Saturday, July 31, 2010

About love affairs, Asian-style chicken salad and guilt-free potato chips

Dear F,
I don't know how to tell you this, but I have fallen in love. It happened by accident, we met in a little old store on my way home from the office. I saw him and looked the other way, feigned interest for something on display. I promise you, I tried to leave and not turn back. But I couldn't help it, I could not control my urges. I turned and he was still there. Sleek and sharp looking...I couldn't resist...I left the store with him. We hit it off immediately. I did things with him I had never dreamed of doing before, I suddenly became adventurous, I wanted to try more. I couldn't help myself. Forgive me F, I have fallen for Kyocera, my new Japanese love.

Here he is, my adjustable ceramic vegetable slicer.

Since I got this new mandoline slicer I have been having lots of fun. First I made this Asian-style chicken salad in about 10 minutes, since it took me less than 3 minutes to prep the vegetables. I made this for my colleague and friend I., who loves chicken salad in any form. I served it with bran-dusted baguette. She brought Grom ice cream and their Foglie di mais biscuits (made with corn meal) for dessert. Pistachio, vanilla and Lattementa (mint&cream). 

Ingredients for Asian-style chicken salad with peppers (original recipe from the Food Channel) 
1 rotisserie chicken
2 bell peppers (1 red, 1 yellow)
2 smal scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
 3 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp dark sesame oil
1 1 /2 tsp honey
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 1/2 tbsp white sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 cup organic not sweetened smooth peanut butter
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 package iceberg lettuce

I bought a rotisserie chicken, but you could roast your own or boil a chicken breast in stock instead. Cut the chicken or pull it apart into bite size pieces.
Make the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce, dark sesame oil, honey, ginger, sesame seeds, peanut butter and black pepper. I did not mince the garlic because we all had to go to the office the next morning and just cut it in half vertically and let it marinate for a while in the dressing.
Add the chicken, the peppers and the scallions and the dressing in a large bowl and toss well. Place the lettuce on a platter and pile the chicken mixture on top. Serve immediately. We drank ice cold Stella Artois with it.

I put all the ingredients in a bowl at the same time and then tossed: I realize now, looking at the recipe I printed out that the salad should have been kept separate. Follow their advice: the salad was extremely tasty but lacked a little crunch, despite my having used iceberg lettuce instead of the baby lettuce the recipe suggested. Now I know why. Always read your recipes carefully! There is a reason they have been tested many times before they are published.

Last night we decided to have a real American dinner, grilled hamburgers (with ground beef from Piemonte - razza piemontese) and I could not resist the idea of making one of the many recipes I have been reading on blogs lately for baked potato chips. I actually did not use one particular recipe but mixed several, just following the basic steps I remembered.

Home made salt and vinegar potato chips
1 large russet potatoe (for 2-3 people, even if I could have easily eaten them alone)
vinegar (white wine or apple cider)

I bought two large russet potatoes but only ended up using one. I sliced them using my new favorite kitchen item and soaked them in water and vinegar for approximately 15 minutes to get rid of some starch and let them absorb the acidity from the vinegar. Preheat your oven to 200°C at this point if you are going to make them. I then proceeded to dry the thin slices on paper towel. I lined two baking trays with parchment paper and hand greased them with a little olive oil. I placed the potatoe slivers on the trays and brushed them with a little more oil and springled them with salt. I then roasted them in the oven for about 20 minutes, watching carefully to make sure they didn't burn. It goes very quickly, so watch out. They do not cook very uniformly (excuse my pictures but it was late and the light was terrible) as some get darker, but they were delicious and definitely guilt-free.


  1. The potato chips look good, I wonder if it's good with sweet potato? I just bought a bag today at Trader Joe's. I usually bake them and could use another way to prepare them.

  2. Hi Lea, many of the recipes I found in the blogosphere actually called for sweet potatoes...I am sure that salty sweet contrast is amazing and they will also be a beautiful colour!

  3. LOL I love that intro paragraph! :P And aren't they great? I love mine too, even if there's a risk I may lose a bit of a finger :P

  4. I love the intro paragraph as well :D It's so funny :)

    And, by the way, I love GROM. They serve the best gelato in Italy, in my humble opinion :)

    Have a nice day dear!


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