Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sweet Thai Chili Chicken Salad with Mangos and Homemade Sesame Chips

So this is my first official post from my new home, all the way from New Orleans to Hell's Kitchen in New York City. Moving in was the most ridiculous process, considering within 15 minutes of driving in the city with my rental car I get towed while signing my lease and have to pay a $300 fine (because OF COURSE I just have $300 lying around. no problem!) But it's been a month since I've actually been able post anything recent because although my apartment is actually awesome (considering we are under our original budget AND have all new appliances) the lighting is crap. And it's also not like i'm going to cook dinner any time before the sun goes down because I get out of culinary school at 3 after being on my feet all day, and the last thing I want to do is start cooking immediately once I get home. 

But, Troy is in town for 10 whole days, which is so incredibly nice for obvious reasons. It also gives me someone to cook for and a reason to try things that are not just pasta with garlic and parmesan... I was also super excited when I was looking up chicken salad recipes (since we went to trader joe's and just got basic ingredients that I could make something out of later) and he saw a recipe for bbq thai chicken salad and got really excited about it. So obviously I got excited also, because it's something i've been wanting to try and make for a really long time now anyway. So the inspiration from the salad came from a blog called Half Baked Harvest. Her pictures are so beautiful. I can't wait for the day when mine start looking like that...aka BRIGHT. It's all about lighting fellas - and I just can't get the hang of it. Although I read some bloggers wake up at absurd hours just to get the best natural light, and I can't say that i'm THAT committed...  

Sweet and Spicy Chili Garlic Vinaigrette 
inspired by a recipe by Half Baked Harvest 

1 tablespoon of honey
1 tablespoon of agave
1 tablespoon of chili garlic sauce
1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons of hoisin 
1 tablespoon of low sodium soy sauce
½ teaspoon of sugar
½ teaspoon lemon juice
1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard 

1 tablespoon olive oil
about a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger 

Mix that isn up in a bowl and voila 

For the Salad 
1 mango, cubed
½ medium cucumber, cubed 
2/3 cup roughly chopped dry roasted peanuts (unsalted)
about 6 large leaves of cabbage, chiffonade or roughly sliced into strips 
about 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
4 chopped green onion

Homemade Sesame Chips

2 medium white or wheat tortillas
1 tablespoon of hoisin 
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce 
about ½ sesame seeds 

Cut out two tortillas with a biscuit/round cookie cutter. Mix together the hoisin, honey and soy sauce in a small bowl and brush on the tops of each gorilla round. Sprinkle lightly with sesame seeds and bake for 10 minutes at 350, rotating halfway through baking and checking frequently to make sure they don't burn.

Baked Chicken Thighs

4 chicken thighs or two breasts 
Leftovers sauce from the chips becomes the marinade for chicken

Preheat oven to 425°F
Bake for 15-20 minutes