Chef Pat Mould joined 'Mornings With Ken & Bernie' today to kick off a new feature, 'The News Junkie Cafe'.  Each Friday morning just in time for weekend entertaining Pat will join us with recipes, tips and techniques.

With the start of summer Chef Mould offered tips and techniques for the start of great salads.  Two of the keys for successful salads are extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  In addition to these two keys Mould said you can add Dijon or Creole mustard to emulsify the oil and vinegar.

Mould said he likes, "a mix of crunchy lettuce like Romaine lettuce with a spring mix.  I might throw in a bit of spinach to add a different texture."  To add even more crunch Chef Mould throws in hard fruits like chopped pears or apples and some nuts.

Here's Chef Mould's Pear, Gorgonzola, and Sweet and Spicy Pecan Salad with Cane Syrup Recipe

Herb Vinaigrette

3 tablespoons               unsalted butter

1 tablespoon                minced garlic

2 tablespoons               brown sugar

2 tablespoons               sugar

2 tablespoons               Tabasco Brand Pepper Sauce

1 tablespoon                chili powder

½ teaspoon                  salt

3 cups                          pecan halves *

  • assorted greens for four servings

4 large                                      tomato slices

2 large                          firm pears, peeled, cored and cut into slices

8 tablespoons              Gorgonzola cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a sauté pan stir together the first seven ingredients and heat until butter is melted. Lower the fire and simmer for 1 minute.

  1. Toss the pecans with melted butter mixture.  Place on a cookie sheet pan and roast in the oven for 10 minutes.  Remove the pecans from oven and allow pecans to cool.
  2. Place a portion of assorted greens on each of the four plates and garnish with tomato.
  3. Place several pear slices over assorted greens and top with 2 tablespoons of pecans and 2 tablespoons Gorgonzola cheese.  Drizzle each salad with Cane Syrup Herb Vinaigrette (recipe follows).

* You will have extra pecans leftover. Store the pecans you don’t use for this salad in an airtight container and refrigerate or freeze for later use.

Cane Syrup Herb Vinaigrette

3 tablespoons               cane syrup

1 tablespoon                Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon                minced garlic

2 tablespoons               balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon                fresh basil

1 tablespoon                fresh oregano

2 teaspoons                  fresh thyme

1 teaspoon                   Cajun Seasoning

¼ teaspoon                  black pepper

¼ teaspoon                  salt

1 cup                           EV olive oil

Combine all ingredients except the oil in a container with a lid.  Tightly seal the lid and shake the ingredients until blended.

  1. Add the olive oil; replace the lid and shake until all of the oil is incorporated.

*337-739-9404 *

Listen to the interview: