Monday, September 17, 2012

Light Chicken Salad

Dear Jess,

What an awesome last minute visit on Saturday! I'm sorry I was not up to say goodbye on Sunday morning... I hope you slept well and made it to church on time!

This recipe got us through a quite a few lunches this summer. It was popular especially at the cottage. I'm not a huge fan of 'mayo-based salads' but this one is surprisingly light and allows you to taste the other ingredients besides the mayo. This has been added to 'the binder' and will be used many more times I'm sure.

I doubled the original recipe. It easily feeds 10-12 people for a lunch.

Chicken Salad
adapted from this recipe
2 Rotisserie Chickens, stripped and finely chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
6 scallions, finely chopped
3 tbsp (heaping) fresh tarragon
2 cups mayo (I use the 50% less fat olive oil mayo)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
4 tsp Lemon juice
4 tsp salt
Black pepper to taste

1. Combine chicken, celery, scallions and tarragon in a large bowl.
2. Mix mayo, Dijon, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a smaller bowl. Add to your chicken mixture. Stir well.
3. If desired you can serve immediately, or let sit in the fridge for a couple hours to let the flavours combine.
4. Serve on bread, or wraps with desired toppings!



Friday, September 14, 2012

Pearl Barley, Savoy Cabbage and Chorizo Soup

Dearest Jess,

I am so excited for our Skype date tomorrow! I haven't seen you in ages!

As you have noticed, the weather is cooling down. This means the old soup, chili, casserole, stew etc recipes get pulled out and jackets, scarves, rubber boots and long pants get put on. We had our windows open all summer and enjoyed the summer breezes. We have now closed them to enjoy the toasty warmth of the house, against the chilly, rainy spectacle we find outside.

This recipe has become a sort of favourite for me. It is another one from Tana Ramsay's Home Made cook book. The last recipe I did from this book was so delicious. It was a Ham, Spinach and Gruyere Croissant Ring. Very tasty!

I have fallen in love with this soup because of its simplicity and adaptability. Tana says:

'So when following any recipe, mine included, my advice would be to not get hung up on quantities - if there are three mushrooms left in the bag more than the recipe calls for, chuck them in too, or if the recipe demands two celery sticks and you have only one, don't rush down to the supermarket to buy it. Getting a meal on the table for the family after a long day at work or doing other things can be stressful enough, so why make it more complicated than it needs to be?'

You know this is my view-point as well, so this soup I have made a little different every time. I will share the original recipe as it is in the book, but remember to have fun with it!

Pearl Barley, Savoy Cabbage and Chorizo Soup
From Tana Ramsay's Home Made, page 12

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 red onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2 sprigs of thyme
9oz chorizo sausages, skinned and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/2 Savoy cabbage, shredded
3.5oz pearl barley
squeeze of lemon juice
1 handful of chopped fresh parsley
salt and black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan on a low-medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and thyme and cook gently for about 5 minutes, until softened but not coloured. Add the sausages and fry for 4-5 minutes until the oil begins to run. Meanwhile, put on the kettle to boil.

2. Add the cabbage and pearl barley to the sausages and pour in enough boiling water to cover everything generously. Bring to bubbling, then reduce the heat and cook gently for 50-60 minutes, until the barley is tender; top up with more hot water if the mixture gets too dry.

3. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss in the parsley, stir through and serve in warm bowls with lots of crusty bread with butter.

Enjoy this one. It's very warm and cozy.