Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chicken and Mango Salad with Chutney Vinaigrette

Another recipe from William Sonoma Eat Well. I know this sounds weird but it was so, so good. The vinaigrette was delicious! I might even try it with grapes instead of mangos next time. I cut this recipe in half for my husband and me.

Chicken and Mango Salad with Chutney Vinaigrette

1/2 red onion
2 ripe mangoes
4 cups shredded cooked chicken (I used small chunks)
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
4 cups sliced romaine lettuce
1/3 cup peanut oil
1/4 cup Champagne vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
2 to 3 tsp. Asian chili oil *(optional, I didn't use it but I added a little chili powder)
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped (I just put it in the food processor whole)
1/2 cup mango chutney
1/2 cup cashews, toasted (I just used regular Planters cashews and didn't cook them or anything)

Thinly slice the onion lengthwise, rinse under cold running water and drain well. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the mangoes, then cut the flesh away from the seed and cut the flesh into 1-inch chunks. In a large bowl, combine the onion, mangoes, chicken, celery and lettuce.

In a food processor, combine the peanut oil, vinegar, mustard and chili oil and process until blended. Add the garlic and chutney and process until pureed.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 4 hours and toss well before serving. Garnish the salad with the cashews just before serving. Serves 4.

Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes

Another ricotta breakfast recipe. This is also a William Sonoma recipe and it is delicious! I will sometimes add blueberries to these for my family, but I love them just how they are.

Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes

1 C ricotta cheese
1 C milk
3 eggs, seperated
1/4 C sugar
Zest and juice of one lemon
1 1/2 C cake flour (I use whole-wheat)
1 T baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

In a large bowl, whisk together the ricotta, milk, egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest and juice until smooth. Sift together the flour, baking powder and 1/8 tsp. of the salt over the ricotta mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.

In another large bowl, using a hand mixer or whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the remaining 1/8 tsp. salt and continue beating until soft peaks form. This makes the pancakes really fluffy and yummy. Using a rubber spatula, fold one-third of the egg whites into the ricotta mixture, then gently fold in the remaining whites.

Preheat a griddle over medium heat. Spray the griddle with nonstick cooking spray. Ladle 1/3 cup batter onto the griddle for each pancake. Cook until bubbles form on top and the pancakes are golden underneath, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook for 1 minute more. Transfer to a warmed plate. Repeat with the remaining batter. Makes 12 to 14 pancakes.

Multigrain Ricotta Waffles

I really like using ricotta cheese in my breakfast foods because it makes them creamy and fluffy, adds some healthy protein and it fills you up for longer. This is a recipe out of my new William Sonoma cookbook. I changed it just a little to make it healthier.

Multigrain Ricotta Waffles

1 C all-purpose flour (I used wheat here)
1/2 C whole-wheat flour (I used white here)
1/2 C stone-ground cornmeal (I just used regular cornmeal)
1 T sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C milk (I used buttermilk)
1/2 C part-skim ricotta cheese
2 eggs
3 T canola oil (I used applesauce)

In a large bowl, stir together the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, ricotta, eggs and oil. Stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture just until smooth.

Coat a waffle maker lightly with oil, wiping off any excess with a paper towel. Preheat to medium according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Spoon about 1/2 cup batter onto the hot waffle maker, spreading it out to the edges. Close the lid and cook until the waffle is golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Serve with fresh strawberries and plain yogurt for a healthy option. I made a strawberry sauce and used whipped cream for a less-healthy-but-super-yummy option. Or, you know, just syrup or whatever.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Candy Caramel Corn

We got this popcorn as a Christmas gift from our neighbors. It was huge, and we already had a ton of treats for the holidays. I was complaining about my neighbors trying to make me fat. Then I tasted it... Ryan and I decided to have a movie night after we put the kids in bed and we devoured this stuff. We ate until we were sick. And then ate a little more. It's that good. I had to ask for the recipe. Four months later and yes, it's still THAT good.

Popcorn (movie theater is best)
Almonds, whole (plain, not with a lot of flavorings)
1 C butter
1 1/3 C white sugar
½ C corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla

Melt butter in sauce pot. Add sugar and syrup and stir until boiling. Boil for 90 seconds, stirring constantly. With 10 seconds left, add vanilla. Pour over popcorn in a big bowl and stir until every kernel is coated. Add more popcorn if there is still extra caramel at bottom of bowl. Add almonds (as many as you prefer) and stir some more. Pour into serving container and cool. Enjoy!