Archive for the ‘Salads’ Category

Walnut and Rosemary Oven-Fried Chicken with Toasted Garlic Escarole

February 20, 2011

In the winter, my tendency is to make tagines, baked pastas and all day stewed meats. It is a season of hearty food, rich food and the king of comfort food. The cold weather makes us craves rich, warm dishes that satisfy the belly and the soul.

But generally, around the end of February, I start to feel – well, large. Fortunately, this winter didn’t tag me with the extra 10 pounds it normally does (thanks to an upcoming beach vacation that keeps me sticking to my workout routine). However, I still get to a point where I want something a bit lighter. Something that I don’t eat with a glass of wine and fall asleep on the couch at 9pm.

And, with the uncharacteristically warm weather we have had as of late, this felt like a good dish that can transition to the summer months.

The chicken is so crispy and has a fried taste, without the added guilt (this dish has less than 300 calories). The rosemary and walnut give it extra flavor, and is balanced by the lemony salad. It was so delicious, light, and surprisingly very filling. This one will be making more appearances as the seasons change.

So, if you are like me and need to have a slight departure from your winter food rut, this recipe is a great one – and without the guilt. Thanks to Cooking Light for this one!

WALNUT AND ROSEMARY OVEN-FRIED CHICKEN
Serves 4

1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 (6-ounce) chicken cutlets
1/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
Rosemary leaves (optional)

Preheat oven to 425°.

Combine buttermilk and mustard in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Add chicken to buttermilk mixture, turning to coat.

Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add panko to pan; cook 3 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently. Combine panko, nuts, and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a shallow dish. Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture; discard buttermilk mixture. Dredge chicken in panko mixture.

Arrange a wire rack on a large baking sheet; coat rack with cooking spray. Arrange chicken on rack; coat chicken with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 13 minutes or until chicken is done. Garnish with rosemary leaves, if desired.
TOASTED GARLIC ESCAROLE
Cut a 1½-pound escarole head crosswise into 1-inch strips; place in a large bowl. Heat 1½ tablespoons olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 thinly sliced garlic cloves to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until golden. Remove from heat; add 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle dressing over escarole, and toss to coat.

Chicken with Tarragon and Quick Roasted Garlic, and Southwest Rice and Corn Salad with Lemon Dressing

October 23, 2010

I don’t know about you, but there are times when I am just so sick of chicken. It is such an obvious choice – it is healthy, cheap and can be made in a variety of ways. But, the very characteristics that make it so wonderful, also entice the average home cook to put chicken in the meal rotation too many times a week. And that, my friends, results in food boredom.

So, I must admit that when I made this recipe I wasn’t overly excited. It was yet another sauteed chicken breast. But, I was so pleasantly surprised that we declared that this recipe might have resulted our favorite chicken dish in many poultry-filled months.

What makes this dish is surely the salad that goes with it – so I beg you not to omit it. I didn’t have all of the veggies, but it still turned out amazing. The rice combines so well with the acidity of the lemon juice, the richness of the avocado and the sweetness of the corn.

The chicken has such a rich flavor due to the roasted garlic and tarragon. It tastes like something that has been cooking and developing flavors all day long.

So, this recipe has invigorated my love for chicken, and will be my new go-to recipe with my poultry love is diminishing.

Thanks to Bon Appetit for this recipe!

CHICKEN WITH TARRAGON AND QUICK ROASTED GARLIC
4 Servings

3 large unpeeled garlic cloves
4 small skinless boneless chicken breast halves or cutlets
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Heat small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; cover and cook until browned in spots and tender when pierced, turning occasionally, 9 to 10 minutes. Transfer to work surface to cool.

Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to plate (do not clean skillet).

Peel garlic. Add garlic and wine to same skillet; cook until reduced by about half, mashing garlic finely with fork, about 1 minute. Add broth and tarragon; simmer until liquid is reduced by about half, 1 to 2 minutes. Add cream and simmer to sauce consistency, about 1 minute. Return chicken to skillet with any accumulated juices. Simmer to heat through, turning occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate; spoon sauce over.

SOUTHWEST RICE AND CORN SALAD WITH LEMON DRESSING
8 Servings

1 cup long-grain white rice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from 2 ears) or frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 cup chopped fresh poblano chiles or green bell pepper
1 cup diced seeded yellow bell pepper
1 cup 1/2-inch cubes yellow zucchini
1 avocado, halved, peeled, diced
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Cook rice until just tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Drain again.

Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice and 3 tablespoons oil in small bowl. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add corn, poblanos, yellow bell pepper, and zucchini. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until vegetables are just tender, 6 to 7 minutes; scrape into large bowl. Add rice, avocado, green onions, cilantro, and dressing; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

Pancetta Cheeseburgers with Tomato, Basil and White Bean Salad

April 18, 2010

I wouldn’t consider myself a burger grilling master but I know the basics.

I know to buy the chuck (80/20) for its fat content (making the burger juicier). I know not to touch the burgers for a while (resisting the urge to take a peak) so it doesn’t crumble when you try to flip. And I know to make the patties with a small dent in the middle so they don’t end up with a bubble on top.

But, what I didn’t know was that I think, for all these years, I have been buying the wrong meat. 80/20 chuck is certainly the right meat, but I think pre-packaged was the wrong move. Sure, it is cheaper and easier, but I am not sure it makes for the best burger. When I tried these Martha Stewart Pancetta Cheeseburgers I went to Fresh Market and bought fresh ground chuck (to order), and not only was the color of the meat magnificent, but it was probably the best ground chuck I have ever had.

Not to mention this particular recipe is a clear winner – it has a bit of a kick, lots of flavor and a great crunch with the baked pancetta. My only alteration would be to perhaps make more than one pancetta piece per burger (ok, I know it isn’t the healthiest alteration but pancetta might be the best thing on the planet!). In addition, the bean salad that was recommended to be served alongside the burgers was fantastic, and is a great summer dish. I also couldn’t find fontina at my store so I used provolone. I don’t know if it was better or not, but I do know it was darn good.

Happy grilling!

PANCETTA CHEESEBURGERS
Serves 4

4 thin slices pancetta (I would even recommend 8 if you love pancetta like me!)
1 1/4 pounds ground chuck
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Freshly ground pepper
4 ounces fontina cheese, thinly sliced
4 hamburger buns, toasted if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pancetta on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, flipping the slices halfway through, until crisp, about 15 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Meanwhile, using your hands, combine ground chuck, salt, chili powder, and paprika in a bowl, and season with pepper. Shape into 4 patties (about 4 inches in diameter).

Preheat grill to medium. (If you are using a charcoal grill, coals are ready when you can hold your hand 5 inches above grill for just 5 to 6 seconds.) Grill burgers 4 to 5 minutes. Flip burgers, and top with cheese. Grill 3 to 4 minutes more for medium-rare. Remove, and let rest 5 minutes. Top burgers with pancetta, and serve on buns.

TOMATO, BASIL and WHITE BEAN SALAD
Serves 4

2 cans (19 ounces each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 pound small roma (plum) tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 small garlic cloves, minced

Combine beans, tomatoes, basil, and salt in a bowl, and season with pepper.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Pour over bean mixture, and gently toss. Let stand 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld. Salad can be covered and kept at room temperature up to 4 hours.

Sate Chicken Salad

April 25, 2009

img_02962If you love Thai food, but don’t always want the heavy rice or fried noodles, this recipe won’t disappoint. I made it hot for dinner but it would work well cold as a summer dish, too. Omit the chicken and it would make a great side as well.

Instead of the rotisserie the recipe calls for, I just cooked some chicken in sesame oil and red pepper flakes in a non-stick skillet. Also, I was out of soy sauce, so I substituted fish sauce (since the ingredients are slightly similar). It was amazing and I didn’t taste the omission, but I will certainly add the soy next time around. It was a great, light, crunchy dish with tons of flavor. Thanks to Gourmet magazine for this one!

SATE CHICKEN SALAD
Serves 6-8
1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts
1 large garlic clove
1 (1-inch) piece peeled ginger
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter (not natural-style)
6 tablespoons warm water
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2.5 tablespoons soy sauce
1.5 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
3 cups slices or coarsely shredding rotisserie chicken
1 lb coleslaw mix
3 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
Lime wedges for garnish

Pulse peanuts in a food processor until coarsely chopped, then transfer to a bowl. With motor running, drop garlic and ginger through feed tube and finely chop. Add peanut butter, water, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar and red-pepper flakes and blend until smooth. Add more water to obtain desired consistency.

Toss chicken and vegetables with enough dressing to coat, then sprinkle with peanuts and cilantro.


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