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A King's Fare

Text by: Ryan Ingram

I don't go out to eat anymore.

It's not that I don't want to — I used to love going out to restaurants and being "the king" of the moment; to have servers hang dance at my every command, hoping for scraps at my kingly table; "Oh yes, bring the dessert forthwith… dressing on the side, I say. Where's my refill!"

So why don't I go out anymore? Well let's face it. In the age of economic uncertainty, it isn't wise (or even possible) to pay the "king's ransom," and in reality, as much as I like to pretend once in awhile, I am not a king. In fact, looking back I feel more like a pawn. Like many of you out there, I too, got caught up in the lifestyle of eating out for every meal, forgetting the virtues of preparing a kingly meal for myself—and of course others—which is really all the fun. To make and break bread with family and friends is as kingly a gift as I ever need. To work together, to experience the fruits of one's labor, to share talents—isn't that what this life is really about? Not barking commands at lowly servants at the Cheese Cake Factory or waiting for a table at the Olive Garden for 45 minutes with all the other "kings."

But please don't be mistaken. I still enjoy the occasional visit back to my dream of sitting at an imaginary king's table at my favorite restaurants for special occasions, which makes the dining experience a lot more special now. But it still can never top the kingly feasts I prepare for my family and friends in my own castle. One of my favorite culinary fares to serve is one that takes almost no time at all, but is as grand as anything fit for royalty.

© Ryan Ingram

King's Ransom Greek Salad

This recipe is incredibly easy and amazingly delicious! And best of all, you won't have to pay a "King's Ransom" to enjoy it.

  • 1 head iceburg lettuce, shredded
  • 1/2 medium size red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup garlic croutons
  • Greek Feta Dressing (for testing purposes we used Gerrard's Greek Feta Salad Dressing)

Toss all ingredients together in a large salad bowl, using desired amount of dressing.

Walnut Infused Grilled Salmon

  • 1 pound salmon fillets
  • 1 Tbsp. roasted walnut oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp. black pepper

Combine walnut oil, salt, lemon and pepper in a small bowl. Rub salmon filets with mixture and grill.

Pizza Dough

  • 6 cups sifted bread flour (about one cup more kneaded in after mixing)
  • 2 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 Tbsp. pure cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 packets (5 tsp. of Active dry yeast)

Heat water to 120 degrees and dissolve yeast and 2 Tbsp. of sugar. Let stand until about 1/4 inch of foam appears. In another mixing bowl, mix flour, remaining sugar and salt. Add water, oil and flour and mix. Continue kneading dough until texture is consistent adding flour as needed. Let dough rise for at least 45 minutes in a warm environment such as a pre-warmed oven. Add toppings such as olive oil, mozzarella cheese, olives, capers, etc. Not your traditional pizza!