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Friday, July 8, 2011

And Now Back To..........Another Summer Dinner Salad

I'm still here, I didn't abandon you! 

 I would like to say I've been super busy, and with the recent/finally decent weather we've been having, I've been trying to fit even more activities into each day.

Activities like floating in the pool....

as I watch flowers grow.

Or sitting on the deck...........

while watching flowers grow.

Making time to read every day.  ( I highly recommend "Unbroken."  Without a doubt the best, most fascinating, downright-riveting non-fiction book I've ever read. )
Watching someone else cook!  (In this case, my youngest daughter.)

Finding the time to take a foray to Fenway....... watch batting practice......

.........say "hello" to Big Papi.....
and--oh, yeah--watch a game.  Ellsbury lofting the first pitch in the bottom of the first for a solo shot. 

Go Red Sox!!

Caitie taking a picture of her feet to prove she was actually on the field...... if being this close to her two favorite players (Ellsbury and Pedroia) wasn't proof enough.

Okay, back to the salad I promised you.

I'm also giving you a dressing recipe that is to die for; a creamy, dreamy buttermilk dressing that is so much better than anything you will ever find in a bottle or jar. 

I couldn't come up with a catchy name for this recipe.  "Salad Greens With Warm Chicken, Sauteed Apples and Toasted Pine Nuts With Yummy Buttermilk Dressing" is the only title that will do it justice.

I'm going to cop-out like I did with the Summer Cake and just call this "Summer Salad with Buttermilk Dressing."

To save some time at dinnertime, make the dressing and prep the greens ahead of time!

Today's Playlist
  • "Papa Loves Mambo".........Nat King Cole
  • "Have Another"......Lou Monte
  • "They Can't Take That Away From Me....Frank Sinatra
  • "That's Amore".......Dean Martin
  • "Eh, Cumpari"......Julius LaRosa
  • "Ain't That A Kick In The Head".....Dean Martin
  • "Bella Notte"....Lou Monte
  • "Stand By Me"......Otis Redding
  • "Volare".........Dean Martin
  • "Beyond The Sea".........Matt Belsante

Summer Salad With Buttermilk Dressing

Dressing Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salad Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 lbs. chicken tenderloins
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 apple, cored and sliced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup onion slices)
  • 8 cups assorted salad greens
Gather your dressing ingredients. 
Place mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk and vinegar in a food processor or blender.  Or you can place them in a bowl and use a hand mixer.
Add onion salt and garlic powder. 

Or you can substitute and use onion powder and garlic salt.  Just as long as one of them is powder and the other one is salt.  Or you can use both powders and add 1/4 teaspoon of salt.  Just please don't use both onion salt and garlic salt........too salty. 
Process the ingredients until they're nice and smooth.
Chop up your greens.  I am using romaine, green-leaf lettuce and spinach, but you can use whatever combo of greens your family likes best.

And remember, you can always prep the dressing and salad greens in advance and keep them in your fridge to save time at mealtime.

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees to toast the pine nuts.
Slice your celery, onion and apple

I line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place the pine nuts in a single layer on the foil.

Don't skip the pine nuts!  If you think you don't like them, ask yourself if you've ever had them toasted.

They are a completely different nut when they are toasted.  It's worth the few minutes it takes to toast them.

Toast them for about 6 or 7 minutes, checking on them and stirring them around about halfway through.

Heat a large frying pan to medium-high heat.  Add the olive oil to the pan. 

Sprinkle your chicken with salt and pepper.
Saute the chicken about three minutes on each side, until it's cooked.

Hint: the chicken and the pine nuts will cook/toast simultaneously in almost the exact same amount of time. Preheat the oven and then the skillet.  Put the pine nuts in the oven, then the chicken in the skillet.  After 3 minutes, stir your pine nuts and then turn your chicken.  After another 3 minutes, remove the pine nuts from the oven and place into a small bowl.   Check your chicken for doneness; if cooked through, remove it from the skillet..... 

And place it into the foil on the cookie sheet that you toasted your pine nuts on.  Tent the foil over the chicken.

Turn the oven off, but put the chicken in the warm oven to stay warm while you saute your apples, onions and celery.

You are going to saute the apples, etc. in the same skillet that you used to saute the chicken.  There should be enough residual olive oil left in the pan......but if the pan seems dry, add a bit more (up to 1 tablespoon) olive oil before adding the apple mixture.

Saute the apples, onions and celery until they are tender.  You don't want them to be mushy!  You just want to be sure they are heated and starting to soften.

When they are done, remove the chicken from the warm oven.

Layer your salad ingredients onto plates to serve.  Start with the greens, then top with the hot apple mixture and the warm chicken.

Sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts........

......and then douse with the yummy buttermilk dressing.  My lousy pictures simply do not do this lovely salad justice.


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