Time for something new in the salad department. This is a new recipe that I’ve just started serving. It is definitely not the norm, and it’s definitely not too far off the grid. I think you will find it refreshing for the summer and hopefully it will energize you to think of a different version with shrimp, seafood, beef or chicken.
One of the ingredients in this salad is what I grew up calling Chinese cabbage. The real name is, Napa cabbage. My parents would remove the side leaves from the main stalk and serve it on the table as part of a relish tray. Keep in mind this was before many of us started sautéing Chinese vegetables at home. Probably before many of us even ate in a Chinese restaurant. When I was growing up in Northeast Missouri I have absolutely no recollections of any oriental restaurants! We always had ethnic foods while we were on vacation! In fact when I was little I always dreamed of eating from a Chinese take-out carton like they do in television! OK, so a bit off the subject, but I just had to share!
Back to the Napa cabbage. So I’m making an oriental soup a few years back and I purchase Chinese cabbage. I realize the greens on the sides of the main stalk are quite edible, so instead of throwing them away I now use them in salads mixed with other greens.
The salad leaves plenty of room for modifications. I wouldn’t mind a few seasoned chow Mein noodles over the top. Perhaps a nut change to peanuts or almonds. For the fruit portion you could always switch to mango, peach or nectarine.
When I first prepared the pork for the salad I went all out and made this nice marinate. The meat was soaked overnight and the taste was really great. However when the salad was put together you couldn’t taste the pork marinate. I’ve included the marinate with the salad recipe in the event you want to use it with pork loins or chops. Since the ‘base’ is orange you might pick up a jar of orange marmalade. Add a bit of soy sauce and mustard and you’ll have a nice glaze for the pork too.
One thing I always try to do in the summer is to prepare extra meats on the grill. Then I can come home and incorporate the extra meats in green salads, pasta salads and such. Remember to re-warm the extra grilled meats in a steamer. This tip came from my parents years ago. You’ll find the meat tastes like it just came off the grill again, and the moisture content will be in place.
Last week I told my Northeast Missouri friends that I would be in Lewis County the end of June. I’ve confirmed my location and date and next week I’ll confirm the time for everyone. I’ll be signing my cookbooks on Monday, June 27th, 2016 at the Bank of Monticello, Monticello, Missouri. This is the county seat for Lewis County. I do know the time will be in the morning hours.
Have a terrific week everyone. Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
Oriental Orange Salad
1 (11 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained & patted dry
2 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup light olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
2 tablespoons sour cream or Greek yogurt
With a tool of choice mash mandarin oranges into a fine pulp. Place in a small bowl and incorporate the remainder of the ingredients, ending with the sour cream last. Bring dressing together with a whisk. Refrigerate until salad and meat are prepared. Yields enough for 4-6 individual servings.
1 lb. uncooked pork tenderloin, cut into thin strips
Lite Soy Sauce, 3-4 shots or more
Fresh Ginger, approximately 1 tablespoon
Olive oil or oil of choice
In a saucepan heat the oil over medium/medium high heat. Sauté the pork using 3-4 shots of soy sauce. Towards the end grate in a tablespoon of ginger and distribute evenly throughout. When meat is tender remove from heat and prepare the salad ingredients.
Napa Cabbage (Chinese cabbage)
Broccoli, very small pieces
Red Pepper, cut into long strips
1 (11 oz.) can mandarin oranges, well drained
Break Romaine into small pieces. Wash Chinese cabbage and then remove outer
Leafy portion from main stalk, leaving a triangle piece of cabbage. The leafy portion will be chopped and used in the main salad. The firm triangular piece will be sliced for the top of the salad. Separate broccoli into very small pieces as indicated. Build salad using sautéed pork tenderloin, cabbage slices, broccoli, red pepper, mandarin oranges, green onion and cashews.
4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon peanut or sesame oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
When I first wrote this recipe I marinated the pork. It tasted delicious, however when placed upon the salad, with the other ingredients, the wonderful flavors were lost. I’ve chosen to include this marinate because it would be delightful for a grilled pork tenderloin or pork steak.