…from the California Kitchen
How you doin’? This is a heck of a salad—one of my favorites. The recipe is complex and has several sub-recipes, but I think after a year of cooking my recipes, you’re up to the challenge. Let’s just call this your Bachelor-of-Arts-in-Cooking Degree.
What is this salad all about? It consists of baby greens, julienne-cut bell peppers, red onion, cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, diced grilled pineapple, candied pecans and marinated jerk chicken slices, all tossed in a mango-balsamic dressing and topped with toasted coconut shards.
All of the sub-recipes need to be prepared in advanced. You can start cooking a couple of days early as all of the sub-recipes will keep that long, if not longer.
The recipes include:
The techniques are very easy if you have a food processor; if you don’t just schedule a vacation in the Caribbean the next time you can. The most time-consuming part of these recipes is lining up all the ingredients. I recommend you get all of your supplies ready to go. Okay, Ready, Set, START!
Yield: 1 serving
2-1/2 cups spring lettuce mix
2 tablespoons red bell pepper, julienne cut
2 tablespoons yellow bell pepper, julienne cut
2 tablespoons green bell pepper, julienne cut
1 tablespoon red onion, strings
3 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
5 sugar snap peas
2 tablespoons grilled pineapple, 3/4-inch dice (see recipe)
4 ounces jerk-marinated chicken breast slices (see recipe)
4 tablespoons mango-balsamic dressing, plus a little more to drizzle (see recipe)
6 sugar coated pecans (see recipe or buy these in your grocery store)
1/2 tablespoon toasted coconut shavings (see recipe)
Directions to Assemble the Salad
Jerk Chicken Marinade
Prep time: 15 minutes
Yield: 10 cups
1-1/2 tablespoons ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1/2 tablespoon fine grind black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup kosher salt
3 tablespoons garlic powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 ounces olive oil
6 ounces low sodium soy sauce (I prefer Kikkoman)
8 ounces orange juice
9-1/2 ounces rice wine vinegar
2-1/2 ounces lime juice
3/4 tablespoon grated lime zest
2 tablespoons finely chopped habanero chile, seeded and seamed (read ChefSecret)
2-1/2 cups yellow onion, chopped
1-1/2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
2-1/4 green onion, chopped
Marinating and Grilling the Chicken Breasts
To prepare the jerked chicken breasts, marinate them for 6 to 8 hours before grilling. Then grill each breast until done. The internal temperature should be 165⁰ to 175⁰ F. Cool and slice.
ChefSecret: Habanero chile is hot, Hot, HOT! Make sure to wash your hands after handling them before making the mistake of touching your eyes or your private areas.
Mango Balsamic Dressing
Prep time: 5 minutes
Yield: 24 ounces
10 ounces frozen mango pieces
2 tablespoons Sambal Oelek chili paste
13 ounces balsamic vinegar (not the expensive stuff)
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground coarse black pepper
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Prep time: 10 minutes (if you’re doing the peeling and coring)
Grill time: 2 minutes
Yield: 1 full pineapple
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Yield: 6 ounces
1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I prefer peanut oil)
4 ounces roasted pecan halves
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cold water
1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
Prep time: 1 minute
Bake time: 5 to 8 minutes
Yield: 5 ounces
5 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
ChefSecret: Always allow yourself enough time to make sure you have all the steps covered. If you are making this the first time for company, you might want to do a trial run with just your immediate family.
Covid-19 Quip of the Day: Here’s a back-to-school Quip—Mom asks Johnny, “What did you do at school today?” Johnny, “We did a guessing game.” Mom, “But I thought you were having a math exam.” Johnny, “That’s right!”
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