Sunday, June 1, 2008

It's Yummy~issimo Versus The Cicadas ~ And The Cicadas Are Winning!

I haven't posted in a while ~ you know how life sometimes gets in the way. We had a sudden, and very unexpected, death in the family. In addition to the family trauma, I was booked solid with cook days. That meant moving clients around so I could be gone for several days. Double cook days before and after.

But if that's the worst of my problems, then my life is great! And it is.

Opened yesterday's Cincinnati Enquirer and found a 2~page article about my buddy, Shayne Graham. The article talks about his condo, his cars and his sports memorabilia collection. It even talks about Yummy~issimo! ~ well, to some degree. I'm "the chef he uses occasionally" ~ if occasionally could be described as 3 or 4 times a month.

Sweet husband Tim was out yesterday running errands and buying unnecessary junk at yard sales and I was hiding in the house away from the billions of red~eyed, disgusting, loud mouthed flying roaches that have taken over Cincinnati ~ otherwise known as cicadas. Sweet husband wanted to take me out to lunch but it was hot and humid and I'm so tired of the cicadas dive bombing me when I'm outside that I decided to pass on lunch out.

Oh hell! Now I have to come up with something for lunch! Using a lot of leftovers, I made a great non~traditional chicken salad that I think several of my clients will love. I grilled out the other night and had one large chicken breast left over that had been marinated in my fat~free garlic~basil Italian dressing. When I grilled it, I reduced the dressing down to serve as a dipping sauce and then refrigerated the leftover chicken in the sauce. Here's the recipe ~ as close as I can tell. I rarely, if ever, measure anything, so you may like more or less of any ingredient.

Debbie's Yummy! Chicken Salad
Serves 4

2c diced chicken breast
1/2c remaining garlic~basil Italian dressing ~ use fat free Zesty Italian in the bottle and you'll be fine
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced ~ yeah, I know there's already garlic in the marinade but, let's face it, you can NEVER have too much garlic!
2 celery heart stalks with leaves, thinly sliced
1T sesame oil
1/4c peanut butter, heated to thin it
red pepper flakes ~ we like it hot so I probably used 1/2t but I'd start with just a pinch and add more as desired
2/3c chopped toasted pecans
1/2c dried cherries
salt and pepper
4 slices sourdough bread, lightly toasted
1/2c Asiago cheese, grated
1 green onion, thinly sliced, for garnish

Preheat broiler. Heat peanut butter in non~stick pan until it is runny. Mix all ingredients in large bowl and toss well. Add peanut butter and toss. This sandwich is served open face. Divide chicken salad into 4 equal portions and heap on sourdough bread slices. Sprinkle with cheese and broil until cheese is melted and bubbly ~ 2~3 minutes. Garnish with green onions. Yummy!

Still hiding in the house today away from the cicadas!

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