2014/02/14

All Whited Out (French Fridays with Dorie: Helene’s All-White Salad)

I think that this week's French Friday's salad selection is some kind of cruel joke on those of us living in the Eastern half of the United States.

As I sit here writing this post on a Thursday morning, the latest winter nightmare is making its way into the Northeast - Pox or Pax, or whatever ridiculous name they have come up with for this storm, is beginning to let us know that she has arrived. And because things weren't white (or dullish gray) enough already, the next round of winter bounty has shown up at our doorstep.


Now, for those of you who may not be aware, I work in transportation. Trucks and trains and boats rule my world by day. (Warning, whining spell ahead...)

This year's charming winter weather has created more closures and backlogs and delays than any event I have come across in my 20-something years of dealing with "this stuff" (and that includes working around several Gulf coast hurricanes).

No, we can't do anything when XYZ railroad shuts down its operations in ABC, South Carolina. Have you watched the news?

I am sorry, but that truck can't come into load today. The driver needed to handle that is stranded 500 miles away. No, we can't find someone else - everyone has the same problem.

No, we can't get that container to the port to meet that vessel. You see, when the line of trucks trying to get into the port is so backed up that it's blocking parts of the turnpike the police shut down the line. Oh, and we can't do anything about those days when the port is shut down either.


Okay, I think I am done whining now... (or not.)

Helene's all-white salad is a mélange of white-ish vegetables that are all mixed up with a creamy homemade yogurt mayonnaise-ish type dish.

I could take or leave the salad of cabbage, celery, apple and mushrooms (I think I would be more inclined to say that I would take the salad, but leave the mushrooms - they just didn't do anything for me here).

However. However, the winner for me this time around was the homemade dressing. When I saw this dressing that involved egg yolk and yogurt and adding olive oil a drop at a time, my first inclination was to pull out the immersion blender. Which I did... But I didn't use it.




Instead, I pulled out the whisk and decided to give it a shot at making it by hand. I didn't have a huge amount of faith that it was all going to come together, but for once in my life I followed the directions and added that olive oil drop by drop (pictorial proof above - note use of dropper). I was still dubious, but eventually all that oil started emulsifying until this beautiful creamy mixture started showing up in the bowl. A little lemon juice and seasoning - voila, the dressing was done.

Since raw cabbage and I have a mixed relationship - something akin to a Katy Perry song - I decided to toss the cabbage with the dressing ahead of time in hopes that the dressing would tame that savage beast a little bit (it did). Remaining ingredients were assembled on the plate.

We had our salad with some pan fried salmon and parsley coulis (for color). The Jerusalem artichoke soup from AMFT also found its way into the meal, but that is a story for another day (loved it, by the way).

The verdict on the salad? Liked it okay enough, but making the dressing was the real win for me this week. Maybe now I'll tackle mayo by hand?
 
 
On the book front, I just finished Jodi Picoult's Vanishing Act (liked it) and am working my way through her book The Storyteller (so far, so good).

Friday morning update: A foot plus later, the snow is still coming down, but starting to taper off. I am still not feeling the love toward all-white stuffs this morning. I am SO figuring out how to make next week's crepes more colorful. Maybe, I will raid Liz's endless raspberry stash...

Stay warm and be safe this weekend! Only eighty five more weeks until spring!!! Or something like that...

Happy Valentine's Day, if you're celebrating. XOXO

This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie.

24 comments:

  1. Haha...yeah, raspberries would have helped! The dressing came together beautifully but I still thought it needed a flavor boost. And for all our sakes, I hope this is the last big storm of the season.

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  2. With every bite I thought I should have just left it.

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  3. I agree that the dressing was a revelation. YOu needed some goat cheese on this one!

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  4. I'm impressed that you made this. I love it when recipes are like good science experiments! Stay safe & warm.

    Happy Valentine's day! xoxo

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  5. I truly enjoy looking through on this website , it holds fantastic blog posts.

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  6. An interesting read, enjoyed it. Oh I made the dressing with a whisk too! I had my portion on its own for supper. It was interesting.

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  7. Have they always named storms or is this turning into more of a thing now? I know that hurricane's always have name, but winter storms? I grew up in Vermont and have plenty of experience with winter storms, but I don't remember any of them ever having names. Whatever the case may be, hope it clears up soon. My theory is the the US is getting twice as much snow as usual this year because we are getting NONE in Europe. Not one single flake has touched down here in Frankfurt. The crocuses started coming up a few weeks ago. Mother Nature is truly confused.

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  8. You're funny! hahaha and the dressing sounds great!!

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  9. As I type, I'm waiting for the next 5"-er to arrive here in the Midwest. Not sure if it's heading up to you after, but I think *anywhere* East of here that gets this storm is not going to be happy tomorrow. I was never brave enough to try the odd white salad. Looks aren't everything ... except when they are.

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  10. I made the dressing by hand, too - it's satisfying to watch it come together. I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would.

    Here's hoping spring reaches you Eastern folks soon.

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  11. Cher, we heard so much in the news about all the terrible ice- and snowstorms in North America - hope you will stay safe and warm! Your salad looks quite nice as the side to the beautiful salmon with parsley coulis! Delicious and colorful!
    Have a good weekend - hopefully there will be better weather coming your way soon!

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  12. We did not get a lot of ice to speak of, just more snow that I care to see.
    Since Hubby is on oxygen 24/7, my one concern is loosing power. I did
    not know that they were naming snow storms until you mentioned it, and
    then last night I heard it on the news. We loved the dressing on this salad
    and I will definitely use it again.
    Have a great weekend.

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  13. I wish someone could explain to me how massive amounts of snow in the northeast amounts to 90 degrees in SoCal. Couldn't we both just get some sort of median temperature between the two?

    Sounds like a tough time in transportation (maybe add a wee bit of bourbon to the coffee mug?)

    Happy Valentines!

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  14. That's funny Cher! You really did add the oil drop by drop:) Was your hand about to fall off from all that whisking? I agree that the dressing was the star of the show but we enjoyed the salad too. I feel for you and your snow, both at work and at home! And when did the naming of every storm take place?

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  15. Cher what a work nightmare for you. Most of us only have to deal with the transportation of ourselves… I can't image what it has been like North to South between ice and snow… Spring is almost here… and now you have a great new dressing.

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  16. Oh Cher I like you too much to tell you that spring has already arrived in southern Europe. Tomorrow it is going to be a sunny 18C and the wild lilies are starting to bloom! Hang in there it is going to end soon!

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  17. Oh yours looks so lovely on that plate. I wish I had let it all soak in the dressing for a while but am not sure that still would have won us over. I am leaning toward the stir fry that one Dorista did with the leftovers :) And I have mentioned to others that I was clueless (thankfully) about how tricky mayo is, but I figured something was up with Dorie get very detailed, explicit instructions about the oil addition....but I swear if I saw your dropper I would have freaked in fear. I winged it and must have angels in my kitchen. Not including the cat who had to once again be locked in the basement (don't call PETA- it is finished and he loves the sofa.....). Good luck with the logistics nightmare. I can not even imagine. My younger son called from school to ask why his Amazon delivery had not arrived. I was like "have you even looked out your window lately". Crazy. I also can not recall a winter we when had some many different snow falls for so long. The white salad seemed like a cruel joke :) Stay warm and hang in there....

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  18. Eighty five more weeks til spring? I am just not going to make it. It's snowing AGAIN tonight. I've run out of spots to put it. That's another logistical nightmare.

    I did NOT like this salad, but you're right about the dressing. While I threw out the massive amount of leftovers (and I only made 1/6 the recipe), I did save the dressing. I'm thinking it will give potato salad some anti-winter zing.

    I love the photo of you adding the oil with a dropper. LOL. I use teh food processor, where it has that little hole in the pusher that drops oil in slowly (and automatically).

    Stay warm and let's hope less storms as spring approaches. We deserve a break, don't you think?

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  19. Wow, the weather sounds pretty horrid and rough up there, please stay warm and safe with delicious dishes like this! Sending up our humidity to you!!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  20. what a lovely dinner! I look forward to trying this salad.

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  21. Hi Cher, you have crazy cold, we have crazy heat - perhaps we could combine temps and get spring for all? I liked this one too, and making mayo for the first time was fun.

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  22. Sorry I’m late with my comment, but I was with my grandkids over the weekend. I enjoyed this salad with some goat cheese on top for my lunch. I really wanted to take my photos before the sun went down, and as long as it was made why not eat it! Perfect for me! I did like it…and I thought the dressing was quite good. Your dinner plate looks great…I keep thinking that spring is right around the corner…hopefully!

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  23. We finally have warm weather here today, although I heard it's supposed to get cold again next week. It isn't nearly as bad here as it is up there, but I'm counting the days until spring. I feel pretty lukewarm about the salad, but the rest of your dinner sounds excellent. Thanks for the recommendation about the soup, I love Jerusalem artichokes and I'm always looking for new ways to make them.

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  24. I had a problem with the dressing - mine ended up tasting kind of bitter. I'm not sure why... I love your "deconstructed" version of this salad!

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