Thai (Grass-fed) Steak Salad Recipe (or with Chicken)

 

Thai Steak (or Chicken or Salmon) Salad Recipe | Pamela Salzman

 

Oh people.  We are on the brink of my favorite time of year.  A time of backyard barbeques, picnics at the beach, sand between my toes, fresh tomatoes and basil, peach pie, and long nights under starry skies.  Ahhhh, summer.  Beyond better weather and my favorite produce, life is just easier when the kids are out of school.  No homework, tests or book reports.  Sure, two out of my three have a summer reading list, but they always wait until the last week of summer to crack those books open, so it’s smooth sailing until then.

Because we live at the beach, we entertain most weekends in the summer, starting with Memorial Day which, being the East Coaster that I am, is the unofficial start of “the season.”  One of my favorite things to do right about now is start planning a few menus that I can rotate during the summer.  Whenever I am thinking of the ideal food to prepare — make ahead, room temperature and easy all come to mind.  Very often, we’ll go to the beach for the afternoon, come back to the house to freshen up before lingering over dinner in the backyard.  This doesn’t give me too much time to cook for a crowd, so I look for recipes which allow me to prep in the morning or the night before so I can do more assembling than cooking.

This Thai Steak Salad has never appeared on any of my summer menus since I just taught it a few months ago in my classes, but it will definitely be a regular this season.  There are so many reasons I love this salad — it’s light, I can vary it with chicken or tofu (even shrimp) and change up the vegetables according to what looks good, and there’s lots of prep in advance that I can do.  Oh, forgot to mention that my family loves it, too!  The first time I told my kids and husband they were eating “Thai” steak salad, I saw a bunch of sad faces.  “We don’t like Thai food.  It’s too spicy.  Or sour.”  “Guess what?  You’ve never had Thai food in your life!”  I only call this a “Thai” Steak Salad because of the combination of sweet, sour and sort of spicy in the marinade/dressing, plus the addition of cilantro and/or mint.  I have a feeling I am taking a lot of liberties with the word “Thai.”  I could probably get away with it if I added some fish sauce to the marinade.  Next time.  However, if I were to rename this recipe, I would call it Yummy, Fresh, Tangy, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Vegan-adaptable, Paleo-friendly, Perfect for Summer Salad.  If you’re debating whether or not to veer from the standard burger fare this holiday, I have two words for you:  Pink Slime.

 

If you’ve been hanging out with me for the last year, you probably remember my post on how to reduce carcinogens when you grill.  Now’s a good time for a refresher.  Whereas you can definitely grill the steak or chicken here (I did grill the chicken), I prefer a more healthful way to cook the steak.  It’s a method I picked up from Cook’s Illustrated and it’s especially good for cooking grass-fed beef, which can get dried out if you’re not careful.  The only downside is that it takes a few minutes longer than grilling, but it’s a really tasty result and likely less carcinogenic.  No matter how you make this salad, it will surely be a delicious way to welcome in summer!

 

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Thai Steak Salad Recipe
Author: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • Marinade/Dressing:
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ cup unrefined olive oil, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons shoyu (or gluten-free tamari)
  • 6 Tablespoons packed fresh cilantro or mint leaves, chopped (or a combo)
  • 1-2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon chili flakes or ½ teaspoon chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon raw honey
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ pounds grass-fed top sirloin or flank steak, about 1-inch thick
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon unrefined coconut oil or olive oil
  • 8 heaping cups salad greens, about 6-7 ounces
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • a few handfuls of seasonal veggies*: thinly sliced cucumber or sweet bell pepper, sprouts, julienned carrots, fresh mint leaves, fresh Thai basil leaves
Instructions
  1. Combine lime juice, 6 Tablespoons oil, shoyu, cilantro, garlic, hot pepper, honey, and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Whisk together and set aside.
  2. If steak is thicker than 1 inch, place between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound on both sides. Remove wrap and place meat in a shallow nonreactive dish that is just small enough to hold the meat. Pour HALF the marinade (about ⅔ cup) over the meat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours (longer is better). Take the reserved marinade in the bowl and add 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Set this aside as your salad dressing.
  3. Pull the steak from the refrigerator about 30-60 minutes before cooking it. Preheat oven to 275 degrees or preheat a grill.
  4. Insert a wire rack inside a baking sheet and place the meat on top of the rack and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Bake for 20-30 minutes for medium to medium-well.
  5. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, over high heat. Transfer the steak to the skillet and sear for 2-3 minutes on each side for medium to medium-well. Alternatively, grill over medium heat for about 10 minutes for medium doneness.
  6. Transfer meat to a carving board and allow to rest for 10 minutes, covered.
  7. Assemble the salad greens on a platter and drizzle with half the dressing (about ⅓ cup), tossing to coat. Drizzle the shallots and vegetables with half the remaining dressing (about 2 ½ Tablespoons). Toss to coat and arrange on top of the salad. Taste for salt and add as needed.
  8. Slice meat thinly against the grain on a diagonal. Arrange slices of meat on top of the greens and drizzle with remaining dressing.
Notes
* I used 1 whole red bell pepper and 2 Persian cucumbers.

To prep in advance, marinate steak or chicken the night before. Keep dressing refrigerated. Wash and cut all vegetables and keep refrigerated until ready to assemble.

 

 

Baked Chicken with Artichokes and Capers Recipe

Something tells me that you organized cooks out there are in the midst of planning your Easter and Passover menus.  Am I right?  My mom had me on the phone the other day trying to get side dish suggestions for her traditional Easter leg of lamb.  After I spoke with her, I took a call from my mother-in-law to go over her Passover menu.  This year we’ll be staying in California for the holidays and I’m on dessert duty.  I’ll be making lots of coconut macaroons, my traditional lemon ice torte and a raw cashew cheesecake that I’m obsessed with.  But if I were hosting Easter or Passover at my home (not that there’s anything wrong with lamb and brisket), I would make this Baked Chicken with Artichokes and Capers.

Normally, I don’t post a recipe until after I have finished teaching it, but I am just so excited about this chicken I can’t wait another day.  It might be my favorite chicken recipe to date, which says a lot since I prepare chicken quite often.  This dish has it all — great flavor, ease of preparation, healthfulness and seasonality.    But really chicken isn’t even the star of this show.  I actually came up with this recipe to work around one of my favorite springtime vegetables, artichokes.

I am going to cheat a little here.  There are times when DIY is the way to go, as in chicken stock.  And there are times when there is not enough patience in the world that could get me through trimming the number of artichokes it would take to fill this saute pan.  (Although I am the same person that trimmed 10 pounds of Brussels sprout leaves for Christmas Eve dinner.)  What’s different about this situation is that Trader Joe’s has come to my rescue with frozen artichoke hearts, an absolute gift and an affordable one, too.   Not only do I always have a bag in my freezer at all times, but the other ingredients here are pantry staples, too — capers, white wine, bay leaves, mustard, which are all delicious with artichokes.

You may have followed similar recipes for chicken and dredged the chicken in flour first before browning it.  The flour does help to the thicken the sauce a bit, but we can avoid the dredging altogether by adding the mustard to the sauce, which gives great flavor, as well as some body.  Be sure to read my latest post on the secret to great-tasting chicken and you can decide if you want to salt the pieces or soak them in a wet brine.  Both ways are very easy and definitely worth doing.  Please note in that post that kosher chicken should not be salted or brined since it has already gone through a salting process.  To make this recipe with boneless, skinless pieces, check out my recipe for Lemon-Thyme Chicken and follow those steps.

For a winner spring holiday lunch or dinner, pair this chicken with this asparagus salad or minted sugar snap peas, and some roasted new potatoes.  I have a seriously fabulous vegan and gluten-free coconut tart coming your way soon!


5.0 from 1 reviews
Baked Chicken with Artichokes and Capers
Author: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • Brine: (do not brine kosher chicken)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup ice water
  • 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons unrefined olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced or sliced (as you prefer)
  • 3 cloves garlic cloves, sliced
  • a big pinch of sea salt (or more if using unsalted stock)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ⅓ cup dry white wine
  • 2 bay leaves (don’t worry if you don’t have them)
  • 12 ounce bag frozen artichoke hearts or packed in water
  • 2 Tablespoons capers
  • 2 Tablespoons whole grain or stone ground mustard
  • ¾ cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, dissolve salt in hot water. Add ice water and check to make sure brine is cool. Add chicken to brine and allow to soak for 45 minutes, and up to an hour and a half. OR sprinkle ½ Tablespoon of kosher salt on the chicken when you get home from the market. Rewrap it and refrigerate it until ready to cook. (Do not brine kosher chicken.)
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. In an ovenproof skillet or braising pan, over medium heat, add the oil. Brown chicken on both sides. Transfer to a plate and reserve.
  4. Add onions to skillet and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, salt and pepper and sauté another minute or two. Carefully add wine to pan, and deglaze by scraping any brown bits on the bottom.
  5. Add chicken, bay leaves, artichoke hearts, capers, mustard and stock to pan and bring to a boil. Place in oven for 30-35 minutes, until chicken is cooked through, basting after 15 minutes. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, if available.

 

 

The secret to great-tasting chicken

If you choose to eat animal protein, chances are you prepare chicken more than any other kind.  Chicken’s popularity is not surprising– it is very versatile to cook with, neutral in flavor, low in fat and more budget-friendly than beef or fish.  But I think chicken can sometimes be TOO neutral in flavor, i.e. tasteless.  And it can be TOO low in fat, such as with the breast meat and thus can end up getting dried out easily, especially when we’re being careful about cooking chicken all the way through.  After making mediocre chicken for many years, my life was changed once I learned a few simple tricks to making chicken taste a whole lot better.  Delicious, juicy chicken is in your future!

Quality:      I have done side-by-side taste comparisons with lots of different kinds of chickens and the best tasting bird I ever cooked was an organic, locally-raised pastured chicken by Healthy Family Farms.  There’s definitely a more pure, chicken-y flavor from birds that have been raised out in the open versus in cramped quarters.  And if it’s in your budget, I urge you to only buy organic meats.  Click here for a more in-depth comparison of the different options you may have for chicken.  Most people don’t have access to Kosher, organic, free-range chicken, but if you do, go for it and you can forgo all the pre-seasoning I’m about to recommend since kosher chicken has already been brined.

Salt:  The best thing you can do is to pre-season chicken with salt, especially a whole bird or thick bone-in, skin-on pieces.  Just sprinkling a little salt on top of your chicken right before cooking it will only season the surface.  But seasoning the chicken with salt well ahead of time or brining it in a salt-water solution will draw salt deep into the meat, resulting in a very tasty piece of chicken.  But also, and just as important, the salt changes the cells in the chicken meat so that they will draw and hold more moisture than the chicken had before.  So not only will the chicken be tastier, but it will be much juicier, too.  You kill two birds with one stone!  I did not just say that.  See below for instructions on how to dry brine and wet brine.

Timing:  Well-seasoned chicken needs some advance planning.  I sprinkle or dry rub kosher salt on chicken as soon as I get home from the market, rewrap it and put it in the refrigerator until I’m ready to cook it.  You can do this as much as two days ahead, but less than 2-4 hours ahead doesn’t produce quite the effect you’re looking for.  If you are pressed for time, (e.g. you get home from the market at 4:30 pm and you want to start cooking right away), then a wet brine is the perfect option since you can season bone-in pieces efficiently in 45 minutes.  Whole birds take longer.

Basic Wet Brine:  For 3 pounds of chicken pieces, in a large bowl dissolve 1/4 cup additive-free kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal) in 1 cup hot water.  Whisk to dissolve.   Add 1 cup ice water and make sure the water is cool.  If not, add a few pieces of ice.  Place the chicken pieces in the brine and allow to soak for 45-90 minutes.  If you’re cooking the chicken right away, you can do this on the countertop.  Drain the chicken and pat dry with paper towels before cooking.  For a whole bird, use 1 cup kosher salt and 4 cups water.  Brine for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator.  I don’t normally brine cutlets, but many people do.  You only need to soak boneless, skinless cutlets for about 30 minutes.

 

Basic Dry Brine:  Sprinkle 3 pounds of bone-in chicken pieces with 1/2 Tablespoon additive-free kosher salt or sea salt or a heaping Tablespoon for a whole chicken.  Wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.  Do not rinse.

You can apply these tips to any chicken recipe you have (such as one of my favorites, Orange and Rosemary Glazed Chicken pictured above), but you may want to cut back on the salt in your recipe slightly since the chicken will already be salted.  Look out for a fabulous recipe next week for Baked Chicken with Artichokes and Capers.  So delicious and perfect for Easter or Passover!

“Special occasion” chicken pot pie and other ideas for a delicious Valentine’s Day

Chicken pot pie is one of my family’s favorite meals and this recipe, adapted from The Loaves and Fishes Cookbook, is the best one I’ve ever tried.  Pot pie falls in my “10%,” that is 90% of the time I try to eat as whole and clean as possible, and the other 10% is what it is.  For the last 15 or so years, I have made pot pie once a year and when I do, my son always asks me, “is it a special occasion?”  Many years ago, my younger daughter and I hosted a mother-daughter Valentine’s Day dinner at our home and we made a few of these pot pies with hearts cut out of the crust.  Since then, we decided to make this our family’s Valentine’s Day tradition.

 

Chicken Pot Pie is really comfort food at it’s best.  It’s a perfect winter dinner and I’ve never met a chicken-eating child (even Mr. Picky) or adult that didn’t think this particular recipe was just delicious.  Most pot pies are a blend of chunks of chicken meat and vegetables in a savory, tasty mixture and topped with a crust of sorts.  Usually I make a savory pastry crust, but in a pinch I have made a drop biscuit batter and topped the casserole with that.  Even though this recipe is pretty perfect as is, I think you can have equal success with leftover turkey, adding in different vegetables such as parsnips or turnips, or using store-bought pastry crust or puff pastry.

Pot pie is definitely not something you can decide at 6:00 pm that you would like to make for dinner and expect to sit down at 6:30.  But even if you are typically out of the house  in the few hours before dinner, there is no reason to be discouraged from making this recipe on a weeknight.  You just need to plan ahead and follow a few of these tips:

  • You can use pre-cooked chicken from a rostisserie or whole roasted chicken and shred the meat the day before.
  • You can chop your carrots and onions the day before or make the entire filling the day before and pour it into your casserole dish and refrigerate it, covered until you’re ready to bake.
  • You can make your pie crust a few days before.  Allow it to sit out of the refrigerator for about 20 minutes before rolling it out.  Or you can roll out the whole thing, lay it on parchment or plastic wrap and fold it in quarters to store it in the fridge.
  • Pot pie freezes very nicely, well wrapped.  It is best to thaw it for 24 hours in the refrigerator before baking.
  • If you use store-bought crust, defrost the crust before laying it on the casserole.
  • Puff pastry is also an easy way to cover the casserole.  Follow the directions on the box.
  • You can also use drop biscuits to cover instead of a crust.
I actually debated whether or not to post Chicken Pot Pie at all since it is not completely consistent with both the way I eat and the kind of food I teach in my classes.  But what I do try to encourage is cooking from scratch and with love and eating together as much as possible.  And I think we can agree that there’s as much to gain from those habits as there is from vitamins and antioxidants.
 
 
Chicken Pot Pie not your thing?  Here are some other ideas for making everyone feel a little extra love on Valentine’s Day:
 
  • Check out the recipe for Salmon with Roasted Beets and Blood Oranges.  You can make the recipe as is, or you can slice the cooked beets into 1/4-inch slices and cut out hearts with a heart-shaped cookie cutter.  Heart-shaped beets are an adorable addition to any salad.  See next idea for what to do with the leftover beet scraps.
  • For a shocking, hot pink vinaigrette, place 1/4 cup of chopped, cooked beet pieces in a blender with your favorite vinaigrette ingredients and process until completely blended.  Pick up some cooked beets from the supermarket salad bar to save time.  In this picture I used Everyday Salad Dressing #2, but stirred in the shallots after the vinaigrette was completely blended with the beets.  My kids freaked for it!
  • Orange and Rosemary-Glazed Chicken — Easy, delicious and fool-proof.  Serve with a rice pilaf with dried cranberries and a green vegetable like broccoli or spinach.
  • Fish in parchment — Season halibut with salt and pepper.  Add a dollop of pesto or slivered basil leaves and some halved cherry tomatoes.  Serve with Lemon and Cumin-Scented Quinoa or roasted potatoes and sauteed kale or roasted cauliflower.
  • Spice-Rubbed Wild Salmon served with baked sweet potato wedges and steamed asparagus with that fun pink vinaigrette.
  • Whole Roasted Chicken — comfort food at its simplest.  Serve with roasted root vegetables and green salad.
  • Chicken Paillard — serve with roasted cherry tomatoes instead of fresh.
  • Pantry Pasta with meatballs and a green salad
  • Chicken Noodle Soup with pasta hearts — cook lasagne noodles and cut out hearts with cookie cutter.  Add to soup.
  • Raspberry Sauce — Make a simple syrup by combining 1/3 cup water and 1/4 cup sucanat, coconut palm sugar or natural cane sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Stir the mixture until sugar is dissolved.  Place 5 ounces (about 1 cup) frozen raspberries and simple syrup in blender.  Blend until smooth.  Strain if you don’t like seeds.  I like to serve the sauce with fresh raspberries on top of heart-shaped French toast, pancakes or ice cream.  Heart-shaped pancakes are not realistic for more than two people.  Heart-shaped French toast is great for a larger brood.
  • Cut a heart out of a piece of bread for sandwiches or toast.  Toast the hearts and use as croutons.
  • Hot pink hummus with heart-shaped chips — check here for how to make baked tortilla chips, but use a heart-shaped cookie cutter instead of cutting the tortillas into wedges.  Same basic steps to make pita chips.
  • Chocolate Fondue — Set a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water.  Add 12 ounces of chopped dark, bittersweet or semisweet chocolate and 3/4 cup heavy cream.  Whisk until chocolate is melted.   Serve with fresh strawberries, apple wedges, or chunks of banana.  Always a hit for minimal effort!
  • Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies — makes a great Valentine gift!
Do you have any favorite Valentine foods?  Please share!
 
5.0 from 1 reviews
"Special Occasion" Chicken Pot Pie
Author: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • PASTRY
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 Tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup ice water
  • FILLING
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or equivalent amount of cooked chicken, shredded or chopped into bite-size pieces)
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen peas, thawed
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Tablespoons heavy cream or whole milk
Instructions
  1. To make the pastry, place the flour, salt, pepper and butter in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse 5 times. Add the lemon juice and water and turn on the machine for 3 seconds. Using your hands, scrape the dough onto a floured surface and work it together into a smooth ball. Cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  3. To cook chicken: bring a large pot of water to a boil and add chicken breasts. Simmer for 7-8 minutes. Drain. Save the pot for later use. When chicken is cool enough to handle, cut into bite-size pieces and add back to pot. It is fine if the chicken is not cooked all the way through. Set aside.
  4. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and carrot and sauté until onion is translucent. Add the flour and sauté for 3 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Add the salt and paprika. Mix well. Add the chicken stock gradually while stirring and bring to a boil. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce. Taste the mixture for seasoning and add extra salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Add peas, parsley and onion-carrot mixture to chicken in the pot and combine well. Transfer to a 13 x 9–inch casserole dish.
  6. Roll out the pastry dough 1-inch larger than the area of the casserole dish. Cut hearts from the dough with cookie cutter, if desired, otherwise make a few small slits in the dough for steam to escape. Place the dough on top of the filling and crimp the edges.
  7. Beat the egg yolk with the cream and brush the top of the pastry with the mixture. Place dish on top of a baking sheet and bake for 50-60 minutes or until golden brown.
Notes
You can cut this recipe in half and bake it in an 8 x 8-inch pan. You can also make individual pot pies in oven-proof bowls or large ramekins.

 

 

 

Grilled chicken paillard with arugula and lemon vinaigrette

chicken paillard with arugula

By now you have figured out that I promote one meal for the whole family.  I think there is a beautiful connectedness that comes from everyone sharing the same meal and sharing the same energy from that food.  In addition, I believe that we help our children develop better eating habits when we expose them to a wide variety of foods during their lives and we encourage them to try new things.  By giving in to the picky eater in the family and making him chicken tenders or buttered pasta every night because he won’t eat grown-up food, we are basically ensuring that he will grow up with only a taste for “kid cuisine” and the flavors associated with it.  Not only that, who in the world has time to make more than one meal every night?

Mr. Picky is my 7-year-old and he is a challenge at mealtime even though I have done everything right.  I am a great eater and I have set a good example for him (the most important thing.)  I have exposed him to every vegetable and whole grain countless times.  He has helped me prepare dozens of meals.  We have gone shopping together at the supermarket and farmer’s markets.  We have planted seeds and grown our own food.  And he is still a total pain in the ass neck and still quite picky, although he is slowly coming around.  But I am not stressed out about it because Daughter #1 was the exact same way, even worse!  Until one day something clicked and now she eats everything I eat from beet greens and bok choy to millet and muesli.

What does this have to do with chicken paillard and arugula salad when 99% of kids hate arugula?  Of course they hate it.  It is peppery and bitter and their tastebuds haven’t developed to the point that it tastes good to them.  I didn’t like arugula when I was 7, but I am a maniac for it now.  I even grow tons of it in my garden.  So should I cater to the lowest common denominator in my family and prepare arugula-less meals?  Heck no!  I want arugula salads every now and then with a lemon vinaigrette and thinly pounded chicken breast.  It’s one of my favorite quick-fix meals.  But this is where I think flexibility should play a role.   I will cut the chicken into strips and lay them on top of the arugula so that  it is more appealing to my son and I allow him to eat just the chicken.  He can look around the vegetable crisper and see if there’s something else that he would like, such as a raw carrot.  In this way, I am not making him a whole different meal for him and the rest of us get to eat what we want.

No one likes everything, not even me.  I very much dislike papaya, tarragon and poached or runny eggs.  If you dislike arugula, feel free to substitute spinach or a crisp romaine.  If you dislike chicken, you can add steak or chickpeas and shaved parmesan cheese.  This is a great recipe to make for a crowd or for just one.  The photo below shows a big platter I made when my cousin Joanna and her husband Anthony stopped by for dinner.  I literally came home after they arrived at my house and whipped this together in front of them.  The other finished photo at the top is my lunch yesterday when I was working at home testing recipes.  As luck would have it, Mr. Picky came home for lunch and asked if I would share my chicken with him.  My pleasure, as long as I get all the arugula for myself!  One day he’ll be asking for that, too.

 

chicken paillard with arugula

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Grilled Chicken Paillard with Arugula and Lemon Vinaigrette
Author: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Juice of 1 lemon + 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 8 ounces arugula
  • 1 tomato, chopped
Instructions
  1. Place the chicken breasts one at a time in between to pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap and pound to a ¼-inch thickness. You can use a meat mallet or a rolling pin. The idea is to get the chicken to an even thickness all around. Remove from the paper and place in a glass baking dish and squeeze the juice of 1 lemon on top. Drizzle with an equal amount of olive oil. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt and black pepper to taste. Allow to sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes.
  2. Heat the grill to medium. In the meantime, prepare the salad dressing. Cut the garlic clove in half and rub the inside of a medium bowl with the cut side of the garlic. Add the garlic to the bowl. To the bowl, add 3 Tablespoons lemon juice, Dijon mustard, ½ teaspoon sea salt, and black pepper to taste. Whisk to combine. Pour ½ cup olive oil into the bowl, whisking constantly to emulsify. Taste for seasoning and tartness. Add more oil if necessary.
  3. Remove chicken from marinade and grill a few minutes on both sides until golden brown. Place on a cutting board. Arrange the arugula on a platter and drizzle with enough of the dressing to coat lightly. Cut the chicken into strips and arrange on top of the arugula. Scatter tomatoes on top and drizzle a little more dressing. Or arrange the chicken on a platter and top with dressed arugula leaves and tomato.
Notes
I also love this salad with chickpeas, olives, shaved parmesan cheese, or thinly sliced fennel.

Do ahead: you can make the dressing several days in advance and wash and dry your greens in advance, too. Just wrap them in a damp kitchen towel and store in the refrigerator.

 

 

 

 

Orange and rosemary glazed chicken recipe

It’s not my husband’s fault he can’t find his way around the kitchen.  He grew up with a mother who is a very willing and capable cook.  She made hot breakfasts every morning and power lunches for school.  Each night she lovingly prepared a fresh, well-balanced dinner.  Then I came along.  I met my husband in college when I was 18 and I already loved cooking for people.  I remember sophomore year my husband and his roommates fasted for Yom Kippur, as in they didn’t eat for 24 hours.  Who doesn’t love cooking for people who are ravenous??  We dated and I cooked.  We married and I cooked.  We had kids and I cooked a lot, and I was happy to do it.

I had two unusual days in a row last week where I had to work past dinner time.  I verbally clued my husband in to all the dinner possibilities using staples from the pantry and the fridge.  There was pesto, poached chicken meat, enough leftover soup for two, cooked brown rice, washed salad greens and vinaigrette in a jar.   With pasta and a can of beans in the pantry, I was sure he could come up with something.  Or so I thought.

I came home from a long day last Monday night and there it was on the kitchen counter — the take-out pizza box.  Sigh.  I don’t know what I was thinking that I could expect the poor guy to throw something together after a hard day of work that he and the three kiddos would want to eat.  I’m sure no one suffered eating pizza that night, but what would he do the next day??  I knew I needed to plan for an easy dinner that everyone would like and that my husband could handle — orange and rosemary-glazed chicken.  This is one of the simplest things you can make and so delicious.  This chicken has saved my life on busy weeknights and has delighted dinner guests alike.  Just marinate the chicken in a few ingredients ahead of time and pour everything into a casserole dish and bake.

I use all-fruit orange or kumquat preserves in the marinade, but I have used apricot, too.  Just make sure it’s all fruit without the addition of any sugar.  The preserves will be sweet enough.  I love rosemary with orange and with chicken, and I happen to have an out-of-control rosemary bush on my front lawn so I never have enough uses for it.  If you don’t have rosemary, thyme works well here, too.  The best part of this dish is the yummy, glaze-y sauce which we spoon over the chicken on the plate, but doesn’t get wasted if you serve this with something like rice or millet to sop it up.  With some steamed or roasted asparagus or sauteed spinach, someone looks like he knows a little something about something.  My hero.

 

5.0 from 5 reviews
Orange and Rosemary Glazed Chicken
Author: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 ½ - 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces* (breasts cut in half), seasoned with 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt as soon as you get home from the market
  • 8 ounces all-fruit orange or kumquat marmalade, about ¾ cup (such as St. Dalfour or Sorrell Ridge)
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons whole grain or stone-ground mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons shoyu or wheat-free tamari
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine orange marmalade, mustard, shoyu, melted butter, rosemary, and pepper in a glass or nonreactive container that is just big enough to hold the chicken. Add the chicken to the marinade and coat each piece well. Cover and refrigerate for 6-8 hours, or longer if that’s more convenient.
  2. Remove chicken from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If you’re not in a rush, allow the chicken to sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes. Transfer the chicken pieces and any marinade to a baking dish, such as a 13 x 9 - inch. Bake for 45 minutes or until cooked through and browned on top. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving, if possible.
Notes
*such as 2 breasts cut in half and 2 drumsticks

 

 

 

Harira recipe

Harira (Moroccan stew with chicken, chickpeas, lentils and rice) | pamela salzman

Harira is a Moroccan stew that is traditionally served during Ramadan to break the daily fast.  In my house it is a nourishing one-pot meal that is perfect for a chilly winter evening.  I have seen many versions of recipes for Harira.  Typical ingredients include lentils, chickpeas, rice or vermicelli pasta, tomatoes, onions, fresh herbs, spices and a small amount of meat, such as lamb or beef.  I have come up with my own version that is heavier on the grains and legumes with a few handfuls of greens thrown in at the end.  This is my kind of food!

One thing I love about Harira is that it’s rich in health-supportive spices.  In our country, we tend to shy away from spices like turmeric and ginger which is such a shame, because not only are they delicious, they are incredibly healing, too.  These spices and the others used in this Harira are full of phytonutrients, as well as anti-inflammatory  and cancer-preventative compounds.  Turmeric, in particular, has been hailed as the rock-star spice of late.  You may have eaten turmeric before if you’ve had curry.  It is what gives curry powder its yellow color.  Turmeric is a very powerful liver detoxifier, it improves circulation, is anti-bacterial and to repeat myself — one of the most potent anti-inflammatory substances out there.

I have heard from some parents that they are reluctant to try new flavors at the dinner table, for fear that their kids won’t like them.  The best way I have found to introduce new spices is gradually, by adding a little here and there to foods that are already in their comfort zone, such as pasta sauce or stew.   You will be giving your family such a gift by opening them up to a whole other world of flavors and healthful foods.

For the vegetarians and vegans out there, don’t pass this recipe by.  Just use water or vegetable stock for the chicken stock and double the chickpeas.  It’s already gluten-free, in case you were wondering.  This recipe makes enough for the 5 of us for dinner, but I double it quite often to get a lunch for the girls the next day.  Whatever doesn’t get eaten will freeze beautifully.  That wedge of lemon is recommended per person to squeeze on top, and before you think it’s something you can do without, think again!  The lemon really brightens the dish and adds the perfect complement to all the earthy flavors.

Harira (Moroccan stew with chicken, chickpeas, lentils and rice) | pamela salzman

harira (Moroccan stew with chicken, chickpeas, lentils and rice) | pamela salzman

 

5.0 from 3 reviews
Harira
Author: 
Serves: 5-6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Tablespoons unrefined coconut or olive oil (I use coconut)
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs (or a combination of both), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4-5 grinds of black pepper
  • 1 pound fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped OR 1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes with the juice (I used ½ box of Pomi since I'm not a fan of canned tomatoes)
  • 1½ teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 3 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock, preferably homemade
  • ½ cup dried lentils
  • ¼ cup long-grain brown rice
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • A couple handfuls of fresh baby spinach leaves (optional, but leafy greens are your friend)
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
Instructions
  1. Season the chicken with sea salt and pepper as early as possible.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the chicken pieces in 2 batches and brown on both sides. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside.
  3. Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook until softened. Add all the spices and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Add the tomatoes with their juice, chickpeas and 1½ teaspoons of sea salt. Cook until fragrant.
  4. Return the chicken to the pot with any accumulated juices. Add the stock, lentils and brown rice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 50 minutes.
  5. Add cilantro and parsley and cook uncovered for 5 minutes or until the chickpeas are heated through. Stir in the spinach leaves, if using. Ladle into individual bowls and serve with a wedge of lemon.

 

Lemon-thyme chicken recipe

lemon-thyme chicken | pamela salzman

Once upon a time, I used to enjoy spending lots of time experimenting in the kitchen.  I had fabulous cookbooks in which I found interesting and challenging recipes to make for dinner.  On a weekday.  And then it was over.  My kids started playing team sports.  Do you know this new life?  Are you driving to some field at exactly the same time you should be soaking and sauteeing or poaching and shredding?  And then back an hour later to pick-up, unless of course there’s a GAME.  Then you’re sitting on bleachers for two hours trying to figure out how dinner will be ready the second you walk in the door with starving children.

how to slice into cutlets

“Baked Lemon Chicken” from The Union Square Cafe Cookbook was one of my favorite chicken entrees before sports.  Bone-in chicken pieces baked with lots of sauteed onions, lemon and thyme.  It was even good enough to serve to company.  But there would be no more basting every 15 minutes for me on a Tuesday at 5:00.  So what’s a girl to do?  Adjust the recipe to cutlets, of course!

sliced onions and garlic, fresh thyme

Even though I generally prefer bone-in chicken to boneless, this dish is not lacking for flavor or moistness.  The onions get soft and saucy with lemon and infused with fresh thyme and the chicken takes it all in.  The best part about this is that it’s super easy and can be done in stages, if necessary.  You can flour and saute the chicken and then take the kids to practice.  Come back and saute the onions, add the thyme, lemon and stock.  Pick up the kids from practice and when you get home add the chicken to the onions and let everything cook together while you saute some spinach with garlic.  Hopefully you made a vinaigrette and washed some lettuce a few days ago, so assembling a salad will take you no time at all.  Can you say, “Home run!”

lemon- thyme chicken | pamela salzman

 

lemon-thyme chicken | pamela salzman

 

Lemon-Thyme Chicken
Author: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds chicken cutlets (I show a photo of how I cut a boneless, skinless breast half into cutlets, but you can ask your butcher to do this)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Flour for dredging (whole wheat pastry flour or brown rice flour (gluten-free) are the two I use)
  • Unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved and sliced thinly (I use a candle when I am cutting onions to prevent crying -- it works!)
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
Instructions
  1. Season the chicken cutlets on both sides with sea salt and black pepper. Dredge them with flour and shake off the excess.
  2. Warm about ¼ cup olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the chicken cutlets and sauté on both sides until golden brown. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  3. Add the onions and garlic to the skillet and season with sea salt and pepper. Sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Pour the lemon juice into the pan and scrape any brown bits on the bottom. Add the chicken stock and thyme sprigs and bring to a simmer. Transfer the chicken back to the pan with any accumulated juices. Simmer until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove thyme sprigs and serve immediately.