Monthly Archives: February 2014

Changed-Up Cowboy Caviar with Chicken

IMG_3558I love the blank canvas that is chicken. The possible flavor combinations one can whip up to serve alongside poultry are infinite. And because we have a budding dietician in our midst, who also runs many miles a week, I serve a lean protein with lots of veggies for dinner quite often. Believe you me, it is NOT easy to satisfy the requirements of the nutrition devotee in our house.

I picked up some bone-in chicken breasts for this dish. Purchasing meat with the bone intact heightens the flavor of meat, so every once in a while we splurge on the extra fat/calories with chicken that still has skin and bones.

  • 3 whole chicken breasts
  • 1 shallot-cisele
  • 15 oz frozen sweet corn
  • 6 oz. mini tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup cooke bulgur
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (for cowboy caviar)
  • salt & pepper for seasoning the chicken.
Roast your red pepper over an open flame.

Roast your red pepper over an open flame.

When your pepper is scorched, place it in a plastic bag, seal, and sweat.

When your pepper is scorched, place it in a plastic bag, seal, and sweat.

Peel off the skin, cut in half, remove the seeds, julienne, and dice.

Peel off the skin, cut in half, remove the seeds, julienne, and dice.

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Cut the tomatoes in half and then in half again.

Cut the tomatoes in half and then in half again. Dice your shallots and chop your cilantro leaves.

Prepare your bulgur. I used Trader Joe's 10 minute bulgur.

Prepare your bulgur. I used Trader Joe’s 10 minute bulgur.

Mix the beans, corn, tomatoes, bulgur, shallots, and cilantro.

Mix the diced pepper, beans, corn, tomatoes, salt, bulgur, and cilantro.

Add your oil to the pan.

Add your oil to the pan.

Sear chicken skin-side down.

Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Sear the breasts skin-side down.

Once the skin releases flip it over and sear the other side for 10 minutes.

Once the skin releases flip it over and sear the other side for 10 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the pan.

Remove the chicken from the pan.

Remove excess oil from the pan.

Remove excess oil from the pan.

Add shallots to the hot pan and stir.

Add shallots to the hot pan and stir.

Add the smoked paprika and heat until fragrant.

Add the smoked paprika.

Heat the smoked paprika until fragrant.

Heat the smoked paprika until fragrant.

Deglaze with the coconut milk. Scrape up all the brown bits.

Deglaze the pan with the lemon juice and then add  the coconut milk. Scrape up all the brown bits. Taste the sauce and add salt & pepper to taste.

Add the chicken back to the pan and cover. Use a thermometer to check the temperature. Turn off the heat when the chicken reaches 160. Add the cowboy caviar and cover for 10 minutes.

Add the chicken back to the pan and cover. Use a thermometer to check the temperature. Turn off the heat when the chicken reaches 160.

Add the caviar and cover for 10 minutes while the chicken rests.

Add the caviar and cover for 10 minutes while the chicken rests. Enjoy!!

Eat well!

April

Tomato Salad

IMG_3375We were in DC about a month ago and we visited a few of our favorite DC eateries. There’s a meeting held there every January and Roger’s required to attend (I tag along). As soon as he’s free, we roam around Georgetown and always pay tribute at the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Wall, and the other fabulous memorials in the Mall. It’s really a wonderful city with great food and a plethora of amazing museums. Pride in our country is fortified, and renewed, the moment we begin to catch a glimpse of the Washington monument through the window of our taxi from the airport.

The past couple of years we’ve eaten at a Greek restaurant named Kellari (there’s one in NYC, too) located on 1700 K St. NW. They have whole, fresh fish on ice displayed in the back of the restaurant. You can walk up to inspect your dinner companion for shiny scales and bright eyes before deciding what you’re in the mood for. They also have the usual tasty Greek appetizers (or Mezedes as they’re called in Greece): spanikopita, tzatziki, and saganaki (graviera cheese flamed with Metaza brandy) just to name a few. I’m pretty certain we’ve eaten every one of them over these few years and they’re all outstanding.

They serve a traditional Greek salad (I’ve been told that the Greeks do not put lettuce in their “Greek” salad) that is out of this world. I decided to try to emulate it last night. I served it alongside a chicken panini. Here are the ingredients for the salad (which feeds 4…Monica took the extra portion to school for lunch):

  • 6 roma tomatoes. You might have trouble finding good tomatoes at this time of year but since we’re in CA, it’s not as difficult for us; we have a great farmer’s market.
  • 1 square of authentic feta cheese kept in brine (it’s made with sheep’s milk and can be found at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/2 Persian cucumber
  • 1/2 medium sized red onion
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 cup champagne vinegar. I like champagne because it’s milder and lets the rest of the ingredients speak for themselves.
  • 2/3 cup EVOO
  • pinch of sugar
  • salt & pepper

I’m sure it hasn’t escaped your attention that there’s no mention of olives in the list of ingredients. A traditional Greek salad, minus the lettuce as mentioned above, contains olives. I hate olives, but feel free to add them to your heart’s content.

Make your dressing:

Put your vinegar, salt and pepper, sugar, and oregano in a small mason jar.  Shake well  (if you add the oil now the other ingredients will not dissolve, but remain suspended in the oil). Add the oil and shake again until emulsified.

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Halve the tomatoes and then halve them again so you end up with 10 slices of from one fruit.

Halve the tomatoes and then halve them again so you end up with 10 slices of from one fruit.

Cut your onions into slivers.

Cut your onion into slivers.

Rinse copiously with very cold water. This will rinse off some of the onion milk and reduce the bite.

Rinse copiously with very cold water. This will rinse off some of the onion milk and reduce the bite.

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Cut the cucumber in half and scoop out the seeds. Then cut into chunks.

Cut the cucumber in half and scoop out the seeds, then cut into chunks.

Mix ingredients together in a bowl, carefully, with the dressing.

Mix ingredients together in a bowl, carefully, with the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix carefully again.

Serve and enjoy!

Serve and enjoy!

Eat well!

April

Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.
-Dorothy Day