Month: April 2013

Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Mango

Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Mango

Most people, when they decide to make salad, just make a salad.  A quick opening of the refrigerator door.  A glance at the counter.  A whisk and a shake of vinegar and oil.  I love almost every salad I make (surely I should be thinner) and Dave does, too.  With a couple of exceptions, I rarely repeat one, though I am crazy about fresh spinach with lime vinaigrette.  And, maybe even more, green beans and mushrooms with tarragon.  Or Caprese with bacon….  Well.

But this Nigella Lawson salad had us hooked from the very first time we ate it.  I saw the recipe somewhere and that was that.  It’s definitely addictive.  To say nothing of healthy.   Unlike most things I make,  this is one I typically make just like the recipe says.  Asian-inspired anything pushes me toward conventional wisdom and written-out recipes, though I do see myself peeking out from around the soy sauce now and again lately.  For instance:  yesterday I ran out of mint (the only herb called for in her version), but had cilantro and basil. I also had a great mango calling, “Alyce, Alyce.”    You can look at the original version here where I blogged it for Dinner Place.  Shrimp,too, instead of chicken, is scrumptious. Wow!  Add some cooked jasmine rice (ok, brown rice if you must) for a larger, more filling meal.

While this meal contains a whole jalapeno pepper and a bit of crushed red pepper (Nigella’s named a Thai bird chile), it is not terribly hot at all. (I don’t like really hot food just like I don’t like really salty food; I only taste hot or salty then.) It’s just flavorful.   Make just a little with the heat and try some if hot peppers are things you don’t eat.

The sad, but beautiful snow dance of the lilacs in my south garden.  Two of them will not survive.

If you’re watching your P’s and Q’s calorie or healthwise, this salad has your name engraved on it.  It’s one that fits both the South Beach and Weight Watcher profiles with smiles all around.   If you aren’t worried about  intake, you should make it anyway.    By the way, I made this for a group of music friends the other day–right after this last heavy Saint Paul snowstorm– and one of them brought cuties mixed with peach yogurt and chopped walnuts as our dessert.  Nice! Try this:

vietnamese chicken salad  with mango
 4+ generous servings    7 Weight Watchers Plus Points

Ingredients:

  • 1 jalapeno, minced very finely (no veins or seeds)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons Vietnamese or Thai fish sauce (nuoc nam or nam pla)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium red onion, finely sliced
  • Freshly grated black pepper 
  • Pinch crushed red pepper
  • 12 ounces (3/4 pound) white cabbage, shredded
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded, julienned, or grated
  • 1 pound cooked chicken breasts, shredded, or cut into fine strips (can sub cooked shrimp)
  • 1/4 cup each chopped basil and cilantro (plus a little cilantro for garnish)
  • 2 mangos, peeled, seeded, and chopped 
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 2 scallions sliced very thinly (white and green parts)
  • Salt, to taste

Directions

In a medium, stirring with spoon, combine the chile, garlic, sugar, vinegar, lime juice, fish sauce, oil, onion,  black and red peppers; set aside for 1/2 hour. to a large bowl, add cabbage, carrot, chicken breast,  basil, cilantro and mangoes, tossing with tongs. Pour cabbage mixture over the dressing, tossing with tongs, slowly and patiently so everything is coated. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Serve on a flat plate topped with almonds, scallions, and cilantro for garnish.

Cook’s Notes:  If you’re not going to eat all of this salad at one meal, store the vegetables-fruit and dressing separately; otherwise it can be soggy.

Weight Watchers Notes:  Skip almonds to subtract a point or cut back on chicken portion; do not cut sugar–it’s necessary for the dressing.
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DINING OUT FOR LIFE : DINE OUT/FIGHT AIDS

LIST OF RESTAURANTS DONATING PORTION OR ALL OF THEIR INCOME TODAY!

http://www.diningoutforlife.com/minneapolis

  … … … …

Food Needed:  Cheyenne River Reservation Episcopal Mission–9 congregations in 2 counties

Elderly, Disabled, Grandparents raising children need food. 

Solo Episcopal pastor on the reservation tries to help, but is out of resources.

Please read and help if you can?

Friend them on fb, too!

Sing a new song!  Come, Spring, Come!

Alyce

Baby Kale and Chicken Salad–10 Minutes to Dinner–296 Calories

Baby Kale and Chicken Salad–10 Minutes to Dinner–296 Calories

It is snowing, sleeting, and blowing in Saint Paul.  Again.  I mostly don’t mind it.  As long as I don’t have to drive.

When I came home from the market today, it was pouring tiny bits of frozen rain–treacherous.  I got the groceries up the slippery steps and emailed my boss I was opting out of a dinner meeting.   She agreed and canceled it.  Phew.  By then the biggest snowflakes I’d ever seen were flying like big crystal kites colliding over and over in a  shivering maelstrom.  My little warm kitchen never looked so good.

My welcoming committee.

Yesterday, however, was a gorgeous day with little time for cooking.  A day to say, “I need to use those last couple of pieces of chicken and, oh, those mushrooms shouldn’t really see the morning light.  And it needs to be done pretty quickly because I have to go to rehearsal.”  (Even if you have to cook the chicken thighs, it’ll only take another five minutes.)

In the frig was a container of baby kale  — a popular blog search on More Time —  and I decided to do something a little out of the ordinary with it.  I ended up with an attractive salad with a little warmth.  Dave added some Triscuits and blue cheese; I ate just the Triscuits to watch my p’s and q’s.  Here’s how:

baby kale and chicken salad — 10 minutes to dinner

3-4 servings    296 calories or 5 Weight Watcher Points per serving

 Ingredients:

  •  4 3-ounce pieces grilled or rotisserie chicken
  •  1 Tablespoon olive oil, Kosher salt/fresh ground pepper
  •  2 cups fresh vegetables (nearly any will do–see below for mine)
  •  1 cup baby kale
  • 6-7 cups fresh greens
  •  1/2 lemon
  • Sherry or red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sliced or blanched almonds.

To a 10-inch skillet, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and a few grinds of black pepper along with a pinch of crushed red pepper; heat over medium flame for a minute or so.  Stir in 4 ounces sliced button mushrooms, 1/2 cup chopped asparagus, 1 peeled and thinly sliced carrot,  1/4 cup each chopped onion and red bell pepper.  Let cook down 4-5 minutes;  add a chopped clove of garlic.  Sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt.  (Most chopped fresh vegetables you have would work; these are the ones I had on hand.)

Add a cup of baby kale.  (Could sub spinach.)  Stir and let cook a minute or two.  (This cooks down a lot; you could add more if you like.)

Meantime, toast 2 tablespoons sliced, chopped or blanched almonds (or walnuts) over low heat 4-5 minutes.

In a large bowl, toss 6 cups fresh greens or fresh spinach with a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and a good sprinkling of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

Line the perimeter of a large platter with the greens, leaving some room at the center.  Spoon out the cooked vegetables onto the platter in the middle and top with three or four pieces of cooked chicken, in this case thighs I had cooked earlier.  (I warmed them briefly with the almonds just to take the chill off of them, but you could of course eat them cold.)

Top with toasted almonds.  Drizzle salad with a tablespoon or so of sherry or red wine vinegar.
Dave liked a little blue cheese dressing with his.  I liked it without. Blue Cheese dressing is about 80 fat calories per tablespoon.

MAKE A BIGGER MEAL:  Serve with whole wheat crackers and cheese or a piece of whole wheat toast and butter if you’re starved.   Or:  add 2 cups cooked brown rice to the salad for an additional 109 calories per serving. Toss the cooked rice in with the vegetables as they cook or add at end.

Sing a new song; stay warm,
Alyce

SWORDFISH WITH GINGER-ASPARAGUS RICE AND MANGO SALSA ON DINNER PLACE RIGHT NOW:

Bloggers Against Hunger:  The Results

Turkey-Wild Rice + Vegetable Soup with Sherry and Walnut Garnish OR One More Snow Day in Saint Paul

Turkey-Wild Rice + Vegetable Soup with Sherry and Walnut Garnish OR One More Snow Day in Saint Paul

52084-img_3456-2

 

It’s spring in name only in Saint Paul.  Whereas many food writers and bloggers are already complaining about too many fresh pea or asparagus recipes, people here are still sniffling and shuffling around town in their by now worn-out snow boots. (Uh, there are not even pea tendrils in St. Paul because snow covers the vegetable gardens; see below.)  In fact, if you move here, you’ll save a lot of money on shoes;  you only need them May – September.  Not only that,  you can write about fresh peas, rhubarb, and asparagus when folks further south are eating their first tiny tomatoes and are getting tired of grilling already.

This picture is out my front door this morning.

While people keep emailing or texting me, “Aren’t you tired of snow?”  I’m not.  I’m happy to make one more bubbling cauldron and a big pan of biscuits.  I might be sick of my sweaters, though.

If it’s not too warm where you are, maybe you’re still in the mood for a big pot of soup with bread.  (It’s also a perfect way to use that leftover Thanksgiving turkey if it’s that time a year. ) Try this:

turkey-wild rice + vegetable soup
   makes about 10 quarts of soup

Using up leftover turkey from a holiday meal? Skip that 1 1/2 hours cooking the turkey thighs and  just add  your 2-3 cups shredded or chopped cooked turkey after the rice (#3).

  • 1 tablespoon each butter and olive oil
  • Pinch crushed red pepper 
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 5 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces, divided
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and chopped
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 quarts chicken or turkey stock
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 6 cups water, divided
  • 2  turkey thighs, skin removed (or 2-3 cups shredded or chopped cooked turkey)
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 1 cup wild rice, rinsed several times and drained*
  • Tabasco
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices (can sub 2 medium potato, peeled, and diced)
  • 1/2 cup each fresh or frozen green peas and corn
  • 1/3 cup dry sherry for garnish at the table
  • 1 cup roasted, chopped walnuts or almonds for garnish (optional)
  1. Heat butter and olive oil with red pepper over medium heat in a 12-quart stockpot for one  minute.  Add onions, 1 of the cut-up carrots, the celery, fennel, parsley, thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt with 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.  Cook five minutes or until vegetables are beginning to soften.  Add garlic and cook another minute or two, stirring.
  2. Pour in stock, wine, and 2 cups of the water.  Stir well and add turkey thighs, poultry seasoning, another 1/2 teaspoon of salt and another 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until turkey is tender.
  3. Remove turkey to cutting board and let cool several minutes.  While the turkey is cooling, add rice and 3-4 drops of Tabasco (or more to taste) to the broth.  Bring back to a  low boil.  After turkey is cooled, shred using two forks, and return to pot.  Let cook about 20 minutes and add parsnips along with the rest of the carrots.  Continue to cook another 20 minutes, skimming off fat as needed.** Stir in peas and corn.
  4. Continue to cook until turkey, rice, and all vegetables are tender –another 5-10 minutes. Continue to skim off fat.  Add more water or broth if necessary. This should not be a thick stew, but rather a rich, brothy soup.   Taste and adjust seasonings.  Serve over or with biscuits.  Pour sherry into a small pitcher and pass at the table with the walnuts, if using, to garnish soup. (Just a teaspoon or so of sherry per bowl is plenty, but it’s a matter of personal taste.)

*Please buy Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Michigan hand-harvested wild rice. 
Click here for wild rice nutritional information.

**Turkey thighs give off a lot of fat.  You might have 1/4 cup of fat skimmed off (or more) by the end of the cooking.

biscuits
                      makes 12   2-inch biscuits

  • 2 cups allpurpose, unbleached flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and cream of tartar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2/3 cup milk    

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, salt, cream of tartar and baking powder.  Add butter and cut in well using a pastry blender, two forks, your fingers, or even a food processor until some of the mixture is the size of peas and some are larger, some smaller.  

Stir in the milk all at once and keep stirring until a ball of dough is formed.  Place dough on a floured board and knead 10-12 times.  Pat out (or roll) into a rough circle until dough is about 1/2-inch thick.  Cut out using a 2-inch floured biscuit or round, fluted cookie cutter. * Place biscuits on a baking sheet or in a glass pie pan.  Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve hot, warm, at room temperature, or cold.  (I like to bake biscuits in a Pyrex pie plate or casserole pan because they stay warm at the table.)

*You can use the mouth of a small, floured glass to cut biscuits if you have no cutter.  Another option is to cut them with a knife into squares or rectangles.  They’ll bake.

( Biscuit recipe courtesy FANNIE FARMER BAKING BOOK  by Marion Cunningham.)

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My south window today.


If you like turkey thighs, you might want to try this if the weather is warmer where you are:

Dave’s Ribs and Barbequed Turkey Thighs



By the way, I still have a few soups left to test for my soup cookbook.  Interested?  Leave contact information in a comment or email me afmorgan53@yahoo.com.  No pay, but hopefully a good meal and fun!

Sing a new song,
Alyce   

Ina Fridays — Appetizers — Guacamole

Ina Fridays — Appetizers — Guacamole

Thus begins a fun group blogging effort devoted to the recipes of Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa, Food Network star, best-selling cookbook author, loving wife of Jeffrey, and all around bon vivant!   While Ina probably needs little introduction in the United States, here is a brief biography just in case.
 

 Ina’s newest book.

For recipes, information about Ina, her books (including an index) and shows, visit Ina’s website.  

“Like” Ina on facebook.  Follow Ina on twitter.

The first Friday of every month,  each one of the tasty bloggers in our tribe (scroll down for list)  will blog one course using an Ina recipe.  A few bloggers are really interested in French recipes and may lean in that direction.   Each food blog will feature a different recipe, though duplications are occasionally possible and would be interesting!   We have an amazing gang of cook-writers lined up for April and a few more joining us the first Friday in May due to previous commitments.

Interested in being part of our group? Please email me at  afmorgan53@yahoo.com.  We also include a linky at the end of the post.  We’d love to have you.  This is an open-ended commitment.  Here’s the schedule:

  • Appetizers:  April
  • Salads, Soups, Sides:  May
  • Main Courses:  June
  • Desserts/Other:  July
  • Appetizers:  August   (repeat…)

 

Click to see what the other writers are cooking:

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ina garten’s guacamole    makes 3 cups  


 I like both!

(My changes are in green and parentheses.)
 
Ingredients:
4 ripe Haas avocados
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)  (Lemon and lime)
8 dashes hot pepper sauce
1/2 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 medium tomato, seeded, and small-diced
(1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro)
(Optional:  2 slices bacon, crispy fried and crumbled) 

 
  Directions:

Cut the avocados in 1/2, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh out of their shells into a large bowl. (I use my hands.) (I use a rubber spatula.) Immediately add the lemon juice (and lime juice, if using), hot pepper sauce, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper and toss well. Using a sharp knife, slice through the avocados in the bowl until they are finely diced. Add the tomatoes ( +cilantro and bacon, if using.) Mix well and taste for salt and pepper (and hot sauce.)

(Serve guac with tortilla chips, crackers, on grilled sliced baguette, in taco, chicken, or green salads, on turkey and cheese sandwiches, on/in tomato omelets, with rice and beans,  as a dip for fresh vegetables, or on its own for a snack.)

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/guacamole-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

If you liked this, you might also like:

Ina’s Roasted Shrimp on More Time

Alyce’s Chicken-Guac Salad on More Time

   

 Sing a  new song,
Alyce

Please link only INA FRIDAYS recipes…  Thanks!