Thursday 16 December 2010

Waldorf Salad

Waldorf Salad was created by the maĆ®tre d’ of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City in the closing decades of the Nineteenth Century. First made with only apples, celery and mayonnaise, walnuts were added later but are now very much a traditional part of this easy salad.

"Waldorf Salad" was also the title of an episode of Fawlty Towers in which Basil Fawlty was unable to serve a guest his requested Waldorf Salad.
"I think we're just out of Waldorfs."
Basil says, then asks :
"What is a Waldorf anyway, a walnut that's gone off?".

So make sure you get lovely fresh New Zealand walnuts.

I like to mix half yogurt and half mayonnaise to make the dressing. Not so much for health reasons but rather to reduce the cloying-ness of a mayonnaise only dressing. Try half yogurt and half mayonnaise for coleslaw too. Also, I like to use white pepper as it looks nicer!

The ingredients are celery, apples, grapes or raisins and walnuts, with a yogurt-mayonnaise dressing, all served on lettuce. Apples are not strictly in season at the moment, but there are still nice ones to be found. A nice variation can be made with celeriac and pears, a Waldorf Remoulade if you will, and finely sliced fennel can be a nice addition when you have some.

Waldorf Salad
Serves 2
2 Tablespoons yogurt
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
A squeeze of lemon
White pepper
1 Apple, chopped
½ Cup celery, finely sliced
¼ Cup raisins or ½ Cup grapes
½ Cup walnuts, chopped
Lettuce leaves

Mix the yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon and salt and pepper together for the dressing then stir through the salad ingredients. Serve the Waldorf Salad on top of some pretty lettuce leaves.

Sunday 27 June 2010



I have been wanting a waffle maker for quite a while now, and I finally gave in. I thought (correctly!) that M, our one year old daughter would love them. And, surprisingly, waffles are a quick, easy and social breakfast for a Sunday morning. Social providing there is a plug near your dining room table.

Our plan of attack is to preheat the waffle iron in the kitchen while making the batter then moving the now hot waffle iron to the dining room once M is safely strapped into her high chair. Then open, pour, shut, cook, remove, cool and hand to M to feed herself while we repeat and indulge ourselves. Not such a long delay and since everything is happening at the table no distracting of a small child is even necessary!

I also have streamlined the batter preparation because I only have one set of beaters for my electric whisk ; we all know the order beating the egg whites and the rest of the batter has to done before folding together.
Makes about 5, enough for 2 adults, 1 child plus some left over to freeze and reheat in the toaster for a quick snack.

1/4 cup of butter, melted
A scant cup of standard flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
a pinch of salt
2 small egg yolks
A scant cup of buttermilk
2 egg whites

Melt the butter, but only just, then leave to cool. Separate the eggs and put the yolks in a big bowl and add the the flour, baking powder and salt. With the clean beaters, beat the egg whites until stiff then with the same beaters mix the egg yolk and flour mixture adding the melted butter. Fold a third of the egg whites into the batter then gently fold in the rest. For best results use a metal spoon, but no one seems to particularly notice if I use the spatula!
Pour about 1/2 cup at a time into a preheated waffle iron. You will need to work out how hot your waffle iron should be but I set ours to about 10 o'clock, if you know what I mean!
I don't grease our waffle iron, but it is a new non stick version, so if yours is in need of greasing melt a little more butter in the first step then brush the iron lightly as required.
Serve with maple syrup. And enjoy your Sunday morning!