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Being known as a good cook is sometimes embarrassing. In this day and age, when chefs are celebrities and a home cooked meal is often warmed-up takeout, people can put good cooks on a pedestal. They seem to think that cooking regularly involves hard work, complicated techniques, or some sort of secret knowledge. I think that being a good cook is more about practice and a willingness to try and fail and learn from mistakes. It also helps to have found a few good recipes, and maybe to have stumbled into some products that add flavor without adding any extra work.

The secret to this great chicken salad recipe rests in two wonderful products: seasoned rice vinegar and curry paste. The seasoned vinegar has a perfect balance of sweet and sour, provides another subtle layer of flavor, and, very importantly, thins the mayonnaise out so the sauce just coats the chicken.  The curry paste adds terrific complex flavor to what is often a bland dish. The addition of juicy sweet grapes and crunchy toasted cashews adds texture, making this a lovely balanced salad overall.

Serve it over greens or as a sandwich filling.  I know you’ll love it.  But, beware, you might get a reputation as being a good cook…

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lb. chicken, cooked and diced

1/2 cup Celery, diced

1/2 cup Red Bell Pepper, diced

1/4 Sweet Onion, minced

1/2 cup Red Grapes, halved

1/2 cup Toasted and salted cashews

1/2 cup Mayonnaise (light mayo works great)

1/4 cup Seasoned Rice Vinegar

1 Tbsp. Patak’s Mild Curry Paste, more or less to taste

Handful of chopped cilantro

Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

Mix mayonnaise, vinegar and curry paste in small bowl.  Pour over chicken, celery, pepper and onion in larger bowl, tossing to coat.  Shortly before serving, add grapes and cashews and gently combine.  Can be served as a sandwich filling or on a bed of dressed greens for a delicious light lunch.

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