"I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess." -Martin Luther

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Broccoli-Macaroni Salad

I couldn't decide whether to make broccoli or macaroni salad.

So I made both together!

Only the boldtalicized stuff is actually important.

Ingredients:

16 oz (uncooked) elbow macaroni
1 lb broccoli (3 heads)
8 strips bacon 1 can black olives
1 bell pepper (i used green because they're cheaper)
1/4 cup white onion (I would have used red if I'd had it)
3 green onions
~1 cup mayonnaise
~1/2 cup sugar
~1 Tbl vinegar
~1 Tbl black pepper
1/4 cup sweet pickle juice
1/4 cup dill pickle juice
1/4 cup milk

Pre-notes:

You can probably do some of the veggie-dicing and dressing-mixing while you are frying the bacon.

I didn't measure anything. I put in more mayo than I planned because I wanted to finish off the jar I was using. And I just opened jars of pickles I had and splashed some in. In fact, I threw in a few Tbl of relish instead of sweet pickle juice. My hand may have slipped a little while I was pouring sugar from a 2 lb bag. I have no regrets.

I recommend making this salad Sunday morning with D.C. Talk blaring on your new sub-notebook computer, and eating all the extra bacon you cook as soon as you're done. Also, fry eggs in the bacon drippings. Wake up your housemate and share with him. Then take this salad to the Johnson's game afternoon. Eat as many of Mark's Juicy Lucy's as possible. Don't play too many attack cards on your girlfriend -- two can play that game.

Eat the leftovers at work for lunch.

Directions:

Cook macaroni according to box directions, allow to cool.
(You can add a little olive oil or bacon drippings to the drained macaroni to keep it from sticking to itself, or toss it occasionally)

Rinse, chop, and trim broccoli into bite-size pieces.
(I cut the stem off just below the flowery part, trim the leaves and edges off the stem with a paring knife, and then cube it. Then I take the head and either peel branches off or cut into the "trunk" from the bottom and peel it apart that way. Then I repeat the stem cutting, trimming, and cubing process for each smaller piece).

Fry bacon. Let it cool. Crumble.
(I used a little of the bacon drippings in the dressing. If you take my advice, you'll cook a whole pound of bacon. Don't pay much attention while you cook it. Use the 8 most burnt slices for the salad. Have the others for breakfast.)

Drain and dice the olives.
(Cutting 1 or a few olives at a time into 2 or 3 parts keeps them from rolling. Then you can do your best master-chef dicing impression with your knife to rapidly dice them into itsy bitsy pieces).

Wash and dice the bell pepper.
(I slice around the core and then pull it out, bump it upside down a few times to get out stray seeds, cut it in quarters, pull off the white filmy parts with seeds, cut the remaining stuff into strips, line up strips, and slice them into small rectangles.)

Dice the white onion.
(I used about half of a small onion and threw the rest in a ziplock bag for later. I cut off both ends, make a slice into a side and peel off the outer layers from there, then cut the onion into circles about the height I want, then half the circles and chop around them)

Wash and chop the green onions.

Stir/whisk together dressing ingredients: mayo, sugar, vinegar, pepper, pickle juice(*2), milk.

Combine everything, pouring the dressing over the top and mixing it up with a big spoon.


Refrigerate for several hours before serving.


Stir before serving to make sure dressing doesn't pool in the bottom.

I used these two recipes as a template for the type of ingredients, ratios, and order of combining:

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2012/06/the-best-macaroni-salad-ever/

http://www.yourhomebasedmom.com/broccoli-pasta-salad/

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