Oh, the flavors! This salad is a party in a bowl, perfect for a main meal or a holiday gathering. There are so many layers of deliciousness in this recipe starting with an orange juice, cider vinegar, shallot and sundried tomato marinade for the chicken thighs. Then there are the healthy greens like baby spinach and a hefty helping of feta and mozzarella cheeses. The dressing is actually the drippings from the pan-grilled chicken, so it’s loaded with flavor through and through. This dish didn’t start out as a salad. It was actually originally a hot Tuscan skillet where the chicken breasts are stuffed with the cheeses, spinach and tomatoes. But I decided to switch it up and turn it into a refreshing salad with warm flavorful chicken tossed in.
extra virgin olive oil
Wow, what a salad! Bright, fresh, and so very flavorful, this Shrimp and Orzo Salad has the perfect combination of protein, blanched vegetables in a savory lemon tarragon dressing. If you’re looking for the perfect main meal salad, this one will not disappoint. It’s also great as a side dish that would pair well with many different entrée’s. The secret to this dish is to not overcook the vegetables or the shrimp. Only a couple of minutes in hot water to blanch the veggies, a few minutes for the shrimp, and then shock them in ice water to stop the cooking process and retain the bright colors! The addition of the snap peas, asparagus (try to find the small, thin spears), the peas (frozen, not canned) and the spinach cut in ultra thin strips (chiffonade) makes this salad so tasty with a surprise in every bite! It’s perfect salad for a holiday buffet and a favorite in January when salads will help us get back on a healthy track. Enjoy!
I taught a fabulous Provence cuisine class today that let us all channel our inner Julia Child. Two star recipes emerged and I wanted to share them with you! Please enjoy a gorgeous, eye-appealing and tantalizing salad with light and delicate homemade French rolls. C’est Manifique!
I’m always amazed at how sharp and intuitive kids are these days. There’s no better place to see this play out than in a kitchen. Add to that observation a growing number of young people who are interesting in cooking, and you have a picture of what my kid’s cooking class was like this week. They made a fantastic one-skillet wonder of raw pasta, lots of cheeses, sausage and marinara sauce that magically all cooked together in no time! The big surprise was how tasty the actual pasta was! How can it not? The pasta is actually cooked in all of those tasty sausage juices, red sauce and garlic instead of being boiled separately in a pot of water. (Salt can only add so much flavor to pasta!) The kids in my cooking class told me they love pasta and wanted an easy way to cook it without a lot of pots and pans. This recipe was perfect for them, and I guarantee it’s going to be perfect for you and your family! Buon Appetito!
Picnics, parties, salads and sides. If you’re looking for a new dish that fits in all of those categories, this Chilled Southwestern Veggie Medley is the answer! This tasty, colorful plate of veggies is loaded with Southwest flavors and lots of crunch. It’s perfect for a make-ahead dish, it transports beautifully and couldn’t be easier to make. What makes the flavor? Fresh ears of corn that are grilled in a skillet or on the BBQ, then sliced into niblets of charred goodness. Charring the red peppers before dicing them also adds a great taste. Also, I’ve always cooked with shallots, but these days I’m realizing how much they bring to a dish. (They may be one of the most misunderstood vegetables out there—do they replace onions? Garlic? Can they be used with onions and garlic?) While some folks replace onions with shallots, a shallot has its own flavor profile, and can add so much to a dish! (Try slicing them very thin and frying them to a deep golden brown, then sprinkle them over a salad or potato dish. Wow!! Over the top goodness!) The flavors of the Southwest permeate this salad with the addition of black beans, jicama, avocados and cilantro. The dressing is lively, with the perfect combination of lime juice and zest, Dijon Mustard and a little sweetness to cut the tang. Over all, it’s a great main meal salad for the vegetarian, a tasty side for your grilled burger lover or just spooned into little tortilla cups for a terrific appetizer! Tortilla cups are simple. Just cut 2-3 inch circles out of flour tortillas, tuck them into a greased cupcake tin and bake for about 15 minutes. Done! I love recipes that give you all the flavor and nutrition you need and are pretty darn effortless to create! Here’s to another hat tip to our wonderful flavors of the Southwest!
A beautiful plate of sliced tomatoes, Buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil drizzled with a rich balsamic reduction was always a mainstay on our Italian table growing up. You have come to know and love it as Caprese or Insalata Caprese. (Have you ever noticed that this dish reflects the colors of the Italian flag?) Besides being a delicious and light salad or appetizer, Caprese is as versatile as a dish gets. So much so, that you’ll now find it in many variations and combinations with other foods. The Marinated Chicken Caprese is the perfect example and is sure to be a new favorite for you and your family! You can make the pesto and balsamic reduction from scratch or use store bought. The Chicken Caprese also answers that age-old pesky question; How can I come up with new ways to cook Chicken? Well, maybe I can help you at least for this week!