New-Classic Iceberg Lettuce Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Ice Cream Dressing

DSC_0184

Today’s temperature in Nashville, Tennessee as I post this at 6:34pm CST:      94 degrees and feels like 104 degrees (official report!). Let’s eat something cold, really cold like a chilled iceberg wedge with a frozen blue cheese dressing.

A cold blast-from-the-past with an updated twist.

DSC_0149

As you know blue-cheese dressing is a must for this salad, but frozen blue-cheese ice cream dressing is even better!

I had a version of this salad while working on a photo shoot in Florida a few years ago. It was late in the day, I was hot & tired. I walked to a nearby restaurant close to my hotel for dinner at the end of the day. I lazily chose the “classic wedge salad” and when it arrived at my table the dressing was frozen….a blue-cheese ice cream dressing right on the top of my wedge slowly melting down into & between the leaves. Ingenious.

DSC_0156

A good blue cheese with lots of veins….yogurt…hot sauce…my homemade lemon-salt and…….

DSC_0155

….a generous grinding of my friend Jesse (Food Sheriff) Goldstein’s very own invention “Flower Pepper”. To be more exact “Uncle Daisy’s Organic Flower Pepper”. Jesse gave me a jar of his special pepper chock full of dried flowers as a gift and it added just the right flavor to this recipe.  It is not available in stores but you can make your own. Go to Jesse’s blog post that tells you how.

DSC_0158

Ingredients blended together and frozen in my ice-cream freezer but left a bit soft to scoop onto the top of the wedge!

DSC_0190

Pancetta cooked until very crisp and most of the fat rendered in my Lodge cast iron skillet.

DSC_0163

Updated….Neo-Classic Iceberg Wedge Salad…for hot days to cool you down.

DSC_0178

Neo-Classic Iceberg Lettuce Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Ice Cream Dressing

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

DSC_0178

Ingredients & Equipment:

Electric ice cream freezer ready to make ice cream according to package directions for your particular machine.

Directions:

  1. In a bowl mix together Greek yogurt, blue cheese crumbles, a healthy pinch of lemon salt, a generous grinding of Flower Pepper and a few shakes of hot sauce to taste. Stir until well blended.
  2. Scrape mixture into the ice cream freezer and freeze according to package directions or until mixture is “ice cream frozen”. Scrape blue cheese ice cream dressing in a plastic container and pop in the refrigerator freezer while you prepare the salads. Don’t let the dressing get too frozen as it will be hard to scoop.
  3. On four plates place one Iceberg Lettuce wedge. Sprinkle tomato halves & crisp pancetta over the wedges.
  4. Add a scoop (or two) of Blue Cheese Ice Cream Dressing over each wedge right before serving.

Teresa Blackburn    teresablackburnfoodstyling.com

Leap Year Bits and Pieces – Orange Peel Candied, Citrus Salts and Some Things that Make Me Smile

DSC_0320 2

  “Candied Orange Peel” is so great to keep in the pantry  to add to desserts, granolas and a cup of hot tea. Making candied citrus peel is easy and takes little active time to do. I cut the peel into strips about 2 inches long and soak in water for a few hours or overnight.

DSC_0005

Then simmer in fresh water and sugar over low heat for about 45 minutes.

DSC_0014

Drain on wire racks sitting on parchment paper until air dry. I store in my pantry in airtight containers for a few months.

DSC_0023DSC_0018

 “Citrus Salts” (lemon and orange)

DSC_0003

Zest of an orange and two lemons both mixed with Maldon Sea Salt Flakes.

DSC_0007DSC_0009

I use a mortar and pestle to make sure the oils are released.

DSC_0016

Then I air dry overnight and store in air-tight jars. Great to use on roasted vegetables, grilled fish or chicken or to top simple sugar cookies.

DSC_0020

DSC_0007

Some things that make me smile on this Leap Year Day….DSC_0582

Ella, our 10-year-old Lab-Beagle mix…..

DSC_0449

….Wouter, my beloved Dutch partner…..

DSC_0586

…vases of beautiful tulips..

May you all have a Happy Leap Year.

Candied Orange Peel and Citrus Salts

DSC_0320 2

Ingredients for Candied Orange Peel:

  • the peel from 4 oranges, cut into 1 1/2 to 2 inch thin strips
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • water

Directions:

  1. Soak orange peel strips in water for a few hours or over night to soften. Drain peel in a colander.
  2. Mix 1 1/2 cups sugar with 1 1/2 cups water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Turn heat to simmer and add orange peel strips. Simmer, stirring every now and then for about 45 minutes. Remove orange peel from sugar syrup with a slotted spoon and spread out on wire racks sitting on parchment paper until air-dried completely. This can take up to one day depending on how humid the weather is.
  4. Store dried candied orange peel in airtight containers for up to 3 months.

DSC_0007

Ingredients for Citrus Salts:

  • zest from one orange
  • zest from 2 lemons
  • 2 cups Maldon sea salt flakes divided

Directions:

  1. Mix the orange zest with 1 cup of the sea salt flakes. Use a mortar and pestle to mix the zest and salt together to release the oils from the zest.
  2. Spread out to dry on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper overnight.
  3. Store in airtight container.
  4. Repeat with lemon zest.

Teresa Blackburn      www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com    www.foodonfifth.com