Layered Dinner Salad

April 2, 2008
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A great do-ahead recipe is a cook’s best friend. SAM

PS Substitute ham or turkey for the chicken, if you like. Shrimp would also be good.

1 cup uncooked macaroni
4 carrots, pared and finely shredded
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
4 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1 (10-ounce) package tiny frozen green peas, thawed but uncooked
1 medium red onion, cut into very thin rings
1 cup diced celery
1/2 pound roast chicken, diced
1/2 cup shredded Swiss or Jarlsberg cheese
1 1/3 cups mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons snipped fresh dill
2 tablespoons capers
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 hard-cooked eggs, crumbled

Cook the macaroni until al dente, according to the instructions on the package. Drain. In a small bowl, combine the carrots, lemon juice, and honey. In a 3-quart bowl, layer the lettuce, macaroni, carrots, peas, onion, celery, turkey, and cheese. In another bowl combine the mayonnaise, mustard, dill, capers, pepper, and egg. Mound the mayonnaise mixture in the center of the salad, cover tightly, and chill for at least 2 hours. Just before serving, toss well.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.

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Open-Faced Chicken Sandwiches

January 25, 2008
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For these elegant and so, so tasty little sandwiches, consider a smoked paprika. The extra depth in taste will wow you and your guests. SAM

PS If your favorite grocery doesn’t have smoked paprika, one of the online spice companies. My favorite is Penzy’s.

2 pounds chicken breasts, cooked, boned, and chopped (2 cups)
2 cups finely chopped pecans
4 center ribs celery with leaves, finely chopped (1 cup)
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
Sea Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
1 cup whipping cream
24 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
Mayonnaise
Smoked paprika

In a large bowl, combine the chicken, pecans, celery, parsley, salt, and pepper. Add the cream stirring until well mixed. Spread bread slices with mayonnaise and chicken mixture and cut diagonally into quarters. Sprinkle each sandwich with paprika.
Makes 8 dozen appetizer sandwiches.


Sherried Chicken with Egg Noodles

November 27, 2007

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A comforting, rich, hope-for-leftovers one-dish chicken meal. You’ll enjoy it to the last forkful. SAM

8 medium skinless, boned chicken breast halves (about 3 pounds)
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chicken broth
1 pound flat egg noodles, uncooked
2 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, brushed and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a Dutch oven over medium, cook the chicken in the broth, covered, until meat is no longer pink. Remove the chicken, chop it roughly, and set aside. Reserve the broth and keep it hot.

Prepare the noodles according to the directions on the package until barely tender, drain, toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and add the mushrooms, garlic, sherry, tarragon, salt, pepper, and paprika. Cook, uncovered, until liquid is reduced.

In another skillet over medium heat, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the flour, stirring with a wire whisk until the flour thickens and begins to brown. Add the reserved stock all at once, stirring constantly with the wire whisk until the roux thickens and begins to bubble.

In a lightly greased casserole or Dutch oven, combine the noodles, chicken, mushroom mixture, roux, and sour cream. Fold gently to blend. Top with Parmesan cheese and bake, uncovered, until browned, about 20 minutes.
Makes 6 servings.


Roast Chicken and Mushrooms with Fresh Pasta

November 6, 2007

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In Paris markets, chickens are roasted at least twice a day. Follow your nose to the best boulanger and pick out the plumpest, crispest bird in the bunch. You can fix many quick and simple meals with fresh roast chicken. This mushroom-pasta dish is one of the best. SAM & HARRY

2 pounds onions, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound mushrooms, brushed and thinly sliced
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons marsala
4 ounces soft goat’s cheese
4 quarts water, plus 1/2 cup, divided
1 pound fresh tagliatelle or linguine
1 pound roasted chicken, boned and shredded
Grated Gruyère or Parmesan and chopped parsley
Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste

In a large chef’s pan over low heat, sweat the onions in 1 tablespoon oil until translucent, about 30 minutes.

In a large skillet over medium-high, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the mushrooms and thyme and sauté, stirring occasionally until liquid is reduced, about 10 minutes. Add the marsala and reduce, about 2 minutes.

In a medium chef’s pan over very low heat, melt the goat’s cheese in 1/2 cup water, stirring until well blended.

In a large stock pot, bring 3 quarts of lightly salted water to a boil, add the pasta, and cook until al dente. Drain, toss with 1 tablespoon oil, and add to the melted goat’s cheese. Serve topped with onions, mushrooms, and chicken. Season with pepper and garnish with cheese and parsley.
Makes 4 servings.