On Mondays I cook for private clients, and now, like when I was Tapas Bar Chef at BarComida, I am always honest with my customers. “Whatever I’m craving is what you’re eating”. This is why sometimes in the middle of summer, everyone is eating Pasta Bolognese ... the Chef is known to need her favorite comfort food in July.
For my own personal weekly meals, I usually prepare an extra portion of my clients’ menu items for my own convenience; then I get to feel like a guest of my own service. Sometimes, and better, I take extra ingredients and alchemize them into something new and, sometimes amazing! I can’t quite remember which this dish was, I only know that I wish there’d been more. I’ll have to work that differently next time.
I hope you will agree that they are incredibly delicious!
I’ve become addicted to the fresh, best-quality ground chicken at Farmers Market Poultry at the Original Farmers Market; this store is owned by my guys at Huntington Meats. For a little over $3/lb., it renders the yummiest of dishes, and this one is no exception.
You’ll need very few components for this plate, and as usual, I’m going to insist that freshness and quality be priorities!
Iceberg or even Romaine lettuce cups are great, and you may even wish to consider radicchio for the cups as well. Simply slice off the core of the head, and cut lengthwise; pull the leaves off gently, to create the cups for wrapping the fillings. (If you're at the Market, find great greens at Farm Fresh Produce!)
Use your favorite spicy seasoning blend - consider Penzeys for inspiration, or even Dragunara at the Market - to season the chicken. Here I used Penzeys’ Berbere seasoning; it’s like a North African “peri-peri” mix of different peppers and spices that is irresistibly hot!
For the dressing, I just took my favorite hot sauce, sitting there in the door of the fridge, whispering, “Me. Use me.” I whisked it with plain yogurt, fresh lime juice, and some honey. I kept tasting it until I liked it. This is what chefs do, I told an audience recently.
The mixed corn salad is simply a mix of raw vegetables that again, were left over, or in the fridge drawer, whispering, “Us. Use us.” I chopped them all until I was over that task, added a few drained black beans from a can, tossed it all in a bowl with a little bit of fine olive oil, and voila, that was ready.
Finally I gifted myself with an entire quarter of an avocado, sliced thinly so that, for all intents and purposes, it completed a really pretty plate. (And by the way, THE BEST avocados are at Farm Fresh Produce as well!)
Eaten all together with the fresh crispy lettuce is like a little fiesta in the mouth. This is a surprisingly filling meal, but don’t be surprised if you wish you’d made more; they’re quite addicting.
I hope you and yours will enjoy it all!
Until next time, I remain ~
Your Chef and Tour Maestra,