Last Tuesday, September 4, I was inducted as one of three new members in the very esteemed Les Dames d’Escoffier International San Antonio Chapter. It was a lovely evening filled with copious amounts of fabulous edibles prepared by one of our Dames members, bubbly rose at the reception and robust wines from Becker Vineyards (another one of our Dames) at the dinner–all of this fabulousness plus being surrounded by gracious and successful women in the food, beverage and hospitality industry.
It was a momentous occasion–a special day–and one that coincided with what would have been my mother’s 77th birthday.
How it Started
As I reflect on the last 15 years, I am moved at all that we have accomplished. (I say “we” because none of this would be possible without my husband/partner/best friend, David.) Our resort in Mexico was wildly eye-opening and served as a launchpad for what was to follow. I sell every bag of Cowgirl Granola that I make and the overwhelming success of the Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market amazes me each and every week. Couple these goodies with the fact that this blog is turning three years old today (September 10) and I am filled with gratitude.
Sure, the road has been bumpy with a few unexpected and expected twists and turns, but I would have it no other way. It is the journey that allows us to grow, turn challenges into opportunities and help others along the way. It is my hope that you have learned a few tricks from this blog, perhaps you have even been inspired to eat healthier, shop at a farmers market, cook more often and get the family involved in the process.
For the third anniversary of The Cowgirl Gourmet, it is only appropriate that I share with you my new favorite food find. Knowing that I love kale, one of my amigochas (super good friend) emailed me the recipe for a new kale salad she recently fell in love with. And it’s a winner! Upon his first taste, David said, “I could eat this every day!”
His answer is just what I hope you (and your loved ones) say when you cook the recipes featured in this blog. So, cheers to the next three years of cooking, eating and sharing!
Asian Kale Salad
I'm a kale salad freak and it all started over five years ago in Aspen at Lulu Wilson. Their kale salad is wickedly good and when I got home, I eventually nailed the recipe. Then along came another kale salad that I loved for a few weeks. But this new spin may be the best yet. The salty, spicy, sweet and acidic flavors of this hot dressing wilts the chiffonaded kale leaves. The salad gets better when left to meld overnight. The recipe can easily be halved.
- 2 bunches rinsed dried and chiffonaded Lacinto kale
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar organic
- 1/4 cup canola oil grapeseed would also work or a combo of canola, evoo and grapeseed
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes the actual recipe calls for 1 tablespoon, but I really cut back--you could always add more heat if you want
- 2 peeled and crushed garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or Tamari if you are gluten-free
Remove the ribs from the kale and discard the ribs. Roll several kale leaves up like a cigar and cut into 1/8" chiffonade. Place in a large salad bowl.
Combine all of the remaining ingredients in a saute pan and simmer for three minutes stirring occasionally while it cooks.
Pour the hot dressing over the kale and toss to coat the leaves well. Let the salad sit at least 10 minutes or more before serving.
For best results, the salad can be made a day (or hours) ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to serve. It actually improves with time. Any leftovers can be refrigerated.
I've never eaten kale. It scares me. Maybe I'll try this out.
Don't be scared, Lisa…give it a try. You may be surprised…if you are a lover of Asian flavor, try this salad. If not, there are two other kale salads on the blog that are equally divine. Just pick the one with the most ingredients you love!