Chinese chicken salad

Don’t be put off by the number of ingredients in the dressing. It is well worth it and you will mostly have them in the pantry if you like Asian-style cooking. This is one of my favorite salads.

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Serves 6

For the Sesame-ginger dressing
3 tbsp Chinese mustard
1/2 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 medium piece of ginger, grated
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tbsp hoisin sauce (available in most supermarkets)
1/2 tbsp sweet chilli paste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

To make the dressing;

Put the mustard in a blender and then add the sesame oil, olive oil, honey, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger, garlic, hoisin sauce, sweet chilli sauce and salt and pepper (go lightly on the salt because of the soy sauce).
Give it a quick blend and check for seasoning.

For the chicken salad

1 medium Napa cabbage, washed and shredded
1 medium iceberg lettuce, washed and thinly sliced
1 medium romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 green bell pepper, julienned
1 cup snow peas, sliced
4 green onions, chopped
3/4 to 1 cup dry roasted peanuts
1 cup carrots, peeled and shredded
1 cup bean sprouts
6 chicken breasts, (6 oz each) cooked and diced
Garnishes for the salad
crispy wontons (available in supermarkets)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp white sesame seeds, toasted

To make the salad

In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, lettuces, peppers, snow peas, peanuts, green onions, carrots, beansprouts and diced chicken.
Toss together with the sesame-ginger dressing until well combined.
Divide the salad among 6 plates and garnish with the crispy wontons, cilantro and toasted sesame seeds.

Spicy jerk prawn and mango, black bean tacos with a Caribbean coconut dressing

I just love the BBC Good Food website and magazine. Interesting, exotic and very different flavors from the Caribbean

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12oz raw peeled prawns
1/2 tbsp Jamaican jerk paste
14 to 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 large ripe mango, stoned, peeled and diced small
1/2 red onion, sliced
1/2 seedless or de-seeded cucumber, diced small
A bunch of cilantro, leaves roughly chopped
8 taco shells
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 Boston Bibb lettuces or romaine, shredded

For the dressing
6 fl oz unsweetened coconut milk
zest and juice of 1 lime
2 good pinches of sugar

Stir the prawns and jerk paste together in a bowl and set aside.
Mix together the dressing ingredients.
Tip the beans into a bowl along with the mango, onion, cucumber, most of the cilantro, the dressing and some seasoning
Warm the taco shells following the packet’s instructions.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the prawns and cook for 2 -3 mins or until cooked through.
To build the tacos, start with a handful of shredded lettuce, followed by the bean salad, then top with the prawns.
Sprinkle over the remaining cilantro and serve.

Use up leftover taco shells by crushing and scattering them over a salad for some extra crunch or blitz them in a food processor and use to coat fish or chicken when frying in place of breadcrumbs.

Best Caesar Salad dressing

This recipe is great as it par-cooks the egg for those who are worried about salmonella!

Serves 4 to 6

1 large egg
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 to 2 tsp anchovy paste to taste
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Immerse the egg in a small pan of boiling water. Remove the pan from the heat and cover it for 10 minutes.
Remove the egg from the water and let it cool for 10 more minutes.

Mince the garlic in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. While the motor is running, add the lemon juice, anchovy paste and pepper and process to combine.
Crack the egg, then spoon it out of the shell into the food processor feed tube.
Pulse the egg with the other ingredients until combined.
Add the oil in a small steady stream until emulsified.
Whisk in 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese.
Taste for seasoning, and sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese over the salad.

Remaining ingredients of a caesar salad 

Chopped Romaine lettuce
Grated parmesan cheese


Goat cheese stuffed radicchio

Again, I am so keen to get this out, that I haven’t yet got a photo. Although I’ve made this several times and always to raves, I keep forgetting to have my camera handy!
2 heads radicchio
8 ounce goat cheese
1/2 cup pistachio nuts, lightly toasted and chopped
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons chopped Italian flat leaved parsley
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Halve radicchio heads down the middle. Cut out hard core and remove
several layers of inner leaves to hollow out a small hole for stuffing. Chop up radicchio leaves and combine
with goat cheese, pistachios, shallots, parsley and olive oil; season to taste with salt and black pepper. Fill
radicchio halves with stuffing. Bake until hot and golden, about 30 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings

Asian lettuce cups with spicy ground turkey filling (CleanCuisine)

This makes 4 to 6 servings

1 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil, you may need more depending on the size of the an you’re using.
3 tbsp minced red onion or shallots
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger root
1 1/2 lbs ground turkey (I prefer the dark meat)
4 tbsp soy or tamari sauce
1 tbsp chile garlic sauce, or more if you like spicy food
1 tsp fish sauce
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)
1/3 cup chopped peanuts (dry roasted are nice to use)
1 large head or 2 small heads of Boston or Butter lettuce as long as you can fill it well. (See picture)

Chop the onion and set aside.

Peel the ginger root then grate with the large holed side of a cheese .
Chop the garlic finely.

Heat the oil in a large non stick frying pan, add the onion and saute for about 2 minutes, then add the garlic and ginger and saute for another minute or so.

Add the ground turkey to the frying pan with a bit more oil, if needed, breaking apart the meat and spreading it out in the pan, then add the soy sauce, chile garlic sauce and the fish sauce. Cook until the turkey is brown and crumbling apart and the sauce is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.

While the turkey cooks, wash, dry and chop the fresh cilantro making 1 cup. Remove the core end from the lettuce, separate the leaves and wash, drying gently in a salad spinner.

Chop the peanuts and put them in  a small bowl to serve at the table.

When the turkey is done, add the freshly chopped cilantro and mix well together, cooking for about 2 more minutes.

Serve the turkey filling and lettuce leaves in separate serving bowls alongside the chopped peanuts in the smaller bowl.

Each person takes a lettuce leaf, fills it with the desired amount of filling, tops it with some chopped peanuts then eats the mixture from the lettuce cup.

Sme people like to fold the lettuce over to resemble a taco, but be careful your lettuce id not the breaking sort and you are left with a large pile of filling on the table!