Saturday, May 29, 2010

Lemony Asian Chicken Salad

My wonderful Aunt Jane gave me this recipe - she said it is her favorite chicken salad to make, and it didn't disappoint! Everyone seems to have a version of this, but I like the lemony hint in the dressing, as well as the added chicken to make it more of a main dish.

If you are going to prepare this in advance, combine all of the ingredients except the chow mein noodles and leave the dressing separate until right before serving. Happy Memorial Day!

Lemony Asian Chicken Salad
slightly adapted from Aunt Jane
Makes 6-8 servings

1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil

1 bag cole slaw mix
2 cups shredded chicken
8 ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 cup julienned carrots
1 cup sliced celery
6 ounces frozen pea pods, thawed
1/2 cup sliced green onions
5 ounces (or more) chow mein noodles

Whisk all dressing ingredients together, reserve.

Combine all salad ingredients except chow mein noodles. Pour dressing over salad before serving and toss to coat. Top with noodles and serve immediately.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Summer Shrimp Rolls

As the heat starts to make it's permanent appearance here for summer; I often turn to sandwiches and salads for dinner. Dishes that don't require me to turn on the oven, are often served chilled, and can be made in advance. This recipe fits all those categories and was very tasty!

I enjoyed it because it took minimal prep (I used jarred pesto) and used fresh ingredients, a lot of which I had in my refrigerator and pantry already. It calls for a pound of shrimp for 4 sandwiches, but if you want to save a little and bulk up the other ingredients instead, it tastes just as good. As you can see, I used hoagie rolls instead of hot dog buns for a more substantial sandwich and still got 3+ servings. I served this with black beans and rice and a green salad.

As you can see, I have this listed under "salads" in the tags too since the original recipe suggests serving it over mixed greens for an even lighter meal. I didn't make any other changes so I will link you directly to Everyday with Rachael Ray:

Summer Shrimp Rolls

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pasta Salad with Shrimp and Olives

This dish complemented the Nicoise Salad quite nicely. And the Lemon-Mustard Vinaigrette we made for the Nicoise would have been delicious on here as well. A lot of the ingredients in both salads were the same, so we chose to eliminate some from each so that there weren't too many repeats.

As you can see, we used rotini instead of linguine that the recipe suggested. Since this salad is made to be served at room temperature, I thought the shape of rotini or even campanelle or something similar was a better choice. Otherwise we didn't make any more changes. Next time, I would probably add a little more olive oil to the pasta, especially if you make it in advance, but all in all this was delicious!

Pasta Salad with Shrimp and Olives
from Bon Appetit's Tastes of the World
Makes about 6 servings

3/4 pound chopped tomatoes
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 pound feta, crumbled
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped pitted black olives
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 tablespoon dried thyme (or less to taste)
6 green onions, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 pound linguine (or pasta of choice), cooked
1 pound cooked shrimp

Mix first 10 ingredients in large bowl. Add pasta and shrimp and toss. Season with salt and pepper.

Can be prepared several hours ahead of time and chilled. Bring to room temperature and serve.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Nicoise Salad with Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette

Ok, so technically my salad was not a Nicoise salad since I didn't even use the olives. And the original recipe called for grilled salmon over top but we already had seafood (and olives) in the Mother's Day Dinner menu. It's a good example though of how you can adapt this recipe to your tastes and play off the other items on your menu.

This vinaigrette is very good, a nice garlicky, mustardy oil-based dressing that you could probably use on a lot of different salads. I chose to serve it on the side instead of drizzling over everything in case we had leftovers.
The recipe below is in it's entirety so you can pick and choose as you'd like.

(Salmon) Nicoise Salad with Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette
Makes 12 servings

2 pounds boneless, skinless salmon fillets
2 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and ground black pepper

Brush both sides of salmon with oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Heat an outdoor grill to medium or use a grill pan on a stove top. Grill fillets 4-5 minutes each side, until slightly pink in center. Remove from grill, cool to room temperature, and chill until ready to serve.

2 heads Romaine lettuce, cleaned and cored
2 pounds new potatoes (or red potatoes), cooked, chilled, and cut into bite-size pieces
8 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
1 pound fresh green beans or asparagus spears, trimmed and blanched
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, washed and cut in half lengthwise
1 cup Nicoise olives
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

Place lettuce leaves on a large serving platter. Cut the salmon fillets into 1-inch-thick slices an place on lettuce. Arrange potatoes, eggs, and beans or asparagus in individual sections on platter. Sprinkle tomatoes, olives, and onion over entire dish. Serve vinaigrette on side or drizzle over entire salad. Serve immediately.

zest and juice of 2 large lemons
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh tarragon (I omitted)
2 anchovy filets (I omitted)
1 tablespoon capers
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Whisk all ingredients except olive oil in small bowl. While still whisking, gradually add olive oil until incorporated. This can be made a day ahead.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Mother's Day Dinner

This year is obviously a very special Mother's Day for me because of this little lady:

Abbie has brought Chuck and I such happiness for the past 6 months (wow, time flies!) and I can't wait to celebrate being her mom. My parents are hosting Mother's Day dinner this year and I helped my mom plan the menu.

I love this time of year because spring has officially sprung and warm weather dishes like grilled meat, pasta salads, and lemon desserts start popping up. We are expecting about 15 people for this meal. Come back soon for some of the recipes!

Mother's Day Dinner




  • Meyer lemon buttermilk pudding cake with berries
  • White chocolate-covered strawberries
  • Chocolate peanut butter cheesecake

I love you, Abigail Claire!