Read an Excerpt
Cajun Hot Chicken Salad
Makes 4 servings
Cold, crisp iceberg lettuce contrasts in this salad with spicy chicken and colorful bell peppers hot off the grill pan. Serve with corn bread and cold beer.
1 head of iceberg lettuce, torn into pieces
2 scallions (white and 2 inches of green), sliced into thin rounds
1/4 cup loosely packed chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons chopped parsley 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt 16 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon powdered mustard
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large green bell pepper, cut into strips about 1/2 inch wide
1 large red bell pepper, cut into strips about 1/2 inch wide
About 1/3 cup vinaigrette dressing (homemade or bottled)
In a large bowl, toss together the lettuce, scallions, dill, and parsley. cover the bowl and refrigerate.
2. Cut the chicken breasts crosswise into 3/4-inch-wide strips; place in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, mix the paprika, salt, black pepper, cayenne, thyme, and mustard. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the chicken and toss to coat with the spices. Add half of the olive oil and toss again. in another bowl, toss the bell pepper strips with the remaining olive oil.
3. Heat a grill pan over medium heat until hot enough to make a few drops of water sizzle. Lay the chicken pieces on the pan and cook, turning with tongs 3 or 4 times, until lightlycolored and no longer pink inside, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the chicken to a large bowl.
4. Put the bell peppers on the same hot grill pan and cook, moving and turning with tongs, until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes total. Add the peppers to the bowl with the chicken pieces. Toss together.
5. Remove the lettuce salad from the refrigerator and toss with just enough vinaigrette to coat lightly. Divide the salad equally among 4 plates. Mound the chicken and peppers on top of each salad. Serve at once.
Turkey Jalapeño Patties
Makes 4 servings
Jalapeño peppers vary wildly in degree of beat; they can be mild or wild. The best way to get some indication of the beat level is to cut them open and take a whiff. There's a stinging pungency in the hottest ones. if you want to tame the beat, remove the seeds and the white veins or "ribs", where the beat lurks, and chop the rest. If you prefer your food really hot leave the veins intact. For the patties, buy ground turkey that is a mixture of dark and white meat. All white meat ground turkey is too dry for this recipe
1 pound ground turkeyInstructions:
1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons dry vermouth
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 large fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Mix very well. Form the meat into 8 patties about 3 inches across and 1/2 inch thick.
2. Heat a grill pan over medium heat until hot enough to make a few drops of water sizzle. Put the patties on the hot pan and press lightly with a wide spatula to be sure the meat makes contact with the grill. Cook the patties until brown grill marks appear on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the patties over and cook until brown on the second side and the meat is no longer pink inside, about 3 minutes longer.