A blog about food, in all of its weird and delicious glory.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Thai Chicken Salad

Yes, I know most Super Bowl Party foodstuffs are comprised mostly of food service-grade beef and Velveeta (tm), but insofar as one of my guests was a genuine tyrophobe and the missus and I get enough cheese as it is, I decided to do something a little less ooey and gooey for this year's football extravaganza: Thai Chicken Salad, with Orange-Chipotle Pork Skewers.

For the chicken salad:

3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
Sea salt

1 bunch of cilantro
2-4 Jalapeno peppers
3 Tb dried lemongrass
1 small yellow onion
4 Tb olive oil
Crushed black peppercorns and sea salt to taste

1 jar Stonewall Kitchen Mango Chutney (or use the chutney of your choice)

1 cup crushed peanuts
Juice of 4 limes

Heat a large pot with water and a handful of sea salt; add the chicken shortly before the water reaches the boiling point, reduce heat, and simmer chicken for approximately 15 minutes. Drain and cool the chicken, then chop it into small (1/2") dice.

Meanwhile, combine cilantro, hot peppers, lemongrass, onion with olive oil and process in a food processor until it achieves a pesto-like consistency, adding additional olive oil as needed. Salt and pepper to desired taste.

Combine chicken, "pesto", and chutney in a large mixing bowl and stir until the ingredients are well incorporated. Toss with lime juice and crushed peanuts. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

I decided to serve this in miniature phyllo dough cups, which you can find in the frozen foods aisle of most supermarkets. Simply heat the empty pastry shells for 5 minutes in an oven preheated to 350F, then after cooling spoon a dollop of the chicken salad into each cup.

Of course, idiot that I am, I completely forgot that my best friend's girlfriend is allergic to peanuts (and how many times have I cooked for her again?), so feeling like a major-league dodo I sprang to try and create a comparable dish that she could enjoy while we noshed on the above appetizer: Maple Curry Beef With Peas!

1/2 lb ground beef
1 cup frozen peas
2 Tb Curry powder
Sriracha hot sauce, salt, pepper, and maple syrup to taste

Brown beef, add peas, curry powder, hot sauce, salt/pepper and heat until peas are tender. Drizzle maple syrup and serve immediately (again I dolloped this mixture into phyllo dough cups).

Crisis averted!

As for the pork:

2 lbs boneless center-cut pork chops (don't use thin chops!)
1 bottle Lawry's Baja Chipotle marinade
Juice of 4 oranges
1/2 cup Sriracha hot sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce

4 assorted colored bell peppers
4 medium yellow onions
Basile's Greek Steak Seasoning

Cut pork into 1" cubes and combine with marinade, orange juice, hot sauce, and soy sauce. Refrigerate for at least four hours, stirring occasionally and adding chunks of bell pepper and onion to the marinade for the last few minutes.

Fire up grill or broiler. Thread several long metal skewers with alternating pieces of pork, pepper, and onion, season with Basile's to taste, and place completed skewers on grill or broiler pan. Grill for five minutes, turn, and grill for an additional three to five minutes.

Feeds approximately 4 people.

(The chicken salad feeds a small army!)

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