Recreating Claws’ House Salad At Home

I’ve decided that while I do love all that Wegmans has brought to Frederick, it’s hard to do regular, everyday shopping there, especially at the times that are convenient for me – and definitely with a kid in tow.
Oglers and wanderers still roam aimlessly, and I have yet to get through checkout without some sort of scanning issue. At this point I chalk it up to the store being less than two months old, but until all that gets ironed out, Wegmans will be my “specialty” store.
During a recent vacation at Dewey Beach, DE, we had dinner at Claws Seafood House along the boardwalk. Soft shell crabs, stuffed flounder, surf & turf – it was all good, not excellent. Worth the visit nevertheless.
But, before any of the entrees were served, at the very last minute when the server was just finishing up taking our order, hubs decided to order a house salad. Seems fairly benign, right?
Best. House. Salad. EVER. Definitely the star of the evening meal, by far. (Sad to say for a seafood house, huh?)
And, there wasn’t anything particularly special about it – field greens, almonds, dried cranberries, blue cheese, a light Dijon balsamic dressing; however, at that moment it was the most perfect thing we could have been eating (and all four of us did end up sharing it).
I had to recreate this salad at home. AND, I finally had a reason to visit my local grocery store specialty store to pick out, as Ina Garten would say, “Good blue cheese.”

Gorgonzola, Almond, Cranberry Salad

Ingredients
1 bag mixed field greens (or fresh if you can find some at the farmers’ market!)
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup crumbled “good” mild blue cheese, like Gorgonzola*
For the dressing:
1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Directions
Gently toss the field greens, almonds, cranberries and blue cheese in a large bowl. In a small container with a tight-fitting lid, combine the balsamic vinaigrette and the Dijon mustard. Shake the container vigorously for 30 seconds to make sure the mustard fully incorporates with the vinaigrette.
Add 2 tablespoons of the dressing to the salad, toss and then continue to add dressing, a tablespoon at a time, until it’s dressed the way you like.

Be careful not to overuse the dressing; you don’t want the salad to be soupy – and you can save any extra in the fridge to use another time!
Makes 4 side salads.
*The best type of blue cheese in this recipe is creamy, mild blue cheese – and while I said to “crumble” the blue cheese, it was really too creamy to crumble. I instead had to pull pieces off the Gorgonzola wedge for the salad. Each gooey piece was about the side of a dime.

Crispy Roast Dijon Potatoes

Crispy Roast Dijon Potatoes

Thought I’d try something new last night. Lucky for me (and hubs) it turned out well – you never quite know what to expect with a never-before-tried recipe. And by “never-before-tried” I mean “made it up on the spot” recipe.

And I was thrown off by the fact that we were out of olive oil. I know, I know. How does that happen? Olive oil’s a staple in my pantry. Well, it did. So, I substituted canola oil. (Yikes!)

You know what? It worked.

Crispy Roast Dijon Potatoes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 medium potatoes (rinsed with skins on), chunky chopped
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic scapes, diced (substitute 2 minced garlic cloves if you can’t find scapes)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped sage
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup canola oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Whisk all the ingredients, except the potatoes, in a large mixing bowl. Fold in the potatoes, taking care to make sure they’re evenly coated. Spread the potatoes evenly on a 9×13″ baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, tossing once so that the potatoes brown evenly on all sides. Remove from the oven – potatoes should be golden, and the onions and garlic scapes will be crispy.

(Leftovers go well with eggs and toast in the morning!)

How To Steam Fresh Asparagus In Less Than 5 Minutes

Right now’s the perfect time to buy asparagus in Maryland and surrounding states. Asparagus is in season, so if your farmers’ markets are open be sure to check and see if you can grab a bunch.

No markets in the area? Sometimes you can get lucky and find fresh, locally sourced produce at the grocery store. Just ask the produce manager where they get the asparagus, and how long it’s been there. Their answer may surprise you!

This is the bunch of asparagus I got from Truffula Seed Produce last weekend; isn’t it beautiful?

Fresh-Asparagus

Steamed fresh asparagus is the perfect accompaniment to a seasoned and seared chicken breast – all prepared in about 10 minutes. How’s that for a quick meal?


Steamed Fresh Asparagus


Ingredients
10 stalks fresh asparagus
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt


Directions

Add the water to medium saute pan and set to boil over high heat. Meanwhile, snap each asparagus spear and discard the tough ends.

Once the water has come to a boil, add the salt and the asparagus. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer/steam for 3 minutes – the asparagus will turn a beautiful bright green.

Remove promptly and serve hot.


Makes enough for 2.

Garlic Cilantro Rice {Like Chipotle}

Do you like Chipotle?

Okay, silly question. Who doesn’t like Chipotle?

No denying, Chipotle has become a big contender in the fast-food market over the past couple of years. Just ask any of the 50 people that are always waiting in line for a burrito. Is there ever not a line? Seriously.

Anyway, one of the unsung heroes of their burrito – and especially their burrito bol – is the rice. Seasoned to perfection, with just the right amount of garlic and cilantro.

Garlic Cilantro Rice like Chipotle
I wanted something similar at home. Because, who wants to wait in a line with 50 people?

(By the way, smart people call their order ahead, and then go to pick it up – no waiting!)

Garlic Cilantro Rice {Like Chipotle}
 
Prep time
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Fan of Chipotle, but don't want to wait for a burrito? Try this rice at home!
Author:
Serves: 4 to 6
Ingredients
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 1 can chicken broth*
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
Instructions
  1. Place the olive oil and garlic in a medium sauce pan over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the rice and let cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Pour in the broth and water, give a quick stir, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the pot from heat, and let stand covered for another 5 minutes.
  2. Remove the garlic pieces and fluff the rice with a fork. Add the cilantro and garlic salt, and continue to fluff until combined.

*If you don’t have any chicken broth on hand, use 2 cups of water (omit the 2 tablespoons of water). It works just fine.

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