of three master course designers—Donald Ross, Spencer Oldham, and A.W. Tillinghast.  It has a pool with heated spring water which people have been dipping themselves in for a variety of ailments, since the early 19th century.  It has gardens and trails and fishing and swimming and a spa . . . So there are some good reasons.  Nothing quite like Mauri and Lindsey – but I’m afraid you’ll have to get your own friends, they’re ours.

Alas, dinner at the Resort, is not a great reason to go there – though their wonderful breakfasts are.  Instead, at dinner time, drive 1.7 miles to the charming city of Bedford and have dinner at 10/09 Restaurant.  The restaurant is named for the junction of two Pennsylvania State Routes.  Nick Letzo, the owner-chef, and his wife used to work at the Bedford Springs Resort and Omni Hotels is generous enough to recommend his restaurant.  (They must figure, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em – and trust me, they can’t beat Nick – not many chefs can).

Last Saturday, we began with a plate of fried green tomatoes and some salumi and cheese, and then, variously, had Seared Scallops over Mushroom Risotto and Asparagus; Buccatini Bolognese; and Pan-Fried Sea Bass with Forbidden Black Rice, Green Beans and Grilled Pineapple Salsa.  The last sounds pretentious, but the was cooked simply and well and, above all, tastily.   Add to that a good bartender and pleasant waiters, and you have go-to location.  The evening was marred by my need to have everything everyone said repeated back to me several times due to a table of hysterical women, possibly witches, screeching in laughter and shouting at each other so loud that the Bedford Police removed them from the restaurant, kicking and screaming (the witches, not the police), while we and the other diners applauded heartily.  Well, the police didn’t actually do that, though I like to think that if the restaurant had called them they would have.  It would have made the evening perfect.

Below, we share with you our new favorite non-vegan salad (we like vegan salads as well) – a great twist on the Cobb Salad which you can whip up in no time to satisfy your hunger and assuage your food guilt at the same time.  (But please don’t omit the bacon – good taste is important in healthy food, otherwise no one but masochists and runway models will eat it.)

Chicken Cobb

CHICKEN COBB SALAD

(adapted from bon appétit,  August, 2018)

Timing:

30-40 minutes (depending on how much multi-tasking you can do – remember to let the eggs come to room temperature before cooking, about 1 hour).

Ingredients:                                         Serves 4

6 large eggs, room temperature
4 oz. of bacon slices (if you buy good, thick bacon, this will be 4 or 5 slices)
2 Tablespoon sherry or red wine vinegar (we used champagne vinegar)
1 Tablespoon of Dijon Mustard
1 Teaspoon of Sugar
¼ cup of extra-virgin olive oil
8 cups of coarsely torn frisée – we used some nice sweet lettuce leaves (Beez doen’t like frisée and our local market stocks it intermittently) – as for the “8 cups” – you want to cover the bottom of the platter on which you’re going to assemble the salad – more or less 8 cups, but up to you.
½ rotisserie chicken (this is the greatest labor-saving food item of our time)
2 large tomatoes cut into wedges (we used maybe 2 cups of halved cherry tomatoes
1 Ripe Avocado, quartered (we like small slices – maybe eigths)

Prep:

Bring Eggs to room temperature – about one hour

Cut tomatoes and season with a bit of salt

Cook Eggs and Bacon:

Bring 8 cups of water to a boil and gently lower eggs into water.  Boil 7-8 minutes (this gives you yolks that are firm but liquidy – our favorite – cook longer, if you want very firm yolks), then transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water and chill until cold – 5 minutes.  Peel the eggs under running water and set aside.

Put the bacon in a dry skillet over medium-low and cook, turning from time to time, until brown and crisp – 10 minutes?  Transfer to paper towels and let drain.  Leave rendered fat in skillet – you’ll be making a dressing with it.

Assemble Salad:

To the fat in the skillet, add the vinegar, mustard, sugar and 1 tablespoon of water and whisk until smooth and emulsified.  Gradually stream in the oil, whisking constantly until a thick dressing forms.  Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange the frisée or whatever lettuce you prefer on a large platter and season with salt and pepper.  Drizzle with about half the dressing.  Cut the eggs in half and arrange over the lettuce along with the shredded chicken, tomatoes, avocado and bacon (you might want to break the bacon slices into halves or thirds).

Beford SpringsView from top of the Bedford Springs resort driveway

to structure enclosing original spring on hillside

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