Chicken, Cheddar, and Apple Salad with Ginger-Lime Dressing

I hope the combination of cheddar cheese with ginger-lime dressing doesn’t deter you from making this, because I didn’t realize right away that the combination could seem unlikely and even unpleasant.  However, I loved the use of cheddar cheese in my salad, and I actually found it to be the star ingredient: by the time the salad was mostly eaten, I found myself scraping the bowl with disappointment, unable to find anymore matchstick morsels of dairy goodness.

My suggestion, if you make this salad, is to buy great quality cheddar.  Now is the moment I’ve been waiting for, when I can bring up the one place in New York that feels like a second home to me, mainly because it is a shrine to all things delicious and gourmet.  I am speaking of none other than Chelsea Market, an indoor artisanal market of sorts where I would set up a bed and live if that were socially acceptable.  Long story short, Lucy’s Whey opened up in Chelsea Market about a year ago, and I admire their mission and purpose, which is to sell artisanal and delicious cheeses that are only made in America.  After I told the saleswoman what type of salad I wanted to prepare, she helped me select a cheddar from Cellar’s at Jasper Hill in Vermont which is the perfect blend of nutty, sharp, and rich.

There are two things about this salad that I should mention.  Firstly, if I were to do it again I would probably replace the granny smith apple with a pear, just because I’ve never really liked apples in my salad and I don’t know what I was thinking.  Secondly, this recipe requires shredded chicken.  To easily shred chicken: put the chicken breast in a pot and fill it with enough water or chicken broth to just cover the chicken.  Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until chicken’s center is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let sit in the pot for 10 minutes.  Shred chicken using two forks or your hands.

If you decide to play around with the dressing, please let me know what you come up with!

Chicken and Apple Salad with Cheddar and Ginger-Lime Vinaigrette – serves 1
For the salad:
1 small head boston lettuce or butter lettuce
2.5 ounces/70 grams sharp cheddar cheese
1 granny smith apple
1/2-cup loosely packed bean sprouts
1 chicken breast, shredded
1/4-cup roasted peanuts
1-2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro
For the dressing:
1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as sunflower or canola
1 tablespoon honey
1/2-teaspoon freshly minced ginger
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime
1.  Wash the lettuce and separate the leaves.  Discard any lettuce tops that are wilted.  Slice each lettuce leaf lengthwise into 1/2-inch slivers (you can stack them on top of each other and cut several at a time to make this easier).  Place in a salad bowl.
2.  Cut cheese into matchstick-sized pieces, roughly 1/4- to 1/2-inch in thickness.
3.  Wash and dry the apple.  Cut in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.  Cut one half of the apple into thin slices, then cut each slice lengthwise into matchstick-sized pieces (similar to the cheese). Save the other apple half for another use, or eat it for dessert!
4.  Add bean sprouts, chicken, and peanuts to salad.
5.  Make dressing: combine oil and honey in a small bowl and whisk together.  Slowly add in ginger and cilantro while whisking all the while.  Add lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
6.  Sprinkle dressing over salad; garnish with roughly chopped cilantro.

>Poached Egg and Prosciutto Open-Faced Sandwich


To put it out there as simply as possible, sandwiches in France are amazing.

I’ve developed a new appreciation for sandwiches in this beautiful city, where for 2 euros and 50 centimes you can buy a sandwich that will make your mouth water and your taste buds go wild. Every corner you turn you see fresh baguettes featuring anything from tuna and curried chicken to the French staple – ham, fromage, and a good slab of butter. Simply divine.

I get spoiled here, and I buy bread that is almost other-worldly, but in reality if you buy a fresh baguette from your local supermarket you’ll likely be eating something pretty tasty.

To make a sandwich like the one in the picture, slice open a piece of bread and rub olive on each side with a paper towel. Next place some basil leaves, lettuce leaves, a slice of prosciutto, and some grated emmental on each bread slice.

Boil water and 1 tablespoon vinegar in a saucepan, and bring to a simmer. For each egg (if you want two), crack them into a teacup or another small dish. Gently slide them into the simmering water, and move them slowly back and forth with a wooden spoon to make sure the whites envelope the yolk. Simmer for about 3 minutes, then with a slotted spoon lift them out of the water, and place them on each bread slice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and enjoy. I devoured mine, I’m glad no one was here to witness it.

Of course you can change this however you like – use ham or bacon instead of prosciutto, and parmesan, gruyere, or cheddar instead of emmental. Same with the herbs and the oil, feel free to change up the basil to rosemary, thyme, or parsley, and use mayo or butter instead of olive oil.

Merci, et je vous souhaite une trés bonne soirée!

>Butter Lettuce w/ Lardons and Poached Eggs

> I have wanted to try and make this salad for so long, because I love all of the individal ingredients (bacon, butter lettuce, poached eggs, and red & white vinegar) and I knew that their combination would be very satisfying to my tastes. And can I say that not only is this salad very delicious, with a combination of salt and crispy from the lardons and rich and silky from the egg yolk, but it is also one of the easiest things I have made so far. To do everything, from washing the lettuce to preparing the dressing, I needed 30 minutes in the kitchen. It’s so easy, and fills a craving when you want something rich and complex in taste!

So, I’ll keep this post short, and just say that this wonderful salad can be eaten as a light lunch (with some bread, bien sûr!), or as an appetizer for dinner. Although, I guess I shouldn’t put any restrictions on this, because you should really eat this salad whenever you feel like it.

Also, one last note – I know it’s not always easy to get fresh produce, but I find that it can make a huge difference with eggs; ce n’est pas grave, but if you can, please try to get your hands on eggs from a farmer’s market or a local producer – they’ve practically just popped out of the chicken!

To make this salad, you will need a small head of lettuce (I used butter lettuce, however this salad traditionally calls for frisée). Additionally, you’ll need two bacon strips, white wine vinegar, a small shallot, and red wine vinegar.

Firstly, wash up your lettuce and arrange it however you like on a plate, either cut up into smaller pieces or left whole. Chop up the shallot and set it aside. Next cut up your bacon into little lardons (which usually are about 1/4-inch wide and 1/2-inch long), and cook in a skillet on medium heat until golden and crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove them from heat.

Next, fill a small skillet with warm water (you’ll be putting the poached eggs in here to keep them warm while you finish the rest of the recipe). Fill a small saucepan halfway with water, and add 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar – swish it around with a wooden spoon once or twice to blend, and bring to a simmer. Now, this part can be tricky if you’ve never poached eggs before, but don’t fret because it’s super simple. Crack each egg into a teacup or a small shallow dish. Once the water and vinegar start to simmer, bring each teacup right above the waters surface and gently slip in the eggs. With your wooden spoon, lightly move the eggs back and forth for a couple of seconds, in order to make sure the whites stick to the yolk. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, then place in the skillet of warm water.

Reheat the bacon on medium heat, then add the chopped shallot. Cook for about one minute, then add 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar. Cook for 5 seconds (if you cook longer the vinegar will develop a nasty bitter taste), then pour over your lettuce. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, then top with the two poached eggs.

Bon appétit mes chéris!!