Monday, November 1, 2010

An Election Day Recipe - The Waldorf Salad

Warning this recipe contains politically charged ingredients!
The Cheapest Chef tosses his whisk into this dizzyingly political salad spinner of an election, and serves up the upscale Waldorf Salad, originally created in the high-end New York City Waldorf-Astoria Hotel Restaurant -- and prepared with produce most likely picked by the calloused hands of illegal workers from Mexico and Central America.

If you enjoy these ingredients: lettuce, celery, almonds and  grapes (which mostly come from California), then give thanks to the immigrants who risk their lives and break their backs to bring America's bounty cheaply to your dinner table.

In this overwrought week, some Arizona politicians (and prison lobbyists) are going after an easy target this November -- spreading poisonous fear in the form of anti-immigrant legislation: Arizona Bill SB 1070.

Yeah, let's throw out all the workers that our below-minimum-wage-hiring agribuisnesses depend on, then sit back and watch food prices skyrocket. Better yet arrest all the illegal harvesters, then make them work the fields for free.

 So as the local citizenry dines at a Top Chef operated big city restaurant, they are most likely eating their five course meal prepared by an uninsured undocumented chef de partie (line cook), on plates, wine glasses and cutlery cleaned by another illegal dish washer.

Play my 29 second video "Celery Pickers" here.

Wouldn't it be better to advocate for a guest worker program that treats the members of this needed labor force fairly, and allows them to come and go safely between seasonal jobs here and their homelands?
Well that's my election-eve rant -- so on to my delicious Waldorf Salad, made with budget produce from my local Latin market. This is the crunchiest salad you will ever have, made with fresh apples, celery, nuts, juicy grapes, and covered in creamy mayo. It's an eclectic, but savory flavor combination. You can prepare it well ahead, plus it's quick to do.

The hard work is the chopping, and hopefully you are working with a sharp blade. I was lucky to get a knife sharpener to try out last month (click here to see it), so I'll get another year of good use out of them (thanks, AnySharp!).

So this November 2nd, get out and vote -- I will back those that support the fair treatment of our hard working neighbors who help bring a bountiful harvest of fresh produce to all of our dinner tables, not the ones who offer nothing but fearful bluster!

Ingredients (serves 3 - 4)
  • 2 red and/or green apples - cored and chopped.
  • 2 stalks of celery - sliced thinly.
  • 1 cup of red or green grapes - sliced in half.
  • A leaf or two of lettuce per serving.
  • 2 tablespoons of mayo - or as much as you prefer. Or use plain low fat yogurt for a lighter version.
  • A small package of almonds - walnuts are traditional, but I could not find any on sale.
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon or lime juice - fresh or from a bottle.
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar, or favorite sweetener - optional.

Thinly slice 2 stalks of celery. If the grapes are large, slice them in half. I got grapes on sale, but with seeds, so I had to slice and remove them. Core, then chop two apples.

Add chopped fruit and celery in a large serving bowl. Drizzle in lemon or lime juice, to keep the apples from turning brown. Spoon in mayo (or yogurt) and mix well. Taste and see if you would like to add any sweetener. Finally mix in almonds (or any nuts on sale). If the nuts are salted, then give them a quick rinse and pat dry, before adding to salad.

Arrange lettuce leaves on a platter, plate or individual bowls, and spoon on the Waldorf Salad. It can be served cold or at room temperature.


Peggy said...

I've always been a fan of Waldorf salad, even though I'm not a big fan of mayo. But I just can't resist those fruits and veggies!

Unknown said...

Guest worker program??? But how would the private prisons make their money? After all, they are behind that brilliant Arizona law! Guess they'll go after the homeless next...
But I digress; do you know how to make "watergate salad"? My aunt-in-law makes it. Yummy.

99 Cent Chef said...

Watergate Salad? You bet, share the recipe!

TJ said...

I am not a 'nut' nazi (contrary to how it may appear) but really, almonds?! Almonds alter the taste so dramatically - and not in a good way - you'd be better off not making it. Waldorf salad REQUIRES walnuts. IMO.. sorry!

99 Cent Chef said...

Hi Jane, originally a Waldorf Salad did not have nuts at all!

Geoff Matthews said...

Farm labor is about 6% of the cost of food. Following immigration law is not going to make food prices skyrocket.

99 Cent Chef said...

So who is going to harvest celery fields & apple orchards? The only way to really stop our Latin neighbors from seeking work here is to surround the U.S. with an electric immigration zapping fence, or shutter any business that hires them. Let's create a law that helps not hinders. And percentage points are massaged to serve whichever side you are on.

Unknown said...

Arizona is simply attempting to manage ILLEGAL immigrants. It doesn't target or profile-sorry you're wrong on that. I agree that a better Guest-worker program needs to be developed as well ad a more efficient Naturalization process.
If you are that passionate about tis issue I encourage you to read up on the entire issue rather than shooting from the hip.

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