Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sun Tea & Salad

Sun Tea, originally uploaded by miss.mallory.

It's officially a gorgeous day here in Bellingham. The sun is hot, the sky is blue, there is a slight breeze and the birds are chirping in full force. The Ski to Sea festival is bustling a mere four blocks down the road. I can tell it's a busy year because the neighborhoods are filling up with vehicles. I just finished a massive cleaning spree, mostly out on the back deck. I busied myself sweeping, getting wood piled up neatly, setting out a lovely outdoor cloth on the table, pulling a few weeds, wiping down the grill. . . you know the drill. Tonight we shall drink beer (in my case ice cold Lillet), barbecue, and host our virgin fire of the year. I'm actually quite giddy about a relaxing evening in the back yard. I deserve it after the stress over the last few days. Happily, a very dear friend will be joining us, he is quite seriously a pro at grilling chicken. I will be making Bobby Flay's paprika and roasted red bell pepper potato salad, which I have been itching to try out for weeks (but more on that later this week).

What better way to enhance a lovely Sunday such as this, than with an exquisite salad and tall, ice packed glass of freshly brewed sun tea. I'm sure most of you are acquainted if not very friendly with sun tea during the summer months. I actually didn't realize until recently that some people make their iced tea in the their kitchen, with tea bags, hot and tap water. Iced tea has always started out for me with a gaggle of black tea bags in a giant jug resting out in the sun. I swear, the sunshine imparts some magical depth of flavor to the tea soaked water, something that all other ice teas lack. But I suppose this could just be my imagination.

Cabbage Chicken Salad, originally uploaded by miss.mallory.

This salad is quite simple really. The greens are a mix of arugula and green cabbage. But the little chicken gems that sit on top are something special (and were a bit of fluke). I started out wanting to make baked almond coated chicken that I could pop onto a bowl of greens and drizzle with Cardini's sesame dressing (one of my favorite dressings of all time, just the right mix of vinegar and sweet). What I ended up with was a much more flavorful and exciting chicken. A few strips I ate just like one would at a bar, like chicken fingers with a little dressing dip (now that I think about it, 'chicken fingers' is kind of a gross moniker). The remainder rested on the lettuce and were drenched with that incredible salad dressing. So, what's so special about the coating on these little (all natural organic, of course) chicken tenders? A mixture of flour, coconut, cayenne, sesame, and almond. The coconut with the spice and the almond is just so, oh-so, incredibly delicious! Sweet, spicy, and nutty. This is quite possibly the perfect lunch for a day like today. So get out there, eat well and enjoy this amazing May weather! Happy Memorial Weekend everyone, I hope that you are all enjoying yourselves (and your barbecues) immensely!

Recipe: Almond Coconut Chicken Tenders
Preheat oven to 375 F


1 lb. (appx. 12) organic, all natural, chicken tenders rinsed
1 cup of flour
1 Tablespoon cayenne
salt and pepper to season
2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup shaved sweetened coconut (you could easily used unsweetened as well, I just grabbed what was in the cupboard)
1/4 cup shaved almonds
2 eggs


1. Mix flour, cayenne, s&p, sesame seeds, coconut, and almonds together in a mediums sized (preferably shallow) bowl.
2. Beat eggs in a small bowl
3. Prepare baking sheet
4. Dip chicken in egg wash then flour, egg again and finally flour (four dips total, yep ladies and gents you're double dippin')
5. Place tenders on prepared baking sheet
6. Bake in oven for appx. 15 minutes then flip the tenders (you want a golden brown crust on both sides, flipping will help to ensure this) and bake another 15 minutes.
7. Cool, and enjoy! Serve however your heart desires! Just be aware, they're kind of addicting. . . . yum!


RachelleLouise said...

Oh I just adore this post. Talk about some good summer writing/inspiration. Sun tea, outdoor fire pits, barbecuing, salad. Delightful! This was a joy to all the senses! I can imagine the sights, smells, and tastes! Has anyone ever told you that are definitely the hostess with the mostess?