Monday, September 12, 2011

Italian Chicken Salad in Lettuce Cups

Cook Time: 8 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 12 servings


10 cups coarsely shredded cooked chicken (from about 3 purchased roasted whole chickens)
2 cups roasted red and yellow bell peppers, drained, patted dry, and coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups paper-thin slices red onion
3/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
3/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 cup drained capers
1 1/2 cups (about) Red Wine Vinaigrette, recipe follows
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
24 butter lettuce leaves (from about 3 large heads)
1 (4-ounce) piece Parmesan, shaved with vegetable peeler


Toss the chicken, bell peppers, onion, parsley, almonds, and capers in a large bowl with enough vinaigrette to moisten. Season the chicken salad with salt and pepper, to taste.

Arrange 1 large lettuce cup and 1 small lettuce cup on each plate, overlapping slightly. Spoon the chicken salad into the lettuce cups. Drizzle more vinaigrette over the salads. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve.

Do-Ahead Tip: The chicken salad can be prepared 4 hours ahead and refrigerated. Just before serving, spoon the salad into the lettuce cups.

Red Wine Vinaigrette:

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup olive oil

Combine the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender. With the machine running, gradually add the oil and blend until emulsified.

Yield: 1 3/4 cups

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Panettone French Toast

Because I'm already thinking of Christmas! :)

Time: 20 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 to 6 servings


1 cup water
1 packed cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

French Toast:
1 (1-pound) panettone, paper removed
6 large eggs
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
Serving suggestion: powdered sugar and assorted fresh berries


For the syrup: In a medium saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Boil until the syrup reduces to 1 cup, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cream and cinnamon. Keep the syrup warm over low heat until ready to serve. (The syrup can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Reheat before serving).

For the French toast: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Preheat a nonstick griddle or large nonstick saute pan over medium heat.

Using a serrated knife, remove the top from the panettone. Cut the bottom of the panettone in half crosswise. Cut each half into 4 equal pieces. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, milk, and sugar until smooth. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter on the griddle. Working in batches, dip slices of panettone into the custard, turning to allow both sides to absorb the custard. Cook the soaked panettone slices until golden brown and firm to the touch, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the French toast to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon butter and panettone slices.

Transfer the French toast to plates. Drizzle the cinnamon syrup over the French toast and place a dollop of mascarpone on top. Lightly dust with powdered sugar and serve with fresh berries.

Cook's Note: The top of the panettone can be reserved and used for toast.