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Posts Tagged ‘salad’

Chicken Caesar on a Bread Platter

In Breads / Grains, Chicken, Salads 'n' Stuff on March 4, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Who needs bread with their salad if the darn PLATE is made of bread?

Okay – due to the OVERWHELMING response I got from the Eggs in Bread Bowls post, I felt I should expand the concept to the Bread Platter. It’s like a bread bowl, but it’s flat, you see, like a plate. A plate that you can eat! Awesome!

So, what does one serve on this edible plate? Well, it should be something with lots of drippy juices that doesn’t need to be cut. Juices because that way when the food’s gone, you have a nice juicy hunk of bread to eat. No cutting, because bread platters are not Chinette. They will not stand up to your steak knife. Of course, you can do like Mr. Gorilla did and cut it anyway, so you get a bite of bread in every mouthful, but most less-advanced folks tend to eat the food off of the plate, and then eat the plate. Kind of like a waffle bowl situation. Or a taco salad. Select your edible tableware of choice.

For this one, I made both the bread and the dressing myself. You need a very dense, heavy bread that won’t go to pieces. And fresh caesar dressing is always way better than bottled – this one is eggless, too, because raw chicken and raw egg is too high on the freak-out scale for one night. The whole recipe is very quick and easy, except for the bread. The bread can, however, be made the day before. Even the week before, if you freeze it. See? Awesome and convenient.

Chicken Caesar Salad on a Bread Platter

Ingredients:

2 chicken leg quarters, skinless and boneless

1 large head Romaine lettuce

1 loaf bread (recipe below)

1 recipe Eggless Caesar dressing (recipe below)

Directions:

Slice loaf of bread in half horizontally, and carefully scoop out the insides to form a hollow. It should look something like this:

Yeah, like this.

Set it aside.

Pound the chicken as thin as you can get it without totally destroying it, and put it in a Ziploc bag. Add 1/4 cup of the dressing, and marinate for about an hour.

While that’s happening, wash and chop the lettuce, and put it all in a large bowl. Set aside.

Grill the chicken about 5 minutes on both sides, or until done. Discard the marinade.

Pour the remaining dressing and the chicken into the bowl with the salad. Toss to coat, and sprinkle with grated parmesan.

Eggless Caesar Dressing

Ingredients:

5 tablespoons Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

3 garlic cloves, peeled

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 can anchovy fillets, drained (flat packed, not rolled) – I know you don’t like anchovies, but you’ll like them in the dressing, I promise.

1 cup olive oil

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine the mustard, Worcestershire, garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, and anchovies in a blender or food processor, and pulse until smooth.

While blending, add the olive oil in a slow stream, and process until smooth.

Add the parmesan, and pulse until well mixed.

This dressing will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge, but you’ll eat it before then, I promise.

This boring-looking loaf is capable of great things!

Bread for Bread Platter

Ingredients:

1 package active dry yeast

1 cup warm water

3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 cups bread flour

cornmeal

1 egg

1 teaspoon cold water

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine the warm water and the yeast. Let sit for about 10 minutes, or until frothy.

Add the sugar, oil, salt, and 1/2 of the flour – mix well.

Stir in remaining flour to form a stiff dough.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.

Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk. I use my oven with the light on – it seems to work well.

Punch down, cover, and let rise for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees – if you have a pizza stone, put it inside the oven as it heats.

Remove the stone from the oven (once it’s hot, of course), and sprinkle with cornmeal. Or, if you are not lucky enough to have a stone, grease a baking sheet and sprinkle it with cornmeal.

Form the dough into a ball and place it on the stone or sheet. Using a sharp knife, make 3 slashes in the top of the loaf, cover with the bowl, and let rise for 30 minutes or until doubled.

Mix the egg and 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl. With a pastry brush, spread the mixture all over the loaf – don’t forget the sides!

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Darlings, I know it looks like a lot of work, but it’s really not. You could use store-bought bread and dressing, really. I won’t be mad. But try the bread platter thing – I promise it will be one of your new favorite things!

Shrimp and Asparagus Salad

In Salads 'n' Stuff, Seafood on March 2, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Okay, this one really is healthy, I swear!

I found another great salad recipe! Aren’t I awesome? It’s almost spring – well, not really, but it’s not February anymore, so we’re getting closer. Don’t you want to have an arsenal of nice, fresh meals to break out once the weather breaks? I thought so. This would be one of them. It screams spring. I mean, it’s 80 degrees and pouring here right now, so the weather is also screaming spring, but this salad trumps even South Florida humidity in its springness.  Try it! You’ll see what I mean.

I found it on ShrimpRecipes.org – this website reminds be of Bubba from Forrest Gump, I swear. Steamed shrimp, boiled shrimp, fried shrimp, shrimp creole, shrimp kebabs…shrimp and asparagus salad! It’s light and refreshing, but still plenty filling. Although we had it for dinner, I can see it making a great weekday lunch, too – just keep the hot part, the salad part, and the dressing separate until you’re ready to eat it so it doesn’t get soggy. Actually, the hot part is supposed to be chilled before you mix it with the salad part, but I served it hot because I dislike cold dinners. But it’s convenient that way!

The recipe was great as written, but you know me – I had to make some changes. Find the original on the link, or use my adapted version. Whatever makes your mouth water.

Shrimp and Asparagus Salad

(adapted from ShrimpRecipes.org)

Ingredients:

Salad-

1 pound asparagus, chopped

1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined

6 leaves Romaine lettuce

3 cups mixed greens

1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes

1/2 red bell pepper, sliced

3 scallions, chopped

2 ounces aged white cheddar cheese, grated

6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Dressing-

1/2 cup olive oil

4 tablespoons red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons fresh parsley

3 tablespoons fresh basil

1 tablespoon fresh oregano

dash cayenne

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine all dressing ingredients in chopper or food processor. Process until herbs are chopped but still recognizable – do not puree. Set aside to let flavors mingle.

Rip Romaine into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Add mixed greens and scallions. Set aside.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pepper, and cook for 3 minutes.

Add the asparagus, and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the shrimp and tomatoes, and cook until the shrimp are pink and no longer translucent. Drain and toss with 2 tablespoons of dressing.

Toss the lettuce mixture with remaining dressing. Top with shrimp mixture, cheese, and bacon crumbles.

Dig in and enjoy! Goes well with a nice, crusty bread, if you happen to have any. Just sayin’.

Warm Winter Vegetable Salad

In Vegetables on January 28, 2010 at 5:36 pm

I can see my reflection in the balsamic reduction!

I do love vegetables, really I do! But I tend to fall into the asparagus-peas-broccoli rut, and it gets  a bit old. I mean, yeah, they’re available pretty much all year in some form or another, they’re usually pretty popular, but I don’t know – I like to keep things interesting, and the vegetable dish is where I always fall short. Lately I’ve been keeping an eye out for new veg recipes, trying to get out of my SOS comfort zone. My local green market has all this beautiful produce, but I don’t know what to do with it! I really want to start doing some new things.

I came across Bitchincamero and this gorgeous picture of a roasted salad. Yes! A roasted salad. Great idea! It has rutabaga, and leeks, and a bunch of stuff I don’t normally use. I was so excited! This was exactly what I’ve been looking for! Tonight’s dinner, I thought to myself.

Well, I did make it and it was delicious. Problem is, I didn’t have time to run out and get all these new ingredients, so I ended up using the same old standbys I always do. So it wasn’t the culinary adventure I was hoping for. But it was still delicious! Mr. Gorilla even went back for seconds – of vegetables! His mother would be so proud! I can’t wait to try this one again with the proper ingredients. Here’s my version – the original can be found on the link.

This is before roasting - looks good enough to eat already! The potatoes would be crunchy, though.

Warm Winter Vegetable Salad

Adapted from BitchinCamero

Ingredients:

4-6 petite red potatoes, diced

3 carrots, scrubbed and diced

1 lb. Brussels sprouts, ends removed and halved

1/2 Vidalia onion, wedged and sliced

2 cups kale, rinsed and torn

3 slices thick, center cut applewood smoked bacon, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp. coarse salt

freshly ground pepper

2 teaspoons ground thyme

1 sprig fresh rosemary

1/2 lb. whole wheat orzo

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375° while you prep your vegetables. Toss the cut vegetables with the bacon, olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary and place in a big casserole dish. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The vegetables are done when they’re tender and slightly browned or caramelized around the edges. (This actually took closer to 40 minutes for me – I guess I didn’t cut my stuff small enough. I suck.)

While the vegetables roast, cook your orzo according to package directions. You’ll want to make sure it stays al dente. After you drain the orzo, rinse it with cold water in a colander to stop it cooking. (This I failed to do, and my orzo stuck together in one huge clump while I was waiting for my veggies to finish. Luckily, it stirred out fine, but yeah, I suck again.)

Place the balsamic vinegar in a small pot and cook over low heat until it reduces by about half – 10 minutes or so. (Again, it took longer for me. Maybe my stove is just stupid. And the fumes from a balsamic reduction make my dog cower under her bed and roll on the carpet. Weird.)

When the vegetables are done, discard the thyme and rosemary sprigs and toss the orzo into the casserole dish and stir everything until well-combined and the pasta is slightly coated with the oil from the pan. (I didn’t have fresh thyme, obviously, but I did have fresh rosemary. As stated in previous posts, I am a rosemary fiend. Instead of putting the sprig in whole, I stripped off the needles and just made them part of the salad. )

Serve and drizzle with some of the balsamic reduction. (This I did. And I only spilled a little bit.)

So, yeah, folks! If I was able to pull it off despite my lack of preparation and motor control, you can too! Thanks to BitchinCamero for a great recipe. Really, try this one – even non-vegetable-eaters like it because the medley of flavors is so balanced and warm and earthy, you forget it’s all veg. And if you leave out the bacon, voila! Vegetarian. Simple.

Ignore this: WBGWH4AB8XFN

Roasted Garlic and Brie Soup and Chicken Salad Sandwiches

In Chicken, Sandwiches, Soups/Stews on January 8, 2010 at 6:58 pm

I can smell the soup through the picture. Omigod.

First, the soup. I first saw it on Framed, and I’ve been wanting to try it ever since. Well, I made it last night, and I must say, words fail me. Such velvety, savory, slightly smoky, buttery, goodness has never been found in one soup.

The recipe was great – the only thing I changed was that bit at the end about putting the garlic and a cup of the soup in the food processor and mixing it into the soup. I just whipped out my handy immersion blender and gave it a whirl right there in the pot – it was beautiful! I wanted to just keep eating it forever! I shouldn’t have made sandwiches too.

Now, about the sandwiches – first, let me say, I HATE mayo. Always have. Even the mere smell of it makes me want to blart. Can’t stand it. No. This being said, I need to do something with leftover chicken, and who wants to miss out on chicken salad fun? So I came up with my own. It was quite yummy, although perhaps a bit overpowered by the soup. But it’s so easy, and I had leftovers for lunch the next day.

Chicken Salad

Makes 4 big sandwiches

Ingredients:

1 pound chicken, cooked

1/2 sweet onion

2 ribs celery

4 sun-dried tomatoes

4 oz. cashews

3 tablespoons deli mustard

1 cup sour cream

salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, dill

Directions:

Put chicken in a large bowl, making sure no very large pieces remain (unless you have a very large mouth). You can chop it, or leave it chunky, like I did. If you chop it, you get more creaminess per bite, if you leave it chunky, it feels a bit heartier.

Finely chop all veggies and cashews, add to the chicken, and mix well.

Add the mustard and sour cream, and mix well.

Finally, add the salt, pepper, and spices. Be very careful about going crazy with the cayenne! I know it’s pretty, but it packs some heat, especially when combined with the spicy mustard! Give it all a good toss and stir.

I served mine on small hoagie roll with spring mix and sliced Roma tomatoes, but you can serve yours however you want. You can even eat it right out of the bowl if you live alone. I won’t tell.

Pretty AND delicious!

Of course, as with most of my recipes, you can substitute the heck out of this thing. Try different nuts and herbs and veggies. But remember the deli mustard has a very strong flavor, so you want to include things that can stand up to it without clashing. I hate it when flavors clash. Two delicious things come together to form an unholy alliance of blech. Sadness.

Okay, that’s all for today! Come back tomorrow, my darlings, and I will show you my improved version of Fish Tacos! And a new recipe from Dinners with Julie… stay tuned!

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