Slow Cooker Tri-Tip Steak with Coriander and Fennel Gravy

*This recipe has been modified to fit this week's meal plan. Click Here for the original recipe.

Cooking Tri-Tip Steak in the slow cooker is a sure-fire method for falling-apart-tender steak that’s juicy and packed with flavor. In this simple recipe, Tri-Tip Steak simmers in a rich gravy flavored with fennel, coriander, and paprika.

Pouring fennel and coriander gravy over slow cooker tri-tip steak.

Why Tri-Tip Steak is Perfect for the Slow Cooker.

Tri-tip steak is a lean, flavorful cut of beef that comes from the tender, triangle roast that’s right in front of the hind quarters. It tends to be quite a bit less expensive than other types of steak, especially for the amount of flavor it delivers.

Typically, recipes call for tri-tip to be cooked quickly on a grill, under the broiler, or in a super hot skillet. But, because tri-tip is so lean, hot and fast cooking methods can dry the meat out.

Enter the slow cooker.

Honestly I don’t know why more tri-tip steak recipes don’t use a slow cooker. Cooking it low and slow preserves the meat’s juices and transforms it into the kind of gorgeously tender beef that begs to be smothered in gravy. Which is exactly what’s happening here.

Fennel and Coriander Gravy

The fennel and coriander gravy in this dish is actually just the broth the meat cooks in, boiled down and thickened with a bit of cornstarch. Both fennel and coriander are extremely aromatic and flavorful, and add a unique brightness to both the meat and the gravy. Paprika and oregano add some smokiness and depth to the sauce, and anchovies add that wonderfully intangible sense of umami that makes this dish extremely satisfying.

Wait… anchovies? Yes. Everyone likes anchovies, even the people who think they don’t.

To the people who think they don’t like anchovies: Even if you would never eat anchovies straight out of the can and cringe at the thought of them on your salad or pizza, they are added to sauces, spice rubs, dips and dressings all the time. You’ve likely eaten way more anchovies than you realize.

In this yummy gravy, the anchovies are literally blended up in a blender with the other ingredients. They contribute depth and flavor the the sauce similar to Worcestershire sauce because Worcestershire is actually anchovy-based. 

Used in this Recipe:

Crock Pot Slow Cooker, Vitamix, and a Dutch Oven

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Pouring fennel and coriander gravy over slow cooker tri-tip steak.

Slow Cooker Tri-Tip Steak with Fennel and Coriander Gravy


  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 9 hours
  • Total Time: 9 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 lb Tri-tip steak
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tbs vegetable oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 32 ounces chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Cut tri-tip steak into three pieces. Dab each piece on all sides with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. (Damp meat will not brown.) Sprinkle a generous amount of salt on all sides of each piece.
  2. Add the oil to a large heavy bottom saucepan or dutch oven and set it over medium high heat. When the oil is hot and shimmery, add the pieces of steak. Let them cook on one side until a rich brown crust forms. Turn each piece in the hot oil to create a brown crust on every side. Remove the pieces of steak to the bowl of a slow cooker.
  3. Leave the saucepan on the stove, but turn the heat down to medium. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until they are golden brown. Add the garlic, coriander, fennel, paprika, oregano, and 1 tsp ground black pepper to the onions and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute longer.
  4. Add 1 cup of the chicken broth to the pan and using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any brown bits. (There’s a lot of flavor in those brown bits!)
  5. Pour everything in the saucepan into a blender and add the anchovies. Puree until smooth – about 20 seconds – and pour over the meat in the slow cooker. Add the remaining chicken broth.
  6. Cook the meat on low for 8-9 hours or on high for 5-6 hours, until the meat is so tender it’s falling apart.
  7. Remove about 3/4 of the meat to a serving platter and cover to keep warm.
  8. Put the remaining 1/4 of the meat into a covered container and reserve in the refrigerator for Beef and Barley Soup on Day #3. 
  9. Pour all the sauce from the bowl of the slow cooker through a fine mesh sieve into a saucepan. Put the cornstarch into a small bowl and slowly whisk in about 1/2 cup of the sauce. Whisk the cornstarch mixture back into the rest of the sauce in the saucepan and set it over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 8-10 minutes, until the gravy has thickened.
  10. Taste the gravy and add more salt and pepper if desired. Serve the gravy with the meat.

Notes

  • Sometimes Tri-Tip Steak is hard to find. If your market doesn’t have any in stock, a more common chuck roast will stand in beautifully.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes with Cream Cheese and Butter

*This recipe has been modified to fit this week's meal plan. Click here for the original recipe.

Buttery Yukon Gold potatoes are whipped with generous amounts of cream cheese and butter for super creamy mashed potatoes. Here’s the basic recipe, plus several suggestions for add-ins and substitutions that will take your mashed potato game to the next level.

A bowl of cream cheese mashed potatoes made with Yukon Gold potatoes

A Few Other Tips for Super Creamy Mashed Potatoes:

*Use Yukon Gold potatoes. Russet potatoes are fine, too. But, if you want the creamiest potatoes, use buttery Yukon Golds.

*Use hot milk, buttermilk, or or half and half. Potatoes have a difficult time absorbing cold dairy. So, heat it up a bit before you add it to the potatoes.

*Melt the butter and the cream cheese. Just like the milk, potatoes have a difficult time absorbing cold butter or cream cheese. The easiest way to do this is to add room temperature butter and cream cheese to a bowl and then dump the hot, freshly boiled potatoes on top. Wait a couple of minutes to let the heat from the potatoes melt the butter and cream cheese, then proceed.

*I like to use my KitchenAid stand mixer to mash potatoes. Just be careful to not overwork the potatoes. When you mash potatoes, they release starch. If too much starch is released, mashed potatoes get a bit gummy. Gummy potatoes are not awesome. Turn the mixer to the lowest setting and gently stir the potatoes while adding the milk, mixing just until mashed.

*Add the potatoes to cold water, then bring the water to a boil. When you add raw potatoes to boiling water, they have a tendency to cook unevenly. When the water and potatoes heat up together, the potatoes cook more evenly.

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A bowl of cream cheese mashed potatoes made with Yukon Gold potatoes

Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes – Winter #8


  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 to 3-inch chunks
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, half-and-half, or buttermilk (Half-and-half adds even more richness. Buttermilk adds a slight tang that is surprisingly yummy)
  • Salt and ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Fill a large saucepan about halfway with cold water. Add the potatoes and 1 tablespoon of salt. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Let the potatoes simmer until they are fork-tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. While the potatoes cook, add the cream cheese and butter to the bowl of a standing mixer. (See note.)
  3. Heat the milk, half-and-half, or buttermilk in the microwave or stovetop until little bubbles appear around the edge.
  4. Drain the cooked potatoes in a colander set in the sink and immediately dump the potatoes over the butter and cream cheese. Let stand for 5 minutes to allow the butter and cream cheese to melt.
  5. Add 1/2 tsp salt and pepper to the potatoes, fit the mixer with the paddle attachment, and begin to mix on the lowest speed. Add the milk, buttermilk, or half-and-half slowly, adding only what you need to achieve the consistency you desire. You might not need to add the entire half cup.
  6. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired, and serve.

Glazed Carrots with Brown Sugar and Butter

*This recipe has been modified to fit this week's meal plan. Click here for the original recipe.

Glazed Carrots coated in a delicious mix of brown sugar and butter with a touch of salt and cayenne pepper is the ultimate quick family friendly vegetable side dish.

A bowl of Glazed Carrots with Brown Sugar and Butter

You control how sweet, salty, or spicy your glazed carrots are.

Think of this recipe as a suggestion. The amount of brown sugar, salt, and cayenne suits my personal tastes, but you might like a bit less sugar and a bit more salt. Love spicy food? Add more than a dash of cayenne. Or, swap the brown sugar for maple syrup or honey. Hate lemon? Leave it out.

The basic formula is this:

*Let the carrots simmer in broth with a bit of sugar, salt, pepper, and cayenne until they are crisp-tender. This is actually the most important part. If you overcook carrots, they will turn into mush. Carrot mush is not awesome.

Crank up the heat so that most of the liquid evaporates.

Glaze them with a bit of brown sugar and butter.

Squeeze some lemon juice over the top and you’re done.

YUM.

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A bowl of Glazed Carrots with Brown Sugar and Butter

Glazed Carrots with Brown Sugar and Butter – Winter #8


  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell
  • Prep Time: 8 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 16 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 68 whole carrots, peeled, ends trimmed
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • a dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp salted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 23 tsp fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Slice the carrots on the bias (with diagonal slices) into 1/4-inch slices
  2. In a large, non-stick skillet (preferably one with a lid), bring the carrots, broth, granulated sugar, salt, pepper, and cayenne to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and let simmer for 3-4 minutes. You want the carrots to be just barely tender.
  3. Uncover the pan and turn the heat to high. Cook stirring occasionally, until there is only about 2 tablespoons of liquid left in the pan.
  4. Sprinkle the carrots with the brown sugar and butter and cook, stirring constantly, until both the butter and sugar have melted and the glaze has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat, sprinkle with 2 tsp of lemon juice, and stir. Taste and add more salt, pepper, or lemon juice if desired.

Simple Roast Chicken

After reading Thomas Keller’s cookbook Bouchon, I adapted this super simple method to roast chickens and have never been tempted to go back to more complicated techniques. Roasting a chicken in this way requires about 5 minutes of prep work before you put the chicken in the oven and cook it until it’s done.

*This recipe has been modified to fit this week's meal plan. Click here for the original recipe.

Perfect Roast Chicken

For this week's meal plan, roast 3 chickens (for a family of four).

*One chicken is for dinner tonight.

*Pull the meat from the bones of the other two chickens and reserved them for Garlic Chipotle Pasta on Day #4 and Chicken Salad on Day #5.

*After pulling the meat from the bones of the chickens, use the bones from one or two of the chickens to make this super simple chicken broth.

I almost always use my slow cooker to make broth. Simply put the bones in the bowl of the slow cooker, cover with water, set the cooker to low and let simmer for about 12 hours. I usually get it started right after dinner, let the broth cook overnight, and then strain the bones from the broth in the morning.

You'll use the broth for Beef and Barley Soup on Day #3.

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Perfect simple roast chicken

Simple Roast Chicken – Winter #8


  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50-80 minutes
  • Total Time: -25891798.916667 minute
  • Yield: 3 chickens 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • Three 24 lb whole roasting chickens
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Rinse the chickens and dry thoroughly with paper towels. It’s important to get the chickens as dry as possible if you want that lovely crisp skin. Too much moisture in the oven will cause the chicken to steam, and you’ll end up with soft, slightly soggy skin.
  3. Pour some salt and pepper into the cavity of the chicken and place in a baking dishes. Two chickens should fit in a 9×13-inch rectangle baking dish. Place the third in a separate baking dish. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt over the outside of the chickens, then sprinkle with pepper.
  4. Put the chickens in the oven and let it roast until an instant read thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees, about 50-80 minutes (more if your chicken is large or if you’re roasting more than one at a time).
  5. Remove from the oven, baste with the pan juices, and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board.
  6. Carve and serve one chicken for dinner tonight. Pull the meat from the bones of the other two chickens and save the meat in the refrigerator for Garlic Chipotle Pasta on Day #4 and Chicken Salad on Day #5.
  7. Follow this simple recipe for slow cooker chicken broth to make broth from the bones of thee chickens. You’ll use the broth in Beef and Barley soup on Day #3.

Roasted Shiitake Salad with Oranges, Almonds, and Citrus Ponzu

Tart and tangy Ponzu Sauce, roasted shiitake mushrooms, fresh orange slices, celery, almonds, and baby greens come together to create a brightly flavorful and hearty salad. Serve this simple salad topped with a slice or two of Roast Chicken.

*This recipe has been modified to fit this week's meal plan. Click here for the original recipe.

Citrus Ponzu Salad with Roast Chicken

Ponzu is a thin, citrusy Japanese sauce generally made by simmering dried kombu (dried seaweed) and dried fish flakes (better than they sound) in soy sauce, citrus juice and vinegar. It’s both salty and sour, kinda like a Japanese vinaigrette, and positively delicious with roasted shiitake mushrooms and fresh oranges.

If you’ve never made Ponzu, it’s super simple, requiring only a few minutes of hands-on time. But, there are a couple of ingredients that you may not be familiar with, especially if you don’t do a lot of Japanese cooking.

Kombu

Kombu is a kind of dried seaweed usually used to give a flavor boost to broth. One of the cool things about kombu is that it makes a lot of foods – especially beans – more digestible. While this mushroom and citrus salad doesn’t contain any beans, or anything particularly difficult to digest, it’s a handy thing to have hanging around in your pantry, ready to throw into dishes that do.

For example, tossing a piece of dried kombu into White Bean and Kale Soup while it simmers will not only boost the flavor of the broth, it will also make all those beans easier to digest.

Bonito Flakes

Bonito flakes are nothing more than dried, fermented, smoked, fish flakes generally used to build the flavor in Japanese soups and sauces. I read somewhere that bonito flakes are a “gift from the umami gods”, which I love because they really do add tremendous depth of flavor to sauces like Ponzu.

But… not going to lie. Bonito flakes smell like pet food. If you’ve never used them before, do not be put off by this fact. Toss a handful into your ponzu with the confidence that they will add a lovely smoky flavor to the sauce.

*NOTE: My local market doesn’t carry either kombu or bonito flakes, so I just order them from Amazon.

How to make Citrus Ponzu.

Useful Equipment:

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Roasted Shiitake Salad with Oranges, Almonds, and Citrus Ponzu – Winter #8


  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell
  • Total Time: 45 minutes (plus 3 hours to let the Ponzu rest)
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
Scale

Ingredients

For the Citrus Ponzu:

  • One 6-inch piece dried kombu
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 cup dried bonito flakes
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil

For the Roasted Shiitake Salad with Oranges and Almonds:

  • 30 ounces shiitake mushrooms (*You’ll reserve half of the cooked mushrooms for Beef and Barley Soup on Day #3)
  • 8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 4 or 5 oranges, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1 cup celery, cut into 1/8-inch slices
  • About 6 cups baby greens
  • 1 cup roasted, salted almonds

Instructions

Make the Citrus Ponzu:

  1. Tear the kombu into two pieces and put them into a medium size nonreactive saucepan. Pour the soy sauce, orange juice, and lime juice over the kombu. Set the pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and add the bonito flakes and rice vinegar. Let the ponzu sit at room temperature for 3 hours (up to 8 hours).
  3. Pour the ponzu through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Discard the kombu and bonito flakes. Whisk in the sesame oil. Store ponzu sauce in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Make the Salad:

  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil.
  2. Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel (do not rinse under running water). Slice into 1/4-inch pieces. Toss the mushrooms with olive oil and spread them out into an even layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with a generous amount of salt and pepper.
  3. Roast the mushrooms for 15-20 minutes, until they are a rich golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  4. Divide the cooked mushrooms in half. Use half in tonight’s salad and reserve the other half for Beef and Barley soup on Day #3.
  5. To assemble the salad: Put the baby greens in a bowl or divide among individual plates. Scatter the celery, roasted mushrooms, and orange pieces over the greens. Drizzle with ponzu sauce and top with almonds.

Beef and Barley Soup with Roasted Mushrooms and Bacon

Tender sirloin and crispy bacon swim in a garlic red wine broth with chewy pearls of barley, sweet carrots, and earthy roasted mushrooms.

*This recipe has been modified to fit this week's meal plan. Click here for the original recipe.

A bowl of beef and barley soup.

Pearl Barley or Hulled Barley?

There are 2 different kinds of early - Pearl Barley and Hulled Barley. Hulled barley has been minimally process and is considered a whole grain. Pearl barley has been processed to remove the bran and endosperm layers and is not considered a whole grain.

A third option is Bob’s Red Mill Hull-less Barley. Hull-less barley cooks as quickly as pearl barley, but has been developed so that the entire grain can be used without peeling the bran layers away.

Serve with Homemade Bread

Just in case you’re in the mood to blow the roof off the comfort level, this is my favorite super simple homemade bread recipe.

Dipping a piece of homemade bread into a bowl of beef and barley soup.

Used to make Beef and Barley Soup:

Bob's Red Mill Hull-Less Barley and a Dutch Oven are used to make beef and barley soupBob's Red Mill Hull-Less Barley and a Dutch Oven are used to make beef and barley soup

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A bowl of beef and barley soup.

Beef and Barley Soup – Winter #8


  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp vegetable or extra virgin olive oil (divided)
  • 1 lb thick sliced bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2/3 cup Hulled Barley, Pearl Barley, or Hull-less Barley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 12 ounces frozen green beans
  • 1 lb leftover Slow Cooker Tri-Tip Steak, cut into small pieces
  • 15 ounces leftover roasted mushrooms, reserved from Mushroom and Citrus Ponzu Salad
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy bottom saucepan or dutch oven until the oil is hot and shimmering. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crisp. Monitor the heat so that the bacon is browning evenly without burning. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate, leaving the rendered bacon fat in the pan, and return the saucepan to the stove.
  2. Remove excess fat from the pan so that you’re left with about 1 tablespoon and return the pan to medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is golden brown. In a small bowl, stir together  the tomato paste, minced garlic, thyme, red wine and sugar. Add this mixture to the onion and cook stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes. While you stir, scrape up any brown bits clinging to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add the broth, soy sauce, barley, and bay leaves to the pan. Raise the heat and bring the soup to a boil. Cover, lower the heat to medium-low, and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
  4. Stir in the carrots, celery, and green beans. Cover and let simmer for another 15 minutes, until the vegetables and barley are tender.
  5. Stir in the mushrooms, tri-tip steak, bacon, and chopped parsley. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.

20-Minute Garlic Chipotle Pasta with Chicken

This elegant Garlic Chipotle Pasta with (or without) chicken requires only 7 ingredients and will be on your table in 20 minutes. 

*This recipe has been modified to fit this week's meal plan. Click here for the original recipe.

A plate of garlic chipotle pasta with chicken.

Make the pasta, buy the pasta.

I almost always have at least one box of pasta in the pantry. But making homemade pasta is genuinely one of my favorite things to do on quiet nights when I’m not rushed and can turn on some music, pour a glass of wine, and enjoy the process. There’s nothing difficult about making homemade pasta and I find the process relaxing. Almost meditative.

Quiet pasta making nights don’t happen as often as I’d like. Hence, the box of pasta that’s always at the ready. But, when the opportunity arrises, fresh pasta is (in my opinion) always the better choice.

Useful Equipment:

Useful equipment to make Garlic Chipotle Pasta: Stainless Steel Mesh Strainers and Marcato Pasta Machine

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A bowl of garlic chipotle pasta with chicken.

20-Minute Garlic Chipotle Pasta with Chicken – Winter #8


  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell
Scale

Ingredients

  • 14 ounce package dried spaghetti noodles
  • Leftover roasted chicken
  • 1 tbsp + 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 cup toasted sesame oil (plus more for drizzling)
  • 7 oz can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup roasted salted almonds, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. (*Be sure to add at least 1 tablespoon of salt to the boiling water.) If making fresh homemade pasta, follow this step-by-step tutorial. Drain the cooked pasta, toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil to prevent sticking, and set aside.
  2. While the pasta is cooking shredding the chicken into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
  3. Pour the remaining 1/8 cup of extra virgin olive oil and the 1/8 cup toasted sesame oil into a bowl or measuring cup.
  4. Dump the contents of the can of  chipotle peppers in adobo sauce into a fine mesh strainer that’s set over a bowl. Using the back of a spoon, press the peppers so that the sauce drips down into the bowl. Add about 2 tablespoons of adobo sauce to the bowl with the oils. Remove most of the seeds from 2 – 4 of the chipotle peppers, mince the peppers and add to the bowl with the oils. (How many peppers you use depends on how spicy you want your pasta to be.) Add the garlic to the bowl and stir to combine.
  5. Set a large saucepan on your stovetop over medium-hight heat. When the pan is hot, dump in the oil and pepper mixture. Cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Add the cooked pasta to the pan. Using tongs, toss the pasta in the pan to coat it in the sauce. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the shredded chicken.
  6. Serve with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil and a sprinkle of chopped almonds.

 

Roast Chicken Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette and Sesame Crunch

This bright, fresh, and smoky chicken salad is a kaleidoscope of flavors and textures. Every forkful is a different combination of sweet, sour, salty, bitter, crunchy, chewy, rich, and smoky.

*This recipe has been modified to fit this week's meal plan. Click here for the original recipe.

Roast Chicken Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette, Sesame Crunch, Bacon, Radishes, and Apples

I love this salad because I’d happily eat a plateful of every single item in here all by itself. (Radishes sautéed with bacon – you are a revelation.) But, the key to a really great salad, is to load it up with as many flavors and textures as possible without going overboard.

The goal is to get enough variety in there for each forkful to be slightly different from the last, but not so much that any one flavor clashes with or overwhelms another. That’s what’s happening in this chicken salad. All together, you get a little bit of everything: sweet, sour, salty and bitter. Crunchy, chewy, bright and fresh, and rich and smoky.

Crisp Romain – Your Blank Canvas

I like to build this salad on a pile of crisp Romain lettuce. But, it doesn’t have to be Romain. Iceberg, spinach, baby greens, butter lettuce, leaf lettuce, whatever. The only important thing is that the greens are washed, cold, and crisp.

I like to chop and wash greens right after bringing them home from the market, rinse them in cold water, spin them around in a salad spinner, then store them in zip top bags in the fridge. This usually does a good job of keeping them fresh and crips for a few days. However, a clever trick I learned years ago for greens that are beginning to wilt, is to dunk them in a bowl of ice water, swish them around, then put them back in the spinner to dry right before serving.

Used in this recipe:

A salad spinner and non-stick skillet were used to make this salad.:

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Taking a bite of Roast Chicken Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette, Sesame Crunch, Bacon, Radishes, and Apples

Roast Chicken Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette and Sesame Crunch – Winter #8


  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 large salads 1x
Scale

Ingredients

For the Lemon and Shallot Vinaigrette:

  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallot
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

For the Sesame Crunch:

  • 3/4 cup roasted, salted almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp egg white, lightly beaten with a fork

For the Salad:

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb thick sliced bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 lb radishes, washed, ends trimmed, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 tart apples, core removed, chopped into small bite size pieces
  • 68 cups chopped romain lettuce
  • 2 cups leftover Perfect Roast Chicken
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

Instructions

Make the Lemon and Shallot Vinaigrette:

  1. Add all the ingredients except  the olive and sesame oil to a bowl and whisk to combine. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, then the sesame oil. Set aside while you prepare the sesame crunch and salad.

Make the Sesame Crunch:

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Toss all ingredients around in a bowl until everything is well coated with the egg white. Dump the mixture onto the baking sheet and spread out into an even layer.
  2. Bake for 10-20 minutes, until fragrant and light golden brown.
  3. Let cool, then break into chunks.

Make the Salad:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the bacon to the hot skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon from the pan to a paper towel lined baking sheet to drain.
  2. Remove all but about 1 tablespoon of fat from the skillet and return to medium-high heat. Add the sliced radishes and cook stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown, and beginning to blacken in a few spots. Dump out onto a plate or bowl.
  3. To assemble the salad: Pile the Romain lettuce into a big bowl or divide onto individual serving plates. Top with radishes, bacon, apples, and chicken. Pour dressing over the salad, and top with a sprinkle of sesame crunch and fresh chopped basil.

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