Robert and I packed up the airstream and hit the road for our first road trip of 2012 promoting my cookbook, A well-seasoned kitchen.
As usual, I was worried that all of our stuff would fit . . .
But it did! Cuisinart. . . . check. Blender . . . check. Acrylic plates, bowls, wine glasses . . . check. Stainless steel martini glasses and shaker . . . check. Various pots and pans for broiling, steaming, baking . . .check. Weber grill with utensils . . .. check. It all fit, along with all the food I wanted to bring:
So, on day 1 we drove to Scottsbluff, Nebraska, to the beautiful campground at Lake Minatare, where we set up camp and made dinner – barbequed pork chops and steamed cauliflower with Parmesan cheese and curry:
I also needed to prepare the pork chops for the TV cooking demo/shoot the next day:
Day two started with a cooking demonstration – with the airstream! – for the local ABC affiliate, KOTA. I had a lot of fun with local news reporter Leigha, making Grilled Dijon Pork Chops with Arugula (click on the photo to watch the segment):
A different sort of TV interview for me, as I was solo – just me on camera, talking. I am more accustomed to having someone with me, cooking with me, asking me questions. It was actually fun! Here is Leigha:
We left the TV taping and went directly to the Scottsbluff radio station, KCMI FM to be interviewed by a super guy, Russ. Great time!
Russ was an excellent interviewer, and promoted the heck out of my book for one hour.
From there, we prepared for my cooking demo and book signing later that afternoon at the Kitchen Company in Scottsbluff – where I was cooking with Teresa Scanlan, Miss America 2011!
We had a wonderful time – Teresa is an amazing woman, 19 going on 30. I would recommend watching her progress – she has great ambition (wants to be President of the US!), and the smarts and talent to make it a reality. We were fortunate to be invited to Teresa’s home that evening for dinner with her mother Janie, sister Christine, brother Adam and her maternal grandparents Nives and Frank. Fun evening with a delicious dinner of chicken marsala, noodles, mixed veggies, and delicious yummy chocolates for dessert. A delightful family and we had lots of laughs.
Lots more to blog about but I don’t have time to upload the photos right now – it takes ages using WiFi!
This recipe was inspired by the Stetson Chopped Salad at Cowboy Ciao Restaurant in Scottsdale, Ariz. I especially love this twist on the traditional chopped salad for the spiciness of the arugula, saltiness of the toasted pepitas and the smokiness of the salmon.
1 cup basil pesto
2 shallots, chopped
2 cups mayonnaise
2 cups buttermilk
Juice of 1 lemon
4 ounces Asiago cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup toasted pepitas (Mexican pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup currants
1 cup chopped seeded plum tomatoes
1 cup corn kernels
1 cup chopped baby arugula
1 cup cooked Israeli (pearl) couscous
4 ounces chopped smoked salmon
To make the dressing: Place the pesto, shallots and mayonnaise in a food processor and blend. With the motor running, pour in the buttermilk. Add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Blend. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before using.
To make the salad: In a small mixing bowl, stir together the cheese, pepitas and currants. Set aside. In 4 shallow serving bowls or rimmed plates, arrange the salad ingredients in rows in the following order – tomatoes, corn, cheese mixture, arugula, couscous and salmon. Serve the dressing on the side.
Make ahead: The dressing and cheese mixture can be made up to 2 days ahead. Store the dressing, covered in the refrigerator.
[Photo courtesy of Cowboy Ciao, Scottsdale, AZ]