Waldorf Chicken Salad

Extremely tasty, a simple cold meal for a hot summer day on the deck or on a picnic. A classic recipe that you would pay through the nose for at a nice restaurant.

Waldorf salad was originally created at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in 1896 by Oscar Tschirky, the maître d’hôtel.  The original contained only apples, celery and mayonnaise. Chopped walnuts later became part of the dish. Many variations are out then but I wanted a chicken variation. I read at least 15 recipes and found only a few common themes. They all had apple, celery and nuts. Most had grapes some raisins. Mayo was present in most (not all). Some with plain yogurt and a few with sour cream. Onion of some type was present in at least half.

But the stand out characteristic was the lack of any sort of common rations of various ingredients to each other.  I will call the mayo/yogurt/sour cream wet. So the wet to chicken ratio ran from 2 tablespoons:4 cups all the way to 1 cup:2 cups a 16 fold variation. So I pick three middle of the road ones, an old CI and two from Recipezaar and combined.

Rating 9.3 for taste, texture and ease

Notes: I had a lot of leftover chicken from cooking extra for the pizza and salad from yesterday.  You can cook the chicken anyway you want but try to keep it moist. Left over rotisserie chicken or even canned or frozen precooked should be fine.
Serve very cold to bring out the crunchiness.

Tools: nothing special

Ingredients:

2 cups diced chicken
1 firm apple
1 stalk of celery
1 cup grapes
1 T lemon juice
1/2 cup chipped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion (about 1/2 medium size onion)
1/2 cup low-fat mayo
Salt and pepper to taste.

Instructions:

 1) Clean, core and chop the apple. Do not peal.

 2) Clean and trim celery. Dice into relatively small pieces.

 3) Clean and half grapes.

 4) Combine apple, celery and grapes in large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice and mix well to coat.

 5) Option: roast nuts over medium heat in small nonstick pan for 4-5 minutes to increase crunchiness.
6) Finely dice onion.

7) Add onion, nuts and mayo. Salt and pepper to taste (I added about 1/4 t salt and 1/8 t pepper with my salt and pepper mills but didn’t measure)
8) Mix well, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour to allow all ingredients to cool and blend flavors.
9) Serve on plate, in a wrap or a pita, on crackers, on salad or in a sandwich.



Waldorf Chicken Salad
by June-30-2010

Extremely tasty, a simple cold meal for a hot summer day on the deck or on a picnic. A classic recipe that you would pay through the nose for at a nice restaurant.

Waldorf salad was originally created at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in 1896 by Oscar Tschirky, the maître d’hôtel. The original contained only apples, celery and mayonnaise. Chopped walnuts later became part of the dish. Many variations are out then but I wanted a chicken variation. I read at least 15 recipes and found only a few common themes. They all had apple, celery and nuts. Most had grapes some raisins. Mayo was present in most (not all). Some with plain yogurt and a few with sour cream. Onion of some type was present in at least half.

But the stand out characteristic was the lack of any sort of common rations of various ingredients to each other. I will call the mayo/yogurt/sour cream wet. So the wet to chicken ratio ran from 2 tablespoons:4 cups all the way to 1 cup:2 cups a 16 fold variation. So I pick three middle of the road ones, an old CI and two from Recipezaar and combined.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups diced chicken
  • 1 firm apple
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 cup grapes
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chipped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
  • 1/2 cup (about 1/2 medium size onion) red onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup low-fat mayo
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
1) Clean, core and chop the apple. Do not peal. 2) Clean and trim celery. Dice into relatively small pieces.3) Clean and half grapes. 4) Combine apple, celery and grapes in large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice and mix well to coat. 5) Option: roast nuts over medium heat in small nonstick pan for 4-5 minutes to increase crunchiness.6) Finely dice onion.
7) Add onion, nuts and mayo. Salt and pepper to taste (I added about 1/4 t salt and 1/8 t pepper with my salt and pepper mills but didn’t measure)8) Mix well, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour to allow all ingredients to cool and blend flavors.9) Serve on plate, in a wrap or a pita, on crackers, on salad or in a sandwich.
Details

Prep time: Total time: Yield: 4 servings

Updated

April 27, 2011

Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing in 2 minutes or less

I’m an impatient man. I want instant gratification. Well this is it.

For years, in our office we would order salads from a local bakery for our lunch meetings. I always loved the raspberry vinaigrette that came with the salad. I bought many a bottle at the store. I tried various brands but nothing close. But this is it. Plus it’s cheap, and all ingredients can be kept on hand.

Rating 9.5  but a 10 for ease.
Time: really about 1 minute

Notes: Adjust the ratio of oil to vinegar for lower fat. I find 1:1 or even 1:2 very good with a lot less fat.

Tools: nothing special but a Tupperware grave maker is quite handy

Ingredients:

3 T raspberry preserves or jam
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 t salt
1/8 t pepper

Instructions:

1) In a microwave safe container or mixing bowl place the raspberry preserves or jam. Microwave on high for only 10 seconds. Just to soften the preserves.

2) Add all other ingredients and mix well.

Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing in 2 minutes or less
by June-28-2010

I’m an impatient man. I want instant gratification. Well this is it.

For years, in our office we would order salads from a local bakery for our lunch meetings. I always loved the raspberry vinaigrette that came with the salad. I bought many a bottle at the store. I tried various brands but nothing close. But this is it. Plus it’s cheap, and all ingredients can be kept on hand.

Rating 9.5 but a 10 for ease.
Time: really about 1 minute

Notes: Adjust the ratio of oil to vinegar for lower fat. I find 1:1 or even 1:2 very good with a lot less fat.

Ingredients
  • 3 T raspberry preserves or jam
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/8 t pepper
Instructions
1) In a microwave safe container or mixing bowl place the raspberry preserves or jam. Microwave on high for only 10 seconds. Just to soften the preserves.2) Add all other ingredients and mix well.
Details

Prep time: Total time: Yield: 1 cup

Updated

April 27, 2011

100th Post – A Musing

This post number 100. Well give or take a little but that is a long explanation. It is #100 posted on the site (minus about 3 remover for various reasons, I think). When I started this, I was planning about 20 recipes that I wanted to document better and then I though I would do 1-2 post per week so number 100 should be about Christmas if at all.

So I have earned a little musing about what I have learned and what I plan.

First, what I have learned/believe:

  • There is excellent cooks out there to learn from. And they give it to you for free. See my blog list for some of  them.
  • When I look for a recipe, I first look at CI (Cooks Illustrated… I love the scientific approach) and then I Google and add blog to the end of my search phrase for the best material.
  • My photography has gotten better but I’m using editing programs to quickly improve the results. I now know how to use a histogram.
  • If you’re close to my age, you will remember the term “Military-Industrial Complex” (a very 1960′s phrase) referring to the relationship between the Military and the industries they deal with. The food industry is no better.
  • The health food/vitamin industry is even worse then the food industry in their claims and lack of proof. Avoid them like raw chicken. Don’t get me started about drug companies.
  • You eat a lot better when you plan ahead.
  • Spell check is wonderful

What’s ahead? Don’t know for sure.

I’m working on a personal diet plan to help get rid of the 10 pounds I have gained since starting this blog. I want to blame my “bread phase” and I’m sure it was a lot of it but the Julia Child’s french bread was so totally worth it. I still believe simple carbs stimulate appetites and my body seems to think white flour is sugar. I will be posting something soon on a diet I think I can follow and stay on.

The frequency of posts will slow some time soon. I have new medical students starting soon and they take a lot of time. We are implementing EMR (electronic medical records) and that will take a lot of time and energy.

Enough musing… on to the next post.

PS picture by MJ

Memphis Dry Rub Ribs

Wife want ribs. Wife gets ribs. But I get to decide how. I wanted to try a different method. Indirect heat, smoked and a dry rub. So off to Google and I needed to find a gas grill method not a smoker. The best I found (and I should have know where) was at Savory Reviews. The method followed what I wanted to do but I wanted to do “real” Memphis dry rub ribs “the real thing”. I watch way too much Food Network and had heard of Marlowe’s so off to their site for the spicing. See previous post.

You will need this two recipes:
1) Marlowe’s Dry Rub
2) Memphis BBQ sauce

Rating 9.2 Very spicy and a very nice crust
Timing 30 minute prep 3 hour cooking

Tools: container for smoking wood chips; grill thermometer, large disposable  aluminum pan for drip pan

Ingredients:

1 slab baby back ribs
1/2 cup Marlowe’s dry rub
2 cups wood chips soaked for 20-30 minutes

Instructions:

1) Place wood chips to soak.

2) Trim ribs and remove inner membrane. Rub all sides heavy with Marlowe’s rub. Let set at room temp for 30 minutes while prepping grill.

3) In area of the grill to be unheated, place a large disposable aluminum pan as a  drip pan under grate. Turn on other burner(s) on high to preheat. Have thermometer in place. ( I use a regular oven thermometer)
4) Place chips on grill after 10-15 minutes. I used my old cast iron smoking box. Use an aluminum foil pouch or any other method of your choice.
5) After chips are smoking, turn down temp to low (about 1/8 on my grill) to try to maintain temp of about 300 degrees.

6) Place ribs over drip pan and grill until internal temp of at least 180 in all locations. 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Aside: throw ball  for  dog for 3 hours
7) Let set for at least 10 minutes prior to cutting and serving.

Memphis Dry Rub Ribs
by June-26-2010

Wife want ribs. Wife gets ribs. But I get to decide how. I wanted to try a different method. Indirect heat, smoked and a dry rub. So off to Google and I needed to find a gas grill method not a smoker. The best I found (and I should have know where) was at Savory Reviews. The method followed what I wanted to do but I wanted to do “real” Memphis dry rub ribs “the real thing”. I watch way too much Food Network and had heard of Marlowe’s so off to their site for the spicing.
Ingredients
  • 1 slab baby back ribs
  • 1/2 cup Marlowe’s dry rub
  • 2 cups wood chips soaked for 20-30 minutes
Instructions
1) Place wood chips to soak.2) Trim ribs and remove inner membrane. Rub all sides heavy with Marlowe’s rub. Let set at room temp for 30 minutes while prepping grill.3) In area of the grill to be unheated, place a large disposable aluminum pan as a drip pan under grate. Turn on other burner(s) on high to preheat. Have thermometer in place. ( I use a regular oven thermometer)4) Place chips on grill after 10-15 minutes. I used my old cast iron smoking box. Use an aluminum foil pouch or any other method of your choice.5) After chips are smoking, turn down temp to low (about 1/8 on my grill) to try to maintain temp of about 300 degrees.6) Place ribs over drip pan and grill until internal temp of at least 180 in all locations. 2 1/2 to 3 hours.7) Let set for at least 10 minutes prior to cutting and serving.
Details

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 servings

Updated

April 27, 2011