Marie Simmons is a friend and very trusted author. Trusted? Take any recipe, from any of her 20+ cookbooks, and you just have to follow the simple, totally clear directions. Your results will be, well not just results, but a culinary accomplishment that will truly please you.
Marie’s latest venture is Taste of Honey. Here’s the first taste test that Suzen tried: a salad dressing that has “the usual suspects” coupled with a good dose of honey. The fun thing here is playing with the amount of honey —Suzen displayed a heavy hand here so there was a distinctly honey tang to her dressing.
And, of course, changing honey varieties can generate enormous flavor shifts. Unlike other foods where you have to struggle to notice the “difference” that “experts” announce, with honey you can be tongue-dead and still be very aware of a flavor difference.
So with this recipe as a template, you can pair different honey flavors with different ingredients. Chicory versus romaine, for example, gives you room for mix and match.
Suzen and I are working our way through this lovely book recipe by recipe. More tasting results to come. No testing is necessary: these are all Simmons perfect.
All-Purpose Honey Mustard Salad Dressing
Yield: 2/3 cup
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoon full-bodies red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey [or more!]
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 small clove garlic, grated
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until emulsified. If making by hand, combine all of the ingredients except the olive oil in small deep bow. Add the olive oil a few drops at a time, continuously whisking until emulsified.
Store in a glass jar at room temperature for up to 1 day or refrigerate and keep for up to 1 week.
Source: Taste of Honey by Marie Simmons
Do you like tarragon? French nobility did. As one of the “fine herbes” in French cuisine, tarragon plants were a key component of the gardens of French nobility. Peasants need not apply.
And while the French Revolution was certainly not tarragon inspired, one benefit was the release of tarragon seeds to the world.
A little goes a long way. Read any description about tarragon, and you will get that warning. The flavor is distinct and can easily overpower a dish.
A cardinal dish that is tarragon-based is the famed Green Goddess Dressing. According to Wikipedia, this dressing was created in San Francisco in 1923 to recognize actor George Arliss for his play The Green Goddess. The original version, supposedly, was based on mayonnaise, sour cream, chervil, chives, anchovy, tarragon, lemon juice and pepper. My version below has parsley, not chervil, and optionally suggests yogurt instead of sour cream.
The changes are minor and you are free to make yours. The original recipe is lost in time. In the 1970s, manufacturers created bottled versions of the dressing, which now appear on a limited number of store shelves. Some “new” versions are out there, like a brown tahini version thanks to Trader Joe’s. You are far better off sticking with the green style, tart and vibrant. And you are far, far better off if you make your own.
As a salad dressing, Green Goddess will bring life to your table. As an appetizer with chips, it can stand side to side with the best of margaritas.
What is the perfect accompaniment? Crab. Crab. Crab. In fact, tomorrow’s post is Crab Hush Puppies! That recipe and this one come from the lovely book The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook, which is filled with ideas for the black pan sitting on your shelf. Use it! And, there’s a new edition of the book with even more for you to enjoy.
Green Goddess Dressing and Dip
Yield: about 2 cups
- ¾ cup fresh tarragon leaves
- ¾ cup fresh snipped chives
- ¾ cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
- ⅓ teaspoon salt
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons anchovy paste
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¾ cup sour cream or plain yogurt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Place the herbs, salt, garlic, lemon juice, anchovy paste, and mustard in a blender. Puree until smooth. With the blender on, slow add the olive oil.
Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, and stir in the sour cream until well combined. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
Source: The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook: Recipes for the Best Pan in Your Kitchen by Sharon Kramis and Julie Kramis Hearne
Photo Information: Canon T2i, 18-55MM Macro lens, F/2.8, 1/25th second, ISO 3200