Grilled Chicken & Honeydew Salad

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1-1/4 cup boneless and skinless chicken breasts 1 TBSP olive oil 1 cup honeydew, cut into small bite sized pieces 1 bunch green onion, finely chopped 1 TSP dijon mustard 1/2 cup mayonnaise (low fat) 2-1/2 TSP brown sugar 1 TBSP Kirin 2 TBSP fresh tarragon, finely chopped 1/4 pecans, toasted and chopped 1 TBSP pepper

In a medium bowl, combine mayo, , mustard, rice vinegar, half the brown sugar, tarragon then season with salt and pepper.  Cover and refrigerate. Heat grill to medium heat, spray with PAM for grills.  In a small bowl mix together pepper with remaining brown sugar and 1 TBSP olive oil.  Cover chicken breasts with mixture.  Cook chicken on grill turning once.  Chicken is done when juices run clear. Chop chicken into bite sized pieces.  Mix chicken, melon and green onion to dressing mixture.  Serve on salad plates.

Since spring is sprunging around the country, there's a natural desire to savor the fresh veggies and eat something healthy.  Chicken and salads are some of the healthiest things you can eat, but let's face it, they're BOOORRRRING!

So I like to add a little something called flavor to the salad so you actually enjoy eating something that's good for you.  The mayo is the one ingredient that can derail this whole, "I'm eating healthy so I think I'll have seconds" train.  Take a look at cutting the mayo down in half or replacing it altogether with a soy based mayo.

Because there's some creaminess to the salad, a wine pairing that has some acidity to cut through the creaminess is needed.  You can go a few ways with a wine+food pairing.  I'd go for a Chardonnay/Viognier blend or a Pinot Gris.  Why?  'Cause that's how I roll.  But more to the point, a Chardonnay would work fine, but the dijon is going to give a little Jackie Chan kick to it, and there's honeydew.  Bang for the buck I found the Cycles Gladiator has great quality for not very much money.

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Filet Mignon With Shallot Cream Sauce

Vilafonté Vineyards
Image of Vilafonté Vineyards via Snooth

Serves 4 people

A meal fit for a king. Filet is one of the best cuts of meat because of how tender it is. The shallot and cream sauce makes the steak even more flavorful. In order to cut through the heavier cream based sauce, a red wine with enough acidity yet not overpowering is what’s needed to make this meal truly regal. A few wines I like to pair with this recipe are Quinta do Crasto Douro Red from Portugal, Vilafonté Series M from South Africa or Spann Vineyards Cabernet from Sonoma. These three wines have a cashmere texture while maintaining a sense of elegance and power--Perfect for Filet Mignon. Layers of secondary and tertiary flavors provide a velvet curtain backdrop for the main player…perfectly cooked filet and shallot cream sauce. Both recipe and suggested wines make a good pairing because they have a nice sense of balance between Sweet, Sour, Bitter and Salt. On the Bakas Flava Intensity Scale both recipe and suggested wines are around an 8-9 so they won't overpower each other. Enjoy! tongue-map_pairing1 tongue-map-intensity_9

INGREDIENTS 4 filet mignon steaks (6-8 ounces each) 3 TBSP butter 2 TBSP olive oil 1-¾ cups beef stock or beef broth 1 cup whipping cream ¼ cup chopped shallots 1 TSP Dijon mustard 1 TBSP chopped tarragon 3 TBSP Brandy or Cognac 2 TBSP drained green peppercorns Salt and Pepper

In a small saucepan, boil beef stock until reduced to ¾ cup. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper then cook in large skillet to desired doneness, about 7-9 minutes per side. Transfer steaks to plate. Melt butter over medium-high heat in same pan steaks cooked in (do not clean pan). Add chopped shallots and sauté 2 minutes. Add reduced beef stock, whipping cream, Cognac and green peppercorns. Reduce to desired thickness. Stir in tarragon. Spoon sauce over steaks.

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