*specials - 12 days of mayo free pasta salad, Food & Wine, Main Courses, pasta, salads, sides

Day 7 – 12 Days of Mayo Free Pasta Salads

Here we are on day 7 already, can you believe it? 7 days of Mayo free splendor!

This one I imported into my old ProChef software on my laptop. I *think* it comes from one of the coffee table book cookbooks I have laying around or from a class I took, I am wagering on a class. Some of these recipes are so old that I just never thought to write down where they came from, I certainly never thought I would find myself on year two of blogging about food and life in general. Doing a series of 12 days of pasta salad would never have entered my mind 10 or 20 years ago…even 5 years ago for that matter. Now it seems so normal, so every day. My how things change.

Speaking of change, it’s odd how my tastes in cookbooks has changed too …I used to despise those huge cookbooks and would pour through them first thing first and upload any good recipes. Then the book would be banished to my upstairs cookbook stacks (I know…it’s a problem…too many cookbooks!) where it could be laid flat since they take up so much room. An odd thing happened to me recently though, I find that I really LIKE those huge books. Maybe it’s because I am getting old and going ridiculously blind. Big pictures and text appeal to me 🙂

Back to topic, sorry for the ramble –

Day 7 is an old standby for me for parties. It feeds 50 so it’s perfect for large gatherings and it is light tasting, fast, easy and delicious. The ingredients for this salad are listed by weight. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, I cannot recommend one more. It will change the way you cook and you will become more adapt at scaling and understanding ratios and yields.

4 pounds cheese-stuffed frozen spinach tortellini (AP) (6 lb cooked)

2 1/4 quarts French Dressing
(assemble this first)

2 ounces salt (3 tbsp)
2 tablespoons dry mustard
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 quart cider vinegar
4 teaspoons onion juice
2 quarts salad oil

1. Add dry ingredients to food processor bowl
2. Add vinegar and onion juice to dry ingredients. Add salad oil slowly. Blend on high speed until thick and blended.
3. This is a temporary emulsion that separates rapidly. Beat well or pour into a jar and shake vigorously just before serving.

5 pounds shrimp (31-35 count), cooked
26 ounces celery, thinly sliced
12 ounces carrots, cut into 3/4-inch-long thin julienne strips
10 ounces green onions, thinly sliced
22 ounces water chestnuts, sliced, drained
44 ounces leaf lettuce
1 pound black olives
1 pound cherry tomatoes

1. Cook tortellini in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Drain. Place in bowl.
2. Pour dressing over pasta and toss gently to coat. Chill quickly to 41°F or less.
3. Thaw shrimp under cold running water. Drain well and add to cold pasta.
4. Add celery, carrots, green onions, and water chestnuts to pasta mixture. Toss well. Cover. Refrigerate until chilled to 41°F or less.
5. Cover plate with leaf lettuce. Portion 6 oz salad onto lettuce.
6. Garnish plate with3 black olives and 1 cherry tomato. Serve with breadsticks.

We aren’t even to the 4th of July yet and already I am craving “winter” food favorites. I think it is because I have been so knee deep into summer parties and things of that nature. Anyway, Friday’s are traditionally pizza night here but I was craving something more, well, slow. I made French Onion Soup Gratinee and roasted Cornish hens with sauteed rappi. It tasted so delicious. I roasted the hens with a scaled down version of Ina Gartens Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic so the rappi and FOS were nicely balanced with the roasted garlic. It just tasted delightful and is such an easy meal to make, and if you lay low on the gratinee it is actually a very good for you, low fat, low calorie meal that is elegant and satisfying.

Don’t forget about the cookbook giveaway! July has a bonus!

Have a wonderful Saturday and do something delicious!

Creatively serving the Greater Binghamton area in the lovely Southern Tier of NY. www.foodwineartdesign.com

Colleen is a private caterer and personal chef, she also hosts the internet’s favorite resource for the home wine maker at www.homemadewine.net. Her blog and websites are viewed by thousands each day who enjoy her simply explained, illustrated and photographed recipes and helpful tips.


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