Friday, July 20, 2007

Chicken with Tomatillo Salsa

When I renewed my Bon Appetit subscription, they offered me a free gift subscription for anyone I wanted to send one to. I immediately thought of my mother, as she is one of the predominant reasons I love to cook. I come from a family of extremely talented women and one of their many talents is the ability to turn food into an adventure. I will always be grateful that my family dinners were never boring and always different. I still look forward to what new dishes will grace the holiday table. Anyway, I digress.

Every Sunday my husband and I are in town, we go to my parents house for dinner. Since giving my mother the subscription, many of the meals have been pulled from the pages of the latest magazine. Last Sunday was no exception. Usually, my mother chooses a recipe I missed or hadn't dog-eared in my own copy of the magazine, but this time she made a few dishes from "The Green Party" in August's Bon Appetit, a menu I had marked for my next dinner party. It gave me a chance to try a few of the recipes before I subjected others to them.

The tomatillo salsa from one of the dishes (Grilled Park Chops with Tomatillo Salsa) was absolutely fabulous and my mother sent me home with some leftovers. After I polished the salsa off on Monday, I began craving some more. So the salsa made it's way onto my weekly menu. The potato salad also found it's way to my dinner table. It's a very green meal, so it feels healthy, and besides the olive oil and the carbs from the potatoes, it's a very health conscious meal. Not "light", but very healthful.

Chicken with Tomatillo Salsa
Adapted from Bon Appetit

12 tomatillos (1 lb), husked and rinsed
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 jalapeno chiles
2/3 c finely chopped white onion
2/3 c (lightly packed) chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
2 chicken breasts, trimmed and sliced
Olive oil

Preheat broiler. Place tomatillos, 4 whole garlic cloves, and jalapenos on rimmed baking sheet. Broil until tender and vegetables are slightly charred, turning occasionally, about 7 minutes for garlic and 8 minutes for tomatillos and jalapenos. Transfer to plate and let stand until cool enough to handle. Stem and seed jalapenos. Place tomatillos, garlic, jalapenos, onion and cilantro in processor. Puree until almost smooth. Season tomatillo salsa with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a skillet and cook chicken until no longer pink. Serve chicken with brown rice and top with salsa.

Potato Salad with Basil Oil
From Bon Appetit

1 c packed whole fresh basil leaves, plus 3 T thinly sliced basil
1/2 c plus 2 T olive oil
2 1/2 T unseasoned rice vinegar
2 T Dijon mustard
1/4 c chopped red onion
2 lbs medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled

Blanch whole basil leaves in boiling water for 1 minute; drain. Run under cold water; drain and squeeze out any excess water. Place basil in kitchen towel and squeeze out water. Transfer basil to processor. Add 1/2 c oil; process until basil is very finely chopped. Transfer to small bowl and season with salt. Whisk vinegar and mustard in small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in remaining 2 T olive oil. Stir in red onion and 3 T thinly sliced basil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Place potatoes in large saucepan. Add enough water to cover potatoes by 1 inch. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until tender, about 17 minutes. Drain. Let potatoes stand until just cool enough to handle. Cut into 3/4 inch cubes and place in large bowl. Drizzle dressing over warm potatoes and toss gently to coat. Serve potato salad warm or at room temperature.

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