Like any good Southerner, I love watermelon… Mmkay, you know what? In the spirit of exhaustion and honesty this post-Music Fest week, Imma be real with you: I’m not really a fan.
I’ve choked it down at every Fourth of July catfish fry, I’ve tried it with salt (and if salt can’t help me, honey, I don’t know what can), and I’ve even had the vodka-soaked variety and frankly, I’ll leave it.
But as with so many things I’ve traditionally disliked, The Chef has found a way to make it not only palatable but actually good. Bacon, tomatoes and cheese have a hand in that, but the watermelon itself actually gets a dose of personality here, so go on and get out and proud and pretty with this one. You won’t be sorry.
2 cups watermelon, diced and seeded
2 cups assorted tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp toasted pecans
crumbled goat cheese (or mozzarella or blue cheese)
3 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
- Get mixy and then serve atop spring greens. That’s all folks.
Continuing chicken week…my curry chicken salad recipe is all by taste, but here are a few guidelines and steps. Feel free to change up the measurements. I roast a whole chicken for this recipe. I have made this on several occasions, and every time I get rave reviews. They are served in mini croissants or with crackers as a dip. I tend to have this on hand when guests stay over as a snack . -ts
1 roasted whole chicken (or you can cook 3 chicken breasts skin on, bone in)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups mayo (to taste)
1/3 cup dry white wine (to taste)
curry powder (to taste) generous amount
1 cup medium-diced celery (2 large stalks)
1/4 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts (2 scallions) ½+ lemon juice
- Remove cooked chicken meat from the bones, discard the skin, and shred chicken. I just use my hands.
- For the dressing, combine the mayonnaise, curry powder, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper in a bowl and whisk together.
- Combine the chicken with enough dressing to moisten well. Add wine for moisture. I say add no matter what! Add the celery, scallions, and mix well. Refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Combine with nuts before serving.
In general I hate anything sweet or healthy, but this is both and it’s actually good. When Molly married into the family Dot started requiring us to make at least one sweet dish at family events (because we’d pretty much exist on starch and salt otherwise), and now Paul gets up half an hour early on holidays (so like 4:30 a.m. – ya know, cuz he’s retired and can sleep in now) to cut vegetables into ridiculously identical cubes for this recipe.
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
1 cup seedless grapes, halved
1 pear, peeled, cored and diced
10 to 12 medium size strawberries, halved
1 mango, peeled and diced
1 banana, sliced
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- In a small mixing bowl whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, honey, vanilla extract and salt. Season with pepper, to taste. Set aside.
- Place all of the fruit and the nuts into a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Add the dressing, toss and serve.
This is The Chef’s personal favorite and is, I’m told, “good on anything.” And due to his enthusiasm he best be about the biznis of making me this sometime in the near future.
2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled and seeded
2 dried ancho chilies, softened in hot water, drained, stemmed and seeded
2 plum tomatoes, roasted until slightly blackened
2 red onions, roasted and peeled
6 tablespoons of hazelnuts, ( really any nut will work, pine nuts, walnuts, etc.) toasted
1 slice of toasted white bread
1 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 bulb garlic, roasted
3/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
- In a food processor, add everything except oil and garlic. Pulse to a coarse puree.
- Cut off the top of the roasted garlic and squeeze the pulp into the mixture in the food processor. With the machine running, add the olive oil in a thin, steady stream until the mixture forms a chunky paste. If it comes out too thick, add a little water. Season with salt and pepper.
1 (14-ounce) package candy-coated chocolate-covered peanuts
1 (9-ounce) package butter-flavored pretzels
5 cups toasted oat O-shaped cereal
5 cups crispy corn cereal snack mix
1 (24-ounce) package almond bark coating
- Combine first 4 ingredients in a large container. Set aside.
- Microwave almond bark coating in a microwave-safe dish at HIGH 1 minute, stirring once. Microwave at HIGH for 1 more minute; stir until coating is smooth.
- Pour melted coating over cereal mixture, stirring to combine. Spread onto wax paper, and let cool 30 minutes.
- Break apart, and store candy in an airtight container.
Yummy even after Toates let them sit out on the counter all night. Air tight container fool!
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
2 cups pecan halves or whole almonds
- Stir together melted butter, Old Bay Seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and hot sauce.
- Add pecans or almonds, tossing to coat. Place nuts in an aluminum foil-lined 15- x 10-inch jellyroll pan.
- Bake seasoned nuts at 300° for 30 minutes, stirring twice. Cool. Store in an airtight container