Food TV Cooking Club: September
This month’s cooking club recipe was a bit of a challenge for me. The previous two months’ recipes contained foods that I ate on a regular basis, so it was no big deal to just take the plunge and try those dishes with new ingredients or new flavour combinations.
But this month’s is different. Those who know me know that I was a vegetarian (lacto ovo) for eleven years, and only added fish back into my diet four years ago. However, I’ve recently found that I was lacking in the protein department, so I’ve added chicken to my diet as well, as of a month or two ago. That’s all fine and good; it was a personal decision and I only eat chicken once a week or every two weeks anyhow. It was more an issue of not knowing exactly how to prepare it properly, having not cooked it in so long! But I figured that now is as good a time as any to practice, and besides, that recipe looked very good.
Once at my local grocery store, I had trouble finding the ingredients for the recipe as written. Chicken was fine, as were blue cheese, shallots and arugula. But I was not able to find figs, fresh tarragon, or sherry vinegar. Not one to shy away from a culinary challenge, I decided to substitute peaches for the figs (as recommended on the foodtv.ca blog), fresh thyme for the tarragon, and balsamic vinegar for the sherry vinegar. Additionally, I don’t eat pork, so while I put some crispy pancetta on Rich’s version of the dish, I had to put something different on my own. I decided lightly toasted walnuts would complement the peaches and blue cheese nicely, and blend well with the dressing.
The verdict? This was very delicious and I’d be happy to make it again sometime. The dressing had a nice tang to it and really went well with the strong blue cheese, crunchy walnut pieces, peppery arugula and sweet peach slices. It was also surprisingly filling! You don’t tend to think of salad as being an entire meal, but this dish really was.
Until next month!