This salad recipe is so good, three of the women that slept over Friday night decided to have it for Breakfast on Saturday!  Chef Rouler had the occasion to taste this salad while at Northwestern University events and Allison Miller’s Mom always brought this as the dish to pass………………AND IT DOES!

Allison Miller’s Mom’s Broccoli Salad

Combine 24 hours in advance:

1C              Mayo

½ C            Sugar

3Tbsp         vinegar

Combine Dressing with

2C              Chopped Broccoli

2C              Chopped Cauliflower

1ea             Chopped Onion

1#               Cooked crumbled Bacon

Add just before serving

1C              Cashew Nuts

1C              Raisins

Serves 10-12

Something out of nothing

So the Chef had made a braised Pot Roast with Guinness Stout and the leftover stock was just too good to throw out.  What to do?  How about Deconstructed French Onion Soup !

All you need is Onions, Beef Stock, Swiss cheese and Bread.

Slice 4 large onions and saute in 1/4# (one stick) of butter until golden brown.   

Deglaze pan with 1 Cup of stock.  If  you don’t have Beef Stock you may substitute canned Beef Consume or Beef Soup Base. Bread should be a crusty Artisan (homemade Ciabatta).  Cut into 3/4″ slices and toast or broil both sides until brown.  Heat Stock to high simmer.

To assemble, place sliced Swiss cheese on toast and broil until melted.  Cut into dippable pieces.  Place toast, sautéed onions and a cup of stock on platter.  Eat, Dip, Slurp and Enjoy!  Something out of nothing. Beverage suggestion: Guinness Stout.

Dear Chef Rouler, HELP!!

How do you make your famous mashed potatoes?  I know what ingredients you use, but I don’t know how much!
Please help!


Dear Mashed in Vail,

I start with one medium to large potato per person, then I add two more for the pot. 


Chef Rouler’s Mashed Potatoes

3-5#   Potatoes, cubed and boiled in salted water until fork tender.  

1 whole bulb of roasted garlic *

1/4# Butter (one stick)

Half&Half or Milk  1/2-1 Cup

Salt & Pepper.  Seasonings: BAM, Onion or Garlic powder. Can add sour cream but it will add moisture to mix so do before you add Half&Half.

Mash cooked potatoes with a whole bulb of roasted garlic and one stick of butter. Salt &Pepper to taste. TASTE.  Add enough Half&Half (milk) to make light and fluffy. TASTE.  Can adjust seasoning with more Salt&Pepper, BAM, Garlic or Onion powder.  TASTE.  When in doubt, add a little more salt. Potatoes love salt !!!

* Roast Garlic.

Take one whole bulb of garlic and remove the top 1/4 of the bulb to expose the pulp.  Place bulb in ceramic ramekin with 1 Tbsp of water. Drizzle Olive oil over bulb and season with Salt and Bam. Cover with SaranWrap. Microwave 1-2 minutes until cloves are tender.  OVEN: Place in baking dish, cover with foil , ( can just wrap bulb in Foil in needed) water and seasoning,  bake for 1 hour at 350.

Cloves are done when they are tender enough to squeeze pulp out of bulb. Mash with fork and set aside for later use.

That time of year

Chef Rouler's herb and lettuce bed

It’s that time of year when the lettuce sets are almost done, lettuce seed planting #1 is in full swing and #2 is close to harvest.  SALAD EVERY NIGHT !!  If we could only figure out how to get Garden Tomatoes ripe by June in Michigan, it would be heaven. If you’re like me, you get bored with the samo, samo salad dressing(s), so here in lies the lesson for you foodies.

 Quick Questions: 1) How many bottled dressings do you have in your refrigerator  2) How many of them are past their code dates?  3) How many different kinds of vinegar do you have in your pantry?4) How many different kinds of oil?

 Currently, I have five(5) vinegars in my pantry and three oils.  The simple solution, make your own dressing!  It’s fresh, can be different every meal, MUCH less expensive than the bottled variety AND you’ll feel like a Foodie every night as you experiment with flavors.   I also have an abundance of fresh herbs, so they either go in the greens mix or in the dressing.

Simple rule of thumb is One Part Acid to Three Parts Oil.  Be it Tbsp or 1/4 Cups it’s still 1 to 3.  Personal taste will dictate more or less acid and should you want another flavor to dominate the taste, a 1 to 4 ratio works better.


Let’s start with the base:  2 Tbsp Vinegar, 6 Tbsp Oil, Salt, Fresh Ground Pepper, Crushed clove of garlic optional.  This is plenty for one night’s salad.

Now, what do you feel like?  Raspberry (got preserves), Honey & Mustard, Italian (Oregano, Basil), Caesar: one egg , Parmesan cheese and anchovies.   No anchovies? Bet you have Asian Fish Sauce   Read the ingredients, Anchovy extract, salt, sugar, contains FISH. 

 Also use sesame oil, fresh ginger and soy sauce for Asian flavorings.  South of the Border: Cilantro and Lime juice as acid.  Lighter flavor to go with a herb (Dill, Oregano, Tarragon, Rosemary) sub lemon juice for vinegar.

 I like the Italian sweet red wine vinegar dressing too.  Reverse the ratio 3 part vinegar, 1 part oil and add sugar until you balance the acidity to a just tart level: 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and 2-3 Tbsp of sugar.  Add fresh basil or oregano and take it to another level.

That’s a start, should get your dressings flowing. So endith the lesson for today.

Bon Appetit and Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!


Summer Side dishes to take to a Party

A request has come in for side dish ideas to take to a summer cook-out.

 So here are a few long time favorites


Mrs. Miller’s Broccoli Salad

Combine 24 hours in advance:
1C              Mayo
½ C            Sugar
3Tbsp         vinegar
Combine Dressing with
2C              Chopped Broccoli
2C              Chopped Cauliflower
1ea             Chopped Onion
1#               Cooked crumbled Bacon
Add just before serving
1C              Cashew Nuts ( buy halves and pieces)
1C              Raisins
Serves 10-12

Broccoli Slaw Ramin Noodle Salad

1 16 oz  pkg broccoli slaw
2 pkg. Beef Ramin noodles soup mix
1 cup salted sunflower seeds
1 Bunch green onions, sliced 
Dressing – put in blender or shaker 
1 c. olive oil
1/3 c. balsamic vinegar
add flavor packet from Beef noodle mix
1/2 c. sugar
You will not need all of the dressing so if you double this only make 1 1/2 of the dressing.
To Make Salad – open up containers and dump all into a large bowl.
(flavor beef packets will go into the dressing)
crush the noodles with your hands or a little with a rolling pin.
Before you pour on the dressing be sure to stir up the sugar and then shake well.
Pour on dressing just 1/2 – 1 hour before dinner and chill salad. 
Also great the next day.  It is a crunchy salad.

Pork Product Beans

1#      Pork Sausage
1#      Bacon
1c      Diced Celery
1c      Diced Onion
1cn    Tomato Soup       
1cn    Tomato Paste
1c      Brown Sugar
1/2c   Molasses
1T     Mustard Powder
2T     Chili Powder
2cn    Pork and Beans (16oz)
1cn    each drained  ( 3 cans total)
          Green beans, Yellow beans,  Kidney beans or other bean (Pinto, Black, Butter, Chili)
Brown sausage and bacon, sauté onion and celery
Combine with other ingredients, Season to taste: Salt, Pepper, Hot Sauce
Bake 1 hour @ 350°  Feeds 18-25 people

Deep South Salsa

Black eyed peas – 1 can (drained)
Black beans – 1 can (rinsed and drained)
White corn – 1 can (drained)
Red onion – 1, chopped
Green pepper, chopped
Yellow pepper, chopped
Red pepper, chopped
Olive oil – ½ cup
Apple cider vinegar – ¾ cup
Sugar – ½ to ¾ cup
Paprika – ½ teaspoon
Garlic & cilantro, chopped to taste

And from the annals of Party Grandma’s recipe cards

Bologna Ring Thing

1                 Ring Bologna
                   Open Pit BBQ Sauce
Place ring on cookie sheet, score several times ¼ “ deep.
Baste with BBQ sauce.
Bake 2 hours at 250° Basting with sauce every 30 minutes.
Serve with Party Rye

 It was a big hit in the 1950’s…………………