Tag Archives: peppers

Chilled Barley Salad

Summer is officially here, so it’s time for another salad, this time a bit heartier.

This recipe is also inspired by a salad offered at one of our favorite GR restaurants, The Winchester.  At the restaurant, the salad is served topped with a skewer of lamb kafta and drizzled with a cucumber-yogurt sauce.  I wanted something that would last in the fridge a few days, so I incorporated the sauce into the rest of the salad.  I’ve been eating it as-is out of the fridge all weekend, and it’s still just as good as the day I made it.

It’s a great hearty summer salad–fresh tasting, and filling without being too heavy.  Something a little different than the same ol’ macaroni salad doused in mayonnaise.

The important thing to remember when preparing the vegetables for this salad is to dice the onions and peppers very small, so that they are not much bigger than the barley.  It makes for a much more pleasant eating experience.

Chilled Barley Salad 014

Ingredients:

4 cups cooked pearled barley

1 T extra virgin olive oil

1 medium red pepper, diced

1 medium yellow or orange pepper, diced

1 small red onion, diced

1 cup plain whole milk yogurt

1 small salad cucumber, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped

1 T fresh dill

1 T fresh mint (about 4-5 leaves)

Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine barley, olive oil, peppers, and onions in a medium sized bowl.  Set aside while preparing dressing.

To make dressing, blend 1/2 cup yogurt, herbs, and cucumber in a blender or food processor.  Gently stir cucumber mixture into the remaining 1/2 cup yogurt.   Stir yogurt dressing into barley mixture.  Salad can be served immediately or chilled overnight.  Salad will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator.

Butt Kickin’ Chicken Chili

This is my lighter-version “rough draft” for a chili cook off I’m entering in at work.

My beef chili is nothing special, despite several attempts to make it better.  So I decided to try something relatively new to me and make chicken chili instead.  I think it turned out pretty tasty, but you be the judge.

One note on my measurements:  the amount of chopped veggies is somewhat approximate since I was making a pizza at the same time and used some of the onions and peppers for that as well. I personally hate it when recipes call for half of a vegetable, but I may have to do that here.  I apologize to anyone else who has that same pet peeve.

I like my chili spicy, so I went with a blend of fresh, dried, and canned (in the form of prepared salsa) peppers as my heat source.  They all lend a different type of heat, and I think they balanced each other well.  You can adjust the level of heat by seeding the fresh and dried peppers, or by using less as needed.  But only if you’re a wuss.

The finished product looks kind of anemic, but like any chili tastes much better the next day, which is when I took this picture.  The cilantro sour cream is a must!

Butt Kickin’ Chicken Chili

Ingredients:

3-4  boneless, skinless chicken breasts (depending on size)
2 T   olive oil
1      small red onion, halved and sliced thinly
1/2   red pepper, sliced thinly
1/2   yellow or orange pepper, sliced thinly
3       cloves garlic, minced
1       medium poblano pepper, diced with seeds and ribs
2       small red chili peppers, diced with seeds and ribs
1       dried california pepper, diced with seeds and ribs
1/2 c celery, diced
1        12 oz package sliced mushrooms
2        15 oz cans chicken broth
1        16 oz jar salsa verde (2 cups)
1 c      any “red” salsa
Salt, pepper, and cumin to taste

Instructions:

Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat.  Add all veggies except mushrooms and heat until translucent and fragrant. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and cumin.  Add mushrooms and cook another 2-3 minutes.  Add chicken broth and salsa and bring mixture to a boil.  Add chicken breasts and simmer for 1 hour or until chicken is tender and can be broken apart.

Serve with cool cheddar cilantro sour cream:

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1/3   onion, roughly chopped
2 c  sour cream (one 16 oz package)
~ 1 c  cilantro leaves, loosely packed
2 T  fresh chives
juice of one lime
salt and pepper to taste

Place onion and garlic into blender or food processor with salt and pepper and pulse a few times until the onions begin to let out thier juices.  Add herbs and pulse again until chopped. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until combined.  I also use this mixture as a veggie dip, it tastes kind of like an herb-y, cheese-y ranch dressing.

Modifications:

My plan for the future of this chili is to sub either all or part of the chicken breast meat for chicken thighs to boost the chicken flavor.  I also plan to use a bit of bacon, and to pan fry the chicken in the bacon fat before adding the veggies.