Saturday, May 11, 2013

Elephants don't eat chicken . . .

This last week, I've experimented with chicken. Take 4 chicken breasts and make Chicken Tacos (meal one), Chicken Pesto Sandwiches (meal two), and Chicken Pesto Salad (meal three).

The following recipes have nothing to do with elephants -- except that elephants have voracious appetites. You can trace their trail through the grasslands by checking for dead trees. They attack the trees, rip them from the ground, tusk them apart, and trample them. Dry brushwood is left. I keep remembering these beautiful elephants from their protected nature preserve in Tanzania. Perhaps we are the ones with voracious appetites, for poaching is decimating their numbers. 

But to the chicken. Three recipes follow: Easy Chicken Tacos, Chicken Pesto Sandwiches (my first attempt at making pesto), and Chicken Pesto Salad.

Elephant Crossing, Tarangire National Forest, Tanzania, Africa (Camp 2012)
Easy Chicken Tacos for Two
4 corn tortillas
4-5 chicken breasts
2 handfuls of cheese from 1 pkg shredded cheese (I like Mexican blend or cheddar)
1 tomato, chopped
Handful of chopped lettuce
4-5 basil leaves chopped
Optional: green onions, salsa, mushrooms, avocado

1. Simmer the chicken breasts just covered with water flavored with a little garlic salt. Takes about 15 minutes.
2. While the chicken is cooking, assemble and chop ingredients.
3. Cool the chicken. Take 1 and a half breasts and shred. Put the rest of the chicken in the fridge for other meals.NOTE: I then tossed the shredded chicken in the frying pan with a little olive oil and added mushrooms, more garlic salt and stir fried.
4. Cook the tortillas in either butter or olive oil, flipping until crisp.
5. Make your own taco and add salsa to your taste.

Home-made Pesto
Spring brought these large, bushy basil plants to my local store for $3.99. Time to make pesto! Get your food processor out!

Pluck leaves and wash enough basil  to fill about 2 cups of basil leaves.
Grind up the following in the food processor and dump in a bowl:
3 cloves of garlic (skinned) 
1/2 cup sliced almonds  (I'm trying more next time)
Grind up the basil.
Mix 1/2 cup olive oil with 1/2 cup lemon juice. Add about 1/2 teasp garlic salt.
Mix all and set aside.

Chicken Pesto Sandwiches.
Incredibly easy! Take that leftover chicken and chop it up into small bite-sized pieces. Add 1 stalk of celery, finely chopped. Add the pesto. Put generous amount of chicken mix onto a very fresh baguette or other designer bread. (You don't need mayonaise because of the olive oil.) Add thick slice of tomato. Lunch to die for. Supper to die for. Snack to die for. You get the picture. Store the leftover chicken pesto.

Chicken Pesto Salad.
It's hot outside. Cool off with the rest of the chicken pesto!  Take two plates. Add handfuls of your favorite lettuce chopped. Scatter 1/2 cucumber sliced, 1 tomato and 1 avocado bite-sized atop the lettuce. Add leftover chicken pesto. Add parsley and chopped green onions (optional)
Dressing: 1/3 cup olive oil + 1/3 cup lemon + garlic salt. Mix and pour over salads.
Also optional but very good:  Make croutons! Take one slice wheat bread and cube it. Stir fry in a little butter until brown. Sprinkle over salad.

As they say in Africa:  Jambo! (This means 'hello there' in a very friendly way.)


Deniz Bevan said...

Taco! That's a great idea! I've been hunting for something different that I hadn't had in a while.
And ooh, I wish I could have English muffin egg sandwiches all the time [g]

Beth Camp said...

Thanks for stopping by, Deniz. I now make those egg muffins nearly every morning. I'll be back a little later to post Fabio's meatballs, this week's inspiration. Beth