Monday, July 25, 2011

Curried Chicken Salad

This recipe is a riff on Thai Curried Fried Rice. That classic Thai restaurant preparation uses Indian curry powder (not Thai curry paste) and pineapple. Curry goes great with the chicken and fruit in the salad.

This recipe also gives us the opportunity to introduce the extremely useful technique of cooking chicken in a microwave. You can get pre-cooked chicken in most supermarkets, but it is quick and easy to cook it for yourself. It’s cheaper and you know the chicken isn’t “enhanced” with lots of salt and preservatives.

Curried Chicken Salad
Makes 2 servings

1½ cups chopped chilled cooked chicken breast (about 8 ounces)
½ cup halved seedless red grapes
½ cup diced apple
2 Tablespoon diced pineapple (canned is fine)
1 Tablespoon raisins (or one small kid’s box)
3 Tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tsp honey
½ teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon lemon juice
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon pepper
1 Tablespoon sliced or slivered almonds, toasted at 300 F° for 5 minutes and cooled

Combine first 5 ingredients (chicken through raisins) in a large bowl.  In another bowl, combine mayonnaise and next 5 ingredients (through pepper) stirring with a whisk.  Pour mayonnaise mixture over chicken mixture, toss gently to coat.  Sprinkle with almonds.  The amounts are approximate, so use as much or as little as you like.  And, getting the fruit and chicken at a salad bar is a great way to get just as much as you need.

To microwave chicken:  Put chicken in a glass dish and cover with plastic wrap, leaving a corner open to let out the steam. Cook on high power. The time depends on the size of the chicken breast.
·      4-6 minutes for 1 boneless skinless chicken breast
·      7-9 minutes for 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
·      10-12 minutes for 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Turn it 180 degrees halfway through cooking.  After cooking, let stand 5 minutes before removing the plastic wrap. Open the wrap away from you so you don’t burn yourself with the steam. Cut chicken to check that the chicken is cooked all the way through. Times here assume a high-powered microwave; your mileage may vary. Season cooked chicken with a sprinkle of salt and black pepper. Chill before using in salad.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Welcome to the School of Eating Good blog. We want you to cook. We want you to have fun cooking. We want you to find information here that helps you become a better cook, even if you don't know a darn thing about cooking right now.

You will find tips and tricks. You will find recipes that are tasty and tested by us, so after you are done you will say "that is really good!" rather than "will my dog even eat this?" You will find recommendations on equipment and information on ingredients. Not everything here will be for the rank amateur cook, but we'll be sure to let you know what skills and equipment you'll need to pull off a recipe. Even though we've been cooking for a really long time, we've been there. No one likes a recipe full of nasty surprises.

So keep coming back for more interesting, useful, and sometimes slightly silly information on food and cooking.

Beef and Bean Burrito Filling

This is an all-purpose inexpensive filling/dip/topping. It's quick and easy too.

Beef and Bean Filling/Dip
(makes 6-8 servings)

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped OR 1 4 oz can chopped green chiles
1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 16 oz can refried beans with green chiles
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or use Monterey jack or Colby cheese)

In a large skillet, cook ground beef over medium-high heat until beef is starting to brown. Add onion and green pepper and cook another few minutes until onions soften.

Stir in chili powder, salt, black pepper, tomato sauce, and refried beans. Mix well and heat through. Remove from the heat and mix in cheese.

Some suggestions for this filling:

Fill a tortilla - add some shredded lettuce, salsa, and more cheese and guacamole.

Top a baked potato and add a little more cheese and sour cream.

Make nachos by topping tortilla chips along with additional cheese, sliced jalapenos, chopped tomatoes.

Hollow out a Kaiser roll and fill. Top with additional cheese.