Posts tagged yogurt

Three-Pea Chicken Salad

Image

 

For the third (or fourth, or fifth…) time, I’d like to attempt restarting this blog. I took a long hiatus from cooking most anything interesting, partly because of my repeated attempts to fast (more and less successful over the past year) and partly because of my increasingly busy schedule. Still, cooking remains a big passion of mine, bigger than almost anything else. So now, when I can, I’d like to go back to posting some things I made long ago, as well as whatever I make when I can manage something interesting.

The other night, it was this salad. See, neither my husband nor I are big salad eaters. I don’t mind it when it’s well composed, but I can almost never manage to make one at home that measures up to the ones you can get at a restaurant. My husband’s issue is that he just really hates lettuce, because it doesn’t taste like anything and he sees it as a foil for salad dressing, which he doesn’t much like either. So the few salads I’ve made at home have been those with little to no lettuce, and those seem to be well-received. This particular night, I really wanted something with plenty of fresh, crunchy vegetables and a little chicken for texture and protein.

It takes a little longer than usual to make if you do chop and shred everything as indicated, but if you’re feeling lazy I imagine you can just use all of the vegetables whole or in larger pieces.

Image

 

Three-Pea Chicken Salad

(serves 2-3 as a main course; 3-4 as an appetizer; the amount of dressing is enough to dress the salad very heavily. I suggest tossing the salad with a few spoonfuls at a time until you reach the amount of dressing you prefer.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. string peas
  • 1 c. sugar snap peas
  • 1/2 c. green peas
  • 1 red bell pepper, minced
  • 1 lb. chicken thighs
  • 3/4 c. Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon (optional)
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • 1/2 tsp. dried tarragon (or 1 tbsp. fresh minced)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Place chicken thighs in a small pot and cover them with water. Sprinkle in some salt, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Take the pot off the heat and let the chicken thighs cook in the hot water 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through. When cooked, take out of the water and let cool.
  2. Heat a separate pot of water to boiling, and salt it. Add string peas, snap peas, and green peas, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until vegetables have turned bright green. Meanwhile, prepare a bowl of ice water. When vegetables are done, drain and add to bowl of ice water to rapidly cool them.
  3. Drain the vegetables. Pick out the string peas and snap peas and shred them with a knife. Add shredded peas, green peas, and red bell pepper to a bowl. When chicken is cool, shred it as well and add it to the bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients: yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon zest (and juice, if using), garlic, salt, and pepper. Toss with vegetables and chicken.

Leave a comment »

Revelation: Blueberry Cheesecake Frozen Yogurt

If my late teens were a discovery of learning how to cook different foods, and if my early twenties were a discovery of loving breads, cakes, cookies, pies, pastries, and so on, then my mid-twenties are a discovery of loving dairy.  Like many people, there’s been some dairy standbys that I have always loved: milk (nonfat, please), cheddar cheese, mozzarella, cottage cheese (large curd only), cream cheese, sour cream, ice creams, and big, fluffy clouds of whipped cream.

Now, if you’ll notice, these are all readily available in the US, and generally speaking are among the mildest, nay even blandest of flavors.  In fact, it hadn’t really occurred to me until right this moment how American and how bland my tastes had run in this particular area.  Almost embarrassing when I think of how international my tastes normally are, how spiced and spicy I can take my food.

Though I ate some versions of sugared kids yogurt as a youngin’, I found that I liked neither that or most cheeses as I grew up.  Even Brie, that so-mild of “exotic” cheeses, was too funky for me.

In the last several years, I have been exposed to many kinds of cheeses and I began to realize that there are some that I actually like.  From triple creme french cheeses to semi-soft cow’s milk cheeses, sheep’s milk manchego and other similar hard, sharp cheeses, goudas, jacks, havarti, fresh mozzarella.  But all of these paled in comparison to goat cheese.  When I discovered this soft, bright white tangy cheese, I fell in love.

Having conquered cheese, I wanted to move on to yogurt.  I had tried and liked Wallaby Australian style yogurt, drinkable in texture, but even then I couldn’t eat them very often.  Their very “yogurt-ness,” that odd tanginess somehow bothered me.  Then I tried Greek yogurt, and all of those objections just flew out the window.  Even the non-fat Greek yogurt has a texture just like full-fat sour cream, and I thought the taste was sort of similar.  Milder, but still a little tangy, and dreamy texture.  I just knew it would make an amazing frozen yogurt, and I was right.

Blueberry Cheesecake Frozen Yogurt (makes 1 quart)

Now, for the record, I don’t really think this tastes like cheesecake.  I think it would require more cream cheese in proportion to the Greek yogurt, and next time I make this, I would increase the cream cheese and the sweetener slightly, beat them together, then slowly add Greek yogurt to incorporate well, and swirl in a blueberry compote instead of whole berries.  I did whole berries this time only because it would have taken too long to let the compote cool before mixing.

Also, this frozen yogurt, like my earlier sorbet recipe, did freeze very hard.  Still working on this problem.  I think low-sugar recipes are tough to make a good texture.  As I mentioned before, a splash of vodka might help, too.

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 4 oz. light cream cheese
  • 6 tbsp. nonfat milk
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c. blueberries

Directions:

  1. Beat first five ingredients together until mixed thoroughly.  Chill approximately ten or fifteen minutes, longer if ingredients have come to room temperature.
  2. Freeze in an ice cream machine, and when yogurt has thickened, add blueberries to the machine until evenly distributed.  Place into a container and freeze several hours, or until scoopable.

Leave a comment »