Asian Inspired Fruit Salad

Asian Inspired Fruit SaladRecipes in this Post

I have been a fan of Chinese Chicken Salad since the 1980’s when I first had it. Everyone once in a while, I have all the ingredients to make it. This afternoon, Spane and I went and had a very filling lunch at Everest Burgers, so we didn’t want a heavy or big dinner. I asked him if salad would be good, and he said yes. Then I went to my pantry and saw that I had Mandarin oranges, I knew what to make.

This salad has everything but the chicken, and if you happen to have cooked chicken, you are more than welcome to add it to this salad. Make sure you have a sharp knife because you will be chopping the greens and the onion into small pieces.

Asian Inspired Fruit SaladYou could add other fruit to this salad as well, like lychee nuts, or even cherries. I had unsweetened coconut chips which had just enough sweetness, sweetened coconut would be too powerful, so I don’t recommend it. Please choose whichever Asian salad dressing you like, we like Girard’s Asian Dressing.

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Cobb Salad

Recipes in this PostCobb Salad

I should not even have to write this post, but considering the awful salads I have had that called themselves Cobb, I think it’s time to set the record straight.

How do I know this? I know it because I am old enough to have actually had a real Cobb Salad at the original Brown Derby in Hollywood when I was a little girl. You don’t forget things like that, especially when they are so good.

A real Cobb Salad is a chopped salad. What does chopped mean? It means small pieces, like the size of a pea. A lot of cooks think that a Cobb Salad is just a Chef’s Salad, but with specific ingredients. Well, it’s not – it’s a chopped salad, usually with bacon, blue cheese, egg, tomatoes, avocado, spring onions, and chicken all chopped up into little tiny pieces with a unobtrusive vinaigrette like the Original Brown Derby Dressing.
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Antipasto with Original Brown Derby Salad Dressing

Recipes in this PostAntipasto with Original Brown Derby Salad Dressing

Sometimes it’s a terrible thing to get old enough to remember wonderful restaurants that have closed down, notably The Brown Derby in Hollywood and Little Joe’s in Downtown Los Angeles.

The Brown Derby

When I was a little girl, I was lucky enough to have my mother take me to the Brown Derby in Hollywood. My mother had Cobb Salad, I had curried chicken. We each had a taste of the other’s dinner, and I loved the presentation and flavor of the Cobb Salad. Later in life, I was disappointed to find Cobb Salad made with huge ingredient pieces, it’s a chopped salad, for goodness sake, so all the pieces should be small.

There is a plethora of recipes for the original Brown Derby salad dressing. Even today, just looking so see what others put in their dressing, I came across at least 3 that were completely different. You may ask yourself, how do I know that The Good Plate’s recipe is the right one? Well, this recipe comes directly from The Brown Derby Cookbook published in 1949. The recipe for the famous Grapefruit Cake is also in that book, although my recipe differs in the icing and decoration.

Little Joe’s

When I was in college dating, my boyfriend and I got lost in Downtown Los Angeles. We were hungry, and stopped for lunch at Little Joe’s near China Town. I had an antipasto salad, and it was wonderful. I went back many times to Little Joe’s and especially enjoyed that salad, and their Spaghetti Bolognese. I will be writing about that sauce at another time, when it gets cool enough.

Composed Salad

I love composed salads. They look wonderful, and are large enough to be a stand alone meal. I bought some Mortadella, provolone and salami to make sandwiches for our picnic, and have left overs. I also have some nice lettuce, a giant tomato, avocado, peperoncini, Kalamata olives, and Persian cucumbers. So I am going to take from the two restaurants I loved the most and make something new. Enjoy!

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Artichoke, Avocado and Shaved Parmesan Composed Salad

Recipes in this PostArtichoke, Avocado, Shaved Parmesan Composed Salad

A very long time ago, a friend took me to a wonderful restaurant where Santa Monica Blvd meets Beverly Blvd. in West Hollywood, California. The restaurant was called Figaro, and my friend said I should order his favorite salad. I don’t remember what it was called, but I have always remembered how good it was.

Years later, when this same friend came back into my life, I told him I had a surprise and presented this salad. He was so happy he almost wept, saying he never thought he would have that salad at Figaro’s again – as the restaurant had closed quite some time before.

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Seafood Stuffed Avocado with Marinated Asparagus

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Shimp and Crawfish Nestled in Avocado - Asparagus Flanks Each Side

I am so happy that the warmer weather is here, and salads are the way to go. Composed salads made by stuffing a fruit or vegetable are a favorite in our house. I found crayfish at the store, and bought some shrimp to go with it. Since we usually eat seafood on Fridays, using the shrimp and crayfish to stuff an avocado seemed like a perfect idea. Spane and I also love asparagus, which looks lovely on a plate. It is also the year that Haas avocados are plentiful.

Avocados produce fruit prolifically every two years, that’s why they are expensive one year, and really cheap the next. Did you know that all commercial, fruit-bearing Hass avocado trees have been grown from grafted seedlings propagated from a single tree? The tree was grown from a seed bought by Rudolph Hass in 1926 from A. R. Rideout of Whittier, California. The mother tree stood for many years in front of a residence in La Habra Heights. The tree died when it was 76 years old and was cut down on 11 September 2002 after a ten-year fight with root rot. Two plaques by the private residence at 426 West Road mark the spot where it grew. Because of the avocado, just about any food with California in the name has avocados. I love ’em.

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Paula Deen in Glendale

Recipes In This PostPhoto005

Paula Deen is going to be at Barnes and Noble to do a book signing this evening at 7pm. That made me think of how lucky I am to be living here in Glendale, California. We have things here that you just don’t find everywhere else.

This morning, I went to my favorite store, Best Grocery on Maple, and got two big, red tomatoes, a fat slice of smoked turkey and an avocado. I went home and made a wonderful stuffed tomato salad.

Turkey Salad Stuffed Tomato and Avocado

Turkey Salad Stuffed Tomato and Avocado


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