In the mood for Peaches!

Peaches are one of those fruits that I would never, ever buy out of season.  Sometimes I wish that I could  find the discipline to buy and eat only local, in season products as Barbara Kingsolver did, and then documented, in her book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.  I was fascinated by her year-long challenge and adventure.  But quite frankly, I can’t imagine never eating a banana or pineapple, nor could I bear going all winter with only canned or frozen vegetables and fruits.  But it is an interesting concept and one that I try to keep in mind as I choose produce.  Back to the peaches…knowing that the season is short makes us appreciate them all the more.   Here are three peach recipes that we are enjoying this summer.

Peach Crostata

Now, I’ve made pies and tarts, crisps, crumbles and cobblers….but this is the first time that I have made a crostata.  No particular reason, just never got around to it.  Well, I’m here to tell you that I may never make another proper fruit pie.  This crostata, or free form tart, couldn’t be easier and I just loved the way that the kids would slice off a wedge and carry on their way, no plate, fork or napkin.  Such a casual, fun little pie.  Of course, you could always dress it up for company with a lovely scoop of vanilla ice cream and a sprig of fresh mint.  This recipe is adapted from Frank Stitt’s Southern Table.
(makes 2 small crostatas that will serve 4-6 each)
For the dough:
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, cup into 1/2 inch cubes and chilled
1/4 cup ice water
For the filling:
1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
2 1/2 pounds ripe peaches, pitted, peeled and sliced into 3/4 inch thick wedges
1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 teaspoon heavy cream, for an egg wash
1 tablespoon coarse or granulated sugar for topping
To prepare the dough, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to blend.  Add the butter and pulse until it is the size of small peas, about 15 times.  With the processor running, add the ice water and process for about 10 seconds.  Stop the processor before the dough comes together.  Turn the dough out onto a sheet of waxed paper, divide the dough in half, and shape it into two disks.  Wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile, for the filling, combine the flour and sugar in a small bowl. Add the butter and cut the mixture together with a pastry knife or two table knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Roll each disk of dough into an 11 inch circle on a lightly floured surface.  Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Place the peaches in the center of the dough circles on the baking sheet and top with the butter sugar mixture.  Begin draping the edges up and over, forming about three pleats.  crimp the pleats and press down to seal.  Brush the pastries with egg wash and sprinkle with the coarse sugar.
Bake the tarts for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.  let cool on a rack and serve warm or room temperature.

Fresh Peach Bellini

Mmm…fresh squeezed peach juice and Prosecco.  This is a refreshing cocktail that is perfect for late summer parties.  Harry’s Bar in Venice is the supposed creator of the peach Bellini.  But theirs is made of  white peach puree and is quite overpriced, if I remember correctly.  This is another recipe from Frank Stitt, a chef and restaurateur from Birmingham Alabama.  Not surprising that a southern chef would know what to do with peaches!
8 very ripe peaches
1 ounce simple syrup ( 1 cup sugar and 2 cups water, simmered for 2 minutes to dissolve. Cool.)
fresh lemon juice to taste
1 bottle prosecco, well chilled
Wash the peaches.  Set a colander over a large bowl and , with clean hands, squeeze the whole peaches one at a time over the strainer to extract every bit of juice possible.  You will need 3/4 cup juice.  Add simple syrup and lemon juice to taste…depending on the ripeness of the peaches, you may need a little more syrup…and whisk to combine.  Refrigerate the peach juice mixture until will chilled.  In a large cocktail shaker or pitcher, combine the peach juice mixture with half of the prosecco.  Let the foam settle and add the remaining prosecco.  Stir and serve.
note:  From my experience making this wonderful drink, you really need very ripe, never been refrigerated, peaches to be able to juice them in the way described.  These photos were taken on a day when the farmers market peaches that I had were just perfect for juicing.  A subsequent time, I had peaches from the grocery that advertised to be local but although ripe, they just wouldn’t release their juice so I ended up peeling and pureeing them to make the Bellini.  While the taste was still very nice, the drink had a thicker consistency so not as light and refreshing.
Fresh Peaches with Whipped Cream and a                 Balsamic Caramel Sauce


If a dessert could be fresh and light, and luxurious and decadent at the same time, this would be it.  And I am already counting up the ways that I will use this caramel recipe this fall and winter. I found this special dessert in At Home with Michael Chiarello.

2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

8 large ripe peaches, halved, pitted, peeled if desired, and cut into 1/2 inch wide wedges
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Pour 1 cup cream into a small saucepan, bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat to low to keep the cream hot.

In a large, deep, heavy saucepan, combine 1 cup of the sugar with 3 tablespoons of the water and place over medium high heat.  Heat the mixture, tilting and swirling the pan in a circular motion every now and again, until the sugar dissolves.  As the sugar mixture begins to bubble, watch for crystals developing on the inside of the pan just above the liquid.  Using a pastry brush dipped in water, brush the inside of the pan right above the crystals, so the water drips down and dissolves the crystals back into the liquid.  When the sugar begins to brown, occasionally move the pan to swirl the liquid gently and cook it evenly.  Continue to cook, without stirring, until the mixture is a dark golden brown.  The total cooking time will be 12 to 15 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat.

Very carefully, add the hot cream to the sugar mixture a few tablespoons at a time.  The liquid will bubble up dramatically, so watch for spatters.  Stir the sauce, place over medium heat, and cook for 1 minute.  Pour into a heatproof bowl and add the vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and mix well.  You should have a bout 1 1/4 cups sauce.  You will only need 1/2 cup for this recipe; cover and reserve the remainder for another use.

Put the peaches in a bowl.  Add the lemon juice and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and toss lightly to coat evenly.  Divide the peaches evenly among individual glass bowls.  Cover and refrigerator to chill the fruit.

In a bowl, using a mixer or a whisk, whip the remaining 1 1/2 cups cream with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar until stiff peaks form.  Cover and refrigerate until serving.

To serve, plop a spoonful of whipped cream into each bowl of peaches.  Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the  sauce over each bowl.  Serves 8


In the mood for Tomato Tarts!

‘Tis the season…for tomatoes, that is.  So I can’t resist another post on ideas enjoying this season’s bounty. Tomato Tarts…beautiful and delicious.  Make all three and let me know which is your favorite.




Cherry Tomato Tart with Parmesan Crust 

Although the crust in this recipe is from scratch, it’s an easy one, I assure you.  Actually, it took longer to defrost the frozen puff pastry for the two recipes that follow, than it did to whip this one up in the food processor.  The tart shell is adapted from Tarts, by Sarah Banbery, and the filling is mine, inspired by my visit to the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market this week.
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
2 1/2 tablespoons ice water
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
5-6 slices provolone cheese
4 cups of cherry tomatoes, mixed colors and sizes, if possible
   large tomatoes cut in half and smaller ones left whole
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of a 10 inch loose-bottomed tart pan.  Set aside.
Place the flour, salt, butter, and Parmesan cheese in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.  Add the egg and ice water and pulse until dough starts to come together…just a few seconds.  You can add more water…just a teaspoon at a time, if necessary.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and form it into a round and roll it out to be about 13 inches.  Carefully lift the dough and place it in the tart pan, gently pressing to fit.  Roll the rolling pin over the pan to neaten the edges and trim the dough.  Place the piece of parchment paper into the tart pan and fill it with pie weights or dried beans.  Put the tart in the refrigerator to chill for at least 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Bake the tart shell for 15 minutes.  Remove the pie weights and the parchment paper and bake shell for another 10 minutes  until the edges are starting to brown and the base has dried out.
While shell is baking, toss the cherry tomatoes with the sugar, salt and pepper, and olive oil.
When the tart shell is ready, remove it from the oven and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly to cover the base.  Place the provolone cheese slices in a single layer over the Parmesan.  Use a slotted spoon to fill the tart with the cherry tomatoes and return to the oven for about 15-20 minutes.  The tart is ready when the crust is golden brown, the cheeses are bubbling and the tomatoes are just barely starting to split their skins.  The tomatoes will not brown.  Let the tart cool for 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.  Serves 6-8
note:  I served this with a drizzle of basil oil. (didn’t have it ready and was about to lose the light for the photos) Just throw about 1/3 cup of olive oil into the blender with a good handful of fresh basil leaves, a healthy pinch of salt and a sprinkle of black pepper and whiz it all together for a few seconds.  Season to taste and spoon a scant teaspoon or so over each serving of the tomato tart.

Tomato Tart with Caramelized Onions, Olives and Capers

A tomato tart with no cheese…doesn’t need it…don’t be tempted.  The caramelized onions are so sweet and rich and the olive and capers provide the perfect salty bite.  Served with a lovely salad of arugula and herbs and, yes, more tomatoes!  This recipe is adapted from Sunday Suppers at Lucques, by Suzanne Goin.
For tart:
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups thinly sliced onions
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 sheet frozen Pepperidge Farm puff pastry
1 large egg yolk
3 medium tomatoes
2 teaspoons salt packed capers, soaked and drained
1/4 cup Nicoise olives, pitted, cut in half
For salad:
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, for juicing
1 bunch arugula, cleaned and dried
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup small basil leaves
1/4 cup 1/2-inc snipped chives
salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat a large saute pan over high heat.  Add the olive oil, onions, 2 teaspoons of the thyme,  1 teaspoon salt and some pepper.  Cook 10 minutes, stirring often.  Then turn the heat down to medium, add the butter and cook slowly, stirring often with a wooden spoon.  It will take at least another 15 minutes to caramelize the onions.  Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan to help them cook evenly.  They should be a deep golden brown.  Set aside to cool completely before you make the tart.  (This can be done well in advance if you want)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Place the defrosted puff pastry on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Use a paring knife to score a 1/4 inch thick border around the edge of the pastry.  Whisk together the egg yolk and one teaspoon water.  Brush the border with the egg wash.  Spread the caramelized onions evenly within the border.
Core the tomatoes and cut into 1/4 inch rounds.  Place the tomato slices, just touching, but not overlapping, on top of the caramelized onions.  Season the tomatoes with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a sprinkle of pepper.
Arrange the capers and olives over the tomatoes and onions.  Sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of thyme over the tart.
Just before serving, place the cherry tomatoes and diced shallot in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon juice and toss together.  Add the arugula and herbs and toss well.  Taste for seasoning.  Serve the salad with wedges of the tart.  Serves 6

Tomato and Mozzarella Tart

From the clever folks at Cooks Illustrated, here is a brilliant tomato tart that will stay crispy enough to eat out of hand, as demonstrated below by my trusty hand model!  The process of assembling the crust may seem a bit tedious at first but it is really quite simple and the end result is spectacular.
All purpose flour for work surface
1 box Pepperidge Farm puff pastry (defrosted in frig overnight)
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound Roma tomatoes (3-4 medium)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
ground black pepper
8 ounces low moisture whole milk mozzarella, shredded
2 tablespoons finely shredded fresh basil leaves
  Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees.  Dust work surface with flour and unfold both pieces puff pastry and follow these steps to form one large sheet with a border.
1) Brush egg along short edge of one sheet of puff pastry and overlap with second sheet of dough by one inch and press to seal pieces together.
2)  With a rolling pin, smooth out seam.  Dough should measure about 18×9 inches.  Use a pizza wheel or knife (and a ruler) to trim edges straight.
3)  With a pizza wheel or knife, cut a 1-inch strip from the long side of the dough.  Then cut another 1-inch strip from that same side.
4)  Do the same thing on one short side.  Now you should have 1 large rectangle of dough, 2 long, 1-inch wide strips and 2 short, 1-inch wide strips.  Transfer the pieces of dough to a parchment lined baking sheet and brush with egg.
5)  Gently press long strips of dough onto each long edge of dough and brush with egg.  Gently press short strips of dough onto each short edge and brush with egg.
6)  With a pizza wheel or knife, trim the excess dough from the corners.
So now, hopefully, you have a long, rectangular, unbaked tart shell with doubled up edges.  Sprinkle the Parmesan evenly over the shell (inside of the borders) and then using a fork, uniformly and thoroughly poke holes in the base of the shell. Bake 13-15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.  Continue to bake until golden brown and crisp, 13-15 minutes longer.  Transfer to wire rack.  Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees.
While the shell bakes, place tomato slices in single layer on double layer of paper towels and sprinkle evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Let stand 30 minutes.  Place second double layer of paper towels on top of tomatoes and press firmly to dry tomatoes.  Combine garlic, oil, and pinch of salt and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.
Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over warm (or cool if made ahead) baked shell.  Shingle tomato slices on top of cheese (about 4 slices per row)  Brush tomatoes with garlic oil.  Bake until shell is deep golden brown and cheese is melted, 15-17 minutes.  Cool on wire rack 5 minutes,  sprinkle with basil and serve.  (6-8)

In the mood for Crab Cakes!

I set up this blog with three recipes per post to give myself the structure to use recipes from my collection and at the same time make it necessary to find new ones to complete each category.  I always have one or two recipes in my repertoire for a certain post, and the fun part is finding new ones to complement them.  I keep a huge binder with all of my best recipes and if a new dish fails to make the cut to enter the binder, I won’t post it….even if the photograph turned out really well…which can be annoying.  I have a beautiful photo of white gazpacho on my computer that I will never post, or make again, because it wasn’t very tasty.  (Still looking for a good recipe if anyone out there has one!)
I am also trying to figure out how to take appetizing photos of some very yummy, but not particularly attractive, dishes.  I’ll go ahead and post those, I’m sure, because it is all about the recipes after all.

I guess that the point is that I am having lots of fun, and learning so much about food and photography by keeping this blog, so thanks for checking it out.  By the way, I didn’t have to do any research for this post on crab cakes.  These three recipes are firmly established in my binder and are there to stay.




Daniel Boulud’s Crab Cake Sandwich


A really special sandwich!  Worth the effort! (published in Elle Decor magazine)
1 pound jumbo lump crab, picked over for shells
1 egg
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
pinch of ginger powder
pinch of ground nutmeg
pinch of cardamom
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
2 pinches cayenne pepper
salt to taste
1 cup good white sandwich bread, cut in 1/8 inch dice, then lightly toasted
6 tablespoons melted butter
1 loaf ciabatta bread
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 head Bibb or Boston lettuce, washed
2 beefsteak tomatoes, sliced
Sauce Remoulade
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon chopped chives
2 tablespoons chopped cornichons
1 teaspoon paprika
dash of garlic powder
dash of cayenne pepper 
salt to taste
In a bowl, mix together the egg, mayonnaise, mustard and all of the spices and salt to taste.  Add the crabmeat, mix evenly and gently fold in the toasted bread cubes.  Shape 6 crab cakes of the same thickness without pressing too hard.  Set aside.
In a bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the remoulade.  
Preheat the broiler.  Slice the bread into pieces that are 4 inches long.  Cut each segment horizontally and brush the cup sides with a little of the olive oil.  Toast briefly, open faced, under the broiler, then set aside.
Place the crab cakes on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and brush them with the melted butter, Broil each side for 4 minutes or until golden brown.
Spread some remoulade on the bread and add 1 slice of tomato,  a leaf of lettuce and a crab cake.  Garnish with a dollop of sauce and an herb sprig to make it pretty!
Serves 6

Oven Baked Crab Cakes with Two Sauces

One of my pet peeves is when a I am reading a cookbook or magazine and the photo of the dish obviously doesn’t match the recipe.  Probably the food stylist made a last minute change for the sake of art and the chef was unaware.  Well, now I’ve done it myself.  I’m going to give two recipes for sauces that I love to serve with these crab cakes,  but with all wonderful chaos of summer vacation, I didn’t have time to make them last night.  So I threw together a quick substitute as pictured.  Still, I want to include the best options and they can be made ahead of time, if you are more organized than I am at the moment.
Note:  This is the recipe that I turn to when I want to serve crab cakes to a crowd. ( adapted from The Sea Grill Restaurant)
5 cups cornflakes
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 large egg yolks
2 pounds jumbo lump crab meat, picked over
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
In a food processor pulse cornflakes until ground coarse and spread in a shallow baking pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, Old Bay seasoning, cayenne, and yolks an add crab meat and salt and pepper to taste, tossing mixture gently but thoroughly.
With a 1/4 cup measure, form crab mixture into cakes and gently coat with cornflakes, transferring as coated to a wax paper lined baking sheet.  Chill crab cakes, covered with plastic wrap, at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours.  (This is an important step)
Preheat over to 400 degrees.  Transfer crab cakes to a large baking sheet.  Put about 1/2 teaspoon butter on each crab cake and bake in middle of oven until crisp and cooked through, about 15 minutes.  You will need to turn the cakes after about 10 minutes to brown them evenly on both sides. (You will NOT need to add more butter)  But it is key to wait  until they are golden brown on the bottom before you attempt this.  Otherwise the fragile cakes will come apart.  Dealing with the fragility of these crab cakes will be worth it when you taste the sweet crab inside…free of the fillers that you so often get in restaurants.
Makes about 20 small crab cakes.
Lemon Dill Sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Refrigerate until chilled.  The sauce will thicken as it chills.  (recipe from Paula Deen)
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce with Capers and Dill
2 large red bell peppers, roasted and peeled
1 tablespoon fresh dill
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 tablespoon drained capers
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste
Puree the peppers, dill, parsley and capers in a processor or blender, maintaining a little texture,  Transfer to a small bowl,  Add the sour cream, mayo, salt and pepper,  Stir until combined.  Taste for seasoning.  Let stand until needed, about 30 minuted or refrigerate one or 2 days.  Bring to room temperature before serving.  ( from Teri’s

Spicy Asian Crab Cakes

I just love this recipe from Ming Tsai in his book, Simply Ming. As a matter of fact, I love all of his recipes!  Sambal is an Asian chili sauce that is available in most supermarkets these days.  
2 tablespoons sambal 
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 teaspoon honey
juice of 1 lime
1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup all purpose flour, for dredging
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup panko
2 tablespoons canola oil
In a small bowl, combine half the sambal, half the mayonnaise, and half the chives,  Mix well and set aside, refrigerated. This will be the sauce for the crab cakes.
In a medium bowl, gently combine the remaining sambal and mayonnaise with the honey, lime juice and crabmeat, and season with salt and pepper.
Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop out 8 portions of the crab mixture and place them on a plate.  Wet your hands and form each portion into a cake, packing it tightly
Place the flour, eggs and panko in 3 separate shallow dishes.  Dredge the cakes in the flour, dip in the beaten egg, and then dredge with the panko.
Heat a large saute pan over high heat,  Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan.  Add the cakes, and sear on both sides until brown and crisp, about 3 minutes per side.  Drain on paper towels.
Serve with the reserved sauce and garnish with the remaining chives.

In the mood for “Cool” Slaw!

The Dutch called it koolsla.  (kool = cabbage and sla = salad)  We anglicised it to Cole slaw and that is just a bit of food trivia for today.   Here are three slaws that I think are a bit “cooler” than average.



Caesar Cole Slaw

This is a fresh twist on your basic Cole slaw from Bob and Melinda Blanchard published in their wonderful cookbook, Cook What You Love.
for the dressing:
1 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise
3/4 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
3/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
for the slaw:
1 1/2 pounds Chinese napa cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (8 cups)
1/2 pound red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (2 cups)
1/2 pound jicama, peeled and cut into long thin strips
2 large carrots, shredded or grated
4 scallions, thinly sliced (green and white parts)
1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
In a small mixing bowl, whisk all of the dressing ingredients until well blended.  In a large bowl, toss together both cabbages, jicama, carrots, and scallions.  Add enough dressing to coat well.  Add the Parmesan and toss again.  Serves 6-8

French Carrot Salad

This simple, fresh salad is omnipresent in France.  You will find it in every Charcuterie (delicatessen) and Bistro but I rarely see it here.  It is such a nice side dish for a summer lunch or supper and of course, it would be wonderful to take to a picnic or potluck.
7 large grated carrots
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium bowl, toss the grated carrots with the parsley.  In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, sugar, and mustard.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add vinaigrette to carrots and toss well to lightly coat.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Sometimes I add a bit more lemon juice or olive oil to tweak the flavor if necessary.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Serves 6

Chinese Coleslaw

I’ll  be honest with you, this salad was a lot of work… which is OK by me as I love to chop, mince, slice and dice.  It started out as a recipe from the chef and caterer Wendy Leon, published in the June issue of Food and Wine.   I simplified it considerably and it was still wonderful.  However,  next time, I plan on adding lots of shredded chicken (I’ll buy a roasted chicken at the market) and making it the whole meal.  The rice sticks will stay crispy so they can be fried ahead of time.  But don’t toss the vegetables with the dressing until right before serving because this slaw will wilt.
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
vegetable oil for frying
1 1/2 ounces dried cellophane noodles
1/2 lemon
2 cups mixed field greens
1 1/2 cups finely shredded red cabbage
1 1/2 cup finely shredded green cabbage
1 large celery rib, cut into 2 inch julienned strips
1 small carrot, cut into 2 inch julienned strips
1 scallion, cut into 2 inch julienned strips
2 ounces jicama, peeled and cut into 2 inch julienned strips (1/2 cup)
1/3 seedless cucumber, peeled and cut into 2 inch julienned strips (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup snow peas, julienned lengthwise
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons thinly sliced basil leaves
In a small bowl, whisk the hoisin sauce with the vinegar, lime juice, sesame oil and sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
In a large saucepan, heat 1 inch of vegetable oil the 350 degrees.  Break the noodles into 2 equal clusters.  Add one cluster to the hot oil; fry until the noodles puff up and whiten, about 5 seconds.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the noodles to paper towels to drain.  repeat with the remaining cluster.
In a large bowl, toss the field greens with the red and green cabbages, celery, carrot, scallion, jicama, cucumber, snow peas, and cilantro.  Add the dressing and toss to coat.  Transfer the salad to a platter.  Top with the fried noodles, garnish with the basil and serve right away.  Serves 6