Let’s face it: You’re busy — too busy to mess around with complicated cooking at the end of the day. Still, dinner should be more than just a cup full of cereal and the dream of a brighter tomorrow. Enter: Jenny Rosenstrach, a busy mom who makes dinner happen with style, simplicity, and just the right amount of sizzle. Whether or not you're cooking for kids, we love her easy, delicious approach. In fact, we love it so much, we'll be sharing one of her recipes every week, so you can have a life — and a REALLY good meal, too.
Asian-ish Shredded Chicken Salad
Warning: This recipe has one of those annoying ingredient lines that says “2 chicken breasts that have been poached in mirin and soy sauce for 15 minutes,” as though you just so happen to have that kind of thing lying around with the peanut butter. Feel free to use whatever leftover chicken you’ve got, or, even better, the white meat from a storebought rotisserie.
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fish sauce (available at Asian specialty stores and better supermarkets)
lime juice from half a lime
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 drop of hot pepper paste (or, for heat, you can use hot sauce or mince a jalapeno or serrano chile; we just happened to have this leftover from a 99-ingredient David Chang recipe)
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
2 to 3 large handfuls of shredded cabbage (both Savoy and Red)
half a handful of shredded baby spinach
1 handful of shredded carrots
1 bunch (about 5-6) scallions, white and light green parts only, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 chicken breasts (poached/simmered for 15 minutes in a pot filled with 3 cups of water, a 1/4 cup rice wine, a little soy sauce, a half an onion) shredded
handful of chopped peanuts to taste
sesame seeds (optional)
In a large bowl whisk together all the dressing ingredients. To the same bowl, add all salad ingredients and toss until combined. If you are afraid your kids won’t like it, separate out the components you are sure they will like and reserve some dressing for them as a dip.
Jenny Rosenstrach is the author of Dinner: A Love Story and the blog of the same name. She and her husband write The Providers column for Bon Appetit.
Photos: Courtesy of Dinner: A Love Story