It's HOT. And I HATE HOT. When I'm hot I feel like the air is jello and I have to fight my way through it, and I don't want to expend any energy on cooking, which is good because it makes me not very hungry. Nothing is better in hot and humid weather than a big, cool salad...light, crunchy and NOT heavy. Another good alternative is bbq - something that doesn't take forever and that you can add to something cool...do you see a trend here? Add a little bit of carb to it, and you have a nice healthy meal that will fill you up without loading you down - because there is nothing worse than a hot, cranky old lady except a hot, cranky bloated old lady.
Across the Intel compound next to my work there used to be a restaurant called Teriyaki Woo that we would occasionally visit at lunch time, but not often enough to keep them in business apparently because now it sits empty, shaming us as we drive by, eyes averted and head down.
My favorite thing on their menu was the Chicken Teriyaki Salad, and it was just what I was talkin' about - a nice cool salad with a healthy serving of grilled sliced teriyaki glazed chicken on top and a scoop of rice on the same plate. YUM. After buying quite a few large styrofoam cups of the dressing for 5 bucks a pop and being denied multiple times for the recipe, I had my daughter taste it and she developed a "copy cat" recipe for me - it is now in the annals of recipe history (really just a binder with a bunch of recipes glued or written on paper and put into plastic sleeves to be able to wipe the goo off them because I'm a messy cook); aren't you glad I am anal about my annals?
My niece and God-daughter Colleen is married to a delightful young man (OMG, I sound like a blue-hair) who is of Pacific-Islander descent (Hawaiian for those of you who have not read the 400 page manual the feds sent to us hapless public school employees on how to label children without offending ANYONE), and...
Reader: "I OBJECT! Relevance?"
Blogger: "Sorry, your honor, I'm attempting to complete the dinner menu"
Imaginary Judge: "Objection overruled - get to the point, counselor"
So anyway, Sean shared his family recipe for home-grown teriyaki sauce with me. He did not say it was a family secret, so hopefully he will not be shunned from future luau's on the sacred grounds of his forefathers, but after finding out that "Gramma Meeuwsen's Chocolate Chip Recipe" turned out to be straight out of Betty Crocker, it's possible that they swiped this one from Kikkoman....you never know! I will give it to you exactly as it was dictated because it ALWAYS makes me laugh when I read it...Sean is a funny guy. Because you will want to get the chicken marinating ahead of time, and you have to have the sauce to do that, I'm starting there and working my way through the salad. You really should make the sauce and the dressing ahead of time, that way you just have to whip out some salad and rice and throw the chicken on the grill - EASY! So keep on scrolling....it takes about as long to read as it does to make.
Here is Sean's very precise & scientific recipe:
Sean's Teriyaki Sauce
One part soy sauce (I prefer Kikkoman)
One part brown sugar (I prefer, well, brown sugar)
Chopped garlic to taste (I love garlic so I really load up on it)
Shredded ginger to taste (I don't like ginger so I use a tiny bit)
Soak at least one hour
OK, I think they told me that they heated it on a low burner until the sugar was all dissolved, but I think it would eventually without - up to you. I don't usually have fresh ginger because it's not my fave either, so I sprinkle in some powder - do what works for you. And I too LOVE garlic, so a full head of cloves is not too much if you're using 4 cups of soy and 4 cups of sugar...it keeps forever in the fridge, so you CAN make a lot - SOOOO good!
Put some thawed out or fresh boneless, skinless thighs OR breasts OR tenders in a big ziploc bag, then dump in some teriyaki sauce - enough to coat it, not to COVER it. Then close bag, pressing out all the air so all the chicken stays in contact with the sauce; put in fridge to marinate a while, flipping it over at least once to make sure marination is even. Heat up the bbq, throw it on and cook it, basting with sauce towards the end to create a glaze; remove from grill when done and let stand about 10 minutes. Slice diagonally (you could leave the tenders whole) and put on top of salad.
Cook some jasmine rice to go on the side - trust me.
1 medium head green cabbage
1/4-1/2 small head red cabbage
1-2 carrots (or equiv. "baby" carrots)
Almonds (I pref roasted/Winco bulk) or sliced or those little sticks...for sprinkling on top
Cut green cabbage in half, peel off outer leaves as needed, cut each half in quarters and cut out core; rinse with cold water. Thinly shred cabbage, then cut shreds in half and put in large bowl. Do the same thing with the red cabbage (it's up to you how much you want in it, then peel and grate 1-2 carrots (whatever turns your crank) and mix it all together. Set aside.
After a year or so they started mixing half romaine into it and I felt cheated....I love cabbage and romaine seemed too fluffy. But that's the beauty, you do what YOU want.
And the key to it all......
Becky Woo Dressing
1 cup mayonnaise (I don't need to say Best Foods, right?)
3-4 T. honey
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. seasoned rice vinegar (if you still don't have some, use cider or white but come ON)
A couple grinds of black pepper
Whisk all ingredients until smooth, adjust to your own sweetness level. I use those plastic bottles like the red and yellow ones you can buy for ketchup and mustard - you can get white ones at Cash and Carry and they are WAY COOL for putting dressing on individual salads. Alternatively you can pour it in a ziploc bag and cut the corner off...it works, but is a single-use kind of tool.
Scoop of rice (run small bowl under water to wet, pack w/hot rice & unmold on one side of plate)
Couple handfuls of salad
Drizzle dressing over salad (I like to make zig-zags one way and then the other)
Place sliced chicken on top
Sprinkle with almonds
Have extra dressing on the side in case you want more...it's really good on the rice too!
Tonight I made this for Walt for dinner, and didn't have cabbage so he got romaine, and I forgot the almonds, and used roasted chicken I drizzled teriyaki over and reheated. He didn't lick the plate, but might have if I wasn't sitting right there...shoot, if I made it the right way he might have eaten the plate and saved me from washing it! (Like I wash any dishes....) AlooooooHA!