Farmer’s Market Salad with Balsamic Greek Vinaigrette

Yield: 4 Servings

It’s Farmer’s Market season and there are many good finds to be found.  Strawberries, raspberries, many assortments of lettuces, wildflower honey, and even farm stand cheeses.  Find a market close to you and enjoy the extraordinary selection of produce and other goods.

Greek Balsamic Vinaigrette

Vinaigrette Ingredients
2 Tbsp.       Hartz Greek Taverna Blend
2 Tbsp.       Water
1 Tbsp.       Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp.       Honey
1/4 Cup      Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Cup      Olive Oil

Vinaigrette Procedure
1. In a small bowl combine the Greek Taverna Blend with the water.  Set aside for a couple of minutes.
2. In a blender add the spice and water mixture, Dijon, honey, and balsamic vinegar.
3. Place the lid on the blender and turn on high.
4. While the blender is still running slowly add the oil through the center of the lid to emulsify the dressing.

Salad Ingredients
8 Cups     Fresh Lettuce (Such as Arugula, Lola Rosa, Bib, and / or Mixed Greens)
1/2 Cup   Toasted Pine Nuts
1 Pint       Fresh Strawberries (Such as Hoods) – Quartered
1/2 Pint   Fresh Raspberries
1/2 Cup    Diced Fresh Mango
1/2 Cup    Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese

Salad Procedure
1. Toss the lettuce with some of the vinaigrette.
2. Top with the pine nuts, strawberries, raspberries, mango, and Gorgonzola cheese.
3. Serve and enjoy.

* Add grilled chicken dusted with Hartz Moroccan Moorish Blend for a more substantial salad.


Cajun Salsa

Cajun Vinaigrette

1 Tbsp.     Black Bayou Blend
1 Tbsp.     Lime Juice
1 Tbsp.     Honey
1 tsp.         Dijon Mustard
1 fl. oz.     Apple Cidar Vinegar
2 fl. oz.     Olive Oil

1. Mix the Black Bayou Blend and lime juice together and let stand for a few minutes.
2. Combine all the remaining ingredients with the spice mixture and mix well.


Cajun Salsa
Yield: 1 Quart

1 each Canned Black Beans – Rinsed & Drained
1 each Canned Corn – Rinsed & Drained
1 each Red Bell Pepper – Diced
2 each Roma Tomatoes – Seeded & Diced
1/2 Cup Diced Jicama
1/4 Cup Chopped Cilantro
1/4 Cup Chopped Scallions
4 fl. oz. CajunVinaigrette (See Recipe)
To Taste Kosher Salt

1. Combine all ingredients and mix well.
2. Adjust seasoning with salt if needed.

*This salsa is also great served with tortilla chips
*Use this salsa as a topping on Chicken or fish such as Tilapia, Salmon or Halibut. Serve the salsa at room temperature.
*This salsa would also be great topping a black bean or tortilla soup.

Pistachio Crusted Halibut with Pear Chutney

Pistachio Crusted Halibut with Pear Chutney
Yield: 4 Servings

Pear Chutney
2 Tbsp.    Olive Oil
1 each      Yellow Onion – Julienne
2 Tbsp.    Minced Fresh Ginger
1/8 tsp.   Coarse Ground Black Pepper
1/4 tsp.   Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp.   Hartz Moroccan Moorish Blend
2 Tbsp.   Honey
2 Tbsp.   Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Cup       Golden Raisins
2 each     Asian Pears – Diced
1/2 Cup  Chopped Italian Parsley

Chutney Procedure
1. In a large sauté pan heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion and ginger.
2. Continue to sauté, stirring often, until the onions are slightly caramelized, about 15 minutes.
3. Add the pepper, salt, Hartz Moroccan Moorish Blend, Honey, vinegar, raisins, and pears.  Sauté for another 10 minutes or until the pears have soften.
4. Add the parsley and toss.
5. Serve warm with the Pistachio Crusted Halibut.

Pistachio Crusted Halibut
4 each        Thick Cut Halibut Filets (about 7 ounces each)
2 Tbsp.       Hartz Seafood & Poultry seasoning
1/2 Cup       Flour
2 each         Whole Eggs
2 Tbsp.        Water
1/2 Cup        Chopped Pistachio Nuts
2 Tbsp.         Unsalted Butter
2 Tbsp.         Olive Oil
As Needed   Non-Stick Cooking Spray
1 Cup             Pear Chutney (Above)

Pistachio Crusted Halibut Procedure
1.  Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.
2.  Spray a sheet pan with the non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
3.  Season the halibut on both sides the the Hartz Seafood & Poultry Seasoning.
4.  In three shallow containers add the flour to one, the eggs and water to another, and the chopped pistachios to the last.
5.  Whisk the egg and water well together to make the egg wash.
6.  Dredge the halibut in the flour, followed by the egg wash, and finally coat the halibut in the pistachios.
7.  Place the butter and olive oil in a non-stick pan and place over high heat.
8.  When the butter begins to sizzle place the halibut in the pan and sear for 30 seconds.  Flip the halibut over and sear the other side for another 30 seconds.
9.  Transfer the halibut to the prepared sheet pan.
10. Place the sheet pan into the oven and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the halibut is cooked.
11. Remove the halibut and transfer to a plate.  Top with the Pear Chutney.
12. Serve and enjoy.

Internal Temperatures of Cooked Food

Meat Thermometers

A meat thermometer (every kitchen should have one) is the best way to know what is going on inside your meat.  They are also known as Instant-Read Pocket Thermometers and can be purchased in grocery stores, kitchen stores, and online for under $10.00.  Think about it, you probably paid more for meat for two than you would for a thermometer, so why take a chance of over or under cooking the meat?

So how do you use a meat thermometer?
1. Choose one that has a range of 0 degrees F to 220 degrees F
2. Check the internal temperature of the food near the end of the cooking process.
3. Place the thermometer in the thickest part of the meat or in the center of the food to get a true reading.  Do not touch the bone with the stem of the thermometer, this will give a false reading.
4. Leave the thermometer in the food for 15 seconds to get an accurate reading.
5. Check the temperature of large cuts of meat in two or more locations to be sure.
6. Wash and sanitize the thermometer each time you check the temperature of the food.
7. Refer to the temperature guidelines below for desired results.

When using a food thermometer you will need to be sure it is calibrated.  Calibrating is an easy process done either by using ice water or boiling water.  Calibrate your thermometer every time you use it and whenever it is bumped or dropped.  If you do you will know it is telling you the correct temperature.

Ice Water Calibration
1. Fill a cup with ice cubes.
2. Fill the cup with water.
3. Put the stem of the thermometer 2 inches in the ice water and wait 30 seconds.
4. The thermometer should read 32 degrees F.
5. If it reads 32 degrees F then you are good to go.  If not see the Adjusting Diagram.

Boiling Water Calibration
1. Bring a pot of water to boil.
2. Put the stem of the thermometer 2 inches in the boiling water and wait 30 seconds.
3. The thermometer should read 212 degrees F.
5. If it reads 212 degrees F then you are good to go.  If not see the Adjusting Diagram.

Adjusting Diagram
1. While holding the head, use pliers or a wrench and turn the nut on the back of the thermometer until the needle reads 32 degrees F for the ice water or 212 degrees for the boiling water.
2. Test the thermometer in the ice water or boiling water to see if it needs more adjusting once more.

This simple, inexpensive tool can help make a dining experience memorable.  Below is an Internal Temperature Guide for meats to be removed from the heat (cooking source) and allowed to rest.  The meat should “rest” for about five minutes for smaller cuts (Steaks, Chicken Breast, Chicken Legs, Fish, Hamburgers) and up to 45 minutes for larger cuts (Whole Chicken, Prime Rib, Whole Turkey).  During the resting process the meat will continue to cook and the temperature will rise but this resting process will also allow the meat to relax.

Internal Temperature Guide
(for Meats to be Removed From the Heat and Allowed to Rest)

Rare Beef                    115 Degrees F
Medium Rare Beef   120 Degrees F
Medium Beef             125 Degrees F
Medium Well Beef   130 Degrees F
Well Done Beef        140 Degrees F

Lamb                          125 Degrees F
Pork                            140 Degrees F
Fish                            125 Degrees F
Chicken / Turkey    165 Degrees F

Thai Chicken Salad

Thai Chicken Salad
Yield: 4 Servings

2 Tbsp.          Hartz Thai River Blend
2 Tbsp.          Water
2 Tbsp.          Honey
1 each            Lime – Juiced
1 1/2 fl. oz.   Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
1 1/2 fl. oz.   Toasted Sesame Oil
2 1/2 fl. oz.   Grapeseed Oil

2 tsp.              Hartz Thai River Blend
3/4 Pound    Chicken Tenderloins (about 7 each)
1 each            Red Bell Pepper
1/4 Cup         Small Diced Dried Mango
1/4 Cup         Rough Chopped Roasted Cashews
1/4 Cup         Minced or Shredded Carrots
1 Tbsp.          Chopped Fresh Cilantro

1/2 each       Fresh Pineapple – Small Diced
4 Tbsp.          Crumbled Feta Cheese
1 each            Avocado – Diced
as needed     Micro Greens
1.  Prepare a grill (charcoal or gas) to direct high heat.
2.  In a small bowl combine the 2 Tbsp. of Thai River Blend with the water, mix well, and set aside.
3.  In another bowl, mix the honey, lime juice, and rice wine vinegar together until the honey is dissolved.
4.  Add the spice and water mixture to the honey-vinegar mixture.  Mix well.
5.  Add the sesame oil and grapeseed oil to the bowl and whisk well.

6.  On a sheet pan, Sprinkle the 2 tsp. of Thai River Blend on the both sides of the chicken tenderloins.
7.  Cut the red bell pepper into quarters, remove the ribs, stem, and seeds.  Drizzle 1 tsp. of the prepared Thai Vinaigrette on the bell pepper.
8.  Drizzle 2 tsp. of the prepared Thai Vinaigrette on the chicken tenderloins.
9.  Grill the chicken and pepper until cooked.  (Chicken, about 3 minutes each side or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, and the Pepper about 4 minutes each side or until slightly charred.)
10. Once the chicken and pepper is cooked, allow to cool enough to handle.
11. Dice the chicken and bell pepper and toss in a bowl.
12. In the bowl, add the mango, cashews, carrots, cilantro, and 3 Tbsp. of the prepared Thai Vinaigrette.  Toss well.
13. Using a ring mold, put a layer of pineapple, followed by 1 Tbsp. feta cheese, followed by, avocado, and finally topped with the Thai Chicken Salad.  Press firmly to help it keep the shape.
14. Carefully remove the ring mold and toss a little of the prepared Thai Vinaigrette with the micro greens and place on top of the tower.
15. Garnish with a drizzle of the prepared Thai Vinaigrette and whole cashews around the plate.
16. Serve at room temperature.

* This salad can be made without the ring mold.
* Micro Greens are baby sprouts of mixed green salad.  Any sprouts can be substituted.
* Ring Molds can be found at speciality kitchen stores but can be made at home for much less by purchasing a 3 1/2 inch diameter PVC pipe from your local hardware store.  Cut the PVC pipe into 2 inch sections and sand off the rough edges.  Wash before using with food.  They are also dishwasher (top rack) safe.


Coconut Moroccan Basmati Rice with a Hint of Lime

Coconut Moroccan Basmati Rice with a Hint of Lime
Yield:  8 Cups

2 Cups       Basmati Rice
4 Cups       Liquid (1 Can of Coconut Milk (about 1 1/3 Cup of Coconut Milk) about 2 1/3 Cups of Water)
1 1/4 tsp.  Hartz Moroccan Moorish Blend
1 tsp.         Kosher Salt
1 each       Lime (Peeled using a Vegetable Peeler, Zest the Remaining of the Lime, and Juiced)

1. Rinse the rice until the water runs clear then drain.
2. Bring the coconut milk, water, Moroccan Moorish Blend, salt, and lime peel to boil in a pot.
3. Add the rice and bring back to a boil.
4. Reduce to a simmer and cover.  Simmer covered for about 15 to 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
5. Once the water is absorbed, remove from the heat and keep covered for about 3 minutes.
6. Remove the rice from the pot into a shallow dish using a fork.
7. Add the lime juice and fluff using the fork.
8. Serve and garnish with lime zest.

* Serve with chicken, fish or pork and fresh pineapple.