2011, Recipe 75: Poached Eggs on Creamy Grits with Creole Sauce

Recipe Courtesy of Chow.com


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • 1 cup stone-ground grits, not instant or quick-cooking
  • 2 cups whole milk, half-and-half, or a combination

Creole Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons bacon drippings, optional
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced celery
  • 2 plump garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup chicken stock or water
  • 1 cup chopped canned tomatoes with juice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Pinch or two of cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper to taste


  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 4 to 8 large eggs
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper to taste
n a large heavy saucepan, bring 1 quart water, butter, and salt to a boil. Whisk in the grits a few handfuls at a time. (They will bubble up initially.) When you have added all the grits, reduce the heat to a very low simmer and cook for 45 to 50 minutes, stirring occasionally at first and more frequently toward the end. After about 30 minutes, or when the grits begin to seem somewhat stiff and give a bit of resistance at the bottom, stir in half the milk, adding the rest about 10 minutes later. Add more salt if you wish near the end of the cooking time. When done, the grits should be slightly soupy but with enough body that they don’t run all over the plate or bowl. The grits can be held briefly over low heat, with a little water or additional milk added to keep them from getting too stiff. 

While the grits simmer, begin the sauce. Warm the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, adding the bacon drippings if you wish for extra flavor. Sprinkle the flour into the pan drippings, stirring to combine, and cook the mixture until it’s a rich, deep brown, about 5 minutes. Watch it carefully and stir frequently, because it can go quickly from the desired shade to burned. Immediately mix in the onion, bell pepper, and celery and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute. Pour in the stock and tomatoes, add the bay leaf, thyme, and cayenne, and simmer the sauce for about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and reserve.

When the grits and sauce are ready, poach the eggs. Fill a broad saucepan with about 2 inches of water, pour in the vinegar, and bring to a boil. Break as many eggs as will fit in your pan easily into cups or ramekins. Reduce the heat to a bare simmer, then slip the eggs into the water. We prefer to simmer the eggs gently for 30 seconds, then turn off the heat and cover for 2 to 3 minutes. When done, remove with a slotted spoon. Repeat if needed for additional eggs. Trim any ragged edges off the egg whites. 
Spoon a pool of grits into 4 shallow soup bowls or plates, spoon a few tablespoons of sauce around the edge, and nestle an egg or two over the grits. Serve immediately, with the remaining sauce on the side.

Results: This is definitely a weekend recipe.  I always use quick grits.  ALWAYS.  I have no desire to stand by a stove stirring some grits for 50 minutes.  Please.  So you can cut the time of this recipe down significantly.  The sauce?  EVERYTHING!!  So many delicious layers of flavors!  I loved it!  I had some left over so I can't wait to use it again!


2011, Recipe 74: Tomato Basil & Feta Pasta

From the UK Allrecipes.com (So I put the conversions for you!)
  • 1/2 lb. uncooked fusilli or penne pasta
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 12-oz can chopped tomatoes, (about 3 fresh Roma)
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
Combine olive oil, garlic, onion, tomatoes and basil; let sit at room temperature.
Toss warm pasta with Parmesan and feta. Stir in tomato mixture and sprinkle on salt and pepper. You can add more Parmesan if desired. Serve immediately.

Results: Super easy and super delicious.  I'm frightened of raw garlic and raw onion.  Left out the onion, decided to give the raw garlic a shot.  It was awesome in this recipe!  I think the sitting to the side made it happy.  I used crushed red pepper because we like things spicy! ;-) I will say room temp cooled everything way down so this wasn't exactly a hot dish.  That was a bit odd but not undelicious.


2011, Recipe 73: Grilled Chicken and Radicchio with Roasted Garlic Herb Dressing

Recipe courtesy of  Tyler Florence

  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half at the equator (suggest using center)

  • kosher salt

  • extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 whole fresh thyme sprigs, plus leaves from 6 sprigs

  • 2 lemons, juiced

  • 2 lemon halves

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 1 4 - 4 /12 pound chicken, cut into 10 similar sized pieces

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 medium head of radicchio, preferably Treviso, cut into quarters

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut a piece of aluminum foil about 12 inches long. Cut 1 or 2 heads of garlic in half at the equator (suggest center), and set on one half of the foil. Add 2 teaspoons water on the garlic, drizzle on some olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and add 2 springs of thyme.
    Make a tight foil packet by enclosing the garlic and folding in both the top and the sides 2 or 3 times to seal. Roast the packet in the oven for 30 minutes, or until garlic is soft.
    Preheat grill to medium heat.
    Cut up 1 chicken (around 4 pounds, skin-on) into 10 similarly-sized pieces. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Put the pieces in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Toss well to coat and refrigerate until you're ready to cook the chicken.
    Take one medium head of radicchio (preferably Treviso), and cut into quarters. Place radicchio in a new bowl, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss.
    Take out the garlic packet from oven. Open it and let the garlic cool a bit, then squeeze out the cloves into a food processor or blender. Add 1/2 cup olive oil, juice of 2 lemons, 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, and leaves from 6 springs of thyme. Puree everything together to make a thick dressing.
    Put the chicken on the grill, skin side down, along with the radicchio and grill them together. Cook the radicchio for about 2 minutes per side until it has a nice char, then take it off the grill and set aside to cool. Grill the chicken for about 20 minutes. Turn once and baste with about half of the garlic-herb dressing.
    Keep cooking until the chicken is nice and brown all over, about 15 to 20 more minutes (an instant-read thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the thigh should read 160 degrees F.) During the last few minutes, throw 2 lemon halves on the grill, cut sides down, and cook until smoky and just marked.
    When chicken is finished cooking, toss the chicken and radicchio with remainder the roasted garlic-herb dressing. Squeeze grilled lemon all over chicken and serve.
    Results: The dressing was good though I thought the garlic flavor was a bit too mellow.  The chicken was good.  The radicchio was BITTER!!!  OMG IT WAS BITTER!!  Grilling is supposed to mellow it out.  You needed the dressing and grilled lemon for it to be palatable.


    2011, Recipe 72: Chile Relleno Casserole

    Recipe courtesy of Elise at Simplyrecipes.com
    • 8 poblano chiles
    • 2 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1 cup chopped onion
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 28-ounce can tomatoes
    • Salt
    • 1 pound Mexican chorizo (or other spicy sausage)
    • 1 cup crumbled cotija cheese
    • 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano leaves
    • 12 eggs
    • 1/3 cup flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 1/2 cup Monterey jack or mild cheddar cheese, shredded
    1 Preheat broiler. Lay chiles in a single layer on a broiling pan (not a baking sheet that will warp in the heat of the broiler) or on a rack in a roasting pan. Position the the chilies one to two inches from the broiler element. Cook until chiles are blistering and black, a few minutes on all sides. Turn chiles over and broil until blistering and black all over. Put chilies in a paper bag or thick plastic bag. Let sit 15 minutes.

    2 While the chilies are cooling, heat olive oil in a large sautée pan, on medium. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more. Add the tomatoes (break up any whole tomatoes before adding to the pan). Add a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer and lower the heat to low. Gently simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
    3 Carefully peel and discard the blackened skin off of the chilies. Cut off the stem ends, remove the seeds and discard. Set chiles aside on a layer of paper towels to dry.
    4 In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, cook chorizo, stirring occasionally to break up the meat, until cooked through, about 4 minutes.
    5 Preheat oven to 375°. Pour tomato sauce into the bottom of an 8x12 inch baking dish (the tomato sauce should be the consistency of a thin spaghetti sauce. If it is too thick, thin it out with a little water).
    6 In a large bowl, mix chorizo, cotija, and oregano. Stuff chiles with sausage mixture and lay them on top of the tomato sauce in the pan.
    7 In a large bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Sprinkle chiles with half of the jack or cheddar cheese. Pour egg mixture over chiles and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
    8 Bake until top starts to brown and the eggs are set but still soft, about 30 minutes.
    Serves 8.

    Results:  Good.  Rashan and I liked it enough to eat it after the first day.  It felt a little more like breakfast because of the eggs.  I halved the recipe (1/6 of a cup is 8 teaspoons) and used 5 eggs...  I can't say I really see the point of the eggs.  It was good but the eggs were strange.   And I love eggs so yeah...

    Also for some reason, the casing would NOT come off of my chorizo!!  So crazy!  So I just chopped it and browned it and put it in the poblanos.  I'll be making chile rellenos again but probably not this recipe without modifications I can't quite put my finger on.  Maybe I just don't need a casserole.  Not sure.  Oh and I used fresh oregano, but I think dried might have worked even better because it probably would've been incorporated better.


    2011, Recipe 71: Sangria Granita with Cold Spiked Fruit

    Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence (but I grabbed it from Epicurious)

    (750-milliliter) bottle fruity red wine
    5/8 cup sugar, divided
    1 cup Cointreau, divided
    4 whole cloves
    1 cinnamon stick
    1/2 lemon, seeded
    1/2 orange, seeded
    2 unpeeled peaches, pitted and quartered
    2 cups red or green grapes, halved
    1 pint strawberries, hulled and halved
    Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

    Combine the wine, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup Cointreau and spices in a large saucepan. Squeeze the juice from the lemon and orange halves, then add the juice and squeezed halves to the saucepan. Warm for about 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Strain into a bowl and put the mixture in the refrigerator or over an ice bath to chill.

    Pour the chilled mixture into a shallow baking pan and freeze for at least 1 hour or overnight, until the mixture is frozen. Using a fork or a pair of chopsticks, break up the ice crystals on the bottom and sides of the pan. (This aerates the mixture so the finished granita will melt in your mouth.) Freeze for 3 to 4 hours, until the mixture is frozen but still granular.

    Meanwhile, combine the peaches, grapes and strawberries in a bowl, add the remaining Cointreau and sugar, and toss. Cover and put the bowl in the freezer for a couple of hours; the fruit will absorb the sugar and liqueur while it freezes. Serve the frozen fruit with the granita, and garnish with mint.

    Results: Interesting.  Rashan really liked the granita.  I liked the fruit.  I liked the granita more when it melted over the fruit.  I had some raspberries so I added them in.  They were incredibly tart.  My goodness!


    2011, Recipe 70: Crumb-Coated Chicken Thighs

    Recipe courtesy of Kara de la Vega via Allrecipes.com
    • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon curry powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    • 8 (5 ounce) chicken thighs, skin removed
    1. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the first seven ingredients. Add chicken, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat. Place on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes. Turn chicken pieces; bake 15-20 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 180 degrees F. 
    Results: Quite good!  I saw commenters on the original recipe said there weren't enough bread crumbs so I upped them.  These were yummy.  I added some garlic powder as well.  I loved how brown and crunchy the skin was!  Mmmmm.


    2011, Recipe 69: Tuna Casserole

    Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger
    • 5 slices whole-wheat bread, crusts included (I just used panko)
    • 1 tablespoon canola oil
    • 1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
    • 1 large stalk celery, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
    • 1 (10-ounce) box white mushroom, stemmed and chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
    • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 3 cups 1 percent milk
    • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1/2 pound whole-wheat fettuccine noodles, broken into thirds and cooked according to package directions
    • 1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
    • 1 (10-ounce) box frozen peas, thawed
    • 4 (6-ounce) cans chunk light tuna in water, drained
    Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
    Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until onions are soft and translucent, 8 minutes. Add celery and cook, stirring, until just tender, 6 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until mushrooms release their water, 5 to 7 minutes. Add flour all at once and stir immediately and vigorously with a wooden spoon until flour is completely incorporated into vegetable mixture until there are no flour lumps.

    Add milk and broth, stir to combine and bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to a vigorous simmer and cook, stirring, until liquid has thickened and reduced by about 1/2 cup, 7 to 8 minutes. Add salt and pepper and stir to combine. Combine cooked pasta, vegetable-liquid mixture, broccoli, peas and tuna and toss to incorporate. Pour into a 9 by 13-inch casserole. Top with bread crumbs. Bake for 25 minutes, or until crumbs are golden brown and toasted.

    Results: Yummy!  I needed a tad more salt but it was definitely good!  Next time I'll check the flavor before I put it in the casserole dish. (Which I knew I should've done anyway.)


    2011, Recipe 68: Tantalizing Blue Cheese Turkey Meatballs

    Recipe courtesy of Allrecipes.com
    • 4 cloves garlic
    • 1/2 onion, cut into chunks
    • 2 jalapeno peppers, halved and seeded
    • 1 pound ground turkey
    • 3 tablespoons blue cheese
    • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
    • 3 egg whites
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
    • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
    • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
    2. Pulse garlic cloves in a food processor until minced. Add onion and jalapeno, and pulse until minced again. Scrape the onion mixture into a large bowl along with the turkey, blue cheese, bread crumbs, egg whites, and olive oil. Season with soy sauce, dried parsley, Italian seasoning, pepper, and chili powder. Mix well.
    3. Roll the mixture into 2 inch balls, and place onto prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, and no longer pink in the center, about 25 minutes. 
    Results: YUMMY!! I loved the blue cheese and would've liked even more blue cheese.  I also made a batch in a pan I could put on the stove.  I was surprised the meatballs needed ZERO salt!  Very cool.  After the meatballs cooked, I removed them from the pan.  I melted two tbsps. of butter then whisked in two tablespoons of flour.  Cook for about two minutes, whisking.  Add about one tablespoon of cream and 1 1/2 cups of beef broth.  Let thicken and... YOU'VE GOT DELICIOUS GRAVY!  Put atop mashed potatoes or spaghetti like I did.


    2011, Recipe 67: Scott Ure's Garlic Clams

    Recipe courtesy of Scott Ure on Allrecipes.com
    • 50 small clams in shell, scrubbed
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 6 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 cup white wine
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
    1. Wash clams to remove any dirt or sand.
    2. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic; saute for 1 minute, or until tender. Pour in the white wine. Boil until wine has reduced to half its original volume.
    3. Add clams, cover, and steam till clams start to open. Add butter, cover, and cook till most or all of the clams open. Discard any that do not open. Transfer clams and juice to 2 large bowls. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve. 
    Results: Oops... I got the large clams and they took a long time to open because they were jumbled and then they were overcooked.  But the broth was awesome.  Also... OMG CLAMS ARE DIRTY!!!  I put them in water for 20 minutes, then scrubbed them with my hands, then scrubbed them with a towel.  The amount of dirt is disgusting.


    2011, Recipe 66: Black Bean Breakfast Burritos

    Recipe courtesy of Good Life Eats
    • 6 large eggs
    • 2 tablespoons milk
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, rinsed and chopped
    • 1 – 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
    • 1 avocado, diced
    • salsa, your choice of heat
    • 6 soft taco sized flour tortillas, warmed
    Combine the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Hand beat the eggs using a whisk or fork until yolk and white are evenly mixed and the eggs are frothy, about 1-2 minutes.
    Grease a nonstick saute pan and set it over medium-high heat. Add eggs to the pan. After the eggs begin to set, gently move them around in the pan with a spatula or wooded spoon. Move the eggs to the center while tilting your pan to redistribute the unset parts.
    Break apart large pieces with your spoon or spatula. Turn the eggs as needed until the are cooked through. Stir in the chopped cilantro.
    To assemble the burrito: divide the egg and black bean evenly among the tortillas. Garnish each burrito with feta, avocado, and salsa. Top with additional cilantro, if desired. Serve immediately.

    Results: I actually used the left over taco salad from the same site that I'd made earlier in the week.  Rashan liked it.  I thought it was fine.  I didn't love it.  I think part of that is I don't really like scrambled eggs that much anymore without stuff scrambled in them.


    15 for 15: Part I

    I wanted to challenge myself sartorially this year and since 30 for 30 made me NUTS, I decided to do 15 for 15... but I couldn't actually post things because... well I just didn't really feel like it.  So I limited my closet to 15 items: shirts, dresses and skirts. I tried to wear a different pair of shoes every day for the first week or so.  Then I decided not to limit myself further.  I enjoyed this for 15 days and even ended up doing 17 but didn't like two and decided I was done!  :)  I'll do this in a few parts.

    On day one, I decided to take my dress and do something normal with it because I knew I'd remix it a lot.

     I excited myself by turning the bow on my DIY necklace to the front! :)  It's the little things.

    On day two, I wondered why I didn't think of adding pink with navy!  I love those colors together!  I think the white belt this shirt came with made me think of only white.  So weird how limiting my closet and taking off that belt LIBERATED ME!!  And with these shoes?  I was feelin myself all day long!

    On day three, I paired magenta and navy.  LOVED IT AGAIN!!  I bought these shoes for full price on my birthday 4 or 5 years ago and have never regretted it!  I wear them often and love them every time!

    On day four, I turned my dress into a tank and was excited about it.  Don't take my excitement from picture number one!  LOL.  I also snatched these flats out of the back of my closet for the first time in... years I believe.

    On day five, I went for simple and easy.  Yes, simple AND easy.  :)  Definitely that.  And yet... still like it!

    Part II coming soon! :)


    2011, Recipe 65: Shepherd's Pie VI

    Recipe courtesy of Jacquie from Allrecipes.com
    • 4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
    • 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 5 carrots, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1 pound lean ground beef
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon ketchup
    • 3/4 cup beef broth
    • 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
    1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and mash. Mix in butter, finely chopped onion and 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside.
    2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add carrots and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, mash and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C.)
    3. Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add onion and cook until clear. Add ground beef and cook until well browned. Pour off excess fat, then stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add ketchup and beef broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
    4. Spread the ground beef in an even layer on the bottom of a 2 quart casserole dish. Next, spread a layer of mashed carrots. Top with the mashed potato mixture and sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese.
    5. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. 
    Results: Yo... this is GOOD!  I don't believe in not putting garlic in things so I put in two cloves with the onion and meat.  The gravy with the meat?  AWESOME!!!  I could make meat gravy all the time and just put stuff in it.  Any kind of stuff.  Take your pick.  This photographs horribly so... sorry!  No photograph.  Believe me, you'd thank me.


    2011, Recipe 64: Black Bean Taco Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

    Recipe courtesy of Good Life Eats

    • 1/4 c chopped seeded tomato
    • 1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
    • 2 Tbs olive oil
    • 1 Tbs cider vinegar
    • 1 tsp grated lime rind
    • 1 Tbs fresh lime juice
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
    • 1/4 tsp chili powder
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper
    • 1 garlic clove, peeled
    • 8 c thinly sliced romaine lettuce
    • 1 c chopped tomato
    • 1 c chopped green bell pepper
    • 1 c finely diced red onion
    • 1 1/2 c frozen corn kernels
    • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
    • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 4 cups organic blue corn tortilla chips (about 4 ounces)
    To prepare vinaigrette, combine ingredients in a blender or food processor; process until smooth.

    To prepare salad, combine lettuce and remaining ingredients except chips in a large bowl. Add vinaigrette; toss well to coat. Serve with chips.

    Results: I chopped the vinaigrette ingredients fine and mixed them by hand.  I made some tortilla chips by cutting flour tortillas, tossing them in butter spray, salt, pepper & chili powder.  Then I baked them on 350.  Loved the vinaigrette but this thing needed some MEAT.  Rashan and I were starving.


    2011, Recipe 63: Sesame Chicken Salad with Cucumber & Cilantro

    Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence
    • ¼ cup soy sauce
    • Juice of half a lemon
    • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
    • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.5 lb), cut crosswise into 1-inch-wide finger strips
    • 1 ½  cups panko breadcrumbs
    • ¼ cup sesame seeds
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • Extra-virgin olive oil
    • A couple good handfuls of stemmed spinach leaves (about 4 cups)
    • 1 cucumber, peeled, and cut into thin strips with a vegetable peeler
    • Handful fresh cilantro leaves
    • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds toasted in a dry skillet over low heat, plus extra for garnish
    • Cracked black pepper
    In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, ginger, and sugar. Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Put it in another bowl large enough to hold it, pour over half of the vinaigrette and toss. Cover and let the chicken marinate in the fridge for about 2 hours if you have the time, or until you’ve got the rest of the dish ready to go. Set the rest of the vinaigrette aside.

    When you’re ready to cook, put the panko and sesame seeds in a shallow platter and season with a little salt and pepper. Mix with your fingers so that the seasoning is incorporated and then taste it – the panko should be well seasoned. Roll the chicken pieces in the seasoned crumbs, patting gently so that the crumbs adhere, until well coated.

    Heat 1/3 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Line a platter with paper towels and set that to the side of the stove. Add about half of the chicken pieces to the pan and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy. Remove the chicken to the platter to drain. Do the same to cook the rest of the chicken.

    Put the spinach in bowl with the cucumber strips. Add the rest of the vinaigrette and the toasted sesame seeds, season with salt and pepper, and give it a good toss. To serve, divide the chicken strips between four plates. Put a handful of dressed spinach on top, shower with more toasted sesame seeds and cracked black pepper.

    Results: Rashan LOVED this!  He called the chicken "tremendous" and I beamed for like 20 minutes.  LOL.  The dressing was a bit strong for me since I don't like soy sauce that much and a little dressing goes a long way.  I think I might have overdressed my greens.  The second day, I dressed less and enjoyed it much more.  

    Oh and I love the chicken splitting technique!  It makes you feel like you're getting way more food!  It made me realize even more how over sized chicken breasts are.  I can definitely see myself splitting them for other recipes.