Post 1.15 - Chicken with Mayo

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

I figure since I have slowed down on my posting, I will go ahead and work this Labor Day and give you some recipes.

"Americans love their mayo," a friend said to me when we were discussing baguette sandwiches I had enjoyed in Paris. The French do not use mayonnaise, but rather butter or margarine. Interestingly, I saw a program on the Food Network this weekend describing sandwiches that have both. The Dutch (and the Flemish of Belgium) use mayo with their famous french fries, and purchasing patat or frites, you select which fritesaus you'd prefer -- from a specific type of sweet mayo, to a peanut sauce, to a curry mayonnaise, to other local, delicious and diverse options.

Ok, so why am I discussing this?

Well, I visited my mother last week, and thanks to changes in her diet, she has little use for mayonnaise at the moment. To add further to her disinterest in the product, she purchased a low-fat or non-fat version of mayonnaise, which is essentially tasteless. When I use mayonnaise, whether in making up a egg, tuna or chicken salad, or just to moisten a sandwich, it has to have a taste to it. There is nothing like cold mayonnaise to add flavor and creaminess to a sandwich or salad, but only if it is, at minimum, regular mayonnaise. Even some diets will say that it isn't worth it to choose some low-fat options both because of taste or the possibility that the amount of sugar has been increased to compensate for the taste.

I don't know about this particular manufacturer, but it's really bland. But it occurred to me that there was a way to fix it.

I went through a phase where I was making a lot of my own condiments -- from McDonald's Big Mac Sauce to peppercorn mayo. I adjusted the recipes to reduce sugar, fat, and other undesirable ingredients, but with no loss in taste. And I have to say, it was pretty awesome.

So here are a few quick recipes for flavored mayonnaise. These can be used as a spread, a salad dressing, or in other creative ways. Try adding a dollop to some leftover chicken for a unique chicken salad, or use it on your freshly grilled hamburgers, a dipping sauce for vegetables, or in any other way you might use a condiment like mayonnaise.

Following the mayo recipes is a recipe requested by my sister that I made this weekend, so keep reading!

Aïoli
For real Aïoli, you're essentially making homemade mayonnaise with different herbs thrown in, but it can be done easily with pre-existing mayonnaise.

1 cup of mayonnaise
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp of lemon juice
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1 cup chopped fresh dill

Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl thoroughly until well blended. Refrigerate for at least one hour before use.

Basil & Dill Mayonnaise

Same as above, just leave out the garlic!

Green Peppercorn Mayo
I've made this recipe from Epicurious.com, and it really is perfect, especially on hamburger, but even on a ham & swiss sandwich.

2 cups of mayonnaise
1/4 cup of Dijon mustard
3 tbsp of green peppercorns
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp of lemon juice

Combine in a blender, then refrigerate until use.

Chicken & Vegetable Pasta Sauce
I LOVE my slow cooker. I am always trying new things with it, and thanks to my Food Saver appliance, I am able to store the leftovers quickly and efficiently, and have meals ready for weeks. So in this latest episode, I decided I wanted a pasta sauce with a lot of texture but without any added sugar. I also wanted it to be low-fat, tasty, and relatively little effort to prepare. I think I won on all counts.

1 slow cooker
4 chicken breasts, as much fat removed as possible
2 zucchini squash, quartered and sliced
1 summer (yellow) squash, sliced thinly
8-oz of sliced mushrooms (I used criminy, but portabello or any other variety works, too)
28-oz of diced tomatoes (no "flavored" varieties, and if you can find an organic, no-salt-added brand, even better)
1/4 cup of low-fat/part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 16-oz package of whole grain pasta
about 1 tsp each of oregano, minced garlic, minced onion (or onion powder), and fresh basil
  1. Spray the slow cooker with a non-stick, nonfat spray.
  2. Place half the tomatoes in the slow cooker, and add the seasonings. Stir well.
  3. Place the chicken in the tomato mixture. The chicken can even be straight out of the freezer.
  4. Add the zucchini and summer squash, and then the mushrooms, followed by the remaining tomatoes.
  5. Cook on LOW for 6 hours. After 3 hours, stir well (it's ok if you don't, it will just be more flavorful if you do).
  6. When 30 minutes of cook time remain, stir the mozzarella cheese into the sauce. Prepare pasta according to package directions - it should be ready about the same time as the sauce.
  7. After cooking time is over, remove chicken from the sauce, cube or shred it, and it back into the sauce. It's important not to overcook the chicken or it will be tender but a bit dry.
  8. Serve over pasta. Leftovers can be refrigerated or frozen.
It really was delicious, and it made 8 good-sized servings over penne pasta.

Enjoy!

Have a question or a suggestion for a future topic? E-mail me at facetsblog@gmail.com.

Comments

  1. Yummy - I'm a huge fan of mayo! Top 2: with horseradish, delish on roast beef, and chipolte, great on everything but especially on burger sliders.
    Isn't the crock pot the best thing ever? Right up there with the French press.

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