FORGIVE ME, FOR I HAVE SINNED

The perfect food blogger would never resort to using pre-washed greens, buying instead produce exclusively from the farmer’s market,  each leaf washed with loving care. However, I am not ashamed to confess this particular sin. Quite the contrary, the bag of organic  “mixed greens” found in most grocery stores is one of my best friends, because it makes life so much easier.  To my delight, the latest issue of Fine Cooking had an article devoted to redeeming sinners like me: it offered  several options of salad recipes that,  starting from those handy bags, turn them up into something special. I intend to try all of them, but my first choice was the one featuring a ginger-yogurt dressing and fresh cucumber. I can never resist the call of ginger.  ;-)

MIXED GREEN SALAD WITH CUCUMBER, ALMONDS, AND GINGER-YOGURT VINAIGRETTE
(adapted from Fine Cooking magazine, July 2012)

1-1/2 Tbs. rice vinegar
1 Tbs. finely chopped shallot
2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
2 tsp. thinly sliced mint leaves
salt and black pepper to taste
1/3 cup plain non-fat yogurt
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
5 oz. (5 cups) mixed baby greens
1 small English cucumber, peeled, sliced
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, shallot, ginger, mint, salt, and black pepper.  Stir in the yogurt and olive oil.

In a large bowl, season the greens and cucumbers with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper and toss with enough dressing to lightly coat. Sprinkle the toasted almonds on top, and serve right away.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

The original recipe called for sesame seeds instead of almonds, but I like to have extra crunch in my salad, and felt that the sesame seeds would more or less disappear through the mix.  I also used non-fat yogurt in place of low-fat, because that’s what we had laying around in the fridge.  The dressing turned out light, with the mint and ginger bringing a nice zing to it.   Great, simple salad, perfect way to doctor up those bags that may find their way into your grocery cart… ;-)  Extra-vinaigrette keeps well for a day, the flavors intensify a bit.

Because Fine Cooking doesn’t make their recipes available online for non-subscribers, a while ago I contacted the magazine to know their thoughts on copyright issues. Here’s the deal: they don’t mind bloggers publishing any of their recipes, as long as full credit is given and a link to the magazine is included, so that’s what I’ve been doing, without guilty feelings.  Except, of course, the guilt of buying that eventual bag of salad greens. Pre-washed.  ;-)

ONE YEAR AGO: Cracked Wheat Sandwich Bread

TWO YEARS AGOAu Revoir, my Bewitching Kitchen

THREE YEARS AGO:  French Bread

A PEACHY SALAD FOR A SUNNY DAY!

The end of August makes me apprehensive, because Summer is my favorite season.   But in the Southwest the heat lingers on, so we remain in the mood for light, refreshing food.  This salad is a great example, in that it contains only 3 ingredients: chicken breasts, peaches and cucumbers, plus a tasty mix of yogurt and spices that joins them together.
ingredients

This recipe was in my “to make soon” folder for a year (shame on me!),  since I first saw it in the popular food blog Just Bento.

CHICKEN AND YOGURT SALAD WITH CUCUMBERS AND PEACH
(adapted from this recipe; receita em portugues no final do texto)

chickensalad

9 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast (2-3 halves, depending on size)
1/8 cup soy sauce
1 piece ginger (about 1 inch, peeled, slightly bruised to release flavor)
1/2 tsp salt
1 T fresh Italian parsley, minced
1/2 English seedless cucumber
1/4 tsp. ground cardamon
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup plain thick (Greek) yogurt
2 ripe peaches
salt and pepper to taste

Start by poaching the chicken. In a pan large enough to hold them in a single layer add enough water to barely cover the pieces, mix in the soy sauce, ginger, salt and parsley.   Add the chicken breasts and bring the liquid to a boil. Once it boils, immediately cover the pan and remove it from the heat, leaving it undisturbed for 15 minutes.  Remove the chicken breasts, discard the cooking liquid and allow the meat to completely cool. Cut them into chunks.

Using a mandoline, cut the cucumber into paper-thin slices.

Peel the peaches and also cut them into chunks, slightly smaller than the chicken pieces.

Combine the yogurt with the spices and mint. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Taste and add a little salt if needed. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

Enjoy!

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