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Chicken Salad with Chinese Mustard Vinaigrette

Chicken Salad with Chinese Mustard Vinaigrette

There was a time that on each and every Friday, I would have lunch with  my good friends Sandy and Vanessa.  I can’t tell you how many times we ordered this chicken salad at a place on Main Street in Pleasanton California called Tongs. I don’t even know if the restaurant is still there, but the memory of that salad and our fun Friday lunches stays with me even today, many years later and many miles away from my girlfriends.

I love this salad so much recreated  my own version of the salad we used to order at Tongs and included it in my first cookbook Signature Salads (2005). I cook the bone-in chicken breasts the same way Tongs did, leaving the skin on, and pan searing before finishing in the oven. The cooked chicken is sliced thinly and tossed with a Chinese mustard vinaigrette in a confetti mixture of romaine, Napa cabbage, cilantro, and radicchio. Chopped peanuts add the finishing touch.

While this was once my go-to Friday girlfriend lunch, it is now my go-to busy weeknight family meal. My daughter is in the middle of lacrosse season right now, which means lots of games (which I love to watch!) and not a lot of time for dinner preparation.  When you get home from the game everyone is starving and then there is still homework they have to do. If you have kids, you definitely know what I mean.

There is never enough time,that’s why I love things like this.   I can get the ingredients prepped early in the day and just toss together when we get home. —-And in 80+ degree temperatures, a really nice salad makes everyone happy and does the trick! Hope you like it too.

Chicken Salad with Chinese Mustard Vinaigrette

Chicken Salad with Chinese Mustard Vinaigrette

 

Chicken Salad with Chinese Mustard Vinaigrette
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • Dressing: 1 egg yolk 3 teaspoons Chinese dry mustard powder
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1½ teaspoons honey
  • Salt and Freshly ground pepper
  • Salad:
  • 3 bone in, skin on chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 head Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, thinly sliced 1 head radicchio, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped peanuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large saute pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the peanut oil and heat until almost smoking. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook 4 minutes. This skin should be golden brown. Turn the chicken over and place in the oven. Roast until the chicken is just cooked through and the juices run clear, about 15-20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the bones and slice into thin strips.
  2. Add the chicken and salad greens to a large bowl. Add dressing and toss well to combine. Divide among plates and garnish with chopped peanuts.

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Bourbon Shrimp

The groundhog was wrong about his prediction for an early spring around here.  Snow, the last week in March… really?

With another day of yucky weather keeping me inside, I decided to do a little spring cleaning, beginning with my spice cabinet. I discovered an open jar of bourbon smoked sugar that I brought back with me from my visit to GE in Louisville last spring.

As I sorted through jars of salts and spices,  my thoughts kept returning to the smoked sugar, and how it would probably be a good idea to use it up pretty soon; it was opened after all, and would expire soon.

By the time the old spices were tossed and the cabinet was back in presentable order, I had a plan in place for the bourbon smoked sugar. I would make some Bourbon Shrimp. What better way to take away the winter like chill on a cold springtime night than with a little bourbon and a little more bourbon,  right?

bourbon shrimp

Bourbon Shrimp

2 tablespoons bourbon smoked sugar (or dark brown sugar)

1 tablespoon Smoked Spanish Paprika

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 pound (u-15 count) shrimp, tails left on, shelled, deveined

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 tablespoons bourbon

2 tablespoon unsalted butter

Chopped Italian parsley for garnish

Combine bourbon smoked sugar and spices in a medium bowl. Add shrimp and toss to combine thoroughly.

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add shrimp and cook 1-2 minutes on first side, flip shrimp, and cook an additional minute on second side. Reduce heat to medium low and add bourbon; cook 1 minute, scraping bottom of pan as you stir to break up browned bits on bottom of pan. Add butter and stir to combine. Transfer shrimp to a platter and garnish with chopped parsley.

4 appetizer servings

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Dinner at ABODE: A Pop Up by Sarah Ashley Schiear & Gregg Drusinsky

Sarah Shiear The Taste

When I found out my friend Sarah Ashley Schiear would be a contestant on the ABC cooking showing The Taste, I couldn’t have been more excited! I have been watching  and cheering for her each week on Tuesday nights as she advances to the next round, one bite at a time.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit Sarah in NYC at her latest undertaking; ABODE,  a pop up restaurant opened in a renovated subway station with fellow team Ludo teammate Gregg Drusinsky.

 ABODE combines the talents of a trained chef (Gregg) and a home cook (Sarah)who share a vision for a new type of dining experience: Homestyle meets fine food.

The atmosphere in this supper club style pop up is casual and chic, with subway tiled walls and communal tables shared by guests; lending a true dinner party feel to the experience.

Debi Shawcross and Sarah Shiear

I was seated at the bar, which I later found out was made from recycled bowling alley floor (how cool is that?) which provided the perfect view of the open air kitchen and the chefs at work.

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The menu, with complimentary pairings:

Crostini to Start

smoked dungeness crab, avocado

butternut squash, ricotta, pistachio oil

mushroom conserva, quail egg

Winter Salad

cauliflower, tangerine, marcona almond

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 Roast “Bobo” Chicken

Truffle Sauce

Fingerling Potatoes

Romesco Sauce

Brussels Sprouts  

crisp-roasted with herbs, bacon and lemon

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 Buttermilk Cakes

Peanut Butter Buttercream

Chocolate and Toasted Almond Topped

 

I found the menu very approachable. The simplicity of the roasted chicken with perfectly crisp skin (Sarah’s home cook approach) combined with the  luxurious truffle sauce (Gregg’s Le Bernardin saucier pro skills definitely at work there!) kind of summed up exactly what Sarah and Gregg are all about in the kitchen at ABODE.

Catching up with Sarah, meeting Gregg (who btw is quite charming in person) and enjoying an amazing evening of food & wine made for a memorable experience.

Grab your chance to reserve a space in their upcoming events here on Eventbrite. In the meantime, here’s a quick video for a look at ABODE. –And don’t forget to keep watching Sarah and Gregg on The Taste; they are among the remaining 10 to compete!

Abode Teaser from Abode Popup on Vimeo.

 

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