Quinoa Crusted Mustard Chicken

I have some friends that like to drop sercies in my lap; small tokens from their travels or things they thought I might like to play with in the kitchen.  Whether it’s a curry braising sauce, a chili chocolate rub or another specialty item, they all are inspiring and better yet come from friends that support and encourage me.  I appreciate that, and all the cheering I receive.

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 A small container of Coleman’s English Mustard was given to me by my friend Cate, who had just been travelling in England and went to the quaint town of Norwich, where the mustard is produced.  It was a special day for her and I love that I, from all the way across the pond, was a small part of it.    

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Perfect timing too, as I was had just seen this recipe I wanted to try that used mustard.  Coleman’s English Mustard is a blend of brown and white mustards, offering some tang and a lot of zip.  So I adapted the original recipe, which called for Dijon,  a bit to make use of the spicy mustard powder.

 Ingredients

  •  3/4 cup cooked quinoa
  •  4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (6 oz. each)
  •  2 tablespoon Coleman mustard powder
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil mayonnaise
  • 1 ½ teaspoon wild flower honey
  •  1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, plus more for serving
  •  Pepper
  •  Olive oil cooking spray

 Direction

Position a rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 300 degrees. Spread the quinoa on a parchment-lined baking sheet; bake until lightly toasted, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool, then transfer to a bowl, breaking up any clumps. Discard the parchment; reserve the baking sheet. DSC_0321

Increase the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the mustard powder, water and mix into a paste.  Add the mayonnaise, honey and thyme; season with pepper. Place the chicken into the marinate and coat evenly. Place a rack on the reserved baking sheet. Dip the chicken in the quinoa, coating well on both sides, then place on the rack.

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 Spritz the chicken with cooking spray; bake until just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. 

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Garnish the chicken with fresh herbs, a cream sauce, or goat cheese crumbles or even follow my lead with grapefruit marmalade.   DSC_0379a

Inspiration comes from anywhere you turn; trouble is finding the time to play with everything!  Thanks Ms. Cate for the sercy!

Party For The Senses – October 6th 2012

The Party For The Senses is a hard ticket event that happens every Saturday night during Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival.   Chefs from across the world come to participate as well as many of Disney’s talented Chefs.  It is an event that guests look forward to all year, as well as the Disney Cast.  The planning for these events is extreme and detailed, starting before the final event of the year is even finished.  Happily I am getting a first hand look at these event this year, being on the Park Events team.

Our Front of the House partners have taken the room to a even cooler level- the vipe of the Wine View Lounge is straight up “swank”.

The lighting of the room and the even the tables is a perfect complement to the creativity of the food and wine being showcased.

Love these displays!

It is always great to talk to someone excited about what they are offering, displaying their passion for the products.

It is a pretty surreal experience to be around so many talented chefs- and the way we all engaged was even better!  I walked away this weekend with a ton of ideas!

Chef Jessy and the talented team held everyone together, delivering a perfect event!

I was told the reveal was something not to be missed- and it was extreme!  The guests were certainly excited!

Our own Chef Damon Lauder used our new Cvap to cook Pasture Prime Pork Jowls.  Was worried for a bit for not having enough, they were so popular!

Celina Tio, a long time participant of “Party” knows what she is doing- perfect flavors and perfect amount of product!  The Tio team was a pleasure to have in the kitchen for a few days!

All of the participating Chefs and teams delivered flavorful and creative dishes.

AND….they had fun, kids included!

They also worked hard! The King and Queen of Pork included!

Party for the Senses is always a blast, seeing friends from wayback and creating brand new friendships…even thru twitter.

It has been such a great experience to be a part of the #EpcotFoodFestival this year, so fun to get to know so many talented Chefs, and to support their success!

We did have a small degree of celebrity oogleing, but for the most part we kept it cool…

Some of the best looking and tasting desserts had…I renamed the sphere, “Noahsphere” in honor of Chef Noah French, who made it.

I guess it is clear that I lean towards the chocolate desserts.

I was captivated by Chef John Hui and the sculpture he did.  I spent a few minutes gawking as he nonchalantly threw together a sugar hummingbird.  Walked away amazed, after I told him, I completely got it- and thanks for the lesson, I’ll throw one together on my next day off.  He laughed.  and then laughed again.

What a great few weeks it has been, hard, but so worth it.  I can’t wait to see the rest!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Summer vacation has caught up with us, which is evident in the tightness of our pants.  Time to lighten up and hopefully we can knock these extra pounds off before football season starts.  With this goal, we really try to kick up the flavors in our dishes, which helps to satisfy the rumbles in the tummy that a diet brings. 

Lemon, Feta, Tomatoes, Basil…perfect blend of flavors!

For some people quinoa sounds a bit intimidating, even exotic, which may make it seem unapproachable.  The good news is that it is very simple to cook, almost as easy as rice.  It also is very versatile, and can be used in place of pasta or rice in many dishes; but gives you much more nutrients.   Read more about Quinoa here.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup raw quinoa
  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon diced onion
  • 10 grape tomatoes, split in half
  • 1 tablespoon chiffonade, sliced basil
  • 2 tablespoon crumbled feta
  • 4 cups arugula or preferred greens

Method

Cook the quinoa according to the packaging.  While the grains are cooking prepare the vinaigrette.  Combine the lemon zest, juice, vinegar and mustard in a mixing bowl.  Whisk aggressively while slowly adding in the oil.  After the quinoa is cooked, transfer it to a shallow container and pour ½ of the vinaigrette over the grains, mixing well.  Adding the vinaigrette to the quinoa while it is still hot will help the flavor steep into the grains.  Add in the onions, tomatoes, basil and feta as well, giving the chance for all the flavors to mingle and blossom.   Cool the salad until ready to serve. 

When ready to serve, toss the greens with remaining vinaigrette and assemble the plate by putting the greens on the plate, followed by the quinoa salad.

Serves 2-4, depending how hungry everyone is!

Healthy and tasty summer dish!

My mom, Queenie, was the one that taught me to put vinaigrette onto the grains (potatoes, pasta, ect) when they came out of the pot.  This trick, in my opinion is the secret to any great cooked salad. (Queenie, thank you)

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Cheers to the fast approaching end of summer!  Enjoy!!