95 degrees with a million percent humidity and I’m outside grilling over a charcoal grill. Why, you ask? Because I am a sucker for entering contests. The Georgia Emergency Management Agency is sponsoring a contest for a recipe that uses alternative cooking devices. “I could do that,” I thought. So I was out there grilling and testing out my salmon pie. It was very tasty. I might not even wait for a power outage to make it again. I need to work on getting the top browned. Any suggestions when cooking in an iron skillet on the grill?
It was no surprise when I was looking for a cold salad for supper. I had a mango so I searched for some mango recipes. I found this strawberry mango salad but their dressing was a little plain. I decided to make raspberry vinegar in the midst of my sweaty salmon pie adventure and I will say the great results made up for my hot time at the grill today.
The salad was quite easy to make. Just toss together and go. (Is it just me or do these kind of baby greens taste like yard weeds smell when you cut grass? I ate them today but next time I’m using butter lettuce or iceberg lettuce.)
8 cups mixed salad greens
1 mango, cubed
1/2 pound fresh strawberries
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Toss all ingredients together.
3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup raspberry vinegar (see procedure below)
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
salt and pepper to taste
Blend the oil, sugar, vinegar, and onion on high speed until creamy. Stir in the poppy seeds, salt, and pepper.
My salad dressing is missing its poppy seeds. Use your imagination because I am NOT going out to the grocery store right now. I thought I had everything I needed.
Maybe I should have photoshopped them in. How’d I do?
The raspberry vinegar for the vinaigrette was very easy to make. I took a 6-ounce container of raspberries and rinsed them and patted them dry. I got a glass bowl and poured a 12 ounce bottle of rice vinegar over the raspberries. Mash the berries a little to release the juice. Cover the bowl and allow them to sit for 4 hours or more…or less…timing isn’t a big deal. In the meantime, I scrubbed the label off of the jar so I could put the vinegar back in the jar. Then, I cut some raffia to tie around the neck to cute it up.
To strain the berries after the four hours, I first used a metal strainer but it let too much of the raspberry pulp through so I reverted to moistened layers of cheesecloth. It worked well although there were some particles still in it. They quickly settled to the bottom though. Flavoring with raspberries definitely helps the taste of vinegar because I am typically not a fan of any kind of vinegar in recipes, but I will be making an exception for this one.
You can see I first poured the vinegar through a metal strainer and put it in the jar. It was a bit cloudy so I poured it out of the jar into the cheesecloth strainer. That worked a lot better.
I bought two bottles so you could see the before and after. Be sure to get glass bottles for better storage. You don’t have to refrigerate the vinegar but I am going to because when I make a salad dressing, it will speed up the chilling time.
Now, back out to the heat to put away the grill for another day.