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Saturday, February 6, 2010

CEiMB: Curried Chicken Salad


I’m late in posting my weekly CEiMB recipe because, quite frankly, I was hesitant to make it. For one thing, I was less than impressed with the last chicken salad we made. Also, I didn’t know if I would like curry powder, even though I recently discovered a love of Indian food.

I reconsidered, though, after reading through the recipe and realizing that it is not that different from my standard chicken salad. It is basically the same, except substituting almonds for walnuts and adding both curry powder and cilantro. Plus, I have heard about the popularity of curried chicken salad and even saw an episode of Barefoot Contessa where Ina Garten prepared it, so I gave it a try.

On a side note, I LOVE Ina Garten’s food. I think her show is a little very unrealistic and it drives me a little crazy (seriously, who entertains that much and has that many male friends?), yet I watch it daily and have prepared her food on many occasions.

Back to CEiMB: this week we were hosted by Sarah of Sarah’s Kitchen Adventures. To see the recipe, click here or visit Sarah’s blog.

curried chicken salad 1

I skipped the first part of the recipe, which called for poaching the chicken in chicken broth. I just pulled some frozen chicken breasts out and boiled them in water. I also did not toast the sliced almonds, but that was only because I forgot to do it!

Overall, I was pleased with the result of this recipe. The curry powder was not overwhelming but added a spicy warmth to the salad. I also liked the cilantro in the recipe because it made the chicken salad taste very fresh. I think this may be a permanent addition to my chicken salad, curried or not.

I ate the chicken salad as pictured, over greens, but I think it would be much more filling as a traditional sandwich. I also liked Sarah’s suggestion to serve it with pita chips, which I may try with the leftovers.

Thank you, Sarah, for a great CEiMB pick!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My Favorite Chili

chili 1

I thought this would be an appropriate recipe to go with the weather we have had in North Carolina lately – it started last Friday night with heavy snow and low temperatures and continued today with freezing rain that fell on top of the still icy roads. I have been out of work for the past two days and haven’t even started my car since last Friday afternoon. Since I’m someone who really likes to get out of the house, you know that is some pretty bad weather.

Tomorrow I have to go back to work (although the students will still be out), and I pulled some of this chili out of the freezer to take with me for lunch. Usually when I make this chili, it will yield two large servings for Scott and I to enjoy for dinner and three smaller portioned lunches for me to take to work.

When it comes to chili, for a long time I did not have a consistent recipe. It was something that I would play around with and had a different result every time. A few months ago, however, I made the best batch to date and immediately wrote the recipe down. Since that day, it has been my go-to recipe.

My Favorite Chili

- 1 T. olive oil
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 T. chili powder
- 1 T. hot Mexican chili powder
- 1 t. black pepper
- 1 t. salt
- 1 12 oz. beer (I use Blue Moon.)
- 2 15 oz. cans chili beans (I use one mild, one medium.)
- 1 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes

beans beer



Brown the beef, onion, and garlic in the olive oil over medium high heat and then drain:

chili 2

Then add in the seasonings and stir until fragrant:

chili 3

Pour in the beer, let it come to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half:

chili 4

chili 5

Add in the beans and tomatoes and let simmer for at least 30 minutes so the flavors can combine:

chili 6

Serve plain or with toppings (I like diced red onion and cheddar cheese).