This week, since my dad has been working, my mom decided to make dinner all week because I suppose he deserves dinner made by a person with more experience when he works all day. It was okay though; I had to look up more recipes anyway, so it’d just give me a break. We settled on letting me make lunch though.
On the first day, however, lunch turned into dinner. I had a bagel for my actual lunch, but I was still hungry, so I figured I could use a healthy snack. Rather than fruit, I opted to make myself a salad. It wasn’t anything new (I’d made it once or twice before) except this time, I chose to experiment with a variation of a few ingredients:
- Rather than spinach, I preferred lettuce.
- I also tried to find the chicken breasts that were closest to the recipe. I suppose it turned out to be double the ones I needed, because they took twice as long to cook. (Actually, thrice as long–I cooked it as long as they told me to and then doubled that number once I saw how very raw it still was. Although, in the recipe, it says 2 (4 oz.) chicken breasts. I never really understood if that meant 4 oz. total or per breast. I assumed total, but there was nothing like that at the store, no matter how many times I had to use an online converter.
- Speaking of cooking the chicken, it turns out there is such thing as too much oil. I kept getting hit with the pops as I tried to flip the meat. Huh, I just noticed this in the instructions: “Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan, etc.” Not oil. Spray. Whoops.
- It turned out that even with the one bag of freshly cut lettuce I bought, the dressing was scarce, so I had to make another batch. Not that that’s a huge deal: it literally takes 15 minutes.
- I didn’t use red onion this time, because, I mean, I don’t like ’em.
- Nor did I use cheese. I was going to use the leftover Parmesan from Tomato Bisque day, but forgot to apply it.
- I also forgot to add the salt, pepper, and paprika onto the chicken prior to setting it in the pan. I sort of added it while the first side was cooking. When it was time to flip, I added the ingredients to the other side as well. Once it was supposedly finished, I flipped it over again to, I don’t know, let the spices dissolve in the meat or whatever happens. Then, see how cooked they were, I cut one in half and the center was still very much uncooked. I then based the rest of the cooking on how far those gaps went and tested it again by applying another cut next to the one already made. Tested the other piece, and then I was golden. I cut the rest of the chicken that way–julienne–and made sure that the breast-shape was still intact, just so it still looked professionally made.
- I think the strawberries were my favorite part. I actually looked at the carton from all angles and made sure they felt right. Also, I think I have a way to tell which ones are freshest: If there’s some kind of fogging as you hold the carton, I guess that means it’s been recently washed. Not quite sure though; I’m still figuring it all out. It was a really good batch I picked though. Not a single bad berry.
- I also cut the strawberries in half twice instead of the usual one-time deal. I feel like it was better, for some reason. I guess it had to do with the portions once they became an actual part of the salad.
- Piece of advice though: when you’re making the dressing, make sure to actually use a medium bowl, not a small one. Makes mixing the strawberries more of a challenge. Not impossible, but it’s a lot more fun to toss the fruit around the dressing by hand, isn’t it?
So here’s the original photo:
And here are the shots of my creation:
- Con Ensalada
- Con El Pollo
(There’s a chance that my Spanish is wrong, but I only remember, like, 10% of my Spanish. I can recall certain words, but don’t ask me grammar stuff.)
Don’t mean to toot my own horn, but…yum…
Not only that, but my dad wants salad for the rest of the week, but with embellishments and variations. So I’m thinking of adding sliced ham next time? I suggested bacon bits, but he doesn’t like bacon. His favorite salad dressing is Thousand Island apparently, so I’m looking up the easiest recipe for that, although it’s apparently just ketchup and mayo.
I bought French bread while I was getting strawberries earlier, because we still had leftover Seabiscuit. (Get it? Sea bisque-it? Salty bisque? Yeah, that was bad, I know.) I considered using that to make my own croutons, but I don’t know. What do you think?
Okay, either I just thought of a really good idea for the salad, but forgot it, or it was the French bread thing. No, I think it was an actual idea. Something to do with substituting the fruit, I believe…
I don’t know, but maybe I’ll add sliced bread as a side thing to the salad though.
I still want to remember what this brilliant substitution was. Oh well. I suppose I’ll publish this right now and then, if I think of it, add it as a side note, or post it in tomorrow’s entry.
In the meantime, if any of you readers out there have ideas of your own, I’m definitely open to suggestions! 🙂 Just post a comment below!