Saturday, February 6, 2010

Let's Talk Lettuce

I love salad!

I could eat it every day, and I usually do. With that in mind, it is no wonder that at least once per week throughout the warmer months, it is the main course on my weekly menu. Now, as we all know, there are very few self respecting men who would admit to enjoying a good salad for dinner, so I have learned to become a creative salad chef incorporating their favorite meals into my salads. Below are three of our favorites, one that is a classic and two that are "made up in the mind of Ma," which can be a rather spooky place, but in this circumstance is quite rational and most tasty.


*Classic Chicken Caesar Salad (My way)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts (3 to 4)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided in half
  • Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • 4 heads of Romaine lettuce, washed well and torn into bite size pieces
  • Chopped green onion
  • Croutons
  • Caesar dressing (I like Marie's brand)
Directions:

In a large bowl combine the lettuce, chopped green onion, 1/2 cup Parmesan and set aside.

Lay the chicken breasts on a cutting board and slice each diagonally into 4 or 5 large strips.

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate. Beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water on a second plate. Combine the breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup Parmesan on a third plate. Dredge the chicken breasts on both sides in the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and roll in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly to coat.

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook the chicken strips on medium-low heat for about 3 minutes on each side, until just cooked through. Don't crowd the pan. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts.

Add the Caesar Dressing to the bowl and toss until coated well. I serve the chicken on a platter by itself so that my family can choose the amount of chicken they want in their salad, but you can also serve it on top of the salad, or tossed in.


*My Favorite Taco Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 pound sharp Cheddar, shredded
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, washed, drained and shredded
  • 1 pound lean ground beef, browned, crumbled and drained
  • 1 cup Kraft Catalina salad dressing* mixed with 1 cup taco sauce
  • 1 (7-ounce) bag Nacho Doritos,  set aside a large handful of whole chips for on top and crush the rest
  • 2 avocados, sliced
Directions:

Combine the tomatoes, cheese, onion, lettuce, and ground beef in a large bowl. Add the salad dressing and mix well. Just before serving, add the taco chips and avocado, tossing to combine with other ingredients.

Top with the whole tortilla chips and serve with sour cream on the side.


*Ma's Turkey Club Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Smoked Turkey Breast, cubed
  • 1 lb Swiss Cheese, cubed
  • Chopped green onion
  • 4 heads Romaine lettuce
  • Creamy Ranch dressing (I like Marie's brand)
  • 8 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • Home made croutons (Recipe below)
Directions:

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss.


*My Homemade Croutons:


Ingredients:
  • 1 loaf potato or egg bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 pkg dry Italian dressing
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 300 degrees

Directions:

Place the oil, butter, dressing, and Parmesan cheese in a large bowl, and mix well. Add the bread and coat well. Pour onto a greased cookie sheet and spread to form a single layer. Bake for approx. 30 minutes, until the edges are browned and the croutons are no longer moist, but not hard.

I hope you try and enjoy these simple salads.

Enjoy!
Hugs

9 comments:

  1. MMMM....sounds yummy! I will have to try one.

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  2. Yum! I think I shall make a salad with dinner tonite!

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  3. Here in south Texas, it is nearly time to plant lettuce and greens. I am just excited to garden in this new zone. It is a huge difference from Ohio.

    There is nothing in the world as good as stuff from your own garden.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

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  4. OOOOOOOOOOOOooo I have been craving taco salad...
    I can handle all lettuce but not iceberg.

    Now I have new salads to try!
    hugs
    mel

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  5. Hello sugar plum. I finally got to go out today, a lovely spring day, and I managed to get some bits for your 'Irish'Package...but me being me, I have put your addy in a safe place. Very safe. So safe I cannot find it lol. Can you send it to me again?
    Thank you
    stitcheranonatyahoodotcodotuk

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  6. Wow - we are cesar and taco salad twins! I'll have to try the other one soon.

    One of the secrets to getting my hubby on board with salad night is cheese bread. ;)

    Do you ever add fruit to your salads? I have several favorite combinations:
    chicken/grapes/greens/sunflower
    steak/oranges/greens/toasted sesame
    pears/walnuts/greens/poppyseed drsg.
    apples/craisins/pecans/greens

    :)

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  7. I love my salads - which I could say the same for the guys in the house. Thanks for the yummy ideas.

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  8. Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmm! Two things I love to eat most in this world are cookies and salad! Your blog never fails me. :0) These recipes look great! Thank you for sharing. I had the yummiest greek salad tonight. I hadn't had one in quite a while. Oh my word, it was delicious! I love changing up salad nights. These recipes are gonna come in handy!

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  9. Oh my goodness, and here I thought I was the only one on the face of the earth that was a salad enthusiast based solely on its deliciousness and not on concerns over my waistline :)

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I adore kind comments, and though I may not always reply please know that I read and enjoy them all!