Archive for October, 2012
I love the onset of fall – the leaves start turning, the orchards begin to fill with fruit, and the crisp autumn air gives me an excuse to break out my grandmother’s old quilts. But the start of fall also means that school’s started again, the busyness of the holidays are starting to begin, and the mourning of the freshness of summer.
During any seasonal transition there’s always so much to do, and so I like the ease of this recipe. Besides a little bit of chopping and the dressing (which you can make ahead and keep on hand for this and other salads) it’s a fast dump and mix recipe, impressive enough to make for guests, but easy enough to have any day of the week. Packed with veggies and protein, I’ll have 2 or 3 of the lettuce cups as a light but filling lunch, or add in some steamed white or brown rice to make it a complete dinner. It’s also a great make a head appetizer for a dinner party. Just keep the filling and lettuce cups separate till you’re ready to serve. The flavors only get better with time.
I’ve discovered, it’s also a great “add-in” recipe that you could add-in or substitute any leftover vegetables you might have around the house. The Asian pears are a great subtle background flavor for almost anything – red peppers, cucumbers, radishes, avocado – while still holding their distinct sweetness and crispness. Try substituting peanuts or crispy wonton strips for the almonds, or serving the whole mix on a toasted baguette smeared with a little Brie instead of in the lettuce cups. The possibilities are nearly endless. And when I don’t want to grill my own chicken, I’ve been known to just pick up an already roasted one at the grocery store and use that or even left over flank steak as a way to make the recipe even faster and easier.
Beside the ease, fun, and unexpected flavor profiles, I also love this recipe, because it’s a last harbinger of summer. There will be time for roasted apples and freshly pressed cider in the months to come, but while I can, I like extending the brightness and vigor for just a little bit longer as I make my way into fall.
Chicken & Asian Pear Slaw in Lettuce Cups with Sesame-Ginger Dressing (serves 2)
¼ c rice vinegar
1 T grated ginger
2 T soy sauce
1 T fish sauce (if you don’t have fish sauce, add another T of soy sauce)
2 T sesame oil
1 T vegetable or canola oil
1 T honey
½ t red pepper flakes (optional)
1 lg. Asian sliced thinly
1 grilled chicken breast shredded – a scant 2 cups
1 lg. carrot julienned
3 scallons sliced on the diagonal
¼ c slivered almonds (reserve a few for garnish)
1 head Boston or butter lettuce washed, dried, and divided into “cups”
sliced avocado for garnish (optional)
1. In a large mixing bowl (we’re just going to use the same bowl to toss our slaw in) place all dressing ingredients together and mix. I’ve found that using a microplane or the smallest side on any boxed grater will give you the best results with your ginger. When mixing, the dressing will remain “broken” and not imulsify, that’s the way it should be.
2. Prep all salad ingredients, slicing each thinly. To julienne the carrot, first cut the carrot into a manageable length, then into small “planks”. Then stack 3 or 4 planks at a time and cut across length wise.If you have the time, try toasting your almonds by putting them in a small sauté pan for a few minutes on medium high heat until they’re lightly browned and intensify in scent.
3. Mix ingredients together with the dressing, and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes for the flavors to marry while you prep your lettuce. While washing, make sure to dry the leaves thoroughly as to not water down the dressing.
4. Fill each lettuce cups generously with about half a cup of the slaw, garnishing with some of your reserved almonds and some sliced avocado and additional sliced scallion if desired.
About the Author
A former baker, chef, caterer, and a forever foodie, John is now a writer and essayist, who has written for newspapers and magazines across the country, and enjoys spending his spare time traveling and collecting bow ties.
1 small apple
1 small celery rib, sliced
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 small onion, chopped
1 (7-ounce) can tuna
1 Tbsp. fresh dill weed (or 1 tsp. dried dill weed)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 small pita pockets
4 large lettuce leaves
1) Core and chop the apple into a medium-size bowl. Add celery and sprinkle with lemon juice. Add onion. Drain tuna and add to bowl with dill and mayonnaise. Mix well. Cut the top off each pita bread and place a lettuce leaf in each. Stuff with tuna mixture. Serve.
2) Prep time: 15 minutes
3) Recipe courtesy of US Apple AssociationNo comments
A rich, tasty apple filled cheddar panini recipe to melt in your mouth!
- 8 slices whole-grain bread
- 1/4 cup low-fat honey mustard
- 2 crisp apples thinly sliced
- 8 ounces low-fat cheddar cheese thinly sliced
- cooking spray
- Preheat panini press on medium heat (if you don’t have a panini press, just use a non-stick skillet)
- Lightly spread honey mustard evenly over each slice of bread.
- Layer apple slices and cheese over 4 slices of bread using about 1/2 apple and 2 ounces of cheese for each sandwich.
- Top each with the remaining bread slices.
- Lightly coat panini press (or skillet) with cooking spray.
- Grill each sandwich for 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese has melted and bread has toasted.
- Remove from pan and allow to cool slightly before serving.
Recipe courtesy Recipes Wiki.No comments
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 stalks celery, with leaves
- sliced 2 large yellow onions, peeled, trimmed and coarsely chopped
- 2 sweet apples, peeled, cored and cubed
- 1 pound celery root, peeled, trimmed and cubed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig thyme
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Heavy cream or sour cream, for serving (optional)
- Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over low heat.
- Toss in the sliced celery, onions and apples, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
- Add the cubed celery root and turn it around in the butter.
- Toss the herbs into the pot, add the broth and bring to the boil.
- Lower the heat and cook at a gentle simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the celery root is soft enough to mash with the back of a spoon.
- If you can, pull out the bay leaf and what’s left of the thyme.
- Working in small batches in a blender (first choice) or food processor, puree the soup until it’s smooth. (If you’re using a processor or an immersion blender,
you might not get a super-smooth soup. If you’d like, you can run the pureed soup through a strainer, but it’s really not necessary.)
- Taste for salt and pepper
- This needs to be served very hot (especially on a snowy day) and, while it really doesn’t need an embellishment, like just about everything else in the world,
it’s better with cream, so either stir some into the pot or put a spoonful in the center of each bowl and let everyone swirl it into the soup.
Recipe courtesy Recipes Wiki.