Thursday, February 26, 2009

I'm a man.......and sometimes I like a good salad!

Sometimes, we, as men, are afraid to admit that we like a good salad from time to time. I'm not sure why. But, like a good piece of meat, it's important what you cover that salad with. If you haven't noticed by now, I like to do things myself. One of my favorite things to make is a good salad dressing. There are a bunch of them out there, but, for my money, an Italian Vinaigrette rises above them all. If you haven't tried making your own, you should. I could probably teach a monkey to make this and it would still taste great. Here's what I use to make mine.

Italian Vinaigrette
3 cups of vegetable oil (you can use olive oil but be careful as it will solidify when refrigerated)
1 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar (no need for an expensive one here)
10 cloves pressed garlic
1 teaspoon white sugar
2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons basil
3 tablespoons oregano
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (optional)
You can use dried basil and oregano if you want on this but I prefer the flavor of the fresh herbs. The red pepper flakes are optional but I like the little bit of kick it gives to the salad. I especially like salads with red onions in them and this combination is great. I simply place all of the ingredients in my blender and blend away until it is thoroughly mixed. I store this in my refrigerator for about 4 weeks. Be sure to shake up before using on salad.
What I really like about this is that it doubles as an excellent meat marinade or vegetable marinade. To make this a marinade, do this:
2 cups of Italian Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/4 cup distilled vinegar
I really like to use this on just about any type of meat but really like it on pheasant breast or any type of meat that has the opportunity to dry out easily.
Whether you like salad or not, this versatile mixture will add some great flavor to your meals and can really spice up a drab dish.

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