Engineer and I are not party animals.
Don't get me wrong, we like parties.
We go to parties.
We host lots of parties.
But when it comes to the biggest world-wide party of the year, New Year's Eve, we are conked out by 9:30-10pm tops.
Instead we wake up early on New Year's Day to prepare for our annual New Year's Day Come & Go Party. That's the way we like to ring in the New Year, surrounded by friends and family.
Because we retain some amount of tradition, we stick to our Southern roots and serve food to wish us well in the New Year.
I mentioned before that I always serve spiced cider...and coffee...but that's nothing new, we always have coffee to drink.
Greens of some sort are served to signify wealth, carrots to signify health, and black eyed peas are eaten for good luck in the coming year.
I have made spinach dip in the past and a collard green dip but this year I thought I would shake things up a bit and make an Asian Salad with both cabbage and spinach in there. Apparently I felt that we all really needed an extra prosperous New Year.
This is one of my favorite go-to salads in the summertime or for a potluck because it's pretty inexpensive, it feeds a crowd, and there isn't anything that will spoil in the heat.
I prefer to make it with savoy cabbage since it's prettier but regular old cabbage will do just fine. In fact, if you are short on time, use a couple of bags of cabbage slaw mix in the produce section.
Seriously, this makes a ton of food so you probably need the biggest bowl or platter that you have on which to mix and serve the salad.
1 Head of Cabbage
1/2 bag of Spinach (optional but boosts flavor and health benefits)
1/2 small Onion (or 3-5 Green Onions)
1 pkg Ramen Noodles (just the noodles, not the flavor packet)
2 Tbs. Toasted Sesame Seeds
1/4c. Slivered Almonds, Toasted
1 can Mandarins, Drained w/Juice Saved
1/3c. Teriyaki Sauce
1/3c. Saved Mandarin Juice
1/3c. Rice Wine Vinegar
3 Tbs. Sesame Oil
1/4c. Olive Oil
Salt to Taste
Start boiling some water.
Chop (or slice in a food processor) the cabbage and onion. Mix them with the spinach and set aside in the bowl or platter on which you are going to serve the salad.
Once the water has come to a boil, pour it over the noodles and leave them to soften a couple of minutes. After the noodles have softened, strain off the water and set noodles aside while you make the dressing.
Put all of the dressing ingredients in a jar. Screw a lid on the jar and shake vigorously. Make sure you taste the dressing and see if it needs more sweetness (juice) acidity (vinegar) depth (sesame oil or teriyaki sauce) or salt.
Once you are happy with the flavor, pour the dressing over the softened noodles and mix with your hands to make sure the noodles soak up the flavor.
Now it's time to assemble the salad.
On top of the greens/onions layer place the mandarins, then the noodles, and pour over the dressing before sprinkling the almonds and sesame seeds over the top.
This is part of FPT.