Salsas, Salads, and Slaws

Spicy Slaw

1/2 head of cabbage shredded
2/3 cup chopped cilantro
2 jalapenos, finely diced (I did not seed or de-rib the jalapenos so it had a little extra kick)
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl combine oil, vinegar, cilantro, jalapeno, salt and pepper. Add the shredded cabbage and toss to combine. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but not longer than 48 hours. Serve as a side, or as a garnish for pulled BBQ sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs or sausages.

Mango-Pineapple Salsa

1 whole pineapple, core and peel removed, diced
2 fresh mangoes, peeled and sliced away from the pit and then diced
1/4 red onion, diced fine
2 jalapenos, seeds and ribs removed, diced fine
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
juice from one lime

Toss all ingredients together and chill for at least one hour.  Serve as a salsa, garnish or side salad.  We love this on shredded chicken tacos, burgers, or as a refreshing side salad.

Greek Salad with Lamb
Lamb Sausage:
2 lbs ground lamb
1 pita; torn into pieces
2 eggs; beaten
1 TBSP fresh minced rosemary
1 TBSP fresh minced thyme
1 garlic clove minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

In a food processor, pulse pita, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper into fine bread crumbs. In a large bowl place lamb and two eggs. Add bread crumb mixture and mix all ingredients together by hand until homogenous. Form sausages from ping-pong sized balls of meat mixture and flatten into patties about 1/2 inch thick. In a large nonstick skillet rubbed with 1 tsp oil, cook sausage over medium high heat about four minutes per side. Check for doneness by cutting into a patty. Sausage should be just barely pink in the center. Remove using a slotted spatula to a paper towel lined platter.

Cool Yogurt Sauce:
1 cup plain yogurt
1 clove garlic minced
2 TBSP fresh minced dill
1 tsp grated lemon zest
Juice from 1 whole lemon

Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside to drizzle over the salad and lamb sausage.

Greek Salad
1 head Romaine lettuce; shredded
1 cup pitted Calmata olives
1 cup Feta or goat cheese; crumbled

Thinly sliced red onion
Cherry tomatoes
Sliced pepperocini

Chicken Caesar Salad for a crowd (family of 8)

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts sliced into thin strips along the bias
Salt and pepper to taste
2 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP flour
1 TBSP cornstarch
6 tsp vegetable oil
1 head of romaine lettuce torn or chopped into bite size pieces
1 cup freshly shredded parmesan (we actually use Romano, as it is made from sheep's milk)
2 cups croutons ( you can buy these or make your own)

After slicing chicken salt and pepper to taste and toss to distribute evenly. In large bowl stir together oil, flour, and cornstarch. Add sliced chicken and toss to coat. This is a technique for keeping chicken breast moist and tender called "velveting". I've found velveting the chicken is absolutely crucial to the flavor of this salad. In a large non-stick skillet heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium high heat until it shimmers. Add 1/3 of the chicken and spread out in pan so that one side is in complete contact with the pan and the pieces of chicken are not touching each other (this ensures a good sear and crust on the chicken and keeps the chicken from just steaming in the pan). Cook without stirring for one and a half to two minutes. Check one piece of chicken for a golden brown crust on cooked side. If this is accomplished, flip all the chicken pieces to the other side and cook on second side for another one and a half to two minutes, checking this side for doneness before transferring to a clean large bowl. Repeat process with a second third of the chicken and again with the remaining chicken adding more oil to the pan as needed between batches.

Layer lettuce, chicken, croutons, parmesan and dressing on each plate to serve.

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