This week’s Doris Project recipe comes to us from a box of Creamettes macaroni, and, I gotta tell ya, it makes a heckuva lot of salad, so plan for a crowd, a pitch-in dinner, or mebbe cut the recipe in half to make things a bit more manageable.
The recipe itself is an interesting mix; chicken, broccoli, mandarin oranges, macaroni, and honey mustard salad dressing, all tossed with sliced almonds and served over lettuce. Of course, I made a few changes along the way, but still…
•1 lb elbow macaroni – I used a 12 oz box
•2 cups cubed, cooked chicken
•2 cups fresh broccoli flowerets, blanched
•1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
•16 oz honey mustard salad dressing*
•1/4 cup sesame seeds
*Sure, you can buy a bottle, but it is so, darned simple (and better!) to make it yourself – here’s how (make a double batch for this recipe).
Cook and drain the macaroni according to package directions, then drizzle with half of the honey mustard dressing. Toss to coat the macaroni well, then allow to cool a bit, cover, and stash in the fridge overnight. This is my standard macaroni salad trick; double the amount of dressing called for, then stir half of it into to the pasta just after cooking and allow to rest overnight. The pasta will absorb the dressing, and all that flavor, and will be a much tastier base for your salad.
The nice folk at Creamettes never mentioned cooking the broccoli, but I couldn’t imagine just tossing it raw into the salad, so opted to blanch mine in the ‘wave, which is wicked simple to do.
Place the broccoli in a ‘wave-safe dish with one cup of water, then cover and hit 90 seconds. Give the broccoli a stir and return for another 90 seconds. One more stir and one last 90 seconds, and your broccoli is gonna be bright green and ready to be plunged into an ice water bath to keep it from cooking any further. Drain and set aside to cool.
Combine the broccoli with the chicken and mandarin oranges in a large bowl with the remaining eight ounces of honey mustard dressing.
At this point, you will begin to see exactly how huge this salad is gonna be – I have one large bowl of dressed pasta covered and waiting in the fridge, and now a second, pretty darned big, bowl of chicken and stuff ready to chill as well…
and here’s where we get to the suspense.
I’ve put both bowls in the fridge to chill overnight, and plan on tossing them together (with mebbe just a wee, tiny bit more honey mustard) for dinner tonight over a bed of chopped Romaine and Iceberg lettuce, then topping it all with a sprinkling of sesame seeds. How is it?
Check out the details, tomorrow…