Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hostess w/ the Mostess: Beet, Asparagus & Corn Salad



I have this pet peeve about being asked to bring an entree to a dinner party. You may think less of me that I feel this way, but let me explain.

MOST foods, except a pasta salad or potato salad, (which I am always happy to bring), are never great after being transported.

After being refrigerated, wrapped in plastic wrap, wobbling in the car on the way (and always with spillage in my world!), reheated in someone else's oven and dried out, it's basically like bringing leftovers. I like food to be served FRESH from my kitchen. (I have so many rules).

When someone asks me "what can I bring to your dinner party?", my standard answer is "just bring yourself".

I'm not an idiot, I do appreciate a good bottle of wine, a pretty apron or a nice dessert (thank you!), but please don't bring the meal, that's my job when you are my guest (and I never seem to have the right vase for flowers either, what a pill I am).

A few years back, I was invited to a holiday party, and the invite enclosed a recipe, that the hostess wanted ME to make! ha! That's nervy, no? I guess she didn't trust me.

I get it if you are going to a "pot luck" dinner, but my house = my food.

My ex sister-in-law once brought a dessert called "white trash" to a formal dinner party. Click on it and see if you want to serve that after your filet mignon & crab cakes. (ooh, I am a meanie today!).

So why am I telling you this? Because this is one dish that you CAN bring to someone's house (even mine)! It is easy to prepare ahead and transports beautifully.

Ok, so now I will never be invited to anyone's house again for dinner, and no one will want to come here either.

In this recipe, you can use frozen corn, if you don't feel like shucking all those ears, and you can buy beets already prepared if you don't feel like roasting them, but since my garden has more beets than I can handle, I threw mine in.

A note: don't mix this salad until ready to serve, or the beets will turn the corn pink! (you may like pink corn).



Roasted Beet, Asparagus & Corn Salad:

1 bag of frozen corn, defrosted
1 bunch of skinny asparagus spears, ends trimmed and cut into 2" pieces
3 beets, roasted and diced (you can do this the day before)
4 green onions, green and white parts sliced
big handful of snipped chives
kosher salt & pepper
big handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
vegetable oil

3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp of good olive oil

You will need a 12" seasoned cast iron skillet for this dish.

Heat some vegetable oil on high heat and lay your defrosted corn and asparagus pieces in the skillet.



DO NO DISTURB THE CORN OR ASPARAGUS FOR 8 MINUTES. Let it sit there and toast!

Now, you can move the stuff around in the skillet and let the other sides brown. This process will take about 15 minutes total.
The corn will start to get nice and brown and will get fragrant.

Add the rest of the ingredients (except the beets) in a large bowl and toss to combine.
Add the oil and vinegar and season liberally w/ salt & pepper.

I usually dot the top salad w/ the diced beets, so the corn doesn't all turn pink.

Can be made 2 hours ahead and best served at room temperature.

Place in a big bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. There isn't much dressing, so nothing should spill in the car!
You are now ready to transport the salad!



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14 comments:

Stephanie said...

I agree with you totally! I invited you over to eat so you could eat at my place. If I want to eat your cooking we'll come over to your place. Also, I don't mind bringing a salad or dessert to someone else's dinner but an entree is just too much to ask a guest to bring.

Puddin said...

Stacey, I LOVE your blog. I read it first thing every morning! I've used/adapted many of your recipes. Tonight I'll serve this salad with simple pork cutlets. I also agree re the 'what to bring' remarks. Keep up the great work and best wishes for a great day.
Missy
(Pittsburgh, PA)

Anonymous said...

Salad looks yummy.....great combo.

Recently I was asked to bring the salad to a bridal shower for 20 ladies, without me even asking! The maid of honor told me what to make, and I was kind of miffed. Ok, I like to rant early in the a.m., glad someone else feels the same way about "bringing food". Let's go out to eat!

Bonnie's Kitchen said...

I have had that "white trash" snack, it's pretzels and m&m's with melted white chocolate. I love it!

Kate said...

Wow! I can't believe anyone would ask a guest to bring the entree to their house for a dinner party. And, really?.. enclosing a recipe request with an invitation????? I'd have to decline... and then ARRIVE with a different dish of my choosing and said there was a last minute change of plans! YEAH! the change is I made what I wanted to bring!! So, take heart dear Stacey. you are not the only meanie or pill you suppose yourself to be. There is me! ;)

Anonymous said...

Oh no, I am with you on this: if I am inviting you to MY house, then please just bring yourself and if you like, a little something. My sister in law, while trying to "help" always manages to bring something that just doesn't belong with the rest of the food. And it's completely of her own doing. Sigh...you're not alone.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

The white trash snack is aptly named. I'll say no more.

Anonymous said...

Reading this post made me sympathetic to all husbands - mine included. And, once again, grateful to be the mother of boys only! Who nonetheless drive me nuts. Day THREE of summer vaca & counting... At the boys' yearly physicals today, learned that middle son's shot past 6'2" & gained 30+ pounds. Still a beanpole. Pass some of that white trash my way, s'il vous plait.

Sues said...

I don't even know what I would do if a) someone asked me to bring an entree to their dinner party or b) They sent me a recipe for what they wanted me to bring. It's one thing to say, "Check with me first since we have a lot of people making things" but otherwise, no way. And I agree, if I'm having a party, I cook myself!

This salad looks fab... I love ways of incorporating beets into my meals!

Joanne said...

I can't imagine asking someone else to bring an entree to a dinner party...that's just weird. Maybe I'd ask them to bring a dip or appetizers...but prob not. I'm a DIY kinda gal. This salad looks awesome!

Ann from ILlinois said...

Stac, you are gutsy in your commentary, but I always like it. I think you are right about many things, and the best part is that you always make me smile. Always. The white trash comment is hilarious.

Lisa in Indy said...

Hi, Stacey
Great post. And beets are yummy. To expect guests to bring the entre' takes a colossal amount of nerve. As my smarta** aunt says to nonsensical requests: "I think NOT! No." Years ago my sister & BIL's church gourmet dinner group assigned dishes for the progressive dinner. Hosts were to prepare a chicken and broccoli casserole with cream of mushroom soup and Cheese Whiz, recipe provided! Thank you for the neat recipe, Stacey.

Dana said...

I love this Stace - both the recipe and the philosophy. I always tell people to just bring themselves. If I invite you to dinner, I should cook for you. If I really trust the person or if they are insistent, I ask them to bring an appetizer. A friend once asked if she could bring something with bacon that would need to be cooked in my pans in my kitchen and I couldn't believe that she would be that stupid. But most of the time, I make everything. However, whenever I go to someone's house, I always ask if I can bring something and they ALWAYS take me up on it. :)

Proud Italian Cook said...

My friends are way more considerate than family,to which I end up bring pans of stuff to parties!