Saturday, March 17, 2007

Playing with Food Part 1: Grapefruit and Pear Salad

I guess I shouldn't call it a "salad" as much as a "fruit arrangement". Anyhow, simple simple recipe that looks good and taste good, too. Unless you hate grapefruit, I suppose.

-1 red grapefruit
-1 pear (I used Yali, you can use whatever kind of pear you like)
-1 lime (for juice and garnish)
-pieces of walnuts (optional, you can use whatever nut you like. I imagine sliced almonds are great, too)

1. In order to prepare grapefruit, I consulted this video for sectioning fruit. It took some time and I wonder if it'd be faster if I just pealed the white membrane myself. Basically, the idea is to have the pink flesh part for salad, without the bitter membrane skin part.
2. Peel pear and cube. You may slice a few for garnish.
3. Squeeze lime as needed and mix juice with grapefruit and pear.
4. Arrange salad in plate.
5. Arrange lime, pear slices, and walnuts for effect.

I probably could have used a sweeter dressing, maybe add a bit of sugar to some grapefruit and lime juice and spread it on top. An alternative would be to use some honey. I like the crunchiness of the pear cubes coupled with the sweet and soft grapefruit sections. The color of this salad is amazing, with translucent white pears and pink juicy grapefruit.

Lotus Lily Bulb Rice Congee (Info)
Cook like you would regular congee, but add lotus seeds with the rice before you cook it. I used dried lotus seeds which can be purchased at most Asian food supermarkets. If you prefer yours softer, soak them for a few hours before cooking. As for lily bulbs, they are bulbs of lily flowers, I believe. I found mine from an Asian food supermarket as well. There are usually two kinds: fresh and dried. The fresh kind is probably aired from Asia somewhere, they are usually in airtight packages. The dried ones obviously need some soaking before cooking. I had fresh ones, so I just washed it and peeled it into various layers. Then added them into the congee when it is nearly ready. I used a timed rice cooker which has a Congee mode as well. When the timer had 2 min. to go, I added the lily bulb layers. I think you can eat the lily bulb raw, so if you rather do that, add them after you scoop some congee into your bowl.
The finished rice congee is very pretty, with white lotus seeds and transparent layers of lily bulbs.

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