Salad Obsession – Jamie Oliver’s Everyday Green Chop

I had my cousin Hillary and her fiancé John over for dinner on Sunday and spent Saturday night watching Game of Thrones and flipping through cookbooks to menu plan. I love reading cookbooks. I had honestly forgotten how much. I get so programmed to look at blogs or the Food Network or Epicurious that I forget about my good ole cookbooks. I was perusing Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. I ended up selecting recipes from both, but the clear winner at dinner was the Everyday Green Chopped Salad. I think I am going to need to eat this salad at least once weekly for the forseeable future. So. fricking. good. It’s the perfect combination of crunch and vinegar and avocado.

Everyday Green Chopped Salad – courtesy of Jamie Oliver

Ingredients

  • 1 head butter lettuce
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 4 green onions (both white and green parts)
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • handful basil, sliced
  • freshly shaved parmesan
  • 3T olive oil
  • 1T red wine vinegar
  • 1t Dijon mustard
  • salt & pepper

Directions

  • Wash and roughly chop lettuce and put in a large bowl
  • After you’ve cut up the green onions, cucumber, basil, put them together and roughly chop up some more
  • Toss with the lettuce and coat well with dressing
  • Finish with fresh shaved parmesan

Serves 4

Total Cook Time – 20 minutes

This salad is perfect to serve with a lighter dinner, like halibut or salmon. Definitely worthy of guests. I served with Jamie Oliver’s Crunchy Garlic Chicken, Sauteed Asparagus, and Smitten Kitchen’s Roasted Potato and Carrot Coins.

 

 

 

 

 

Game of Thrones – I’m In, But I Don’t Totally Get It

I have been bingeing on Game of Thrones for the past few weeks (in the middle of season 3) and as much as I really like it, which I do, sometimes I just do not follow the plotlines. And there are many. And they are complicated. And there are a lot of characters. With elaborate names. I am fairly intelligent and no stranger to episodic television, but I’ve realized that I am watching this show the way I sometimes skim a book. I take enough in to get me by and totally enjoy it, but I just don’t always know exactly what’s going on.

What I do know:

Anyone can die. No one is safe. I don’t really understand why people get up in arms when someone spoils who dies. It’s not a surprise. Main characters die on this show. Ned Stark got his head put on a spike in season 1 (oops, I guess that was a spoiler). Anyone is fair game. Oh, and there are books, so it’s not really a secret.

Daenerys and DrogoDaenerysDaenerys Targaryen/Khaleesi (Emilia Clarke) is like the prettiest person ever. And she’s a total badass. Sure, she started out getting basically raped by her hot Dothraki husband Drogo, then falls in love with him, then becomes the mother of dragons. Literally, baby dragons. You just can’t think too hard about all of this, you just have to go with it.

Tyrion

 

The only likable Lannister is Tyrion. I love him! He’s definitely one of the best characters on the show. Cersei is a great character, terrible person. Joffrey is the worst. Jamie I have mixed feelings about. Maybe that’s because he’s really hot.

Robb Stark

 

Robb Stark is even hotter than Jamie Lannister. The Starks are my faves. I love Robb Stark.

White Walkers

Even GoT has zombies (white walkers). And giants. And dragons. And sorcerers and sorceresses.

 

This is one of the most violent shows I have ever watched. Ever. Lots of heads getting cut off, even babies getting murdered. It’s all swords and stabbing and heads on spikes and blood. You definitely have to go with the violence. The pay off with the big fight scenes is amazing.

All in all, I am totally digging Game of Thrones and can’t wait to know what happens next (I already know about the Red Wedding). Do I have any desire to go out and read the books? No. But I love how different this is than anything else I am watching. You can’t not be entertained, even if you don’t totally understand every political alliance and plot line or remember who each character is/what family they are from. It is just, plain, excellent television. If you haven’t watched it, give it a try.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sizzling Chicken Fajitas

Apparently, my ego is still hurting from the rump roast, because I’ve really been taking my weeknight cooking up a notch in the past few days. I have been wanting to try tonight’s recipe since Smitten Kitchen posted back in March. Sizzling Chicken Fajitas, black beans, homemade pico de gallo and guacamole. This dinner ruled. Like, so unbelievably tasty, it was a shovel-fest. Even Oliver liked it. He didn’t eat the peppers or onions, but he liked the chicken, beans, guac. That’s ok, I’ll just eat his share. And then some.

Another thing I love about this meal, colorful! I love cooking with peppers.

Sizzling Chicken Fajitas courtesy of Deb Perelman

For the chicken:

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (though, frankly, a little more or less will be fine here)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (half a juicy lime)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Few dashes hot sauce, optional

Prepare chicken:

Slice chicken thighs into thin strips (1/4- to 1/2-inch wide). Place in bowl or freezer bag. Add lime juice and spices and mix together. Let marinate for 30 minutes or up to 2 days in the fridge.

To assemble:

  • 8 (6-inch) flour or corn tortillas
  • Olive oil
  • 2 large bell peppers, cut into thin strips (I use a mix of green, red and other colors, if I can find them)
  • 1 large yellow or sweet onion, halved and sliced thin
  • Coarse salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250° and wrap tortillas in foil. Set on rack to warm. Set out fixings of your choice.

Heat your largest skillet (I use a 12-inch cast iron) on the highest heat. When very hot, drizzle in some olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. When this is nearly smoking hot, add the peppers in a single layer. Wait. (This will be a theme.) Try to get them a little charred underneath before you move them around. Once they’ve begun to brown, add the onions, plus some salt. Wait again for some color to develop before you move them. When peppers are nicely charred in spots and onions have softened and sweetened, scrape mixture onto a plate or bowl to clear the skillet. Heat skillet again on a very high heat with a thin slick of olive oil. Spread chicken strips in as much of a single layer as you can. Wait until they brown underneath to move them. Sauté strips, regularly pausing so that they can get some color, until cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Return peppers and onions to skillet. Heat again until everything is sizzling and bring to the table.

Eat immediately, spooned onto warm tortillas and piled with fixings of your choice. Repeat again tomorrow.

Fixings

  • 1 1/2 cup cooked black beans – I made my beans with cumin, salt, pepper and a few dashes of Cholula
  • Pico de Gallo – 3 roma tomatoes, minced garlic, lime juice, seeded jalapeño, cilantro, salt, pepper
  • Ina Garten’s Guacamole – avocados, minced garlic, lemon juice, chopped tomatoes, hot sauce, salt, pepper, chopped red onion
  • Shredded cheese or sour cream

If you’re entertaining this weekend, make it. If you’re not, make it. I promise, you will thank me.