Tag Archives: salad

(Mostly)Chinese Chicken Salad

27 Sep

Always on the hunt for new and interesting ways to make salad more than just lettuce. This recipe is a Bobby Flay creation, but I’m renaming it. He calls it “Chinese” but the chipotle puree tells me otherwise. I also added some diced red pepper to the salad, as it was in the fridge and I figured it couldn’t be bad in there!

I poached four chicken thighs in water with peppercorns & a dried ancho chili that I happened to have in my cupboard. (I poached them because I wanted that shredded texture that works best with poached chicken, as opposed to grilling or baking.) They took about 25 minutes in barely-boiling liquid. I then removed the skin and bones, shredding the rest with two forks. Delish. Leftover chicken from a roast would also work really well.

Serves 2-4.

Ingredients

1/4 c rice wine vinegar
2 tb smooth peanut butter
1 tb ginger, grated
2 ts chipotle puree
1 tb soy sauce
1 tb honey
2 ts sesame oil
1/3 c canola oil
1/2 Napa cabbage (or whichever cabbage you prefer)
1/2 head Romaine (or…y’know…whatever you’ve got!)
2 carrots, shredded
1 handful snow peas
1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
2 c chicken, shredded
1/2 c peanuts & mint, julienned

Directions

1. If you have not cooked chicken yet, fill a medium-large pot with water or stock. Bring to a boil and add in your chicken. Cook 25-30 minutes at a low boil.
2. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, peanut butter, chipotle puree, soy, honey, sesame oil & canola oil. Whisk until smooth.
3. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, lettuce, carrots, snow peas, cilantro and green onion.
4. Toss the dressing into the salad and plate on large dishes. Add the chicken.
5. Top with peanuts & mint.

*If you poach the chicken, keep the broth that’s left. Skim the fat, let it cool and reuse for soups. If you’re not going to use it right away, toss the broth in the freezer. It’ll keep for quite a while.

From the market: purple peppers.

26 Aug

The St. Lawrence Market in downtown Toronto is one of those places that everyone should check out as often as possible. It houses every food product under the sun from bread to meat to fruit to fish to dessert to vegetables…and so on. My husband and I popped in a couple of weeks ago and found some beautiful purple peppers, which I’d never seen before. The lady selling it recommended that we eat them raw, as once they’re cooked they lose their colour.

OK: salad it is!We ended up throwing some figs in there and made a dressing with 3 parts olive oil, 1.5 parts fig-balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and lemon juice. The purple peppers were crisp and less sweet than the red, orange & yellow ones in the salad. Will definitely pick them up again next time we go!

Sunday Dinners: Pork Tenderloin-stylez

23 Aug

Now that the weather has cooled off some, I’m back in the kitchen more and more. Our kitchen is teensy so there’s nowhere for the heat from the oven or stove to go and heats up in a hurry. I am no fan of literally sweating over the food, but now that it’s a little cooler I’m back in action!

So last night’s dinner: sesame-crusted pork tenderloin with an Asian marinade, stir-fried broccoli and onions, an herb-buttered ciabatta and the famous cranberry, mango and pecan salad. I will definitely make this again and maybe cook the pork just a smidge less. It was still juicy and tender, but probably needed five minutes less in the oven.  The rule of 20 minutes per pound was right on point! I’ll be posting the recipes shortly…

Bitten by Bite Me

18 Aug

I was lucky enough to win a shopping spree at Chapters a year ago and one of the first things on my list was a plethora of cookbooks.  They’re like crack to me.  I bought books on baking, on Jamaican, Italian and southern American food and so on. One book that wasn’t initially on my list but has subsequently become my favourite cookbook of all time (sorry, Joy of Cooking. I’m sure this is blasphemy in many circles) is Julie Albert & Lisa Gnat’s fantastic Bite Me.

This book pulls off the feat of not taking itself seriously – at all – while providing incredibly delicious, accessible recipes. I have yet to make anything from this book that did not meet with rave reviews. Their Cranberry-Mango-Toasted-Pecan salad (found here!) with Dijon dressing was an instant classic. Salads can be pretty blah as, let’s face it, they are often an afterthought. But I guarantee that no one will forget this dish.  It takes a little bit of time to sugar the pecans, but the most work involved in this dish is cutting up the mango…which takes all of 2 or 3 minutes. Equally winning were the Apple Muffins with Streusel topping that I brought to a friend’s birthday brunch.

Bite Me is full of hilarious pictures, playlist suggestions for prep work, food quotes and, most importantly, page after page of flavorful, manageable recipes. I made the Herb-Encrusted Beef Tenderloin a while back which, unsurprisingly, came out beautifully despite my own timing issues. (Apparently converting cooking times isn’t my strong suit, but it all worked out in the end!) I can’t recommend it highly enough for cooks of all skill levels. My husband has promised me that he’s going to tackle the Chocolate-Crusted Creamy Caramel Cheesecake. Given the success of the previous dishes, I’m sure it will disappear within hours.

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