parsley sage sweet http://www.parsleysagesweet.com cooking.baking.talking.picture taking Wed, 30 May 2018 10:52:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 Jam-Packed Loaded Chicken Salad (or Tuna Salad) with Greek Yogurt Garlic Ranch “Mayo” http://www.parsleysagesweet.com/2014/04/08/loaded-chicken-or-tuna-salad-with-garlic-greek-yogurt-ranch-mayo-and-the-end/ http://www.parsleysagesweet.com/2014/04/08/loaded-chicken-or-tuna-salad-with-garlic-greek-yogurt-ranch-mayo-and-the-end/#comments Tue, 08 Apr 2014 16:22:22 +0000 http://parsleysagesweet.com/?p=25580 Before I get to this amazing jam-packed, loaded chicken salad (or tuna salad), a brief rambling is in order. I wrote a long preface to this post, but was told to ditch it. Too personal, too revealing, too much apologizing … Continue reading

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Before I get to this amazing jam-packed, loaded chicken salad (or tuna salad), a brief rambling is in order.

I wrote a long preface to this post, but was told to ditch it. Too personal, too revealing, too much apologizing for being gone so long, they said. So, I gave in and ditched it. All that matters is that I’m finally here, so let’s celebrate with sandwiches or wraps, whichever you prefer.

Jam-Packed Loaded Chicken Salad (or Tuna Salad) with Greek Yogurt Garlic Ranch "Mayo"Sloppy and blurry, but oh so good.

Did you just hear the dull, hollow thud after I said that? Yeah, it’s there, an apropos response to sandwiches after 8 months away from blogging, not counting my last post, and my brief appearance to pay tribute to my dear, late friend, Lis.

For my second post back, I wanted to make something spectacular, and I tried, and I failed…twice. It was the most disgusting thing I’d ever put in my mouth. Then I felt sick again, so I gave up and made this easy loaded chicken salad, which really isn’t much of a recipe when compared to some of the crazy recipes I usually churn out, but it’s the best I can do for now. Plus, I can sit and chop, so win-win.

Jam-Packed Loaded Chicken Salad (or Tuna Salad) with Greek Yogurt Garlic Ranch "Mayo"

I’ve been making this chicken (or tuna) salad since I was 12 and learned how to roast peppers. I add roasted peppers to all of my mayo based salads because it makes them remarkably better; the sweet, roasty undertones adding a nuance and pop that’s out of this world. You get your crunch from the celery, so nothing is missing texture-wise.

Jam-Packed Loaded Chicken Salad (or Tuna Salad) with Greek Yogurt Garlic Ranch "Mayo"

Back in the day, when I’d make chicken salad, I used to mix some of those ranch seasoning packets into the mayo before mixing it in with the chicken and veggies. I thought I had discovered something brilliant, but people have been mixing ranch seasoning packets with mayo long before me; they just add buttermilk and call it ranch dressing. This time I decided to go as a fresh as possible, eliminating the salt lick packs they call ranch seasoning. I’m not at all mocking those who use them; it’s just personal preference. If I had them around, I’d probably eat the powder right out of the package and blow up like a Macy’s parade float. In other words, they’re really tasty, but I like to have control over the amount of salt that goes into my food.

That said, I also switched out most of the mayo for Greek yogurt, but, by all means, use all mayo or all yogurt in this chicken (or tuna) salad, because either way is delicious.

Jam-Packed Loaded Chicken Salad (or Tuna Salad) with Greek Yogurt Garlic Ranch "Mayo"

Doesn’t it look good? Not beautiful, just good in the way a big, fat sandwich or wrap should be. No matter what the vessel (the above photo is this amazing pumpernickel bread from a fantastic ‘hidden treasure’ bakery on the lower east side), I think this is the best chicken or tuna salad in the world. Yes, I said it – the best chicken or tuna salad. There goes my “nothing is best” theory, huh? Well, as I wrote back then, what’s best for some may not be best for others since it’s all a matter of personal taste.

But, I still think this is the best chicken salad recipe I’ve ever come up with and ever tasted. BIASED? Yep.

Jam-Packed Loaded Chicken Salad (or Tuna Salad) with Greek Yogurt Garlic Ranch "Mayo"

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may have noticed that I like my sandwiches big, overstuffed and messy,  If the filling falls out while eating it, even better. However, this tuna or chicken salad is so pretty, it would make delightful, dainty, crustless tea sandwiches too, but when it comes to this chicken or tuna salad, I’ll always choose the former, with lots of napkins.

No need to pick up after me, I’ll get to it eventually.

Jam-Packed Loaded Chicken Salad (or Tuna Salad) with Greek Yogurt Garlic Ranch "Mayo"

Best Chicken Salad Recipe

Jam-Packed Chicken Salad or Tuna Salad with Greek Yogurt Garlic Ranch “Mayo”
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: Depends on size of sandwiches
 
If you want to take chicken or tuna salad to a realm above and beyond the norm, a realm that elicits “OMG” with eat bite, this is the way to do it. Makes a good amount of sandwiches, depending on how much salad you use per sandwich.
ingredients:
  • 3 to 4 cups shredded or chopped chicken (I use a whole roast chicken; a mix of white and dark meat) or 4 cans of white albacore tuna, drained
  • 2 green onions, both the light and lower dark green parts, sliced thinly
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 small carrot peeled and grated or shredded (sometimes I steam the carrot shreds, about 1 to 2 minutes, for more flavor)
  • 1 or 2 stalks of celery, peeled (this is the best way to add it to salads; no strings), thick white end cut off, split vertically three or four times, finely diced, LIKE THIS
  • 1 very small red onion or one-quarter of a large red onion, diced LIKE THIS (or 1 large shallot, diced)
  • 1 to 3 avocados, depending on how many sandwiches, each half slightly mashed, seasoned with a little salt and pepper to taste
  • Garlic Greek Yogurt Ranch Mayo (recipe follows). the amount depending on how 'wet' you like your chicken salad
  • kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, if needed.
Greek Yogurt Garlic Ranch "Mayo" *
  • ⅔ cup Greek Yogurt (Use all mayonnaise instead of yogurt, if desired)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons mayonnaise (if using all mayonnaise, just 2)
  • ¼ cup chopped. fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh dill weed
  • 1 garlic clove chopped and smashed into a paste with a pinch of kosher salt, LIKE THIS
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ cup buttermilk (more or less, taste as you drizzle it in and stir, or 2 teaspoons buttermilk powder **) You can omit all the buttermilk, if you like. It's still great without it since yogurt is already tangy. If using all mayo, you need to use it.
  • salt and pepper to taste
directions:
For the Salad
  1. Combine the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Mix in as much of the Greek Yogurt ranch mayo as you desire.
  2. The Secret - Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (I refrigerate it overnight) before serving to allow the flavors of the chicken salad and yogurt ranch to really blend or shall I say 'sing'? Because it really does sing! You'd be amazed at the difference it makes, not unlike beef stew eaten the day after it's cooked. Season it with extra salt and pepper after letting it chill, if need be.
  3. Serve as sandwiches, slightly mashing an avocado on top or spreading the avocado on one or both slices of bread (which I should have done for photos - neater) then layering boston or butter lettuce and tomato, if desired, or roll into whole wheat flour tortilla wraps or flatbread. Keep it low-carb and gluten-free by serving as is on a salad plate or spooned into a ripe avocado half.
For The Greek Yogurt Garlic Ranch
  1. Place Greek yogurt in a strainer lined with cheesecloth (or a paper towel) over a bowl. Cover the strainer and allow excess liquid to drain for about 1 to 2 hours. You'll be replacing the liquid with buttermilk to make it 'ranch'. (While it's draining, start roasting the peppers and prepping the rest of the vegetables for the salad).
  2. If you're using all mayonnaise, obviously you can skip the above step.
    Also, to make it even easier, but just as delicious, I've made this without straining the yogurt, just mixing in all the ingredients but the buttermilk into plain Greek yogurt and/or mayo, with great results..so that gives you three dressing choices!
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together strained Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, parsley, chives, dill, garlic paste,, garlic powder, and onion powder. Stir in buttermilk. Add more or less buttermilk for desired taste and consistency. I like it thick, like, well..mayo. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Wrap and refrigerate for several hours before adding it to salad, if you have the time. Even more flavor!
notes:
*Double or add add another half of the Garlic Ranch recipe for more 'mayo'
** You can usually find buttermilk powder in the baking or dried milk aisle in supermarkets. If not, you can order it online.

Jam-Packed Loaded Chicken Salad (or Tuna Salad) with Greek Yogurt Garlic Ranch "Mayo"

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Creamy Tomato Alfredo Linguine http://www.parsleysagesweet.com/2014/03/05/creamy-tomato-parmesan-linguine-with-peas-and-prosciutto-and-part-22/ http://www.parsleysagesweet.com/2014/03/05/creamy-tomato-parmesan-linguine-with-peas-and-prosciutto-and-part-22/#comments Thu, 06 Mar 2014 01:49:30 +0000 http://parsleysagesweet.com/?p=24323 Is anybody still out there? I hope so. I’m so sorry for my exceedingly long absence from blogging. I truly feel awful about it, and I’m so happy and relieved to finally get something up, especially since it’s a favorite … Continue reading

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Is anybody still out there? I hope so.

I’m so sorry for my exceedingly long absence from blogging. I truly feel awful about it, and I’m so happy and relieved to finally get something up, especially since it’s a favorite creamy, cheesy, tomato-y linguine dish of mine.

As many of you know, I’ve been sick for some time, and it’s been extremely difficult to pull off even the most mundane tasks.

Creamy Tomato Alfredo Linguine with or without Peas and Prosciutto

Since last June, for about 5 months, I could barely write, much less peel a carrot. I was able to get in a paragraph or two maybe once a month, and that was what I called a good month. Around late January, I felt a little better so I started writing a little more, and now I’m here. For how long, I don’t know, but I’m here.

Naturally, I couldn’t put this “Hi, I’m back!” post up without a recipe, since it is a food blog, but much to my disappointment, I couldn’t play outside the box, which is what I enjoy most about cooking and baking. So, I had to choose something basic and simple, but basic and simple doesn’t make it any less amazing. In fact, it usually makes it more amazing and difficult because every single step and ingredient must be spot on since there are no extraneous components and preparations to hide behind.

Creamy Tomato Alfredo Linguine with or without Peas and ProsciuttoI attempted to build a linguine tower with a fork and tongs.  Obviously, it didn’t work out too well. With natural light, it would have looked magnificent just dumped on a plate.  Without it, you need to get creative.

Creamy Tomato Alfredo Linguine with Peas and Prosciutto - My most requested sauce! Great with or without the peas and prosciutto!

This creamy tomato alfredo linguine recipe is a derivative of an alfredo sauce I make via cutting down the cream and adding tomatoes. But, I shouldn’t refer to my favorite alfredo sauce as alfredo because true alfredo does not contain even a speck of cream. To digress somewhat, authentic alfredo is a remarkably creamy amalgam of just butter, parmesan cheese and pasta water, and, when done right, it’s actually better than alfredo made with cream. I know, shocking, but it makes up for it with twice the butter!

BUT, BUT, BUT..what is butter?  Butter is heavy cream whipped into thick, solid submission, so essentially, Alfredo with cream is liquid butter combined with solid butter; somewhat of a saucy redundancy, right?

 

Creamy Tomato Alfredo Linguine with or without Peas and Prosciutto

Having said all that, I would have much rather posted one of the amazing cakes, pastries or breads that have been blistering my brain for 8 months running, but due to my current circumstances, those ideas can’t be fully executed yet. I miss playing with batters, dough, fillings and frosting, so much so, it literally breaks me to tears on a pretty daily basis. Not being able to cook or bake sucks the life out of me. Feeding people is my heart light.

Creamy Tomato Alfredo Linguine with or without Peas and Prosciutto

On another note, I forgot how awful it is not having enough natural light to take photos in! Heavy duty bummer moment when I uploaded these linguine photos, especially after months of pinning other blogger’s gorgeous, naturally lit photos. Why did I think it would be any different this time? Well, I’m mostly to blame because I let my tower of linguine sit too long before snapping away, and since we immediately eat what I make and post about, this tower of linguine was the last serving; no back up. But trust me, it’s a lot more luscious and creamy than it looks in the photos. Time, air, and artificial lighting are not a friend to saucy pasta photos.

Creamy Tomato Alfredo Linguine. My most requested sauce.

I just realized something; I sound totally pathetic. Please excuse the whining and let’s focus on this amazingly creamy linguine dish! I’m done waxing kvetchic; pinky swear!

Tomato Alfredo Linguine with or without peas and prosciuttoSo, I want to share with you one of my favorite and most requested pasta dishes; Tomato Alfredo Linguine with or without Peas and Prosciutto (your choice).  If you don’t like prosciutto and/or peas, of course you can eliminate them because this sauce is perfection on its own.

Creamy Tomato Alfredo Linguine

Creamy Tomato Alfredo Linguine
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
 
Peas and prosciutto optional since the sauce is phenomenal on its own. However, it's also really great with cooked, chopped bacon or seafood, like shrimp or crab. Try it with other pastas too, like ziti, penne, fusilli, fettuccine, etc.!
ingredients:
  • 1 pound linguine (any other pasta is fine and fresh is ideal since sauces cling better to fresh pasta)
  • kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 shallot, chopped finely
  • 1 35-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano) with liquid
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • red hot pepper flakes (the amount depending on how hot you like it)
  • 1½ cups fresh or frozen peas (optional)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ lb sliced prosciutto (optional, but taste it before buying if using; you don't want it too salty)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • chopped fresh Italian parsley (optional)
directions:
  1. In a large pot, bring 6 quarts of water plus a generous pinch plus plus of kosher salt to a boil (about 1 tablespoon per 2 quarts water, so 3 tablespoons in this case). Taste the water, it should be salty like the ocean.
  2. While waiting for the water to boil, pour the can of tomatoes with juice into the work bowl of a food processor. DO NOT turn on the processor at full speed because you will end up with pink foam. Just pulse until you have a smooth puree. If you want a chunkier sauce, just dump the can of tomatoes and juice into a large bowl and crush the tomatoes with your impeccably clean hands.
  3. Over medium heat, heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, deep pan or skillet. Add the chopped garlic and chopped shallot to the oil. Saute until soft and translucent, then slowly pour in the pureed tomatoes and their juice. Bring the tomato sauce to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, seasoning it with salt and pepper to taste as it simmers (go easy on the salt because of the cheese that will be added). If you're using the red hot pepper flakes, add them now. Simmer until it reduces a bit about 10 to 15 minutes tops.
  4. While the tomato sauce simmers, add the linguine to the boiling pot of water and cook until al dente (about 6 to 8 minutes, keep checking by biting into a strand). In the mean time, once the sauce has simmered for 10-15 minutes, stir in the 2 tablespoons of butter, then add the peas (if using) and let them cook for 2 to 4 minutes, depending on their size (fresh peas are bigger). Slowly pour the cream into the sauce, swirling the pan and stirring, then add the sliced prosciutto (if using), stirring to distribute it evenly.
  5. Immediately drain the linguine, pouring some of the pasta water into a cup in case you need to thin the sauce once the cheese is added. If your pan or skillet is big enough, dump all the linguine right into the sauce and toss, adding all the parmigiano-reggiano cheese at once and tossing over the heat until it coats the linguine. If your skillet or pan isn't big enough, dump the pasta into a large bowl and pour the sauce and cheese on top of it, tossing until all the pasta is coated.
  6. If the sauce is too thick once tossed with the linguine, thin it out with some of the reserved pasta water.
  7. Top with the chopped parsley (if using), some more fresh ground pepper, if needed, and serve immediately, passing extra Parmigiano-Reggiano or freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Creamy Tomato Parmesan Linguine with or without Peas and Prosciutto

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A Shocking Loss. Farewell, Sweet Lis. http://www.parsleysagesweet.com/2013/11/15/a-shocking-loss-tributetolis-daringbakers/ http://www.parsleysagesweet.com/2013/11/15/a-shocking-loss-tributetolis-daringbakers/#comments Fri, 15 Nov 2013 05:03:54 +0000 http://parsleysagesweet.com/?p=24721 I know I haven’t been around in a long, long time, and I do owe you all an explanation, but for now, there’s something more important I need to touch on.  I will be back..and definitely back soon with the … Continue reading

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I know I haven’t been around in a long, long time, and I do owe you all an explanation, but for now, there’s something more important I need to touch on.  I will be back..and definitely back soon with the end of the BBFL story, but today I need to talk about a wonderful, amazing lady.

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If you’re a regular reader of my blog, when I’ve put up Daring Bakers or Daring Cooks challenge posts, you’ve probably seen me talk about my friend, Lis, on occasion; the co-founder of The Daring Kitchen; the girl I jokingly referred to as wifeypoo.

Lis passed away, suddenly, on November 12th.  She was taken from us way, way, way too soon, and I know she’s really pissed off.

I’m so heartbroken.

Today, via a tribute page set up by Kelly from Sass and Veracity, current and former Daring Kitchen members/friends are paying tribute to Lis with blog posts and/or instagrams, facebook and tweets in her honor. We were asked to choose anything from the many Daring Kitchen challenges to bake or cook in her honor.  Some are baking pretzels, the ‘first’ Daring Bakers challenge.  This first challenge was just Lis and Ivonne wanting to tackle something they never tried before and post it on their blogs simultaneously.  This became a monthly thing and soon more and more bloggers joined in. Voila – The Daring Bakers was born.

eclairs                                  My first Daring Bakers Challenge – Eclairs.

I wish I could bake something, but I can’t at this time, so I just linked back to the first Daring Bakers challenge I participated in, in 2008..and the first ever Daring Cooks challenge back in 2009.

Lis, along with Ivonne, were pioneers in getting food bloggers together to cook or bake a challenging treat once a month; creating a community where we could share our culinary successes and failures, supporting each other and having fun throughout the process.  This led to others starting food blogger cooking and baking groups..but Daring Bakers, prior to the addition of Daring Cooks, and finally The Daring Kitchen as a whole, was and will always be the first.

When I joined The Daring Bakers in 2008, Lis took me under her wing and made me feel so welcome. We became fast friends, and when I was going through a difficult time in my life, she was there, even sending me aromatherapy to soothe and relax me. This is the kind of person she was; unselfish, kind, and caring. She was also one of the funniest people I’ve ever known, always bringing me to tears of laughter during one of our several hours long phone conversations.  In addition, she was the queen of the ‘epic’ email, and I’m going to miss her weekly emails keeping me up to date on what was going on in her life. They always made me smile, laugh and/or gasp, and even when things were not going well, she had a way of putting a funny spin on them to lessen the bulk.

Her glass was always half-full.

I’ve been reading through her emails the past few days, and the tears came when I realized I’d never be typing lamiacuc and waiting for the rest of her email to come up underneath so I didn’t have to type it in when replying to her…ever again.

Ricotta Gnocchi/Gnudi The first ever Daring Cooks challenge..Ricotta gnocchi, although mine were more like Gnudi.  I made them way too big..but they tasted great!

If you didn’t know Lis, you can get a taste of her amazing wit and humor at her food blog, La Mia Cucina.  She stopped posting about 3 years ago, but that never stopped me from begging her to start again, especially for posts like THIS ONE.  I literally cry with laughter every time I read it.

I was just re-reading her post from the Daring Bakers cheesecake challenge, April ’09.  She wanted to make a cheesecake using the flavors of her favorite ice cream…Haagen Dazs Caramel Cone.  Bittersweet fits of laughter when I read this..

HEY YOU PEOPLE THAT LIVE IN MY NECK OF THE WOODS.. DON’T YOU DARE! GO BUY THIS ICE CREAM. IF I GO TO BUY IT AND IT’S SOLD OUT I WILL HUNT! YOU! DOWN! AND! BEAT! YOU! ABOUT! THE! HEAD! AND! SHOULDERS! WITH! MY! HUSBAND’S! DIRTY! TUBE! SOCKS!

On the other hand, his cotton, reinforced toe socks were not to be used as weapons.

And then….

“…when the day comes that I stop breathing.. I’d like to be buried, completely submerged, in Caramel Cone ice cream.”

If only, Lis..if only.

Having said all that, The Daring Kitchen was Lis’s baby, and it made so many people happy.  If she had a last wish, keeping it alive would be it.

Sleep well, wifeypoo, and rest assured, The Daring Kitchen will continue on exactly how you’d want it to. We will see to that. xoxoxo.

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