Monday, July 23, 2012

elbows off the table

When we got a break in the heat yesterday, temps dropping to 101 from the previous day's spike of 107, I took to the kitchen to make macaroni salad.  A good choice I figured since it doesn't require the oven and if I made a large batch, we could build meals around it for a few days. 

I'll bet you something; I'll bet you make macaroni salad the same way each and every time without giving it thought.  Same goes for potato salad and cole slaw, right? 

Recognizing myself in that rut, I ditched all familiar ingredients, starting with the pasta, and ended up with something new and quite yummy.  Paprika adds smoky interest and although the salad has mayonnaise, fresh lemon juice cuts through it and the dressing is very light. 

I'll be making macaroni through the hot August still ahead, experimenting with more versions.  Next up, one with lemongrass, wouldn't you bet?

Macaroni Salad

half of a large, sweet yellow onion
1 ear of corn
1 teaspoon extra light olive oil
1/2 cups mayonnaise
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained and divided
freshly ground white pepper
ground cayenne pepper
1 four-ounce jar of sliced pimentos
1 cup frozen green peas
1 lb. farfalle (bow-tie pasta) 
3/4 teaspoons paprika
freshly ground black pepper

Peel the onion and cut thin slices lengthwise. 
Soak the slices in a bowl of cold water, changing the water
frequently while you prepare the other salad ingredients.
Before adding them to the pasta, drain the slices on paper towels.

Shuck, wash and dry the ear of corn.  Cut the kernels off the cob. 
In a small saucepan, heat the oil and cook the corn until it takes on some color, then remove from the heat to cool.

Drain and rinse the jar of pimentos.

Mix mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice until smooth. 
Season to your liking with freshly ground white pepper
and dashes of ground cayenne pepper.  Set aside.

Place the green peas in a bowl to thaw.

 While the ingredients are soaking, cooling, and thawing, bring a large stockpot of water to a boil.  Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of salt.  Drop the pasta and stir. Time the pasta to al dente. 
Don't overcook.

Drain the pasta and transfer it to a large bowl.  Season with salt, add the green peas and stir gently.  Allow the pasta to cool down.

Once it has cooled, add the onion, corn, pimentos, and mayonnaise, mixing to combine and distribute the dressing. 
Season with paprika and freshly ground black pepper.
Add additional salt if needed.
Drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and gently toss once more. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.  

Posted in Dallas; a cool 97*

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