Friday, July 2, 2010

Chorizo, Bruschetta, Tapenade, Chicken Curry Salad

The July 4th holiday is this weekend. The fireworks will be blasting right along with the heat here in the south. It is Picnic week at IHCC!

I was searching Mark Bittman recipes one evening and found 101 simple appetizers in 20 minutes on Bittman’s minimalist column.

There are some quick and tasty ideas there for appetizers.

I chose to prepare:
# 11. Tapenade Tapenade: Combine about 1 pound pitted black olives in food processor with 1/4 cup drained capers, at least 5 anchovies, 2 garlic cloves, black pepper and olive oil as necessary to make a coarse paste. Can also be a dip. Use sparingly; it’s strong.

#18. Bruschetta Bruschetta is the basis for so many good things. Don’t make it too crisp, and start with good country bread. Brush thick slices with olive oil. Broil until toasted on both sides. While it’s still hot, rub with cut clove of garlic on one side (optional). Drizzle with a bit more olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and serve, or top with prosciutto or tapenade.

#23. Chorizo chunks on a toothpick Cut chorizo into chunks. Cook in a lightly oiled skillet until nicely browned. Kielbasa is equally good (or better), if not as hip.
I used Mexican chorizo, fresh basil and grape tomatoes on a toothpick!

To round out the picnic I also used Bittman’s Chicken Curry Salad and added a few of my own additions. I added carrots, celery, raisins and a small amount of chopped tomato. I omitted the apple. This is a wonderful, light, spicy and fresh chicken salad served wrapped up in crisp lettuce leaves.

Chicken curry salad: Adapted from Mark Bittman

Makes 4 Servings Time: About 30 minutes
Poaching chicken in chicken stock improves both stock and chicken; you'll get delicious chicken for this salad, and great stock for the next time you need it. A delightful change from traditional chicken salad.
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock, storebought broth, or water, preferably warmed
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast (leftover chicken is fine; don't recook it), rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon plain yogurt (or use more mayonnaise)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon curry powder or garam masala or to taste
1/2 cup peeled and diced apple or 1/2 cup lightly toasted blanched slivered almonds
1. Place the stock in a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn the heat to medium-low and add the chicken breast. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the chicken breast is cooked through. Remove the meat; strain and reserve the stock for another use.
2. Cool the chicken, cut it into small pieces, and toss it with the remaining ingredients. Taste, correct seasoning, and serve

The verdict: All the recipes were quick,easy and delicious. Each dish fits wonderfully in my picnic basket. One thing I would have done differently: I would have added just two anchovies to the tapenade. A small amount of the tapenade does go a long way! Now who wants to go on a picnic?


  1. I love the chorizo bites. What a perfect appetizer to serve while waiting for the main dish at any gatering. I also love the chickensalad, though I have to leave out any fruit. I like my fruit on the side, (no raisins, apples, or grapes)not mixed into my salads.
    Thanks for the ideas.

  2. I clipped that appetizer article out when it first ran--so many great ideas Everything you made looks wonderful--great picnic basket fare. ;-)

  3. Can I come over? Mmmm mmmmm mmmm that sounds like a good picnic!!!

  4. i love the tapenade recipe! Thanks!


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