If you live on the East Coast, you’ve been enjoying some fabulous spring weather recently. Here in Coastal North Carolina, I’m gambling that spring is here to stay, and so I’ve started my annual “spring cleaning” of recipes.
Spring can be awkward when it comes to what to make for dinner: much of the fresh produce and seafood that defines summer cooking is not yet available, yet it’s too warm out to produce hankerings for crockpot meals and hot soups. The days are also longer, so the time spent in the kitchen should be shorter in order to facilitate more time outside to enjoy the weather.
Two recipes that I love dance this fine line between spring and summer fare. They work for both light lunches and dinners, can be made ahead (in fact they taste better after a day or so in the fridge), and take 30 minutes or less to make. I hope they leave with some new springtime cooking inspiration, and more time to enjoy the weather!
Curried Chicken Salad
4 boneless chicken breasts
Cut in small cubes
1 apple (cut into cubes; peeling optional)
¾ cup grapes, halved (depending on your sweet tooth you can use purple or green)
1/3 cup slivered almonds, walnuts, or pecans
1/4 cup half-and-half
1 cup mayo
1 1/2 teaspoons of curry powder
The recipe couldn’t be simpler: cook chicken breasts and let cool (I usually just boil them to save time; you can also cook at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes). Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized cubes. Add chicken, apple, grapes and nuts in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, combine half-and-half, mayo, and curry powder. Pour liquids over chicken mixture and lightly stir until combined. Cover and let cool in the refrigerator. Best if made a day before.
Old Bay Shrimp Salad
1/3 c. mayonnaise
1/3 c. chopped celery
1.5 tsp. Old Bay
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 lb. medium shrimp, cooked (see below)
Croissant or Sandwich Roll (optional)
To cook shrimp, bring 1 c. water to a boil in a saucepan. Add unpeeled shrimp and cover. Cook about 5 minutes, or until shrimp are pink. Drain, and cool shrimp. Remove shells and devein, if necessary.
In a large bowl, mix first four ingredients. Add shrimp and toss to coat, then cover. Serve on a bed of lettuce or your favorite sandwich roll. Best if made the day before.
What are some of your favorite springtime recipes?