Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Chicken Salad #2

This fantastic salad is from Nancy Silverton's "Twist of the Wrist" book. Amazing book and great recipe. Chicken Salad #1 is good also, but requires bacon, which I just don't do too often. But this entree salad is terrific for a hot day (like today!)

1 1/2 lb roasted chicken meat, shredded**
1 c. chipotle mayo (recipe below)
10 c watercress and or arugula
sea salt (can use kosher if you don't have sea salt)
1 avocado, chopped
olive oil

Place the chicken in a large bowl. Add 3/4 c of the chipotle mayo (you can do less...I usually do 1/2 cup) and toss to coat.

Divide the greens evenly among 4 plates and sprinkle with sea salt. Mound some chicken onto the greens and then top with 1/4 avocado. Drizzle oil and squeeze a few drops of lime juice on top of the avocado. Sprinkle with more sea salt and pepper to taste.

Chipotle Mayo:

1 cup mayo
1/4 c finely chopped cilantro leaves
2 T olive oil
2 T lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 t pureed chipotle peppers (buy can of chipotle peppers from supermarket, like Ralphs in Latino section, dump contents of can in food processor and blitz. Put in tupperware container in fridge where it will stay good for a long long long time...even years if you put a thin layer of oil on top.)
1 t kosher salt

Blend together in a bowl. You can save the rest in the fridge for sandwiches and more salad throughout the week.

**for those of you who don't have a roasted chicken around, you can take two bone in and skin on breasts (I suggest kosher), put them on a cookie sheet lined with foil and spread olive oil on top. Salt and pepper them and put them in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 40 min. Best roast chicken ever. Sometimes, I just eat these for dinner with a veg.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Orzo with Broccoli and Feta Cheese

A family favorite, even with the dreaded broccoli. If you have been to my house for dinner more than once, you have eaten this. If you are a vegetarian, it my favorite thing to cook for you. Really, the only thing I will cook for you. While I love my vegetarian friends, I am not so inventive for them.

From Bon Appetit

1 1/2 c orzo
1 bunch broccoli, cut into small florets

1/4 c olive oil
3 T pine nuts
1/2 t red pepper flakes

3/4 c crumbled feta
3/4 c pitted halved black olives (I leave this out since my family is a bunch of haters.)
1/2 c grated parm cheese
1/4 c basil, chopped

Cook orzo in salted boiling water 8 min. Add broccoli to pot, cook for an additional 2 minutes, then drain, reserving 1/2 c pasta water.

Meanwhile, heat oil in small frying pan over med. heat. Add pine nuts and red pepper flakes. cook until golden brown (remove from heat when done as it will continue to cook a bit in the hot oil.)

Mix orzo, oil w/ nuts and remaining ingredients in a big bowl and toss everything together, adding pasta water in increments to make sure it isn't too dry. Season with lots of salt and pepper.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Soba with Chicken and Peanut Sauce

From Gourmet Mag

yield: Makes 4 servings
active time: 10 min
total time: 25 min

"It's no surprise that American cooks have adopted Asian peanut sauce as their own. The tantalizing balance of creaminess and heat has universal appeal." 3/4 of my family loved this easy dish (the 3 who can stand a little heat.)


* 1 pound chicken cutlets or tenders
* 1 pound soba noodles
* 1/2 seedless cucumber (usually plastic-wrapped)
* 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter (not natural)
* 1/4 cup soy sauce
* 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
* 2 teaspoons Chinese chile garlic paste (preferably Lan Chi) or Sriracha (Southeast Asian chile sauce) plus additional for serving
* 1/4 cup chopped scallions


Cut chicken into 1/2-inch-wide strips, then cook in a 5- to 6-quart pot of boiling salted water , stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer chicken with a slotted spoon to a bowl (drain any excess liquid), reserving water in pot.

Return water to a boil, then cook noodles, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 4 to 8 minutes. Reserve 3/4 cup noodle-cooking water and drain noodles in a colander. Rinse noodles under cold water to stop cooking, then drain well.

While noodles cook, cut cucumber lengthwise into julienne strips. Pat dry.

Whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, chile paste, and reserved cooking water until smooth. I used an immersion blender because I am lazy.

Divide noodles among large serving bowls. Spoon about 1/4 cup peanut sauce over noodles in each bowl, then divide chicken, cucumber, and scallions among bowls. Serve immediately with remaining sauce and additional chile paste. Stir noodles just before eating.