Sunday, September 25, 2011

September Sunday

I decided to make brioche this morning.  It really took me back to my days in Arles when, for some reason unknown even to me, I decided to attempt to master the making of brioche.  I still question my sanity.  But the guests at the B&B ate them up.  One of my 8th grade girlies made them for her class this past week.  She used chocolate chips and raisins (recipe).  I thought about making orange-flavored ones, just as I did in Arles, but golden raisins won out in the end. 
Yeast, flour, and sugar
Plus eggs, sugar, more flour, and a little salt
Finally with butter and raisins mixed in and in the pan to rise and be baked
Eaten with some Bonne Maman fig preserves
Add a very hot cup of coffee and breakfast is served, madame.
All gone.
I will take one to Girlie tomorrow and see what she thinks.

It is already our mid-marking period for the first quarter of the school year, so grades must be averaged and progress reports written on top of the usual Sunday afternoon homework.  But I can't spend my whole day doing that, now can I?  All work and no cooking makes The Sabbatical Chef a cranky girl. Pioneer Woman posted about her improved photography skills using a chicken salad recipe she blogged about in 2008.  So, after doing school work for a hour or so, I hopped in the car and ran out to Harris Teeter for supplies.  (The Sunday special price of $4.99 on whole rotisserie chickens is enough to send me running anyway.)  My niece, Wonder Woman, has made this salad for me before and I crave it now and then.
Chopped up chicken
Green onions
All mixed up together
I still have a scar from my run-in with a brand new, very sharp little knife about a month ago.  I am actually quite proud of it, but tried hard not to do it again (or slice off part of my nail polish--Passion from OPI) while chopping up the dill for the dressing.
With the dressing added

And there's lunch.  The Ex-Ex didn't wait for the flavors to meld together, as PW suggests.  He made himself two sandwiches on sourdough bread and seems pretty happy right now sitting lying on the sofa watching football.  (I will forgive him for the initial "Where's the chicken?  All I see are grapes." comment.) 
I think that Pioneer Woman and I could be best friends.  If she could forgive me for envying her and the fact that I would probably follow her around in some sort of foggy hero-worship kind of trance asking way too many questions.  She lives in Oklahoma.  I think that she is safe from me.

Back to averaging grades now. 

Chicken Salad

1 whole chicken (cook your own or buy it already done)
2-3 stalks celery, chopped (throw in some leaves, too, if you want)
2-3 whole green onions, chopped
2 c. seedless grapes, halved
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. plain yogurt or sour cream
1 Tbsp. brown sugar (I didn't have any so I used about 1 1/2 tsp. of my Provence lavender honey that I tend to hoard)
Juice of half a lemon (slice the lemon and stick fork tines in it and squeeze it, moving the fork back and forth to get all the juice out)
Fresh dill, minced
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

You could add almonds, pecans, dried cranberries, and/or apples, if you wish.  

Remove chicken from bones and chop into bite-sized pieces.  Chop all the fruits and vegetables and place them in a bowl with the chicken. 
In another bowl, mix mayonnaise, yogurt or sour cream, lemon juice, brown sugar, salt and pepper.  Taste and add more salt and pepper, if you wish.  If it is too thick, add some half and half or buttermilk to thin it.
Add fresh herbs (dill, oregano, cilantro, etc).  Maybe a dash of cayenne pepper, if you're "feeling brazen" (to quote PW!). 
When the dressing tastes just right, pour it over the chicken mixture and toss gently until thoroughly mixed.  "If you are feeling naughty, add a sprinkling of bacon bits." --PW
Allow the salad to chill for several hours (or not) or even overnight. 
Serve on a bed of lettuce or in a sandwich (with arugula and honey mustard, maybe).

Bon appétit, Pioneer Woman!

No comments: