9.18.2006

Three Salads, a Cake and a Cheers for a Birthday Girl

sunflower

A poolside self-serve bar, a table full of delicious munchies, a dessert table, a dj set up on the deck... what more can you ask for at a birthday party? The weather was still warm and going strong at the end of August. Perfect for Champagne sipping, toe wading, snack nibbling, celebrating A's birthday. She was having some delicious bbq catered and so I was commissioned for three salads to complement the meats.

Potato and Green Bean Salad with Blue Cheese, Walnuts & Mustard Dressing
potatosalad

What a mess this salad looks! :/ It was delicious however with its roasted potatoes, crisp-tender blached green beans, crumbled Danish blue cheese, toasted walnuts, and a dijon-herb dressing. Something nice and hearty to stand up to the bbq. I should have added the crumbled blue cheese after I got to A's house though. Doh!

Corn Salad with Green Pepper, Lime & Pea Shoots
cornsalad

I really wanted to make Grant's Corn and Snap Pea salad so much. I went to three different markets hoping to find some fresh snap peas. Even went to the Santa Monica farmer's market on Saturday for one last desperate search but the season had ended and snap peas had gone. Boo~ sadly I did not once buy any snap peas this whole summer. What's wrong with me?!

So I decided to just make a simple corn salad. I stopped by the Japanese farm stand and got some beautiful green bell peppers and the sprouts table for some refreshing pea shoots. I took off all the husk and silk from the corn, lightly rubbed on some olive, seasoned them with salt and pepper, and roasted them in the oven. Meanwhile I diced up the green bell peppers and some red onion. Once the corn had cooled a bit, I cut off all the kernels and combined it with the onion and pepper along with lime juice, pea shoots, a pinch of cayenne, and olive oil. Surprisingly, my makeshift corn salad was people's favorite.

Cherry Tomato & Arugula with Pickled Onion & Buttermilk Dressing
tomatoarugula

This was my favorite salad though. I had also picked up some Arugula at the Japanese farm stand. It was so tender and fresh. So much better than the bagged baby arugula at the markets which I do turn to often. The leaves were so beautiful and springy green. Paired with juicy cherry tomatoes, pickled red onion, herbs & a light buttermilk dressing, this salad was necessary item for my bbq plate. I had pickled the red onion the night before to add some zing to the salad but raw red onion would have worked nicely too.

Dessert Table
desserttable

The desserts got their own table! Going clockwise from the top-right, cupcakes from Sprinkles, treats from Phoenix bakery in downtown, Ellen's fab chocolate cookies, "White Trash Hostess Plate", and the last one is from me! Yes this savory girl made some dessert. Hey, it's a special occasion. I can break out the dessert diva once in a while.

Chocolate Custard Cake with Ganache, Roasted Pistachios & Fleur de Sel
bocanegra

Upon reading Tokyoastrogirl's post on Boca Negra and seeing how easy the recipe was, I knew this had to immediately go on my shortlist of Desserts I Can (and Willing) Make. I added my own touch though by pouring some ganache over the top, sprinkling with roasted chopped pistachios and fleur de sel. The chocolate custard cake was so smooth and rich while the ganache added some extra richness, gleam and glam on top along with the crunchy pistachios and delicious salt crystals.

8 comments:

Yoonyang said...

Me want pictures of ribs stat. Ribs. Yum...
BTW, the corn salad was my personal favorite. Where is this Japanese farm stand?

justinsloe said...

I think I even tried to eat the pictures of the ribs

yoony said...

wow you guys have an immaeatchu radar or something. thanks for commenting so quickly! hehe~ :)

the japanese farm stand is on south side on Arizona. not sure if in certified organic section or regular. she's a little lady, has all sorts of good stuff packaged up nicely. the shishito peppers are really good. i'm not sure if her farm actually has a name. let's goto the Sat farmer's market sometime! then we can gorge ourselves at bay cities.

rib post coming up soon. wow, just typing that made me salivate.

Grant said...

I'm so sorry that you weren't able to find any snap peas. Nothing makes me angrier than when I'm unable to track down a key ingredient in a recipe I'm making. But it sounds like you took the idea into a whole now fantastic direction. I LOVE the idea of the pea shoots with the corn. You are so clever. I love it.

The green bean/potato salad looks delightful too. How'd you prepare the spuds? I made a potato salad a while back and wondered if it would be better if it would be better to roast them in the oven. I wound up just boiling them. I wasn't sure if they would soak up the dressing as well as if they were just boiled.

yoony said...

hi grant,
everytime i look at your pic of the corn snap pea salad i get so hungry! i gues i'll have wait til next year.

for the green bean/tater salad, i roasted the potato after tossing it in a bit of the dressing. i think boiling would be fine too.

congrats on the apartment therapy kitchen gig!

Yoonyang said...

I go to the Wednesday market pretty frequently since my work is nearby. Lemme know if you need anything and I can always pick it up for you. I never know what to buy so it'll give me a sense of purpose!

Tokyoastrogirl said...

Hey Yoony,

Everything looks great- isn't that cake like a cross between fudge and custard? I love freshly cut corn in any salad- yours looks delicious.

yoony said...

hi tokyoastrogirl!

definitely fudgey feeling. i love how it just melts over your tongue. so delicious!