Main Course Salad

Miso Glazed Chicken Salad with Quinoa

Miso Glazed Chicken Salad.jpg

Makes 4 servings.

Wholesome and nutritious, this salad can be made even more wholesome by adding a variety of steamed vegetables, such as Haricots Verts, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli. The quinoa adds a bit of texture.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 6 ounces each

  • Hearts of romaine lettuce, about 16 leaves, torn to manageable pieces.

QUINOA:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted margarine

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1¼ cups water

  • 1 cup quinoa

MISO GLAZE:  

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 2 tablespoons white miso paste

  • 2 tablespoons mirin (Japanese rice wine.)

  • ½ teaspoon salt

DRESSING:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • ¾ tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, approx

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. In a small saucepan bring to a boil, over high heat, the margarine, salt and water. Sprinkle over the quinoa, lower the heat, cover and cook for about 15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed and the grains are tender Stir with a fork to fluff the grains. If the grains are not tender, add a tablespoon of hot water and continue cooking. Cool.

  2. In a small bowl combine the ingredients for the MISO GLAZE.

  3. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and coat well with the miso glaze. Place in a glass or nonreactive dish. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

  4. Whisk together the ingredients for the DRESSING and set aside.

  5. Preheat the broiler.

  6. Bring the chicken back to room temperature.

  7. Cover the whole broiling pan, which comes with most ovens, with heavy foil. Then form a “shallow basket” with a piece of heavy foil, crimping it at the corners so that the juices do not spill out.

  8. Place the chicken skin side down (where the skin would have been) in the basket and broil as close to the heat as possible for 5 minutes. Turn over and broil for another 3 minutes. The chicken should be slightly pink on the inside.

  9. Remove from the oven, cover the chicken with foil and let rest for 1 minute.

  10. When the chicken is cool, cut it into wide strips.

TO SERVE:

Toss the quinoa and the greens with the dressing and top with the chicken.

If you are adding vegetables, toss it all together

 
 

Braised Duck

Makes 3-4 servings.

This is a well-seasoned versatile winter dish. Marinating the meat and then slowly braising it at a very low temperature brings out its robust flavor. As a salad, I serve it with dressed baby spinach. As a main course, with brown rice, steamed sugar snaps or steamed snow peas. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 boned duck legs and attached thighs
  • Baby Spinach

MARINADE

  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons five -spice powder
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 7 star anise

DRESSING FOR BABY SPINACH

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1½ teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1½ teaspoons sesame oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION

  1. Rinse the duck and dry with paper towels.
  2. Combine the marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Coat each piece of duck well with the marinade and place in a zip lock bag.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours or up to 2 days.  
  4. Preheat the oven to 275F.
  5. Place the duck in a roasting pan, in a single layer skin side up with any leftover marinade.    
  6. Roast for 3 hours, the meat should be tender. 
  7. Discard the cinnamon stick and the star anise. Pour off the accumulated fat.
  8. Remove the skin and discard.
  9. Cut the duck into small pieces.   
 
 

French Lentils and Beef Salad

Makes 4 servings.

This herb accented, healthy salad can be a meal by itself.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup French green lentils
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt.
  • 12 medium size Brussels sprouts
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, approx
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, approx 
  • 10 tarragon sprigs, petals pulled off, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound rib eye steak (Delmonico)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salad greens, such as hearts of Romaine lettuce, or to your liking.

PREPARATION:

  1. In a heavy small saucepan with a cover bring to a boil over high heat the water, salt and lentils. Lower the heat and simmer covered for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.  If the lentils are not ready and all the water is absorbed add 1-2 tablespoons hot water and continue cooking. Transfer to a bowl and cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 400F.
  3. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Trim the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and discard outer damaged leaves.
  4. Cut into halves. Place on the baking sheet, mix with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  5. Roast for about 30 minutes, or until tender. Cool and add to the lentils. 
  6. Season the lentils and the Brussels sprouts with 2 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, mustard and salt. Add tarragon and parsley and combine. Set aside.
  7. Pat dry the meat with paper towels and cut into 1-2 inch strips.
  8. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in wok or heavy skillet and stir fry the meat quickly over high heat until the meat is just seared. Season with salt and pepper. 

TO SERVE:

Place the greens on the bottom of a bowl, sprinkle lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper. Add lentils with Brussels sprouts and top with the meat. 

 
 

Quinoa with Feta

Makes 4 luncheon servings.

Nutritious, easy, simple and tasty.  What more can I say?

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup loosely packed, flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 3 scallions, including green parts thinly sliced
  • ½ cup mint leaves, loosely torn
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, approx
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ pound Feta, crumbled (See Note)

PREPARATION:

  1. In a small heavy covered saucepan bring to a boil over high heat the water and salt. Sprinkle over the quinoa, lower the heat, and cook covered for 13 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. If the grains are still not tender, add 1 or 2 tablespoons hot water and continue cooking. Transfer to a large bowl, add olive oil, combine and cool.
  2. Toss with the remaining ingredients and season to taste.
  3. Serve topped with feta.

NOTE:

Feta comes in many strengths, from mild (which I prefer) to strong.

Before serving adjust the seasoning again. 

 
 

Cauliflower and Chicken Salad

Makes 4-6 servings.

This is definitely a non-traditional chicken salad. I like it because it has so few ingredients and those ingredients complement each other. It is simple to make, it is nutritious and by serving the dressing on the side you can gauge how much or little you like. Both the chicken and the cauliflower have a distinct flavor.    

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each)
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • Leaves from 10 tarragon sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons water.
  • Arugula or a mixture of different greens 

DRESSING:

  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towel. Place the chicken skin side down (where the skin would have been) in an oven-proof dish. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Season lightly with salt and pepper and scatter leaves from 5 tarragon sprigs.
  3. Cut the stalk and leaves off the cauliflower and discard. Cut the head into small florets and rinse. Place the cauliflower in an ovenproof dish, salt and pepper lightly, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons water. Scatter the remaining tarragon leaves.  
  4. Place the chicken and the cauliflower in the oven, side by side.
  5. Roast the chicken for about 12, minutes, turning it once. The chicken should be pink on the inside. Take it out of the oven and cover it with foil; it will continue cooking. Remove the foil after a few minutes, let the chicken cool completely and cut it into 1 inch strips.
  6. Roast the cauliflower for about 30 minutes; turning it once. It should be almost soft.  Let it cool as well.     

TO MAKE THE DRESSING:

  1. Coursely chop the garlic on a cutting board. Sprinkle with the salt and crush it with a knife until it becomes a paste.
  2. Place in a small dish and whisk in the remaining ingredients.
  3. Pour into a sauce dish.

TO SERVE:

Place the greens into a large bowl. Top with the cauliflower and the chicken with the accumulated juices. Serve the dressing on the side.

You can also pre-plate the salad.

 
 

Salad with Turkey, Baby Arugula and Radicchio

Makes 4 servings.

This salad is colorful and delicious with an interesting mixture of textures and flavors. 

INGREDIENTS

SWEET AND SOUR DRESSING

  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

SALAD

  • 2-3 pieces turkey scaloppini, about 4 ounces each
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small head radicchio, shredded
  • 3 ounces baby arugula
  • 2 endives, cut into thick rounds
  • 15 mint leaves
  • ¾ cup currants
  • ¾ cup sliced blanched almonds, toasted

PREPARATION

  1. Whisk dressing ingredients and set aside.
  2. Pat turkey scaloppini dry with paper towel. In a non-stick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Sautee the scaloppini quickly on each side until there is a slight trace of pink on the inside. Season lightly with salt and pepper, cut into ½ inch strips, and combine with 1 tablespoon of the dressing.  The turkey can be prepared ahead of time.
  3. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and toss with the remaining dressing. Season to taste.
  4. Either serve in a bowl or arrange on individual plates.