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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hot Chicken Salad and Warm Mushroom Salad



Friday night was shopping night.  I know.  What an exciting date, huh?  Actually, truth be told, Connie and I just like being around each other.  So, grocery shopping is a fine date for us.  We're having company for dinner on Saturday so we had to get the provisions for that.  And, while we were doing that it made sense to buy a turkey on sale ($13.71 for a 26 pound turkey!!) along with green beans and broccoli for Thanksgiving at my brother's house and the groceries we'll need for the dishes we're taking to our friends Mary Kay and Andy's one evening next week.  A couple of evenings we'll be having something from the freezer since I need to get it cleaned out to make room for party food.  So, we needed some things for the sides those evenings. 

As usual, when I was at Sam's I picked up a rotisserie chicken.  $4.99 for a huge chicken that will make eight servings without the least bit of stretching.  A couple of weeks ago I made hot browns with a rotisserie chicken then we had the leftovers for lunches.  Hopefully, I'll get that post done this coming week.  We had a snafu with getting photos off the camera so I've had to stick to posting dishes whose photos were taken with the point and shoot. 

It was a bit chilly and I didn't want a huge production so I thought about a hot chicken salad.  Now, my mom makes a mean hot chicken salad.  But, my favorite of all time is from the Gooseberry Patch Taste of Autumn cookbook.  We first made it in December, 2006 and rated it a four star (out of five.)  Since then I've probably made it at least annually.  And, every time we ummm and ahhh over it.  This time I had some cheddar cheese that needed to be used up.  The recipe calls for topping the salad with shredded swiss cheese and potato chips.  I didn't have any potato chips.  But, I did have Cheezits.  Perfect substitution.  In fact, I liked it so well that I noted on the recipe to make it that way in the future!

So, as an aside here... When I try a recipe I write down the date and rating on the page in the cookbook.  I also write notes about substitutions or what I'd do differently next time.  The only thing I've not done is write a note in the front of each cookbook telling me where I got it.  This one was in a lovely gift shop somewhere.  I remember buying it and would recognize the shop but I have NO clue where said shop was... I also keep a log book of recipes I've tried from cookbooks.  That way I can find them in my collection.

While I was fixing the chicken salad, Connie was putting away groceries.  He brought up a box of mushrooms that needed to be used.  We were also running out of room between the turkey and a rack of lamb ribs that I'd taken out of the freezer to be smoked today and grilled with some bourbon barbecue sauce tomorrow..  What better way to have the mushrooms take up less room than to slice and saute them?  Once that got started, my mind wandered to a wonderful warm mushroom salad I'd made years ago.  Unfortunately, I've been scanning in my recipes and they're a mell of a hess.  I couldn't find the recipe.  So, I guessed.  Connie inhaled the salad so I must've guessed well :-)

Hot Chicken Salad
4 servings

Ingredients:
2 c cooked chicken, diced
2 c celery, diced
8 oz can diced water chestnuts, drained
1/2 c toasted pecans, chopped
1 c mayonnaise
1/2 t celery salt
2 T lemon juice
2 t dried onion
1 c shredded cheddar or swiss cheese
crushed Cheezits or potato chips

Directions:

Mix everything but the cheese and crunchy topping together. 






Spray an 8x8 casserole dish with cooking spray.  Spread the chicken salad in the casserole.  Top it with the shredded cheese and Cheezits or potato chips.  Bake it at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until it's bubbling. 

Warm Mushroom Salad

Ingredients:

16 oz box white button mushrooms, sliced
1 T olive oil
fresh baby spinach - about a cup per person
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
3 T white wine vinegar
1/2 t celery salt
1/4 t garlic
1/4 t celery seed
1/4-1/2 c finely grated Gruyere or Parmesan or Romano

Directions:

Saute the mushrooms in the olive oil.  They'll go from dry to very moist to dry again.  You want them to get to the second dry stage and actually start to brown a bit. 



Mound spinach on each salad plate.  Mix the salad dressing:  evoo, vinegar, celery salt, garlic and celery seed.  While the mushrooms are still very hot, divide them among the salad plates.  Drizzle with salad dressing and top with a tablespoon or two of grated cheese.  Serve warm.

3 comments:

Lizzy said...

Oooh, great dishes! Yeah, sometimes shopping is the only time Bill and I can spend anytime together with his busy schedule :)

Your mushroom salad reminds me of the one I used to always order at Cafe Nora. Miss that place~

Hope you're having a nice weekend! Say hi to Connie~

Gina said...

Shopping date, how cute. Mine actually went with me today, usually he doesn't. I like that mushroom salad, yummy. Hope you are getting in a little relaxing this weekend. Can't believe Thanksgiving is in a couple of days. If I don't get another chance, just wanted to say I'm thankful for you and Hoping you and your family have a Happy Thanksgiving.
-GIna-

Eliotseats said...

Sauteed mushrooms---on a salad???? Why didn't I think of that??? Looks amazing and good luck with all that cooking that that is headed your way this week! Thank you for this recipe---it is going into my "to try" list NOW.