Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mango Chicken Salad served in brioche molds a highlight of afternoon

I was planning a fun afternoon, so I wanted to serve something memorable. My mentor in quilting instruction was stopping by for a Ladies' Lunch and an afternoon of stitching in my garret—my sewing and crafts room out back. I wanted a dish that made use of our embryonic spring garden, which we had to walk past on the way to our retreat locale.

I found the cutest recipe for servings of chicken salad stuffed into brioche crusts. The chicken salad contained mango, slivered almonds, water chestnuts, and most importantly, fresh green onions. We have yet to plant the first tomato (unseasonably warm weather aside, Hubby still sticks to the "wait-till-after-Easter" rule), but our onions are everywhere in that promising soil. Pull up one and chop up the tops; you have an ingredient that totally enlivens any recipe.

Southern Living introduced this recipe in its recent "Easiest, Pretties Brunch" feature. The food item was to be made with mango chutney, but our local Kroger informed Hubby, on his hunt for it, that the store no longer carried mango chutney because the chutney turned brown too quickly. Wal-Mart carried it in its relish section but priced at more than $4 for a small jar.

Never mind. I chopped up part of a fresh mango as a substitute and left the remainder of the mango for Hubby’s smoothies.

The magazine shows the salad stuffed into little crusts (I made mine in individual ramekins) but suggests that it would be just as good atop fresh spring greens. Using half a package of refrigerated pie crusts made quick work of making the brioches, which easily pop out of the ramekin dishes when you lightly spray the molds beforehand.

A lovely Ladies' Lunch paved the way for a beautiful afternoon to sit 'n sew. My Sunbonnet Sue quilt is progressing.

Mango Chicken Salad
(appeared as Chutney Chicken Salad, February 2012 Southern Living)

1/3 cup slivered almonds
1 cup mayonnaise (I used the lite variety)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/3 cup mango chutney (I used 1/3 cup chopped fresh mango)
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
5 cups diced cooked chicken
1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
4 green onions, chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 (14.1-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts
garnish: thinly sliced green onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake almonds in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until toasted and fragrant. Stir halfway through. Cool for 20 minutes. In a large bowl whisk together mayonnaise and next 5 ingredients. Add chicken, next 2 ingredients, and toasted almonds. Toss until well-blended. Cover and chill 2 to 24 hours. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut piecrust into 8 (4 1/2-inch) rounds. Press each dough round into a lightly greased 3 1/2-inch brioche mold. Press dough up sides. Fold dough over edge of molds and pinch to secure. Arrange molds on a baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 8 minutes or until lightly browned Cool pastry shells in molds on a wire rack 1 minute. Loosen shells from molds (use a small knife); remove shells from molds to a wire rack and cool completely, about 20 minutes. Just before you serve, fill cooled pastry shells with chicken salad. Makes 8 servings.

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