Palmitos Salad

by Lizzy on November 11, 2015

Palmitos Salad via KitchenNomad.com

It’s said life is what happens to us while we are making other plans. It’s a lesson I still struggle with as a perpetual planner. I cannot live without a calendar at home, work, and synchronized on my phone. As you’ve likely noticed though, I haven’t posted in months. I could make excuses, but I prefer to keep this blog about food so I’ll just say life happened to me. 

Also, I’ve fallen dreadfully short when planning this blog the past few months. Aside from life happening, I realized I was struggling with recipe writing, planning and promoting every post, and feeling overwhelmed with everything I believe I should be doing as a “blogger.” As the season is changing, so is this blog. 

Palmitos salad via KitchenNomad.com

I will no longer tie myself to exact recipe amounts trying to write down measurements with a dirty hand while staining paper with food juices only to later strain to read what I’ve chicken-scratched to translate for the blog. I surrender! Honestly, I don’t tend to cook that way. Recipes are guidelines for me, not mandates. I use recipes for ideas and glimpses into processes but not necessarily as dictators of taste. I use my experience, hands, and scent for that. I taste while I cook. I adjust seasonings, add a little more of this, temper heat with that and do things my way. It’s how my Abuela cooked, how my Mami cooks and how I learned to cook as well. It’s my comfort level because it comes naturally to me. 

While I work on developing my recipe writing skills, I ask for your patience but also for your questions. I prefer a conversation about what went right and what went wrong in a recipe than just throwing something on paper to appease you. I know I don’t follow recipes to the letter so I imagine you don’t either. I’ll provide guidelines going forward, at least for the most part, and I hope you can follow along. If not, ask me how to do it. I’m happy to help. It’s one of the reasons I started this blog! 

Palmitos salad via KitchenNomad.com

Back to the changing seasons, in Chicago we experienced a cooler than normal summer or so it seemed to me. When fall came bursting in early September, I rebelled by wearing sandals. Autumn appeared like an early unceremonious dinner guest prancing in while you’re still in rollers. As fall was technically a few weeks away, I decided to grill one last time and make my favorite side salad I typically make in the summer – palmitos salad (as it’s been dubbed by those close to me). Take that fall! 

Now that I’ve fully embraced autumn’s arrival like a pile of fallen leaves, I’m looking forward to wearing boots (or buying new ones), cozy sweaters and stylish coats. Alas, pumpkin everything awaits me!  

Hearts of Palm "Palmitos" Salad
Serves 4
This recipe holds well in the fridge because the lime oxides the avocado. For a twist, toss in baby or salad shrimp for a heartier dish.
Print
Ingredients
  1. (All ingredient measures are approximates, adjust according to your personal preference)
  2. Kosher salt
  3. 1/2 lime, juiced and reserve the other 1/2 lime
  4. Extra virgin olive oil
  5. White pepper to taste
  6. 1 avocado, cut into large chunks
  7. 1 can or jar of hearts of palm, drained, rinsed and sliced into 1-inch rounds
  8. 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
  9. 1/4 red onion, diced
Instructions
  1. In the bottom of a medium non-reactive bowl, dissolve salt (I start with a teaspoon and adjust accordingly) in lime juice and let stand for a minute. Using a whisk, stir lime juice and salt together. Begin adding the oil slowly while continuing to whisk vigorously until the liquids thicken and hold together, about 30 seconds. Season with pepper and taste the dressing before adding the other ingredients.
  2. Squeeze the reserved lime over the avocado and gently toss with the dressing. Add the remaining ingredients tossing to combine. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Serve at room temperature.
Notes
  1. If not serving immediately, cover with plastic wrap ensuring the plastic touches the salad directly, especially the avocado to keep it from turning brown.
Kitchen Nomad http://kitchennomad.com/

{ 0 comments }

Chicago Food Bloggers Holiday Gift Guide 2014

by Lizzy on December 17, 2014

You may have noticed I’ve been an absentee blogger the past few months. However, I’ve returned bearing gifts!

After several miserable attempts at publishing a gift guide of my own on this blog like last year, I surrendered to the gift giving gods and instead submitted my selections to the 2014 Chicago Food Bloggers Holiday Gift Guide. Believe me, I did you a favor. The guide is your personal holiday handbook for anyone even remotely interested in food. 

Take a look; I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! 

 

{ 0 comments }

Truffle Butter

by Lizzy on April 16, 2014

Truffle Butter via KitchenNomad.com

Growing up in my household meant Easter was a grandiose religious holiday with an equally impressive dinner to celebrate. The wondrous aroma of yeast rolls filled our house intoxicating anyone who walked through the door from church. They were best served hot from oven to table, despite my handling the steamy gems like a game of hot potato. Aside from the chocolate candy my little brother and I devoured, I treasured those rolls. Another thing I remember vividly and associate exclusively with Easter is my favorite Easter commercial. My little brother and I joke about it often; it still cracks us up. They just don’t make commercials like they used to. 

Truffle Butter via KitchenNomad.com

I’ve never mastered the art of bread that comes so naturally to Mami. However, I still crave those rolls. In a nostalgic attempt to replicate the memory, I made these challah knots for the holidays but in pinwheel shape for convenience. They were…fine. I didn’t want to take “fine” to my framily’s house, but it was a little too late. I needed a way to pump up the volume on the less than spectacular bread. 

Truffle Butter via KitchenNomad.com

That’s when I remembered I had splendid truffle salt in my spice collection. And butter. Luscious, creamy, golden butter! You can stop applauding now, and I’ll get up from my bow. It seemed so simple yet brilliant to use these two ingredients as a spread for lame bread. Best of all, it actually worked. I found myself using the bread pieces as a vehicle for the truffle butter. Consider this my velvety Easter gift to you!

Truffle Butter via KitchenNomad.com

Truffle Butter
Earthy, truffle salt adds dimension to airy, whipped butter that makes a perfect accompaniment to bread, crackers and vegetables.
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  2. 1 tablespoon truffle salt
Instructions
  1. In a stand mixer, whip butter on high until it lightens in color, about 2 minutes. Turn mixer to medium-low and sprinkle in salt until incorporated. Scrape from bowl and place butter in an airtight container. Serve at room temperature for best flavor.
Notes
  1. If you do not have a stand mixer, a handheld mixer or sturdy whisk work equally well.
Kitchen Nomad http://kitchennomad.com/

{ 0 comments }

Garrett Chocolate Covered CaramelCrisp via KitchenNomad.comI do not like caramel corn. Caramel popcorn to be more precise. I never have, and I thought I never would. Even as a kid I only wanted CRACKER JACK® for the prize. I’d fish that paper packet out and promptly hand over the candy-coated treat box to my little brother. All that changed with Garrett popcorn.

I am a popcorn fiend; it’s one of the few snacks I can eat with abandon until I reach the bottom of the bag. For years after I settled in Chicago, I was a CheeseCorn™ devotee. I could polish off a small bag without regret, not caring in the least if my orange stained fingers left a trace on whatever I happened to touch. One day a remarkable thing happened, some CaramelCrisp® had mistakenly crept into my CheeseCorn™. Because I was rotely consuming my corn I noticed only after it was in my mouth, otherwise I would’ve risk this life-changing moment by tossing the intruder. The buttery caramel delighted my taste buds, and I searched my bag for another kernel. I was hooked.

The next time I went into Garrett I bravely ordered an entire bag of CaramelCrisp®. I couldn’t believe this was caramel popcorn! I wasn’t supposed to like it, I’d conditioned my taste buds from childhood through adulthood not to like it. I’d tried dozens and nothing even approached Garrett popcorn.

After that leap, my regular order became Chicago Mix (which qualifies me as a bonafide Chicagoan by the way). I had no problems popping into a store quickly to get my fix. That was until Oprah let the world in on the secret. Ugh, waiting in line behind eager tourists for something I felt was rightfully mine as a city dweller and devout Garrett popcorn fan irritated me. I wanted an express line for the regulars to bypass that person with a hundred questions asking for a thousand samples and pondering bag sizes and tin designs while I rolled my eyes and resisted the urge to push them. #Firstworldproblems. (The Garrett popcorn people are saints, I tell you!) After four years, it’s died down a bit and more shops opened so I’m back into my popcorn groove.

THEN…just when I had my routine down (the five-year-Chicago-Mix-routine) Garrett popcorn goes and pops my lid yet again with Garrett Chocolate Covered CaramelCrisp®. WHAT?! My mind is officially blown. I received an email announcing April’s special flavor (of course I’m on the email list, duh!). I tweeted about it, thought about whether I would try the dark or milk chocolate, and finally made it to the store within a few days. This stuff is amazing!

Suddenly I was one of those irritating tourists at Garrett popcorn for the first time. I asked for samples of both the milk and dark chocolate; I pondered which size to buy; I let several people go ahead of me because I couldn’t make up my mind and finally opted for the dark chocolate. It was well worth the dirty looks Chicago natives shot at me. The contrast of the thick, dark chocolate coating was perfect against the light and crunchy, caramel butterflies. However, it’s a good thing Garrett Chocolate Covered CaramelCrisp® is only around for April because I’d likely push people out of the way to get it, and while I’ve never been I’m guessing they don’t serve Garrett popcorn in prison. 

{ 0 comments }

Glazed Carrots

by Lizzy 9 April 2014 Food

Sweet food should be relegated to dessert in my humble opinion. I don’t mind salt in my dessert, but don’t pair fruit in any form with my savory dish. The same goes for vegetables; I’m apt to choose fennel or spinach over corn or carrots any day. There’s just something candy-like and cloying I find […]

2 comments Read the full article →

Friday Find | Crio Brü

by Lizzy 14 March 2014 Friday Find

My love of chocolate rivals only my obsession with Adam Levine…and bacon. (Yes, of course I now he’s Jewish. Insert joke here.)   Chocolate has formed a part of my morning routine since I was a child. As a kid, I drank Quik chocolate milk every morning, and I wouldn’t go to bed without a […]

2 comments Read the full article →

Parsnip Sticks

by Lizzy 12 March 2014 Food

It’s said that necessity is the mother of invention. In my case, food cravings trigger creativity. Generally, once a month I get an urgent and insistent hankering for some particular food that is, of course, nowhere to be found in my kitchen. Sometimes it’s something odd I rarely eat, and it’s as though the craving […]

0 comments Read the full article →

Friday Find | Graze Snack Box

by Lizzy 28 February 2014 Friday Find

Subscription boxes have been around for a bit, but it seemed to me that last year snack boxes popped up everywhere. Because it’s food, I was eager to try one of these services. However, I needed an invitation and couldn’t score one for the life of me. The universe must’ve heard my call because when […]

0 comments Read the full article →

Friday Find | Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook

by Lizzy 27 December 2013 Friday Find

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. Christina Tosi is a freaking genius! If you don’t know who she is, allow me to make the introduction. She’s a superstar pastry chef who rose through the ranks at David Chang’s Momofuku, after leaving the illustrious wd~50. At Momofuku she created distinctive and tasty desserts that […]

2 comments Read the full article →

Cornflake Cookies

by Lizzy 25 December 2013 Food

On this holiday, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and hope you’re spending the day like I am…sharing food with good company! Today’s post is short and sweet, like the sweet recipe for Cornflake Cookies that follows. I cheated a little linking directly to the source because it’s perfection. There’s nothing I can […]

2 comments Read the full article →