Oh, that herb dressing
One of my favorite restaurants for lunch while working downtown for many years was La Bou. I almost always ordered the butter lettuce salad with the herb vinaigrette dressing.
I know that their creamy dill was the more popular dressing and that they eventually discontinued the herb vinaigrette. I have never tasted anything like the herb dressing before or since. I could taste rosemary and garlic or onion, but beyond that, I am stumped. Are there any recipes for this out there? Thanks.
Russ Hart, Sacramento
Elusive Gjetost cheese
The Mailbox featured a chicken recipe recently that called for Gjetost cheese. My husband's grandparents were from Norway and he loves this cheese. However, we have had a very hard time finding the cheese locally. I order it online from an importer. Does anyone know where we can find this cheese in the Sacramento area? Thank you.
Mona Giles, Galt
Karen's Bakery's asparagus, broccoli and snap pea salad
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Melissa Caldwell of Sacramento and a friend recently enjoyed a great lunch at Karen's Bakery in Folsom. Caldwell said their asparagus, broccoli and snap pea salad was phenomenal, perfectly dressed with an Asian dressing. It included black sesame seeds and whole garlic cloves. Caldwell was hoping for their recipe.
Karen Holmes, of Karen's Bakery Cafe and Catering Kitchen, graciously shared her recipe with us. Holmes says not to be bound by the amounts of the vegetables; "If you like one veggie more than the others, feel free to use more of one and less of another." She said that it is both versatile and simple.
1 pound broccoli florets
1/2 pound snap peas
1/2 pound asparagus tips (the top 2 to 3 inches)
1 cup garlic confit (recipe follows)
2/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup black sesame seeds
2 cups peeled garlic cloves
Canola or rice bran oil to cover
For the salad: Set up an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice water. Fill a big pot with water, salt heavily and bring to a boil. Blanch the vegetables, one type at a time, in boiling water. (You must do the vegetables separately, as each kind will have a different cooking time.) Blanch just until they are done, 1 to 3 minutes, and then immediately plunge them into the ice water.
Let the vegetables dry or pat them with paper towels to dry.
For the garlic confit: Put the garlic cloves in a small pot, cover with oil and bring to a tiny simmer. Don't try to rush the process by turning up the heat. If you get the oil too hot you run the risk of burning the garlic and it will taste bitter.
Simmer the cloves just until you begin to see a slight change in the garlic's color. This will take some time. Check on the confit frequently. When the color changes, remove from heat and let the garlic cool in the oil.
To assemble the salad, put all the vegetables and 1 cup of garlic confit in a bowl. Pour the soy sauce, sesame oil and 2 tablespoons of the garlic confit oil over the veggies. Toss to coat, then sprinkle the black sesame seeds over and toss one more time.
Use leftover garlic confit in salads or mash the cloves to a paste and smear on bread, add to dressings or use as a seasoning.
Per serving: 255 cal.; 9 g pro.; 21 g carb.; 17 g fat (2 sat., 7 monounsat., 6 polyunsat., 2 other); 0 mg chol.; 2,351 mg sod.; 5 g fiber; 56 percent calories from fat.
KFC coleslaw clone
Prep time: 15 minutes
Chill time: 2 hours or more
Loudella Gossage of Turlock and Anna Sturla of Sacramento requested the recipe for KFC's coleslaw. Gossage said it made perfect coleslaw, and she says that she even lost weight eating it.
The Bee has received many requests for this recipe over the years. We heard from dozens of readers who enjoy this coleslaw, which comes from "Top Secret Recipes" by Todd Wilbur. Vivian Witbracht of Rio Linda shares the recipe and says she uses dried buttermilk in a pinch. She has the recipe taped to the inside of her cupboard door for easy reference.
Note: It's critical to let the coleslaw chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
8 cups very finely chopped cabbage, about the size of rice kernels
1/4 cup shredded and finely chopped carrot, about the size of rice kernels
In a large bowl, combine dressing ingredients and beat until smooth.
Add the cabbage and carrots and mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
Per serving: 158 cal.; 2 g pro.; 13 g carb.; 11 g fat (2 sat., 0 monounsat., 0 polyunsat., 9 other); 6 mg chol.; 251 mg sod.; 2 g fiber; 10 g sugar; 64 percent calories from fat.
HOW TO CONTACT THE MAILBOX
If you have recipes in reply to Mailbox reader requests, or questions or comments, write to: Mailbox, c/o Taste, The Sacramento Bee, P.O. Box 15779, Sacramento, CA 95852. You also can email email@example.com or fax (916) 556-5625. Please include your full name, your city and phone number.