Thursday, June 30, 2005

Quilting at my house

Yesterday was Wednesday, the day my quilting group meets and I was the hostess. I knew I wanted to make a salad and trolled around for inspiration. I made an amalgam of a cajun grilled chicken salad and California Pizza Kitchen’s chopped salad with barbecued chicken. Here is my recipe

Quilter’s Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken (serves 10)
The rub:
2 t. salt
½ t. garlic powder
½ t. onion powder
½ t. dried thyme
½ t. dried oregano
½ t. freshly ground black pepper
½ t. paprika
½ t. cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients together to blend. Divide: 1-1/2 t. for salad dressing and remainder for chicken rub.

Salad dressing:
3/4 c. buttermilk
½ c. mayonnaise
2 T. chopped green onion
2T. chopped fresh italian parsley
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
½ t. grated lemon peel
1-1/2 t. seasoning from rub

Make salad dressing the night before.

Chicken: Rub remaining seasoning mixture on six boneless, skinless chicken breasts (that you have pounded so that they are flat-ish and about the same thickness) about 2 hours before grilling. Pour 1 c. buttermilk over chicken, turning to coat. (A 1-gal. ziplock bag would be good for this.) Refrigerate until 30 minutes before grilling, turning when you think of it. Grill over medium-high heat. These cook very quickly. Let rest at least 5 minutes before cutting into strips. I made the chicken early in the morning and served it at room temperature.

Chopped Salad
2 hearts of Romaine, chopped
jicama, cut into strips (1 lb.?)
2 c. black beans
2 c. corn
grape tomatoes, halved (1 pint)
1/3 lb. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped
6 scallions, chopped
3 T. chopped fresh cilantro

I layered these ingredients, pretty much in this order, in my largest salad bowl and my guests served themselves. I served the salad undressed and passed the dressing in a sauce boat. One person thought it needed more salt; one person thought it was pretty spicy, so she took just a smidgen of dressing on the side. If you have the energy and the desire you could take corn tortillas, spray them with olive oil, slice them into thin (1/4-inch) strips and bake them (5 min. ?) as a topping. I didn’t this time, but I have.

Susan brought us each a perfect Blenheim apricot from her tree.

We had a plate of assorted fruits and chocolates.

Kathy brought a decadent Caramel Charlotte with nectarines that should have just been lunch.

What excess!

We gave the secret quilt to Kathy and I think she was surprised.

A good time was had by all.

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