Tag Archives: salads

Romaine Lettuce Recall

8 May

Ohio-based Freshway Foods issued a recall of romaine lettuce Thursday because of possible E-Coli contamination, according to a FDA.gov press release.

The lettuce, packaged under the brands Freshway and Imperial Sysco was distributed to wholesalers in the following states: Alabama, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.  The lettuce was also sold to Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets, and Marsh for use in their in-store deli counters and salad bars.

The lettuce was not sold in retail pre-packaged bags or salad mixes and isn’t affected by the recall.  E-Coli is commonly found in the lower intestinal tract of warm-blooded animals and the organism is commonly an indicator of fecal contamination.

For more information, visit http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm211131.htm

Chicken Enchiladas: It’s what for dinner!

7 Jan
Chicken Enchiladas

Mmmm! Ole`

Recently I lamented about  my lack of finding something good to eat. I just wasn’t feeling it, guys.  Usually when I feel this way, I sit in front of my pantry and work through my block. I had an idea, but I needed to do a bit of research, so I asked a few friends and read a bunch of recipes. This is what I came up with based on what I had available to me, and a taste for something spicy, cheesy and warm on a frigid night.

Chicken Enchiladas
Serves 4 to 8 people
( 1 – 2 enchiladas per person)

3 cups cooked chicken, Or
3  boneless, skinless chicken breasts with 1 cup water
Eight 6-inch corn tortillas ( warmed)
1 cup refried beans, optional
¼ cup taco sauce
1 cup pasta sauce
½ cup diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup Goya Sofrito*
¼ cup banana peppers, diced**
½ cup banana pepper juice
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1/2  tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. cumin
2 tbl. chopped fresh cilantro
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper

Garnishes: Thinly-sliced red onion, green onions, chopped green or black olives, sour cream, additional shredded cheese.

If using cooked chicken, clean chicken from all bones and skin. Measure 3 cups and skip to preparing sauce.

Prepare chicken: Heat oven to 325
In an oven-proof pan ( glass, metal, iron) , place chicken breasts and the cup of water; covered,  in an oven and cook breasts until done, about 3-40 minutes. Remove from oven, place chicken on plate to cool and discard liquid, or freeze for sauces later. When chicken is cold, shred breasts, by either pulling apart into tiny bite-size pieces, or pull apart using the tines of two forks.

While chicken is cooling, Prepare Sauce: Combine taco sauce, sofrito, pasta sauce, banana peppers and the juice. Whisk until combined and add ½ tablespoon of the cilantro to the sauce. Set aside.

Make filling: Mix cumin, chili powder, ¼ cup of sauce, ½ cup of the shredded cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses and toss with the cooled, shredded chicken.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat baking pan with cooking spray, and place ¼ cup of the prepared sauce in bottom of pan and coat.

Assemble enchiladas: Spoon 1 tablespoon refried beans on the warmed tortilla. Place a bit of the chicken filling in the tortilla and roll. Place filled tortilla seam side down in baking dish. Repeat and place filled tortilla next to one another. Take remaining sauce and pour evenly over the enchiladas. Top with remaining shredded cheese and cilantro. Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes, or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.

Top with garnishes of your choice and serve one with a side salad as a light lunch, or two for a filling and hearty meal.

*Goya Sofrito is a sauce base containing tomatoes, garlic, peppers, onions and spices. It is available in most markets in the international isle.

** I had sliced banana peppers in the jar, so I used that. If you want to use fresh peppers, do so and add the juice of a  fresh lime.

There are various ways to warm the tortillas. You can either saute them in a bit of olive oil for 1-2 minutes on each side until pliable. Drain on paper towels.

(2) You can wrap them in foil and warm them in the oven for 10 minutes or so.

(3) You can turn the gas burner on you stove and place the tortilla, one at a time on the burner and turn over the open flame 2 seconds on each side until soft.

You must warm the tortillas. There is no way around it. But don’t be a lazy ass and throw them in the microwave! It will make the tortillas tough.

Culinary Chick

Hey, $25 gift card contest extended!!!!

6 May
Hey, win a gift card!

Hey, win a gift card!

Due to the ABSOLUTELY OVERWHELMING RESPONSE ( zero), I’m extending the contest dates to Midnight, May 24th. You have until then to tell me how you make your meals a gourmet experience in thee hard economic times. There will be two winners, each receiving a $25 Shop-Rite gift card.

Contest Rules:

1) No substitutions will be given in lieu of gift cards.

2) Shop-Rite gift cards can only be used at Shop-Rite stores.

3) Contest entries must be in by midnight, May 24.   The winners  will be announced on May 27, 2009.

4) All posts must be limited to 50 words or less.

5) All entries must have a valid e-mail address

6) Only one entry per valid e-mail address

7) Please refrain from using racist, sexist or pornographic comments. Entries which contain theses elements will be disqualified.

Have Fun!

Win a $25 gift card from Shop-Rite

24 Apr

shopritelogo Culinary Chick and the kind folks from Shop-Rite grocery stores are giving away $25  Shop-Rite gift cards to two lucky readers of this blog. All you have to do is post an answer to this question:

In these lean times, how do you maintain a gourmet touch in the meals you prepare for yourself, or your family?

A gourmet touch could be anything from using a simple garnish like a parsley sprig,  to breaking out that extra virgin olive oil, to splurging on seafood or a special cut of meat. I will choose the  best five entries; and you, the readers will choose the best two.  The two winners will receive the $25 gift card, courtesy of Shop-Rite.

Contest entries must be in by midnight, May 10.  Voting will end on midnight, May 17. The winner will be announced on May 19, 2009.

Contest Rules:

1) No substitutions will be given in lieu of gift cards.

2) Shop-Rite gift cards can only be used at Shop-Rite stores.

3) Contest entries must be in by midnight, May 10.  Voting will end on midnight, May 17. The winner will be announced on May 19, 2009.

4) All posts must be limited to 50 words or less.

5) All entries must have a valid e-mail address

6) Only one entry per valid e-mail address

7) Please refrain from using racist, sexist or pornographic comments. Entries which contain theses elements will be disqualified.

Have Fun!

Nicoise Salad

9 Jan

As I sat in my kitchen yesterday; all stuffed up and whatnot from the SCOURGE,  I become aware that I am sick of eating soup. So, I dig through the larder for something to eat and came upon the makings for a classic Nicoise salad.

So what is Nicoise salad, one asks oneself?

Salad Nicoise is a composed salad made with tuna, potatoes, olives, anchovies ( eww; yeah, I know), green beans, tomatoes, boiled egg and capers. It is presented on lettuce with a vinegar-based dressing, and is a great way to use leftovers.  If you are a tuna snob and prefer to use fresh tuna, go right ahead. I used the tuna  fillets in foil packets because that’s what I had, but good o’l regular tuna is just fine.

And, if you don’t like some of the ingredients and want to sub out say the tuna for chicken or turkey, and the green beans for cucumber, ect…make a damn chef or cobb salad, for Christ’s sake!

You will need ( Serves two):

4 cups of chopped romaine or your favorite salad mix ( I used mesclun mix)

tomato wedges

12 0z. can of tuna; or 6-8oz. fresh tuna, grilled

1 cup blanched green beans

2 boiled eggs, halved

1/4 cup kalamata or nicoise olives

1 cup cooked potato, diced or quartered (2-3 red bliss potatoes)

2 TBL. capers ( optional)

4 ea. capers ( optional)

Some sort of vinaigrette dressing (  like red wine vinaigrette, balsamic, italian, ect)

Using a large platter and using the lettuce as a bed, arrange all of the ingredients on top of the lettuce except the potatoes and optional ingredients. Toss potatoes in  a small amount vinaigrette dressing, then place on lettuce. Serve with some crusty bread.

Please refrain from using any creamy style, calorie-laden “dressing” that would probably weigh this salad down.

Please. Your waistline will be grateful!

Origin food labels to begin

5 Oct

According to the Associated Press, new regulations regarding labeling of food will take affect over the next six months. Produce companies issued origin stickers for years on their items, and now all meat slaughtered in the U.S. must be labeled as such.

There is one stipulation, however. Food in its natural state will be required to have an origin date. Once processed in any way, the food is no longer required to have any origin labels.

Example: raw lamb ( origin label); lamb stew made from that same lamb and served at a hot food bar ( no origin label)

Whole cantelopes. grapes and pineapple ( origin label); fruit salad made from the same fruit ( no origin label)

Frozen or fresh shrimp ( origin label), shrimp salad sold in market ( no origin label)

You get the picture, right? Some places will label their processed food, but it is not required by law. keep that in mind if you intend to only buy foods from certain places.


Summer Shrimp and Mango salad

13 Aug

This is a great hot weather salad to serve as a light summer lunch or dinner, or as an appetizer on vegetable chips for a summer gathering.

You will need to gather these together BEFORE preparation:

1- 2 qt. saucepot

1- 4-6 qt. glass bowl

1- large spoon for mixing

1- small kitchen knife for peeling

1- cutting board, or kitchen counter top to cut on

2- kitchen towels, or paper towels

1- dinner fork

dry measuring cups

Hot soapy water for cleaning


1 ½ lbs 21-25 count shrimp

½ red onion, rough chop

¼ cup shrimp boil seasoning*

2 ripe mangoes, washed with cold water

1/2 small red onion, minced

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (Mexican parsley)

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

1 lime, juiced

½ cup chopped prepared pimentos

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)

1 teaspoon chipotle pepper sauce (optional)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Bring 1 quart of water, along with shrimp boil and chopped red onion to a boil. Add unpeeled shrimp to water and stir. Cook shrimp for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain shrimp, then run cold water over shrimp to stop the cooking process. Refrigerate shrimp for an hour, or until completely cooled. Peel and devein cooled shrimp, and cut into large pieces. Set aside.

Wash cilantro and basil in cold running water thoroughly and set aside in colander to drain. Place minced onion, pimentos, hot sauces, olive oil, onion, and lime juice in non-reactive bowl (glass or ceramic); set aside. Pick leaves off of the basil and cilantro and keep separate. Chop each herb finely and measure, then add to bowl. Place mangos on cutting board. Grab one and with the narrower side facing up, and starting from just off center slice along each side of the pit to cut off the skin, using a small paring knife (This is similar to peeling a potato). Cut off slabs of the mango along the “pit” of the mango and dice. Peel the other mango, and instead of dicing, grate the mango on a box grater using the largest holes. Add both to bowl. Clean area thoroughly and remove shrimp from refrigerator. Toss shrimp with other ingredients, season to taste and chill thoroughly before serving.

Serve on bed of lettuce for a nice summer salad, or with chips and/or crackers as a snack.

*Shrimp boil is a seasoning comprised of bay leaf, mustard seed, cloves, and other spices. If you can’t find this, pickling spice will do, or add 3 or 4 garlic cloves, 2 crushed bay leaves, and 4 cloves to the shrimp water as a substitution.