#COOKING: “UNLIMITED SALAD AND BREAD STICKS” | OLIVE GARDEN ITALIAN DRESSING
“Unlimited” Salad and Breadsticks. We miss our cross-border trips and part of the joys of high school involved living right beside an Olive Garden. While the Italian-American family chain’s days in these parts of Canada were short-lived, we miss them greatly and we try to make time for a visit when we visit the U.S. We don’t even care about the Pasta, just give us Unlimited Salad and Breadsticks!
Olive Garden‘s House Dressing is available now in Canada at select grocers and you too can replicate that magic at home! We prefer bread from scratch but there’s nothing wrong with buying pre-made dough.
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons yeast
2 tablespoons organic raw sugar
1/4 tablespoon sea salt
1 1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
Additional sea salt
1/4 cup butter, melted
Optional: 1/4 cup grated cheese (Mozzarella/Cheddar)
1. Mix flour, salt and butter in mixing bowl. Use two forks criss-crossing to cut butter in.
2. In bowl, mix 1/3 cup lukewarm water (not warm or hot) with yeast and sugar till dissolved and filmy. Let stand a few minutes.
3. Mix yeast water into flour bit by bit, using forks. Pour another 2/3 cup lukewarm water, forming dough.
4. Turn dough onto flat, floured surface. Sprinkle with flour till dough no longer is sticky, kneading 10 minutes. Dough should be punchy and elastic.
5. Grease large bowl and transfer dough into it. Cover with damp cloth and place in oven on top rack with a pot of hot water on the rack below. Shut oven. Replace hot water again in 30 minutes. This provides a perfect environment for your dough to rise. Be careful!
6. Dough will have doubled in size by one hour if proofed right. If not, your water might have been too hot when activating or something is up with your yeast. Transfer back to floured surface and knead 5 minutes, releasing air pockets.
7. Cut dough into 10 even portions. Roll into narrow logs. Place evenly-spaced onto wax paper-lined baking sheet. Proof again for 45 minutes to 1 hour covered, with pot of hot water underneath in oven. Dough will have doubled again in size. Remove from oven.
8. Preheat oven at 425°F.
9. Brush bread sticks with butter and dust with sea salt and garlic powder to taste. Add grated cheese too if desired.
9. Bake for 15-20 minutes or till golden brown. Rotate pan once, half-way through. Allow to cool 15 minutes in pan and transfer to cooling rack. You can freeze these if you can’t finish them right away.
1 bag of Garden Salad Mix
1/4 cup Olive Garden Italian Dressing
1/4 cup croutons
1/4 cucumber, chopped thinly
1/4 red onion, chopped thinly
6-8 cherry tomatoes
4-5 olives, no pits
2/3 Pickled Peperoncini
Ground black pepper
1. Toss all ingredients in bowl, adding Parmesan, dressing and croutons into the mix only right before serving. Season with ground black pepper.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
#COOKING: PULLED JACKFRUIT SANDWICHES & KOREAN CUCUMBER SALAD RECIPE
Pulled Jackfruit Sandwiches & Korean Cucumber Salad. Summer’s here and this is a fun way to celebrate flavours of the season and we are doing it clean and meatless here. You’ve got crunch, chew, heat and cool all-in-one. If you’ve never had the pleasure of trying Jackfruit, you’re in for a treat. This beloved fleshy fruit of both South and Southeast Asia looks a bit like a Durian (without the stench), but is closer to the taste and texture of Pineapple. If you visit your Asian grocer now, you should be able to find it as it’s in peak season right now. Instead of pork, we’re doing this with Jackfruit but if you like you can even do this with Tofu.
2 1/2 cups of Jackfruit flesh, minced
1 Avocado, pitted and cut into 1″ slices
1/4 cup Barbecque Sauce
1/4 cup cashews, unsalted
2 tbsps Ketchup
1 tbsp Gochujang
1 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Maple Syrup
1 tbsp Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp Paprika
Sea salt and pepper
Juice of one lime wedge
Havarti or Cheddar Cheese Slices
Korean Cucumber Salad:
10-12 mini cucumbers or 1 large cucumber, cut into 3 mm-thick slices
3 tbsps rice vinegar
3 tbsps sesame oil
1 1/2 tbsps organic raw sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Fish Sauce (optional)
1 tbsp black or white sesame seeds, toasted
1 stalk green onion, minced
2 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper/Korean Red Pepper Powder
Sea salt and pepper
1. On medium-high heat, heat oil in skillet.
2. In bowl, season Jackfruit in salt, peppers, paprika, garlic and onion powders, brown sugar.
3. Place Jackfruit in skillet and brown for 4-5 minutes.
4. In small bowl, mix Barbecque Sauce, Ketchup, Gochujang, syrup and soy sauce.
5. Pour sauce and water (about 1/2 cup or more) into skillet and coat Jackfruit. Bring to boil.
6. Reduce heat to a simmer on medium-low heat, covered for about 20-30 minutes.
7. Remove lid and increase heat to medium-high. Allow mixture to thicken (4-5 minutes), stirring occasionally and scraping bits at bottom. Once thick, turn-off heat and remove from heat.
8. In large bowl, prepare Korean Cucumber Salad. Whisk rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, fish sauce, peppers and salt. Toss-in cucumber slices, garlic, sesame and green onion. Refrigerate sealed for up to 2 days.
9. Toast cashews, cradling in foil in toaster oven. Drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper over top and toast for a few minutes till slightly darkened.
10. Season avocado with lime juice, salt and pepper.
11. Toast hamburger buns slightly with cheese till melted.
12. Spoon Jackfruit mixture on top of bun with cheese. Place 2-3 avocado slices on-top. Sprinkle cashews as well. Plate with side of Korean Cucumber Salad. Serves 4.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)