Monday, June 27, 2011

Egg Salad

Egg salad doesn’t have the best reputation. However, when made correctly with good-quality ingredients, it is delicious! I love to serve it open-face on toasted white bread with an extra sprinkle of dill on top. The measurements don’t have to be exact- taste the finished product and add more of what is needed. I like capers and red onion in my egg salad for flavor and texture. This just gets better as it sits in the fridge, so make a big batch on Sunday and enjoy it for lunch during the week!

Egg Salad
An easy and delicious lunch!
Serves 6

12 eggs
¼ cup good mayonnaise
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T white wine vinegar
1 T fresh dill, chopped
1 T fresh parsley, chopped
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp pepper
1T. capers, chopped (optional)
1 T. red onion, diced (optional)

Place eggs in a medium pan and cover with water by 1 inch. Turn heat to high, cover, and bring up to a boil. Immediately remove from burner and set aside, covered, for 15 minutes. Drain and run under cold water. Set aside or in refrigerator to cool completely.

Meanwhile, mix remaining ingredients together in a glass bowl. When eggs are cool peel them, rinse under cold water to remove any shells, and roughly chop. Add to dressing and mix gently. Taste for seasonings. Refrigerated, covered, it will stay delicious for several days!

Recipe by Sarah Lang

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Chicken Tandoori

I recently cooked for an intimate dinner party with my husband and two of our closest friends. I wanted to make something unusual that would be unexpected and delicious, and my thoughts wandered to Asia. I’ve recently started to cook more and more Asian food and it is a joy to be able to create such delicious flavor profiles at home! I absolutely love Indian food, and this is one of the best recipes I’ve made. The chicken becomes ultra tender in the quick yogurt and spices marinade. The cool yogurt sauce provides a nice tang to the smoky chicken. Served on a bed of tender couscous it absolutely melts in your mouth. Give this unique and tasty recipe a try!

Chicken Tandoori
Smoky chicken with tangy yogurt sauce, a taste of the East from your kitchen!
Serves 4

8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs or breast tenderloins (about 2 pounds)
Juice of 1 lemon
Kosher salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 small red onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
4 teaspoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 3/4 teaspoons hot paprika
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Cooked couscous or rice, for serving (optional)

Preheat the broiler. Make shallow cuts in the chicken thighs with a sharp knife. Toss the chicken with the lemon juice and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a large bowl.

Pulse 2 tablespoons yogurt, the vegetable oil, onion, garlic, ginger, tomato paste, coriander, cumin, 11/2 teaspoons paprika and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor to make a paste. Toss the chicken in the mixture and let marinate 15 minutes.

Place the chicken on a foil-lined broiler pan. Broil, turning once, until slightly charred and a thermometer inserted into the center registers 165 degrees F, 5 to 6 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1/2 cup yogurt and 1/4 teaspoon paprika, the cilantro and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Top the chicken with the yogurt sauce and serve with couscous or rice, if desired.

Recipe adapted from Food Network

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Oven-fried Chicken and Sriracha Deviled Eggs

When I think about my favorite foods to cook it all comes down to comfort food. Comfort food may be an overused term, but I can’t think of a better way to describe my favorite way to eat. To me, comfort food feels like home. It connects you to the people around the table. Often, you eat it with your hands. It’s never pristine and rarely neat. My favorite comfort foods are things like spaghetti & meatballs, smothered burritos, baked macaroni & cheese, garlicky tomato bruschetta, cheesy chicken noodle casserole, and oven fried chicken. To put my spin on it, I like to jazz up these foods with fresh ingredients and healthy(er) preparations. Then I can feel good about making a delicious meal for my loved ones and eating it too!

I recently made a Saturday lunch for friends and oven fried chicken was the star. Marinated overnight in buttermilk, it became incredibly juicy. The panko crust gives you that crunch factor, and it’s baked instead of fried! This is “fried” chicken you can feel great about! I served it with potluck classic, deviled eggs, jazzed up with spicy sriracha. Enjoy!

Oven-fried Chicken
Crunchy and juicy without the grease!
Serves 4

1 whole chicken, cut up (3 ½ pounds)
1 cup plain non-fat yogurt
2 T. spicy brown mustard
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
½ tsp salt
2 tsp Cajun seasoning

2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
3 tsp Cajun seasoning
3 T olive oil

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine yogurt, mustard, Tabasco, ½ teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning. Seal bag and massage to mix ingredients thoroughly. Add chicken pieces and gently massage the bat to ensure chicken is well coated. Marinate overnight, refrigerated.

Combine breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning in a large shallow dish. Remove chicken from the marinade and wipe off excess marinade. Roll chicken in breadcrumb mixture.

Drizzle chicken with olive oil. Spray a cooling rack with cooking spray, then place on top of a foil-lined baking sheet. Arrange chicken on rack and bake at 375 degrees for 50-60 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes, then flip chicken pieces over and return to oven. Broil for 2 minutes, or until brown and crispy on reverse side.

Sriracha Deviled Eggs
Eggs with a creamy filling and gentle heat are delicious on any occasion!
Serves 4-6

6 eggs
2 T sriracha sauce
¼ cup mayonnaise, I use low fat
salt and pepper, to taste
paprika, for garnish
finely chopped parsley, for garnish

Place eggs in a medium saucepan and fill with water to cover the eggs by one inch. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover pan and allow eggs to stand in hot water for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse eggs under cold water. Cool completely.

Peel eggs and cut in half. Remove yolks and place in a medium bowl. Mash together with the sriracha, mayo, salt and pepper.

Pipe or gently fill the egg white halves with yolk mixture. (If you don’t have a piping bag, do what I did- fill a small plastic baggie with filling and cut a small hole in a corner to pipe.) Dust with paprika and parsley and chill until ready to serve.

Recipes adapted from Ina Garten and Tonka Times

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Watermelon, Feta and Tomato Salad

Nothing says summer more than WATERMELON! Maybe it’s the bright pink color, or the refreshing flavor, of the fact that you can bring home a 3 pound tropical fruit for a dollar. Whatever the reason, take advantage of this delicious summer fruit! This Watermelon, Feta and Tomato Salad is a fantastic and special way to enjoy the season’s bounty. Made with fresh, juicy tomatoes, fragrant basil, cool and crumbly feta cheese and juicy watermelon, this salad will be the star of your summer table!

Watermelon, Feta and Tomato Salad

The fresh, flavorful and juicy reason I love summer!
Serves 6

4 tomatoes, seeded and cut into bite size pieces, or 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
4 cups cubed, seeded watermelon
12 large basil leaves, thinly sliced
2 cups mixed baby greens
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tsp lemon zest
4 T extra-virgin olive oil
3 T white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the tomatoes and watermelon into a large bowl. Sprinkle with the basil, feta cheese and lemon zest. Drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar. Toss gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

Monday, June 6, 2011

Greek Turkey Burgers

Summer is finally here! There is nothing better on a warm evening than lighting up the grill and cooking burgers. As much as I love the standard beef version, my favorite is turkey burgers. I season the meat well and add lots of fun flavors. This Greek version includes sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese and a creamy yogurt sauce. If my hubby didn’t despise olives I would have chopped up some kalamatas and threw those in, too. Let your imagination run wild! As long as you have a hot grill, outdoor table, and these yummy burgers you’re sure to have a splendid summer night.

Greek Turkey Burgers
Flavorful, lean and colorful- a perfect summer meal!
Makes 4 burgers

1 pound ground turkey meat
1 tsp Cajun or Greek seasoning
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1 egg yolk
1 small onion, finely diced
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
3 garlic cloves, minced

½ cup plain yogurt
½ tsp paprika
Pinch of salt & pepper
Squeeze of lemon

4 whole wheat buns
½ avocado, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
Red onion, sliced
4 romaine lettuce leaves

To make the burgers combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Use your hands to combine, but don’t over mix. Shape into four patties and press down the center to make a small indentation. This prevents “bloated burger system” - when the meat puffs during cooking.

Combine the sauce ingredients and keep cool until ready to use.

Grill burgers or cook over medium-high heat on the stove-top until fully cooked. Toast the buns briefly. Slather the yogurt sauce on the bun tops. Place the lettuce on the bottom bun and top with the burger, tomato and avocado. Close the bun, dig in, and enjoy the summer!

Recipe by Sarah Lang