Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sesame chicken and Mandarin orange salad

Salad season is here. This salad is filling and tasty and is definitely enough to be a main dish. I made this salad because I had some snow peas that I was trying to figure out how to use in something other than a stir fry. Snow peas are one of those vegetables that always steer me in an Asian direction. After thinking about it for a while, I decided to make an Asian-themed salad. I don't usually give out amounts for salads, because I think salads are a very personal thing. Isn't that why there are salad bars? This way, you can make your salad as big or as small as you want and you can proportion all the fixings to your greens in a way that makes you happy. Therefore, I like to just list the ingredients and let you decide exactly how much lettuce you want (I mean, it's not like I measured out the lettuce, anyways)! I will, however, provide the marinade and dressing recipe. I marinated two chicken breasts (1 for each salad). 

Sesame chicken and Mandarin orange salad
chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized strips
extra virgin olive oil 

for the marinade:
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon chili sauce

for the salad:
greens of your choice
scallions, thinly sliced
Mandarin oranges (drained, juice reserved)
snow peas, strings removed
cilantro leaves
almonds, lightly toasted
sesame seeds, lightly toasted

for the dressing:
reserved Mandarin orange juice
about 1 tablespoon honey (to taste)
about 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar (to taste)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste 

Mix up the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl. Add the chicken and marinade in the refrigerator, covered, for about 1 hour.

Arrange all of the salad ingredients on your plate except for the sesame seeds. Preheat a large skillet. Add about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and cook the chicken until no longer pink. 

Top the salad with the chicken, sesame seeds, and dressing. 

What was I cooking one year ago?: fresh cherry tart

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