Mom de Cuisine


Blackened Chicken Caesar Salad
January 14, 2012, 2:44 pm
Filed under: Chicken, Salads | Tags: , , ,

 

When I made my blackening spice blend I had this salad in mind.  I wanted to make a light and healthy salad for dinner that was still tasty and satisfying.  While one might think that I was doing this because it’s just after the New Year when everyone has a diet resolution, but that’s not the case.  I don’t do resolutions, remember?

I wanted a light salad for dinner because my husband and I had plans to go to Friday brunch (without the kids.)  While brunch may seem like no big deal, it is a big to-do here.  There is a list of things you must see or do while in Bahrain:  Visit the Tree of Life (we’ve tried four times but have yet to find it,) go to the souq, see the historical forts, and do  brunch. 

All of the hotels and many restaurants host a Friday brunch, but it isn’t what I would really consider brunch to be.  Every brunch here starts after 12:30, there are no breakfast foods and it’s an all-you-can-eat-and-drink smorgasbord.  My husband and I ended up deciding on Muju for their jazz brunch.  And although there were no eggs or pancakes to be found, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  The drinks were flowing and the desserts were amazing.  To be honest, their food wasn’t the best, but it did have a phenomenal view to make up for it. 

With hindsight being 20/20, I can definitely say that this salad was the perfect light week night meal before a weekend of indulgence 🙂

 

 

 

Blackened Chicken Caesar Salad

*dressing adapted from Caesar Salad with Sourdough Croutons on epicurious.com

 

Ingredients:

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts

¼ cup blackening seasoning

1 loaf of French bread (stale bread is best)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon salt

½ tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon anchovy paste

2 garlic cloves, minced

 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

 1 tablespoonDijonmustard

 11/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

 1 head of iceberg lettuce, chopped

 Parmesan cheese for serving

 

 

Preparation:

 

Divide the seasoning among the chicken breasts and rub in.  Set aside.

 To make the croutons:  cut the French bread into cubes.  Toss with olive oil, salt and garlic powder and toast in a 400 degree oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes.  Croutons can be made one day a head of time and stored in an airtight container.

 Heat a vegetable oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Cook the chicken breasts 5 minutes per side or until the outside is browned and it is cooked through. 

While the chicken is cooking, combine the anchovy paste, garlic cloves, lemon juice,Dijon, and Worchershire sauce in a bowl.  Slowly whisk in the EVOO. 

 To assemble the salad, toss dressing with the lettuce top with croutons and parmesan cheese. Serve the warm chicken on the side.

 

 

 

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Make-Ahead Monday:Roasted Tomato Soup with Caramelized Onion and Parmesan Croutons
September 26, 2011, 11:53 am
Filed under: Main Course, Soups | Tags: , , , , ,

Last week, I mentioned that I didn’t think I could do Mexi-Monday’s anymore.  With the way our schedule has picked up, I really need to have some meals that can be prepared in the morning, and are fresh and waiting when we come home in the evening.  So Mexi-Monday must now be make-ahead Monday; but necessity is the mother of invention, right? 

After indulging all weekend for my hubby’s birthday, I wanted to make something healthy, but would still be filling after a long day.  I know I made soup last week, but I’ve been seeing so many really great soups lately.  It’s still hotter than the dickens (is that how the saying goes) so I know it makes me a little crazy to be making soup in 100 degree weather, but my internal clock is telling me it’s fall. 

I love to dip a grilled cheese in a soup like this, but since my meal needed to be done earlier in the day, I thought I’d do grilled cheese in crouton format.  When my sister first read my blog, she asked if she could put in a request for me to make a grilled gruyere and caramelized onion sandwich…HEY “J”…she also asked for a shout out, so there you go!  This was my make-ahead version.  I had some caramelized onion bread that I picked up on my many trips to the market over the weekend and topped it with parm.  The croutons on their own could have been a meal for a carb-lover like me! 

This soup, with the croutons, was a great way to get back to healthy food without feeling like we’re going without. 

Roasted Tomato Soup with Caramelized Onion and Parmesan Croutons

Ingredients:

6 large, ripe tomatoes, quartered

3 cloves garlic, peeled

2 small onions, chopped

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon dried basil

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

4 cups vegetable stock

4 tablespoons tomato paste (optional, but I like a really tomato-y soup)

1 loaf caramelized onion bread

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Salt and black pepper to taste

Preparation:

To make the soup: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a roasting pan, combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, dried spices, and oil.  Toss to coat and season with salt and pepper.  Roast for 20-30 minutes or until vegetables brown and crisp slightly. In an electric pressure cooker*, combine roasted vegetables, with juice, chicken stalk, and tomato paste.  Cook on high for 30 minutes.  Puree soup to desired consistency with an immersion blender.  Adjust seasonings.

To make the croutons:  While the soup cooks, cube the loaf of bread.  Toss the bread with olive oil and roast for 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until all the cubes are golden brown and crispy.  Remove from the oven, and while still hot, toss with parmesan cheese.

To serve:  Ladle the soup into bowls and top with croutons.  Eat immediately.

*If you do not have an electric pressure cooker, this can be done in a heavy-bottomed pot for 45 minutes to one hour.