Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fish goes in salad all the time now! A great go-together with our red-leaf lettuce

Still looking for ways to use our harvest of red-leaf lettuce from our garden, I returned to my Prevention.com article suggesting 450-calorie-and-under quick meals, the same source of the unique Salad Pizza a few blogs back. Hubby is always pushing the cholesterol-lowering “more-fish-more-fish” mantra, so I lit on the recipe for Surf or Turf Salad (you have the option of adding strips of fish fillet or flank steak). I had some tilapia fillets in the fridge, so this was a handy idea.

Surf or Turf Salad made for a highly unusual recipe combination—the addition of peeled and chopped apple besides some of the more typical salad ingredients. I don’t know how to describe it other than to say that the sweetness of the apple balanced off the fish (which is found in salads all the time these days) and also the tart balsamic-vinegar dressing. Loved having apple in a tossed salad! Not sure I’ve ever sampled such a mix of flavors before. I had on hand everything the recipe called for except carrots, so I subbed a little red cabbage I needed to use up. When I say I had everything on hand, I’m especially proud to report that two of the ingredients—the red-leaf lettuce and the green onion—were seconds within reach, as I walked out my back door to my garden and was back within two-minutes’ time. As my mother might have phrased it, the produce was so fresh, it could “rise up and slap you.”

Now that’s one slap in the face I don’t mind at all!

Surf or Turf Salad

12 ounces fish fillet or flank steak
1/4 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 cups red-leaf lettuce, torn into salad-sized bits
1 cucumber, chopped
1 pint halved grape tomatoes (or 4 Roma tomatoes), chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 apple (any variety), peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 small red onion, chopped
3 tablespoons green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Sprinkle fish or flank steak with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Grill 5 to 6 minutes per side. Combine lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, apple, bell pepper, and red onion in bowl. Whisk green onion, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Pour over salad and toss. Top salad with thinly sliced fish or steak. Makes 4 servings. (400 calories per serving).

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