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Old 07-28-2005, 01:19 AM   #1
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Making spicy salads?

I made a basic salad with tuna and shredded cheese with some garlic vinegar along with cottage cheese on the side. I was in the mood for strong flavor so I seasoned with some Mrs. Dash and some Zatarain's Cayenne Pepper. It was okay spice wise but seemed like it was missing something. I think feta cheese would have improved it. I think the feta and cayenne flavors would compliment eachother. When I seasoned it I also put cayenne on the cottage cheese and I thought that tasted good.

Anyone else recommend any stronger flavors for seasonings and dressings?

Another thought I had was to just buy a brick of habenero pepper jack cheese and break off pieces of it into the salad.

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Old 07-28-2005, 01:44 AM   #2
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i love my green curry paste.
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Old 07-28-2005, 03:39 AM   #3
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Anyone else recommend any stronger flavors for seasonings and dressings?
It really depends on what type of heat you're looking for, and are you referring to just salads or in general? For the time being, I'm going to assume you're just talking about salads and salad dressings.

If you want to add just pure heat to the dressing, then fresh peppers like Jalapenos, Serranos, Scotch Bonnets, etc. will do the job just fine. Fresh Habanero or bottled habanero sauce will work great if you are looking for unadulterated pure fire. Thinly sliced or shaved fresh peppers added directly to the salad will give another dimmension as well. Not every bite will be spicy as opposed to blending it into a dressing which will make every bite have some heat. When you do bite into the pepper however, you will get a more intense heat. Try other powdered chilis besides cayenne. Pasilla is one of my favorites and New Mexico chili is pretty good too. There's also a Japanese Chili powder called "Togarashi Shichimi" which is blend of seven spices (not all chilis). There's like orange peel, sesame seed, seaweed, etc.

If you're looking for spicyness with more depth, then the two obvious flavors to add would be ancho and chipotle. Because both are smoked/dried, they've developed another level in flavor which you can add to the dressing.

Like Luvs mentioned, Thai curry would also work, but it would be better to use in a creamy type dressing. I've made a Thai Curry potato salad using different types of potatoes (New, Fingerling, Yukon Gold, Sweet) and they've all had good flavor. You could use it in a vinaigrette but you get a lot more leeway in a creamy dressing because it's easier to fix.

Various hot chili pastes could also be incorporated into the dressing. Most Asian cuisines have their own chili pastes with a distinct flavor. A lot goes a long way so don't add too much at first. Try using the Korean (Ko Chu Jang) style chili paste.

Whatever you do, just remember that you can always add more heat, but you can't take it away without compromising flavor somehow.
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Old 08-11-2005, 11:29 PM   #4
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Thanks. I still have to look up some of that stuff at the store. I'm mostly interested in the Pasilla and the Japanese one.


Today for work I made a basic chicken salad with garlic vinegar dressing. Again I went with cayenne but this time I had the Feta cheese to add and I do think the two flavors complimented eachother.
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Old 08-11-2005, 11:53 PM   #5
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Horse-radish perhaps? Or a strong (hot) mustard
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Old 08-12-2005, 12:34 AM   #6
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Horseradish is a good idea. I'll get some next time I go shopping.

Also I do like mustard a lot but never thought about dressing a salad with it. I'll think about that one.
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Old 08-12-2005, 01:41 AM   #7
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Dijon mustard goes great with a herb and red wine vinegar vinaigrette.

Its my most used salad dressing, I just vary the herbs (parsley/rosemary/basil/oregano/thyme) and acidic ingredient (red wine vinegar/white wine vinegar/lemon juice) I use for variety. It goes greak over a greek salad, or simple green salad.

Dijon, lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil is great tossed through a warm potato and avocado salad. The warm potatoes just soak up the dressing.
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Old 08-12-2005, 03:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ICadvisor
Horse-radish perhaps? Or a strong (hot) mustard
Mustard would work to some degree, but then you would taste mainly mustard as the predominant flavor since you'd have to add so much of it to get a significant amount of heat. Wasabi or Colman's mustard would do the job, but then you'd have to be looking for a certain type of flavor in your dressing to use those.
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Old 08-12-2005, 04:06 PM   #9
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Smile spicy salad dressings

The classic dressing that the French make is a comination of vinegar, salad oil and disjon. It is fabulous and never over powering. Sometimes I use part olive oil, also sometimes white balsamic vingar or tarragon champagne vinegar. The quality of the mustard is what makes it so good!

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Originally Posted by ironchef
Mustard would work to some degree, but then you would taste mainly mustard as the predominant flavor since you'd have to add so much of it to get a significant amount of heat. Wasabi or Colman's mustard would do the job, but then you'd have to be looking for a certain type of flavor in your dressing to use those.
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Old 08-12-2005, 04:08 PM   #10
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Smile kicked up dressings

Fresh grated horseradish is great in salads, but try real wasabi! Freshly grated wasabi (not the powdered green coloured horseradish) can be found in Japanese markets.

Also Yuzu juice makes for a lovely dressing.

Mary-Anne

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Horseradish is a good idea. I'll get some next time I go shopping.

Also I do like mustard a lot but never thought about dressing a salad with it. I'll think about that one.
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