Hi, hi, hi!
I am kind of wishing that today was a holiday like it was last Monday. Having that extra day of the weekend is the nicest thing ever and then what is even better, when Tuesday rolls around it feels like Monday, and then the whole week just seem to fly by.
I mean, you all understand what I am talking about right?
At least now the weather is finally getting nice and school is out for my siblings. Well really just Asher and I guess Kai – he just graduated. Sadly, Red is still trying to catch up (he will be the rest of the summer) from all the traveling and the extremely small amount of schoolwork he accomplished over the winter. Anyway, weekends are just that much better now, more relaxed, less rushed and it is SO nice having it stay light until so late.
Let’s see, other things that are happening over here? Well my grandma, my oldest brother, my second oldest brother and his girlfriend (maybe girlfriend? Not sure? ) are all rolling into town on Wednesday. I know I already said this last week, but OMG we have no room in this house for eleven people. I am starting to freak a little, but mostly because that is way too many people invading my kitchen space. Getting work done is going to be the hardest thing ever. Stressing.
Also, my mom has spent the whole weekend trying to de-bachelorize the house because one, this is the first time my Mimi has ever been to our house… and to Colorado for that matter, and two, this is the first time my Mimi has ever stayed over at our house (we used to live in the same town). Mimi is my dad’s mom, so my mom is going a little above and beyond her normal routine for guests (my parents have been married for 30 years this Christmas – come on what does she think my Mimi is going to do!). Meaning she is rearranging furniture, buying furniture (like whole new beds and tables and things) and cleaning her little heart out. This behavior was normal back when we lived in Ohio and mom would host all the family parties, but since moving to Colorado and not having any family around, this is just a little odd.
I have to say though, I don’t mind the cleaning and new furniture. One, I love a clean house that doesn’t reek of boys, and two, the new furniture is actually pretty cute. Too bad the moment my Mimi leaves it will be back to just “living with a bunch of boys” again.
Ok, that makes it sound worse than it really is. Really only the downstairs is bachelor pad-ish, because that is where the boys rooms are. I just try to avoid going downstairs at all cost. The rest of the house is typically pretty clean….unless you walk into the kitchen around the six-ish hour and I haven’t started cleaning up the days mess yet. Then you might just wish you never walked in because I will probably put you to work doing dishes.
Let’s talk salad though. Monday salad!! Yes, this is a good thing. Umm, hello?!? Pistachio crusted fried goat cheese!! It’s amazing.
Plus, it makes you want to eat salad like every. single. day.
So once again, this salad has fruit in it. FYI – I am still obsessing over the summer fruits. I cannot get enough. I am actually starting to fear that your guys are going to get sick of all the mangos, pineapple, strawberries (and every other berry for that matter). I am just so excited. I can’t help it. Basically I am like a kid in a candy store.
This salad seems like it might be a lot of work because of the ingredients, but I promise you it’s really not that bad. Basically the chicken gets marinated in spices, lemon juice and olive oil. You make a simple vinaigrette, grill some chicken, fry some goat cheese and throw it all together. Nothing a summer night can’t handle. Especially if you start marinating the chicken in the morning before work. Then you will be all ready to go come dinner time. <–hint, this is the way to go.
Also, this salad is so fresh and summery. And another little tip? Rub your naan with some olive oil, fresh herb and garlic. Then throw it on a the grill for a minute. SO GOOD.
Moroccan Chicken Salad with Pistachio Crusted Fried Goat Cheese + Garlic Naan.
Yields: 4 BIG SALADS OR 8 SIDE SALADS
- Moroccan Chicken
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken, cut into bite size cubes
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled + roughly chopped
- 2 dried chile de arbol, seeds removed (or 1/2 -1 teaspoon cayenne pepper)
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 tablespoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 small to medium lemons, grated + juiced
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives
- 1 cup fresh berries (I recommend strawberries, blueberries, grapes, dates or mangos) - optional
- 8 cups spring greens
- 4 fresh [garlic naans | http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/homemade-naan-step-step-photos/]
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 chipotle chile pepper, minced (or 1/2-1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder)
- 1 jalapeño, finely chopped
- salt + pepper, to taste
- Pistachio Crusted Fried Goat Cheese
- 1 (8 ounce) goat cheese log, rolled into 10-14 disks
- 1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup finely crushed pistachios
- 1 teaspoon fresh mint, chopped
- pinch of pepper
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 egg, beaten
- coconut oil, for frying
Place the chicken in a gallon size ziplock bag or medium size bowl.
To the bowl of a food processor add the garlic, ginger, dried chile de arbol (or cayenne), cilantro, parsley, smoked paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Process 1-2 minutes or until everything is finely chopped. Stream in 1/2 cup olive oil. Pour the marinade over the chicken in the ziplock bag and toss well. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hour or overnight.
Meanwhile make the vinaigrette. In a glass jar with a screw on lid or a bowl combine the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, honey, cilantro, chipotle chile pepper, jalapeño, salt and pepper. Shake or whisk to combine. Taste and adjust to your liking, set aside until ready to use.
Next combine the bread crumbs, pistachio crumbs, mint, a pinch of pepper and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes in a bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the egg to another bowl and whisk.
Dip the goat cheese rounds through the egg and then dredge them through the pistachio mixture, pressing gently to adhere. Place on a plate and continue with the rest of the rounds. Place the plate in the fridge while you grill the chicken.
Preheat the grill or a grill pan to medium-high heat and lightly oil the grates. Place the chicken on the grill until the chicken is golden and no longer pink in the center, about 5-10 minutes each side (depends on the thickness of your chicken). You may also cook the chicken in a skillet if needed. Remove the chicken from the grill and let cool slightly while you fry the goat cheese.
Heat a high sided skillet over medium heat and add about 1 inch of coconut oil. Once hot add the goat cheese rounds and fry for 1-2 minutes per side or until just beginning to turn golden brown. Repeat with all the rounds.
To assemble the salads lightly shred the chicken with two forks or your hands. Add the chicken, lettuce, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and fruit to a large bowl and give it a toss. Divide the salad among plates and top each plate with the warm goat cheese rounds. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and sprinkle with pistachios if desired. Serve with warm [grilled naan | http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/homemade-naan-step-step-photos/]
*Moroccan Chicken adapted from my [chicken skewers | http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/spring-veggie-lemon-moroccan-chicken-skewers-minted-goat-cheese-yogurt/].
*I like to grill a few lemon slices alongside the chicken for added flavor.
*I also like to warm my [naan | http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/homemade-naan-step-step-photos/] over the grill so it gets that nice grilled flavor.