Remember those dressings and marinades I promised you? Here they are. I particularly like the Californian Marinade & Dressing and the Lemon-Pepper one because you make a bottle of those, pour a little over your chicken as a marinade and use some more as the dressing.
I typically marinate the chicken pieces overnight in a glass bowl tightly covered with cling wrap, and grill them in the morning on our Bergner grill pan. Then, we slice the chicken into little bits, and pack them – separately – in a large Tupperware container. In a smaller container, I take peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, salad leaves (usually a combination of these). In another container, some dressing, and, in yet another container (or a twist of cling wrap), my microwaved croutons. I know it seems like a lot of containers, but it’s well worth the effort – all the salad makings retain their freshness and crunch when you dump them in the big Tupperware thingie and drizzle them with the dressing, and the whole seems like something you got out of a restaurant rather than a wilted mess of veggies.
Californian Marinade & Dressing· 1/2 cup olive oil
· 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
· 1 tbsp prepared mustard (wholegrain works well)
· 1 clove garlic, minced
· 1 teaspoon shallots, chopped (optional)
· salt and pepper to taste
Mix together in a glass bottle and shake before using.
Lemon-Pepper Marinade & Dressing· 1/2 cup olive oil
· 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
· 1/2 tsp Tabasco
· 1/2 tsp dried thyme
Heat all the ingredients together gently to blend, cool and bottle.
Sweet Sesame Dressing· 2/3 cup rice vinegar
· · 1 cup canola oil· 2 tbsp sesame oil
· 4 cloves garlic, pressed or very finely minced
· 2 tbsp soya sauce
· 1/2 cup sugar
· 4 tbsp sesame seeds
This one is from the Our Best Bites blog as part of a very tempting Asian Wonton Salad. Place all ingredients in a glass bottle and shake vigorously.
All the dressings – in glass bottles – can be refrigerated for a week or so.
Here’s how you make croutons without frying them: Dice the bread, place in a microwaveable plate and zap for a minute on High. Stir. Zap for another minute. Continue stirring and zapping till you get crisp croutons.This is what I do to jazz them up a bit: First take a little olive oil, mix some garlic powder and/ or oregano pizza seasoning into it, and rub this mixture into the diced bread. Continue with the zapping-stirring routine.
And just because some of you were actually interested in the valentine thingies, here’s what I made for the officewallahs as part of the Valentine Day gift exchange: felt pens in a corrugated cardboard sleeve with a printable that read: “Have a colorful Valentine’s Day”. Each of the felt pen sets was Rs 14 from the wholesale stationery lane in Crawford Market so I was within the set Rs 10 to Rs 15 price.
And this is the box of goodies from Le 15 Patisserie – two macarons and one cupcake – all the ladies in Worldwide Media received from BBC Good Food Magazine (they are featured in this month’s issue!). They were all yummy, but the passionfruit macaron – the yellow one – was out of this world.
Main photograph: Svetlana Foote