pen rainbow

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tuesday's Cupboard—Rescue Chocolates

Happy Birthday to our white rescue kitty, Snowie, who is 14 years old today!


Last week, I wrote about Rescue Chocolate, an impressive little company in Brooklyn that donates 100 percent of the net profits to animal rescue organizations all over the country.  Now that I've tried each of the chocolates, here are the results of my 5-star, at-home taste test!  All but one of the selections were sensational, and we're going to try that one again.

Peanut Butter Pit Bull
Wild At Heart — Dark Chocolate Hearts with Raspberry Ganache  
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
$6 for 2 hearts, 1 oz.  The hearts are smaller than I expected, but what they lack in size, they make up for in lusciousness.

Foster-iffic Peppermint  
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
$5—1 bar, 2.2 oz.  Loved this!  Just the right amount of mint & a delicate crunchy texture.

Bow Wow Bon Bons  ★ ★
$7—1 box of 4 square bon bons, 1.1 oz.  Again, these are small, but not unreasonable for boutique chocolates, and the presentation is beautiful.  Each little square has its own artful design.  There are 4 flavors: salted peanut, peanut butter & jelly, cinnamon, and 70% dark chocolate.  I don't know if it was just our box or our tastebuds, but the flavor was off.  3 of the 4 did not hit the mark.  Not sure what the problem was, but I'm going to ask my son to buy a box the next time he's in the neighborhood and see what he thinks.

The Fix  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
$5—1 bar, 2.2 oz.  66% pure dark chocolate.  What more do I have to say?  Guaranteed to satisfy your chocolate craving.

This one gets the Good Kitty Seal of Approval
Mission Feral Fig  
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
$5—1 bar, 2.2 oz.  I really liked the texture of this one.  It is the same rich dark chocolate found in the other bars with chunks of almond and dried fig.  Really interesting & different!  Neat combination of flavors.

Peanut Butter Pit Bull  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
$5—1 bar, 2.2 oz.  Ooo, yum!  This seemed like a lighter dark chocoate with a delectable crispy peanut butter interior.  Melts in your mouth.

Pick Me! Pepper  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
$5—1 bar, 2.2 oz.  Dark chocolate with Pasilla & Mulato chile peppers (like pablanos), spices & fleur de sel. You can really taste the pepper in this sublime combination.  Super good for the enlightened chocolate palette.

Tuesday's Cupboard—March Greens

Really good avocado & salmon salad
Green is for Salads!

This is a yummy & satisfying salad made with canned salmon & fresh avocado.  The healthier choice is to make it with salmon, rather than tuna (as called for in the original recipe) since tuna has higher levels of mercury.  Check to make sure that the canned fish you buy has a "dolphin safe" stamp.

To make the prep easier:  I used pre-sliced Granny Smith apples, jarred-in-water chopped garlic, and salmon in the pouch.  I used a mini-food processor rather than a blender to chop & blend the guac dressing (it's easier to clean).

To turn down the heat:  I substitued a 4-oz. can of Safeway mild diced green chilies for the serrano chili in the guacamole dressing.

Serves 4.  Adapted from Smoked Tuna Salad by Chicken of the Sea — Bon App├ętit, March 2011


INGREDIENTS

Smoked Salmon Salad

  • 2 (6-oz.) pouches or 2 (5-oz.) cans salmon packed in water, drained and flaked
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 5 oz. container of organic mixed baby greens 
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and diced (or 1 c. chopped pre-sliced green apples)  
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
Fresh Cilantro Mix 
  • 1 cup loosely-packed chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced (or 2 tsp. jarred chopped garlic in water)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Guacamole Dressing
  • 1 firm, ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 large green onion, chopped 
  • 1/2 chopped serrano chile (or 1, 4-oz. can of mild, diced green chilies)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced (or 1 tsp. jarred-in-water chopped garlic)
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder

DIRECTIONS

Fresh Cilantro Mix 

In bowl combine fresh cilantro and garlic; mix in lemon juice. Add olive oil and freshly ground pepper; blend well. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Guacamole Dressing 
Place avocado in blender or mini-food processor. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. If desired, thin with water. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Troi's Salad Assembly
In a large bowl, combine salmon, liquid smoke, salad greens, chopped apple & walnuts.  Gently toss in cilantro mix. Evenly divide salad among plates.  Spoon guacamole dressing over salads. Top with more freshly ground pepper to taste.