Thai Peanut Grilled Chicken Salad

I used to despise making salads. I mean, I absolutely abhorred the thought of making a salad to accompany a meal.

Growing up, your salad was the part of the meal, that you “had to eat before you started the rest of your meal”. It was bland, it was simple, and nothing to ‘write home about’. There are meals for me that bring back such fond memories, meats and side dishes, too. But not salads. Salads lacked such creativity in my opinion. I could always play with flavor when I am in the kitchen, but salads to me were a one-note, until now.

I recently challenged myself to look up all of the delicious salad creations that I could find (and re-create), much like the ones that you’d find on the menu at your favorite restaurant. I know that I’ve had some salads with layers of flavor, a myriad of colors & textures, and a toss up of different meats, fun fruits, and happy legumes.

When I found this recipe for a delicious salad, all of the layers of textures and flavor caught my eye. I like complexity & creativity. I like taking a bite and being able to guess or at least try to find out, “What is that?!” Now, that’s my type of salad. That’s my kind of recipe. And that is the type of salad recipe that I am sharing with you today. I am a bonified sweets girl. Hands down. You don’t need to know me for long before you can figure that out. But this salad? This salad, had me pushing my dessert plate aside and grabbing the salad tongs for seconds.

Thai Peanut Grilled Chicken Salad

Salad Ingredients

2 cups of mixed lettuce greens

1 cup of tri-color coleslaw mix (or 3/4 cup of coleslaw mix and 1/2 of a small red onion, sliced)

1/4 cup of candied ginger sliced

1/2 cup + 3 tbsp of green scallions, chopped (3 tbsp reserved for garnish)

1/4 cup chopped peanuts or pecans

2 large marinated and grilled chicken breasts

Marinade Ingredients:

1/4 cup chopped garlic cloves

2 tbsp dried cilantro

1 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

(To make marinade, add all items to a food processor with the blade attachment and pulse for 2-3 minutes, until coarsely blended).

Directions:

Marinate two large chicken breasts inside of a ziplock bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Before removing from bag, pound with the flat side of a meat mallet until 1/2 inch in thickness.

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a hot cast iron skillet, and sear chicken breasts for 10 mins on each side, or until completely done and juices run clear.

Remove chicken from pan and allow it to cool.

Prepare your salad:

To a large serving bowl add mixed greens.  Next, add by layering, your sliced red onion (if using it), candied ginger, coleslaw mix, 1/2 cup of chopped green scallions, & cooled chicken breast.

Pour over thai peanut dressing once ready to serve and garnish with remaining chopped scallions & chopped nuts.  Enjoy!

 

Da bomb dot come Brown Rice

Brown rice, white rice, fried rice. Any kind of rice has never been my thing. Even though I have been baking and cooking most of my living years, I’ve never been one to be able to say that I “make some really good rice”, until now…

I have finally found a recipe that renders the perfect, buttery, flaky (if you want that), let-me-taste-every-single-grain of rice type of flavor, and after tweaking, and tweaking, and tweaking…I’ve finally got it. Here is the recipe for the most perfect rice. And once you make this for someone, they will be coming back for more. Not only that, but it is also the type of rice that’s good to eat by itself. Yes, it’s that good.

 

Da Bomb Dot Com Brown Rice

Ingredients:

1 cup of Trader Joe’s Brown Jasmine rice
1 & 3/4 cup water (not 2 cups)
A dash of sea salt
A dash of ground pepper
3 dashes of onion powder
1 1/2 tsp of chicken bouillon base

Equipment: 12-cup rice cooker

Directions:
Stir all of the ingredients together (do not pre-wash your rice), in a rice cooker and then cook until complete or until all the water is out, if cooking on the stove-top.

Simple. Easy. & Delicious.

That’s how I like my recipes. 👌 

Vannoliya Pie

Long, long ago when my now big girl, was just a little girl, she would ask me to go through the drive through at Mc Donald’s and get her a “vannoliya pie”. It was the sweetest little thing.

Mickey D’s actually has a few wonderful pies that have well become my favorite. They’ve got the strawberry & cream, the blueberry & cream (it’s hard to find, but it’s good), the pumpkin, the sweet potato (did I have a sweet potato pie there or at Bojangles) and a peaches & cream pie. They’re all good, but I’d have to admit their Holiday {Custard} Pie was one of my favorites. So for Pi-day, I am bringing this thing back to life.

What my little girl called vannoliya pie was a delicious, hand-held vanilla custard pie, wrapped in a flaky, buttery, rainbow-sprinkle infused crust. Totally delicious. Simple, yet complex. A little sweet but not too sweet. I loved it. And she loved it too. What I loved even better was the way in which she’d say, “Vannoliya Pie”. “Vannoliya Pie”. Total music to my ears, and the way that her little voice would say it was even sweeter than the pie.

I could not freeze her in time at that sweet age of 4 years old, but I can make her vannoliya pie, again & again, & again.

For my custard, I started with a crème brulee type of a base. Heavy cream, with sugar, salt, cooked until in thicked, tempering the eggs in, and set aside to cool to make our delicious filling.

For my pie crust, I whipped up a flakey buttery, crust, actually using this recipe, and making sure that the dough did not warm up too much while I kneaded it, I added the rainbow sprinkles, and let it chill in the refrigerator for a few hours.

So, I haven’t quite mastered turning this thing into a hand-held pie, but I do believe that I’ve got the flavor down for the sweet, subtle custard, and the flakey, crusty, buttery, sprinkle-encrusted pie crust. Yay! This one is a win-win!

Vannoliya Pie

For the crust:

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup of cold butter (cut into cubes)

1/2 teaspoon of sugar

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/4 of ice water

1/4 cup non-peril rainbow sprinkles

For the filling:

2 cups of heavy cream

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 pinch of salt

1 tsp of vanilla extract

3 egg yolks

Directions:

Making the crust:

  • Begin with very cold butter.
  • Dice the butter into cubes with a sharp knife.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar & salt.
  • Using a pastry blender, cut in butter, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Add in the ice water, one tablespoon at a time and mix swiftly and gently.
  • Add in just enough water to allow the dough to form into one loose ball.
  • Add in the non-peril sprinkles.
  • Flatten the dough into a disk.
  • Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours overnight.
  • Roll the dough out into the desired size (a 12-13″ circle for a 9″ pie pan).
  • Turn it frequently to maintain it’s shape and to prevent from sticking.
  • Gently roll it over the rolling pin and transfer it to your pie pan.
  • Press the dough evenly into the bottom and the sides of the pie plate.
  • Trim the dough by one inch, to overhang using kitchen sheers or a pizza cutter.
  • Fold the dough under and seal it to form a rim, then crimp the rim with fingertips and knuckles.
  • Using a fork, poke holes into the bottom of the pie crust.
  • Wrap it with plastic wrap in the fridge or the freezer to set it’s shape.
  • The dough must be well-chilled before baking.
  • Add some aluminum foil or parchment paper onto the dough and then weigh it down with uncooked rice, dry un-cooked beans or with pie weights.
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees F, for 15-20 minutes or until set and a just light brown. (*Note: You don’t want to over bake it in this process, because you will be re-baking it again once you add the filling).

Making the filling:

  • In a double boiler, warm cream salt, and sugar.
  • In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks until smooth.
  • Temper in warmed cream into yolk mixture one tablespoon at a time, until fully blended & you’ve added all of the warm cream mixture, to the egg yolk mixture.
  • Pour into pre-baked pie crust and bake in a water bath, for 30-35 minutes, or until firmly set, at 300 degrees.
  • Turn off oven and remove they’re done.
  • Allow to cook at room temperature for 90 minutes in the water bath, and then remove to cool in fridge for 3 to 6 hours.
  • Serve cold with whipped cream (optional) & Enjoy!
C