Friday, June 29, 2012

38 Power Foods, Week 3 -- Avocado-- Chicken-Guacamole Salad

                                                        Chicken-Guacamole Salad with a Big Squeeze of Fresh Lime... 
If you live in the part of world where it's summer, this is your dinner.  Because it's just too hot to cook nearly anything.  Grill up a few chicken breasts at a time and you'll have plenty for this meal and tomorrow's, too.  (Chicken tacos?  Chicken salad sandwiches?)  This guacamole couldn't be better or easier:  chop up a simple pico de gallo and stir it into avocados.  Some cut-up or sliced chicken, greens, some lime?  You're already eating.   Buy your avocados a couple of days ahead and let them ripen on the counter or in a paper bag if your grocery doesn't carry ripe avocados.   Try this:

chicken-guacamole salad                             3-4 servings
  • 1/2 c fresh cilantro, chopped roughly, divided
  • 1/2 c fresh green pepper, chopped in 1/2" pieces
  • 1/4 c red sweet pepper, chopped in 1/2 " pieces
  • 1/2 jalapeño, minus seeds and veins, very finely minced (for more heat, use the whole pepper)
  • 1/4 c red onion, minced
  • 1 c tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 ripe avocados,  peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped
  • 1 c cooked rice seasoned with a light sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Lime, cut in half  (Cut one of the halves into slices)
  • 2 chicken breasts, grilled and chopped
  • 2 c baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2c sharp cheddar grated

Mix cilantro through tomatoes in a large bowl, reserving 2 T cilantro.  Stir in avocados.   Mix the reserved 2 T cilantro into the cooked rice and add the rice to the guacamole salad. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. Squeeze half of the lime over the salad. Add chopped chicken breasts and spinach and stir gently. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve mounded, with a piece of lime on each plate to use at table.

Cook's Notes: Don't even have the energy to chop, stir, or cook?  Buy a roasted deli chicken and pre-made guac for an even easier meal.  Many shops now sell freshly-made pico de gallo or salsa.  The packages of microwave rice would work well for this dinner and would cut both time and kitchen heat.

Wine?  Not.  It's time for a margarita or a beer.  (Ok,  Sangria,  Riesling or an Oregon Pinot Blanc if you have to have wine.) 

Dessert?  Lemon sorbet. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Grilled Chicken with Couscous Greek Salad and Lemon Vinaigrette

Dedicated to Gus and Irene Matthews
Hello!  I missed you.  (Actually, I didn't; I had no time to miss anything.)  But I'm happy to be back.  Thanks for being here.

Back from vacation and hot, hot, hot. HOT!  I know it's hotter out east, and the temperature has been going down this afternoon as a storm approaches, but I sort of miss Canada.  Recipe way below if you're interested...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Blog is on Vacation, but Make This 10-minute Salmon Supper

Out of sight, out of mind.
The blog is on vacation.
So are the the puppies.
Dave, too.

But until we all return, why don't you make a 10-minute Salmon Supper I made for myself last night? I made enough for two meals, so I didn't have to cook tonight.  There are still enough green beans for my lunch tomorrow.

I write two very fun food blogs and I rarely blog the same recipe on both; today I am.  On Dinner Place, I've been occasionally experimenting with recipes that are more photos than text.  See what you think.

grilled salmon with  balsamic-honey sauce and green beans vinaigrette serves 2-3

Here's how:

Cook oiled and salt + peppered salmon (2-8oz portions Copper River Salmon here), skin-side up, over medium-high heat on a grill or skillet for 4 minutes.  Turn and cook until firm, but still moist-- another 2-4 minutes  for 3/4" thick fish.    Remove and let rest 2 minutes.  Thicker or larger fish will take a bit longer.

Meanwhile, cook clipped package of haricots verts in microwave @ full power 2-3 minutes.
 Make vinaigrette for beans:  Whisk together in a medium bowl 1T white wine vinegar with 1/4 t each salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, Dijon-style mustard.  Then whisk in 2T olive oil, 1 T at a time until thickened or emulsified.
Pour the beans carefully (HOT) into bowl and toss w/ vinaigrette.  Grate a bit of lemon zest on top.   Taste and re-season if necessary.

Make the sauce for the fish like this:  In a small bowl, mix well together 2T balsamic vinegar and 2t honey with a good pinch of black pepper.  Another sauce I like is fig jam mixed with balsamic vinegar-- about 2T jam to 1T balsamic, with some crushed red pepper and a pinch of salt.

To serve:  Place a piece of cooked fish on each plate and drizzle with the sauce. Add the green beans and serve hot.

Wrap well the second piece of fish (if not using) and store in frig; keeps one day.  Store beans in the bowl, covered, and refrigerated.  Use within 2-3 days.

 Wine? I typically like Oregon Pinot Noir with salmon, but this prep calls for a bit bigger wine, so go with an Australian Shiraz or a California Cab.

two-dog kitchen and around the 'hood
Tucker loves to watch the neighbors come to and from The Wine Thief and The Ale Jail.  Gabby is more into, "Where's the ball or what's Mom doing?"

Below:  my south garden.  Summer in St. Paul!

yellow roses

columbines like it here

my favorite color rose

When I come back, I'll be ready to get into the next group-blogging adventure:

Can't wait to cook for you, but meantime read this article on summer cookbooks....

Sing a new song,

Monday, June 4, 2012

Warm Two-Potato Salad with Mustard-Tarragon Vinaigrette

Necessity is the mother of invention.
As is a determination to use what's available in the larder.
Tonight, I had probably half a pound roasted pork loin and a nice dish of my favorite barbeque sauce leftover from a birthday dinner for my friend, Lani.    I had, however, eaten the side that went with it for lunch.  Of course I knew what I was doing, but I love toasted Israeli couscous with vegetables.

Friday, June 1, 2012

50 Women Game-Changers in Food - #50 - Julie Powell - Poached Eggs

Poached Eggs:  They're not just for breakfast anymore.   Alyce's  Poached Egg Chef's Salad
If you saw the movie "Julie and Julia," you'll know Julie Powell didn't like eggs.  While working her way through Julia Child's Mastering The Art of French Cooking, Volume I in one year, Julie one day had to wake up and smell the eggs.  Yuck.  Something she never cooked.  But eggs were on the list and eggs are what she finally did fix.  And liked.  Who knew?