SPRING MIX SALAD WITH ROASTED YAMS AND FETA CHEESE

One of our favorite salads matched two unlikely entities together: roasted carrots and avocados. I cannot praise that combination enough. I’ve made it so many times now I can pull it together it in my sleep. Now I bring you another winner, a recipe I know it will be part of our regular rotation. It is hearty without being too heavy, it could be your full meal if you add a good amount of roasted yams, but we enjoyed it with flatiron steak. Prepared sous-vide. Medium-rare, juicy, delicious. Of course, any other protein of your choice would work great. Grilled shrimp? Oh, yeah…

SPRING MIX SALAD WITH ROASTED YAMS AND FETA  CHEESE
(adapted from The Dude Diet)

2 yams, peeled and cut into cubes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/8  teaspoon ground cinnamon
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces baby spring mix
¼ cup pepitas, dry toasted on a skillet until fragrant
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
for the dressing:
4 tablespoons avocado oil
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Heat the oven to 375 ° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place the yams in a bowl large enough to toss them around, add the 2 teaspoons of olive oil, salt, and cinnamon. Mix well, transfer them to the baking sheet and roast for about 25 minutes, until starting to get brown at the edges, and is cooked through, when you test with a fork.  Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

Make the dressing inside a serving bowl, by whisking together all ingredients. Add the spring mix, roasted yams, and toasted pepitas. Mix well, and add the crumbled feta on top, right before serving.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I had never visited Serena’s blog , Domesticate Me, and fell in love with it upon my first contact. Must thank Mimi for the heads up about that site. I ended up ordering her book, The Dude Diet, and I absolutely love it. She is hilarious, but what’s even better, her recipes are great. I’ve tried a few already, and must say that her lightened up version of Chicken Parmigiana is a serious winner. It pleased my beloved, who is an expert on the subject. It is one of his favorite dishes, one he requests all the time. The whole gist of the book is making recipes that awe her guy – think cheeseburgers, mac and cheese, lasagna, enchiladas – but with a lot more restraint in terms of fat and calories. I gotta use a word I don’t care for: healthier versions. There, I said it. Without compromising flavor.  I highly recommend her book and her blog. Just keep in mind she uses very “colorful” language… If you don’t have a problem with that, get ready for a great time.

This salad is so delicious, and not at all hard to make on a weeknight. I would probably cut the yams in the morning and keep the pieces in the fridge, just to speed preparation up. Then, it’s all a matter of heating the small electric oven, roasting the yams and moving on to showtime.  I think that adding pieces of avocado will make it even better, and perhaps some hard-boiled eggs instead of cheese could work well too. The pepitas are fantastic, by the way. They kind of disappeared in the photo, but their popcorny taste and crunch is superb! Try this salad, with or without the steak. At the risk of sounding repetitive, it is a winner. Winner, winner, salad dinner!

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CHICKEN IN GREEN PIPIAN SAUCE, SOUS-VIDE STYLE

This classic Mexican recipe was featured in Marcela Valladolid‘s show on Food TV, Mexican Made Easy. It pairs a delicious sauce of cooked tomatillos and pumpkin seeds with boneless chicken breasts.  I decided to adapt her recipe for sous-vide cooking, and was very happy with the outcome.  The meat ended up perfectly cooked, not a hint of dryness.  The sauce is simply to die for, if you are a vegetarian, skip the bird, but make the sauce. Roasted cauliflower would be amazing paired with a little pipian…

ChickenPipianSauce2
CHICKEN SOUS-VIDE WITH GREEN PIPIAN SAUCE
(adapted from Marcela’s Mexican Made Easy)

for the chicken:
4 boneless chicken breasts
4 little pats of butter (probably ok to skip it)
1 large lemon, sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

for the sauce:
1 + 1/4 cup green pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 Serrano chile, stemmed
1/2 medium white onion, roughly chopped
1 + 1/2 cups chicken broth, warmed (I used a lot less)
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, place them in sealable plastic bags, add a tiny pat of butter and a few slices of lemon over each breast. Seal the bags. Place in the water-bath set at 140 F for three hours.

While the chicken cooks, prepare the sauce (can be made a couple of days in advance). Preheat a large, heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot. Toast the pumpkin seeds, stirring constantly, until they have expanded and begin to pop, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the seeds to a plate to cool. Reserve 2 tablespoons for garnish.

In a medium, heavy saucepan, simmer the tomatillos, Serrano and onions in salted water to cover until the tomatillos turn a dark green color, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatillos, Serrano and onions to a blender and puree with the chicken broth, cilantro, sugar and toasted pumpkin seeds until smooth (the sauce will be a little coarse). Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, slice the chicken crosswise on the bias. Transfer to a serving plate. Spoon the green pipian sauce on top and garnish with the reserved toasted pumpkin seeds.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

 

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Comments: I am having a great time with my Anova sous-vide gadget. Most recipes I tried were big hits, a few disappointed me, but isn’t that true for any type of cooking?  You cannot win them all. For boneless chicken breasts, it is hard to come up with a better cooking method. I included butter in the bag, but it would probably be just as nice and tender without it. With sous-vide, you will never get the beauty of grill marks or that copper, enticing tone that roasting or broiling would offer.  But, in a recipe such as this one, in which the meat will be served under a sauce, the cosmetic aspect will be taken care of.  Imagine a very delicately poached chicken, boosted with the flavor of a spicy sauce with the crunchy pepitas on top: Mexican heaven, in sous-vide form! No sous-vide around?  Check Marcela’s original recipe using a regular oven.  I am sure it will be amazing too…

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